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New MacBook Pros


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#1 Janichsan

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 07:01 AM

Apple just (well, actually a few hours ago) released new MBPs: faster CPUs (up to 2.4 GHz), faster GPUs (namely GeForce 8600M GTs), LED backlit displays for the 15" version and optional 1920x1200 displays for the 17" MBPs.

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#2 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 07:49 AM

Ahem, how you say, 'w00t'!?

LED backlights - nice. 8600M GT - nice. Now if only they gave the option to up the VRAM on the low-end model.

(Now I gotta dig me up some cash somewheres...)
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#3 Mister Mumbles

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 07:53 AM

Damn. Late by fifty minutes. :P Looks nice, although a resolution of 1920x1200 on a 17" screen is a bit overkill, I'd say.

Going to look forward to see testing comparisons between 8600M GT and x1600M... I'm sure the former is going to spank the latter, but by how much?

Now Apple just needs to move the x1600M into the MacBooks. :nods:
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#4 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 08:10 AM

View PostPegasus, on June 5th 2007, 09:53 AM, said:

Damn. Late by fifty minutes. :P Looks nice, although a resolution of 1920x1200 on a 17" screen is a bit overkill, I'd say.

Going to look forward to see testing comparisons between 8600M GT and x1600M... I'm sure the former is going to spank the latter, but by how much?

Now Apple just needs to move the x1600M into the MacBooks. :nods:

Probably by quite a bit, though I haven't seen any benchmarks for the new nVidia mobile parts. Nice to see that they went with the high-end for the GPU this time. They didn't give it as much memory as it can support (it goes up to 512Mb), but that's not a huge deal.

I get the feeling that they've pretty firmly entrenched the Macbook as their 'surfing/blogging/photos/etc.' machine (that's certainly what all the Macbook owners I know use it for), and I wouldn't hold my breath about it getting a proper GPU. Then again, we've got >= 4-6 months until the next refresh until it's even a possibility.
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#5 teflon

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 08:29 AM

the 8600 is going to absolutely obliterate the X1600. especially with the 256mb VRAM..

all i can really say is that i really really really really really really want one... around about now. but im going to have to wait for the UK student promo to kick in before i plunge. this is exactly the machine that ive been waiting for for the last half year.

now weve just got to wait for WWDC for the iMacs to get their upgrade. Steve did say that the desktops would have lots of things happening at D, so that should be interesting to see.

EDIT:
just thought id add a few more points about why the 8600M GT is so much better than the x1600. its DX10, so thats awesome, apple says its up to 57% faster than the x1600 in the original MBP's, its H.264 decoding is greatly improved over the old card, meaning less CPU usage, its the GT (the top of the range) so it can clock a lot lower because its 32 stream processors (better known as shaders, 16 of each or 32 unified, im not sure) are double those in the GS, which means better heat management for better performance, and finally, compared to the 7600Go, its more than 1.6x the speed in Half Life 2...

when i find a proper review of it ill add that here.
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#6 Lemon Lime

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 08:59 AM

:looks at x1600 in current MBP:

Im going to cry  :crying:

#7 teflon

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 09:14 AM

told you to wait :P
i told you all!!!
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#8 Janichsan

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 09:24 AM

View PostPegasus, on June 5th 2007, 03:53 PM, said:

Damn. Late by fifty minutes. :P Looks nice, although a resolution of 1920x1200 on a 17" screen is a bit overkill, I'd say.
That's probably why it's optional. Bu then again, Leopard will feature this nifty resolution indepedent user interface...

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#9 Sigma

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 10:42 AM

Anybody think it will be at all possible to upgrade from the x1600 to the 8600GT in the previous generations of the macbook pro's?

#10 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 10:46 AM

View PostSigma, on June 5th 2007, 12:42 PM, said:

Anybody think it will be at all possible to upgrade from the x1600 to the 8600GT in the previous generations of the macbook pro's?

Completely un-possible. Those things are stuck good onto the motherboard.
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#11 nagromme

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 11:29 AM

Very nice update. I wonder if Apple had to underclock the GPU again to work with their thin design/thin battery?

Question:
I can't seem to find any Mac benchmarks for 128 vs. 256 VRAM on otherwise identical hardware. Anyone know of any such tests? Just how big a performance improvement do you get (on past machines with modern games like Quake 4) if you spring for 256, all other things being equal?

The 15" with 256 (and higher GHz and 1/3 bigger HD) adds $500. I'm trying to help people judge whether that's worth it.

#12 Sargiel

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 11:37 AM

Hmm very interesting. I wonder if those of us with a 24" iMac will be able to upgrade in the future given it's MXM PCI Express connector ? That would be nice - though at the moment the 7600 meets all my needs. I'm assuming here that the iMacs will be getting a similar GPU boost in the immediate future!

Edit: http://www.legionhar....php?id=637&p=3 ... that's not very encouraging.

