256mb Radeon X1600 overkill for non-gamer?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by petermarks, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. petermarks macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2006
    Hello, I'm looking at purchasing a macbook pro and am wondering if the 256mb X1600 will be useful for non-gaming applications. I plan on using the computer to run osx and vista on a high resolution display (2560 x 1600 30"). Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!:)
  2. petermarks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2006
    I should add that I won't be doing any crazy imaging or hd video work either.
  3. thebeephaha macrumors 6502


    Sep 4, 2006
    Seattle WA
    Ur gonna need it for Vista but otherwise it will be kind of but its not like its really costing you anything extra. The price difference between the 128 and 256 model MBPs is mostly made up by the CPU.
  4. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    No, that's not overkill. With that kind of card, you should be able to run any resolution and color depth you want with good performance, and the Aero stuff in Vista will work really well.
  5. ventro macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2006
    I am running a 30" ACD and a 256mb MacbookPro 2.33, and it cannot handle running Expose and Front Row at 60fps @ 2560x1600. It gets VERY choppy... but there is a fix.

    How do you fix this? The problem is that unlike windows, OSX has this thing called "Beam (or Vertical) Sync" which tries to render every frame of animations within the operating system at the LCD monitor's refresh rate (60hz). You can read a bit further here:


    When the graphics card is incapable of rendering it at 60fps (frames per second), OSX tells the videocard to cut the frame rate of the animation down to a multiple of the refresh rate - 30fps. So then you get choppy animations.

    Luckily, Beam Sync can be disabled. Read this link for instructions:


    So, if our X1600s are capable of rendering Expose at 45fps, we will see all 45 frames, even though we may get some tearing (a result of incorrect syncrhonisation of video data and the monitor refresh rate), but it's much less annoying than a choppy expose.

    So yes, running 2560x1600 WILL HEAVILY tax your video card, and you will need all the video "punch" that you can get. So definitely get the 256.

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