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I've been wondering for quite a while about these: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 256MB.

What's the former? What's the latter? Can you play latest 3D games without the latter?

My first thoughts are that the former, is an accelerator and the latter, VRAM. Am I correct?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The 9400M is an integrated solution; it "borrows" some of the computer's RAM for its own memory and will do video acceleration (to play HD video smoothly) and let you do some light gaming. It also uses less battery power than the 9600M GT.

The 9600GT is a discrete solution; it has 256MB of its own dedicated VRAM. This makes it better for playing games at the expense of some battery life. It also does video acceleration.

The nice thing about the MacBook Pro is that it lets you switch between the two (not sure if you need to reboot to do so). If you're on the go and you don't need all the power the 9600M GT provides, you can switch over to the 9400M and save some power. If you need the boost, you can fire up the 9600M GT instead.

Hope this helps! -Kyle

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You need to log out and in again to switch between accelerators. – MJeffryes Jul 17 '09 at 16:48
How do you do the switch? – Darren Newton Aug 3 '09 at 11:55

Although it is a unibody Macbook, and not a Macbook Pro, I find the graphics are good enough to play games on every now and then. I play both Halflife 2 and Team Fortress 2 at high-ish settings with decent framerates, and The Sims 3 at max settings. Although it wouldn't do too well with newer games like (sorry to beat a dead horse) Crysis, it's not too shabby.

I am quite certain the Macbook Pro has more horsepower than the Macbook.

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