#13 bookman

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 11:40 AM

View PostLemon Lime, on June 5th 2007, 09:59 AM, said:

:looks at x1600 in current MBP:

Im going to cry  :crying:

Looks at Lemon Lime's MacBook Pro, then looks at Macbook sitting on desk. Boo hoo  :(
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#14 wymer100

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 12:08 PM

I don't think the 8600GT is going to blow away the 7600GT so I don't think an upgrade (even if possible) is going to be worth the money. There are already benchmarks out for the desktop version of the cards. Assuming that the desktop and mobile versions are relative, the 8600GT is going to certainly be an upgrade, but it's not going to be a massive upgrade in speed. It could be that the games aren't optimized for the DX10 series cards. The H.264 acceleration is going to be a nice feature of the 8600GT. I think the 8600GT is going to be a nice upgrade compared to the x1600, though.

#15 nagromme

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 12:12 PM

View PostSargiel, on June 5th 2007, 01:37 PM, said:

Edit: http://www.legionhar....php?id=637&p=3 ... that's not very encouraging.

Is that the mobile version you link to? It says 8600, not 8600M.

If it is relevant to the mobile version, it does show the 8600 being often a bit slower (by a little) than a 7600--no leap forward. But still fast:

* It's still a lot faster than the ATI GPU in the previous MBPros.

* It appears to have DX10-level capabilities (lacking in the 7600) that future OpenGL updates can one day make use of. A leap in features rather than speed?
EDIT: And H.264 accel, as Wymer says, sounds nice.

* The only test on that page that showed a BIG difference did give the advantage to the 8600. (Doom 3 engine game at very high res with AA.)

#16 teflon

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 12:24 PM

View Postnagromme, on June 5th 2007, 06:29 PM, said:

Very nice update. I wonder if Apple had to underclock the GPU again to work with their thin design/thin battery?

the disclaimer at the bottom of apples MBP page with the benchmarks says:

"MacBook Pro continuously monitors system thermal and power conditions, and may adjust processor speed as needed to maintain optimal system operation."

so yes, its underclocked, but itll speed up when it needs to to give you better performance, just like the current ones do.

Quote

Question:
I can't seem to find any Mac benchmarks for 128 vs. 256 VRAM on otherwise identical hardware. Anyone know of any such tests? Just how big a performance improvement do you get (on past machines with modern games like Quake 4) if you spring for 256, all other things being equal?

The 15" with 256 (and higher GHz and 1/3 bigger HD) adds $500. I'm trying to help people judge whether that's worth it.

me too.. earlier today i wouldve sprung for that one, but now im doubting myself...
i believe barfeats said, at one point, not on a chart, that the difference was around 3-5% in doom 3 and UT2004... so it depends on how much FSAA you intend on using, and the quality of the textures that you want, and if you have $500 to spare.
aside from that, the CPU increase wont be massively noticeable, and the HDD will be upgradeable in the future. So unless youve got the money or really want 256mb i wouldnt really bother.

found a decent looking review of the 8600M GS which will be a fair bit slower than the 8600M GT, as the GT has twice the number of shader units, though the clock speed is lowered a bit. The review shows the GS being a fair bit below the old 7700 Go, and around the same level as the 7600 Go, but with shaders, FSAA etc. etc. i imagine that the 8600GT will match the 7700Go.
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#17 Sargiel

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 12:55 PM

nagromme: All good points - and I don't want to detract from the fact it's a very nice update  :happy: Also note that the link was not for the mobile version but 8600GT VS 7600GT.

#18 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 12:59 PM

I think it's similar to the last gen - the real bang/buck is with the low-end. With the low end you get 91% of the CPU speed of the mid-range for 80% of the price, or working the other way, the mid range gives you a 10% speed boost for 25% more cost. Adding a bigger HD to remove that difference brings the cost to $2074, or 82% of the price of the mid-range option, so not much difference. So the question is - is a ~10% CPU boost and double the VRAM worth +25% on the price? Probably not, but that's subjective.

The amount of VRAM is secondary to GPU performance, but not totally irrelevant. I think it has become somewhat more important as the use of shaders increases, which is more texture data to hold in memory. Given that games like Quake Wars are going to use some massive textures as well, it will become more of an issue (it will do that anyway, of course, the question is how quickly). Edit: On the other hand, I don't know how much difference it makes being able to page to system memory.

Overall I think it's nice to have the higher amount, but you have to be cool with the fact that you're paying a chunk more for a minor upgrade. Personally, since this is my last opportunity to use my education discount, I'm thinking about splurging on the mid-range model (I'm not interested in the 17" - too big and I want the LED backlight), but I think the low-end is the most sensible choice as far as price/performance goes.
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#19 nagromme

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 01:18 PM

Silly question maybe, but are these in Apple Stores to look at now?

EDIT: Yes, people already have them in their hands. I'll have to head over and check out these LED screens!

#20 Hansi

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 01:49 PM

View Postnagromme, on June 5th 2007, 07:18 PM, said:

Silly question maybe, but are these in Apple Stores to look at now?

Yes they are.