MacBook vs MacBook Pro: Hardcore Graphics Death Match

Here they are, the MacBook and MacBook Pro graphics benchmarks you've been waiting for. Our basic Mac-only benchmarks used in our dual review were great at showing how close the CPU performance was, but not great at illustrating the disparity between chunky-hunky 9600 GT and the comparatively weak integrated 9400M that we saw firsthand while playing Spore . With a little time, we've been able to: • Install Windows XP and run 3D Mark • Play a little Crysis—yeah, Crysis • Get ahold of Adobe CS4 and run some rendering jobs The conclusion? If you're a serious gamer or work with graphics of any kind and you need an Apple laptop, you're gonna want the MacBook Pro. Here are the raw numbers to prove it.Crysis MacBook vs MacBook Pro: Hardcore Graphics Death Match MacBook vs MacBook Pro: Hardcore Graphics Death Match Pretty gigantic gap in Crysis performance here. It's a bit more than the 50ish% difference tossed around a few weeks ago when describing the 9600 vs. the 9400, but that's also due to the faster CPU, more RAM and increased L2 cache found in the MacBook Pro. Still, though, you can gauge from the two charts that Crysis is kinda playable on the MacBook on low, and playable on the MacBook Pro on medium. Both are chunktastic on high, and both get slower when you start shooting people in the forest. 3DMark 06 MacBook vs MacBook Pro: Hardcore Graphics Death Match Big ass difference once again between the MB and MBP. The kicker is that the CPUs are almost identical, a fact illustrated in the benchmarks contained in our original review . It's really the card that's going to make the difference in gaming on your MacBook. After Effects CS4 and Photoshop CS4 MacBook vs MacBook Pro: Hardcore Graphics Death Match Rendering a project in After Effects uses a little bit of GPU action, but not very much. The difference between 9400 and 9600 on the same MacBook Pro is only two seconds of render time on a nearly seven minute project. Negligible at best. MacBook vs MacBook Pro: Hardcore Graphics Death Match There's essentially no difference between the two cards on the MBP on the Photoshop test, but a slight slowness when you swap over to the MacBook. Verdict The takeaway from these charts is that yes, there really is a difference between the MacBook and MacBook Pro in terms of graphical capability. The two benchmarks we used before, GeekBench and XBench, do a poor job of utilizing the graphics card. Whether that's because the benchmarks are two years old or because they're just poor benchmarks is irrelevant—you can totally see the difference in gameplay and in more established metering programs such as 3D Mark. If you want to be playing one of the handful of games released for Mac every year (or dual boot to Windows), you should really pick up a MacBook Pro. [MacBook and MacBook Pro Review ]