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I'm considering replacing my four year old MacBook Pro non-unibody with an Air, possibly when the line refreshes. My one consideration was GPU output, though. I know my old GeForce 8600M GT isn't much nowadays, but is it better than the onboard 320Ms in the current Air line?

My main question, though: is there a reliable benchmark for graphics output, like Geekbench but for GPU?

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As good as benchmarks are - they are of limited use in the real world. Putting a jet engine on a bicycle will benchmark really well but not be so useful in practice. Feel free to run the numbers, but what really matters is placing your mac next to that air in the store and opening iPhoto and scrolling around. Playing videos, playing games. The solid state drive on the air will make it so ridiculously faster for anything but a render fest / video frame rate match that you might not care about benchmarks if it's faster for what you actually do. – bmike Jun 4 '11 at 15:38
Thanks for the reply. But, aside from browsing and writing, the one specialty role my MBP still fills is a second computer for playing low-requirement games with friends. I was just wondering if there was a handy bar graph or something floating around that compares Mac models' framerates under different GPU tasks. And even still, I didn't want to get more specific than "fine"/"not fine". – moonslug Jun 4 '11 at 21:34
The new Air are very fine for anything except the most demanding 3D gaming. Anandtech is a great place for benchmarks.… – bmike Jun 5 '11 at 6:15

You could give OpenMark a try.

OpenMark is an OpenGL benchmark for Mac OS X. OpenMark tests the raw speed of the video card drawing a variable (automatic or user-defined) number of triangles and generates a screenshot and a text report of the results.

enter image description here

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Just the tool I was looking for. What would really be great would be a cumulative chart showing the performance of various Mac models on a single test. Something like the Geekbench Results Browser, but for an OpenMark test. – moonslug Jun 4 '11 at 21:35

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