There is some serious debate as to the speed boost in gaming performance of the new aluminum bodied Macbook Pro’s (dual graphics 9600M GT) versus the current “Penryn” or 8600M GT equipped MB Pro’s.
If you visit the Apple page regarding graphics performance you can find several graphs touting the noticeable boost in performance of the GeForce 9600M GT dedicated graphics chip over the 9400M power saving chip.
Here’s the problem: The 9400M is far slower than the current Macbook Pro’s 8600M GT (“Penryn” core). So, sure, the 9600M GT will be much faster than a crappy low power graphics chip aimed at painting spreadsheets (9400M).
Some folks claim the difference in performance between the current 8600M GT and the new 9600M GT chip, would be virtually unnoticeable. And hence the benchmarks from Apple showing the difference between the “spreadsheet chip”, the 9400M, and the 9600M GT rather than the 9600M GT vs. the current 8600M GT equipped MacBook Pro’s. A small difference between the old and new MBP’s graphics performance would surely lower the amount of people upgrading to the new alu-book. Less upgrades = Less Income = Lower AAPL Earnings per share.
Check out the benchmarks provided by Matt Peckham of PC World:
Granted these are from different machines running different CPU’s, but I’m assuming these benchmarks are the result of a Boot Camped MacBook Pro with all other variables held constant (same Windows version same nVidia driver version, same game settings, etc.).
In direct contrast to the above performance review is a benchmark test from PC MAG showing a roughly 50% increase in true game performance between the current “Penryn core” 8600M GT MacBook Pro’s and the new “dual core” 9600M GT’s.
No doubt the new Macbook Pro is sexy with its CNC water-cut aluminum mono-block case and all glass LED backlit screens. But, I’m not going to pull out my wallet until they put a next generation architecture graphics chip, like the 9800M GT, underneath that sexy skin. A quad core Intel CPU wouldn’t hurt either <wink>.
For more information on the 9600M GT chip, see this Notebookcheck.net article.