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which 2011 15" macbook pro

Posted: March 10, 2011
Hi all!

I'm a superoob in need of some advice.

I'm considering one of the two new 15" Macbook Pros. They differ in CPU, GPU, and $$$:

Low End:
CPU = 2.0GHz i7-2325QM, 2.9 turbo, Quad, HT
GPU = AMD/ATI 6490M, 256MB
$1700 for students

High End:
CPU = 2.2GHz i7-2620QM, 3.3 turbo, Quad, HT
GPU = AMD/ATI 6750M, 1GB
$2000 for students

The main purpose for the machine will be music, but I also do art seriously and would like to branch out and experiment with video and graphics, including 3D design and animation.

Both CPUs seem quite capable, but, apparently, the GPUs differ wildly; Some numbers, including last year's 2.66 i7, 330M MBP for reference:

2.0GHz: Geekbench = 8800, Speedmark 6.5 = 175
2.2GHz: Geekbench = 9900, Speedmark 6.5 = 209
2.66GHz: Geekbench = 5400, Speedmark 6.5 = 151

6490M: 3DMark06 = 5602
6750M: 3DMark06 = 9477
330M: 3DMark06 = 6063

I don't know exactly how much 3D I'll be doing, but I've been doing art all my life and would like to leave myself room to experiment and grow. If possible, I want 3D be to be fun, and not a task my computer can only barely chug through.

I've tried to research this question but, as I don't know much about 3D or GPUs, it can be hard to find helpful info, not to mention the newness (?) of these particular cards (and CPUs). Your help would be much appreciated!

I am wondering:

How do you think each of these machines would handle 3D work: Modo, Maya, etc.?

Any big difference (due to GPUs)? Is the high end worth the extra $300?

... Is CPU much more important than GPU for this stuff?

... What does the GPU do in 3D work anyways?


(I'd provide links to the relevant notebookcheck pages, but apparently i haven't earned that privilege!)
Posted: March 11, 2011
p.s. superoob = superNoob!

however, i can make that superBoob if it makes this more enticing. ?

p.p.s. AnandTech review on these is finally out.

... anyb Crying or Very sad dy?
Posted: March 13, 2011
this forum is totally killer.

i luv it.

i feel warm.

i feel fuzzy.

this forum is my friend.

goodnight, forum.
Posted: March 25, 2011
3d artist gallery Andyba
Hi Nebulous, I am sorry you didn't get a reply.
Amd gaming cards are not famous for working well with 3ds max and Maya due to drivers issues.

To make bad things worse the latest nvidia gaming video cards also have issues with professional 3d animation software like Maya and 3ds Max.

I can not tell you anything about the GPUs used on the macbook pro though.
The notebooks have a different operating systems and different drivers.

If you end up buying any of these notebooks though please let us know how they perform with 3d applications.
Posted: July 12, 2011
I have tried using a macbook for rendering on Maya and it was not able to maximize the hardware I had on the computer. It feels like it was holding back compared to when I use a windows powered machine.

But if you still want to go with this, the "high end" one would definitely be worth the upgrade. It has a faster clock speed and more memory. 256 is not enticing and so is 1GB but is definitely has more to offer.
Posted: September 07, 2011
I heard mac aren't too good for 3d, especially if you're planning to render something. They like to overheat !