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Old Jan 10, 2013, 05:20 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2013
2012 Macbook Pro 15" 512mb Graphics Bottleneck?

Hi, I ordered the Baseline 15" Macbook Pro MD 103 (no Retina)
and it should be shipped quite soon.

I plan on making every cent out of the rather powerful 650m installed, but the 512mb vram seems to trouble me a bit.

Although I am more than happy with a 720P resolution, I do want to play on 1080P if the computer allows it. Based on what I know, the 650m should have enough horse power to render 1080P with the right settings for most games.

These are some of my gaming habits:

Texture settings should be reasonable, but I am happy to settle with normal settings. I don't really feel the need of these 'High-res texture' options

Personally I don't have a taste for Texture Filtering, Anti-Aliasing and Ambient Occlusion, and tick them off straight away where I can.

Although I do perfer to push the shader and light settings high, I am more than happy to slide the shadow settings down, so long as they're still on.

I really don't see the merits of dX11-I'm quite set with dX9.

I really don't mind having to turn off vsync.

Given these, I would like to know if the 650m would suffice to play on 1080P settings. Some of the games I own, or hope to buy soon are:

Assassin's Creed III
Batman: Arkham City
Bioshock Infinite
Black Ops II
Borderlands 2
Crysis 2 & hopefully Crysis 3 (1080P might be pushing it)
Diablo 3
Far Cry 3 (Probably sticking to 720P)
Grand Theft Auto IV (Is V coming to PC? hmm..)
Hitman: Absolution (Also probably 720P)
Max Payne 3
Sleeping dogs
Starcraft II

The post is getting pretty long... but what I want to know is rather the 512mb vram would be a bottleneck to play said games in 1080P.
As I said above, I don't use a lot of the settings that eat up a lot of Vram such as AA, AF AO etc. But I am curious rather the vram usage will exceed the limit even when the said features off.

I am also curious to know what the predominant side effects are when the vram usage exceeds the available RAM. I can live with a bit of texture pop-ins and slight framerate drop. Oh, and any of your experiences with the DDR5 512mb 650m would be most helpful (Mac or PC). Thanks in advance.

P.S. If you are wondering why I bought a Mac if I'm just going to game on it...
I'm not; I work just as hard as I play. I do a lot of multimedia tasks as light as photo organization & manipulation and as heavy as graphic design, digital painting and 3D modeling.

On that note, any advice on how the 512mb vram would affect my experience in using Adobe CS software like Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects or Maya 3D etc. would be most helpful.

Thanks again.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 08:57 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Burlington, Ontario
I have the 15" MBPr with the 650m 1gb. I have to say, it flies through games even at higher resolutions. If you're using DX9 for most of the games you've listed I'd say you'd be fine for 1080p resolutions. I've played Starcraft II almost maxed out, Arkham City at high levels, and Crysis 2 at fairly high levels. I've never had a problem. You get the occasional hiccup here or there but nothing that ruins the experience or anything. I'd say if you keep things pretty reasonable in terms of settings you shouldn't have any problems.
27" iMac i7 16gb RAM, iPhone 3Gs, 8gb iPod nano, Apple TV
Homepage: davegregory.ca
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