64 or 128mb vram for new powerbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by bentmywookie, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. bentmywookie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    #1
    Hi all,

    I convinced a friend of mine to switch (yes!).
    She's going to get a powerbook for college and her school has a
    good deal (as most do) on the stock 15" powerbook w/ 64mb vram.

    She's not a gamer so I would think the 64mb vram is fine, but
    I think I read somewhere that Tiger will require 64mb vram
    (I might be mistaken). So I'm wondering if maybe the 128mb
    option would be a better choice for longevity, in case Apple
    releases an OS upgrade 2 years down the road requiring 128mb
    vram to fully take advantage of it.

    Just wanted to see what you guys/girls think. I generally find
    people's advice/opinions on MacRumors really helpful.

    Thanks.
     
  2. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
    #2
    its 50 bucks on a 2500 dollar machine. go for it.
     
  3. bentmywookie thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    #3
    Sorry - I forgot to mention that the school has a deal, $2100 for stock 1.5 ghz model w/ Applecare, so going for the 128mb vram would bump it up to around $2800 if she wanted to get the Applecare.
     
  4. Bonnie macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    #4
    I would just take the good deal on the stock 15" and run. Your friend probably really doesn't need 64mb of vRam unless she renders high end 3D motion graphics or if she is a gamer.

    It seems like the trend in Apple operating systems is to be more of a RAM hog rather than a VRAM hog, so I'm sure the 64mb vRam will be plenty. As an example, my old 500mhz iBook G3 with 8mb of vRam and 640mb of ram runs OS 10.3 great. I saw a major performance increase when I maxed out the ram. The graphics card stayed the same.

    I don't think that passing a good deal by is worth it just for the extra vRam. To be honest, I'd be more concerned about getting a faster hard drive rather than worrying about the video ram. Overall, though, the 15" Powerbook is a great machine at stock and I'm sure she would be more than happy with it.
     
  5. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
  6. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    #6
    It is totally NOT necessary for her. Total waste of money, even at $50.

    Lee Tom
     
  7. bentmywookie thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    #7
    good point :)
     
  8. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Whoever told you those requirements for Tiger was mistaken.
    If she's not playing games, use the money for something else (your commission :D)

    AppleMatt
     
  9. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey USA
    #9
    Its a BTO option only. I would think its best to invest now, as for no amount of money can you update the VRAM later.
     
  10. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #10
    Are you out of your mind, BTO option only or not, it's $700 for an extra 64MB VRAM.

    One word....

    NO!
     
  11. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #11
    You misinterpreted what you read. What you should have read was this: Core Image (not Tiger) requires a supported graphics card with at least 64 MB of VRAM. Tiger itself doesn't really have a VRAM requirement - VRAM requirements only apply to Core Image and Quartz Extreme.
     
  12. madforrit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    #12
    Check out this link from Barefeats. Basically, it doesn't make much of a difference (at least for now) for non-gamers, and while it might be worth an extra 50, not worth anymore than that...

    http://www.barefeats.com/pb12.html
     
  13. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    No it doesn't (underlined).
    I don't understand where these random facts and figures come from everytime a new OS is released by Apple.

    AppleMatt
     
  14. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #14
    64mb vram is fine but these benchmarks show you that the Hard Drive could be worth upgrading. You could always stick with the stock for now and upgrade to 7200 rpm later
     
  15. Elan0204 macrumors 65816

    Elan0204

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #15
    Since you are getting a great deal from your school for a stock model, you have to take it. If you were ordering from Apple, I'd say get the 128 since you can't upgrade later, but in your case, take the excellent deal.
     
  16. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #16
    I'm confused as to why some people think the BTO option of upgrading the VRAM is only $50.00. Initially it was yes but it is already at $100. Even ordering my 15" Powerbook on Apple's Education site the option of upgrading the VRAM was merely $10 less($90) albeit the stock price of the PB was about $2200.
     
  17. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #17
    At least you've got it straight, AppleMatt (I sure don't, as you pointed out - neither did the poster I was correcting).
     
  18. Frobozz macrumors 65816

    Frobozz

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    South Orange, NJ
    #18
    ... which is a valid arguement for using 128 megs of video ram. CoreImage and Quartz Extreme will make the UI far snappier and lifelike. But I digress...

    I don't think a college student will need it unless they are going into the arts (video, graphics, etc.) Personally, considering the massive price differential I would put that towards more RAM and the rest towards paying off school loans! :)
     
  19. Frobozz macrumors 65816

    Frobozz

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    South Orange, NJ
    #19
    It seems you are right, but even Apple's CoreImage web page is a bit ambiguous:

    I don't know why they say it's scalable to any Tiger-capable mac, and then in the same breath only state that recent 64mb+ graphics cards are supported. Suspicious. If *features* are downgraded then it actually could means CoreImage is not enabled on old machines. For example, my gerforce4mx has 64megs of video memory but no pixel shaders. I would probably get crappy results.

    Oh well, looks like I will be buying a new mac with OS X 10.4 pre-installed anyway. :) Until then my DP 1GHz quicksilver will do. :)
     
  20. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #20




    I don't understand what all the confusion is about for CoreImage...

    VRAM isn't going to mean sh*t for CoreImage performance... perhaps other than loading desktop images to the buffer for pixel adjustments.

    It's mostly likely that they mentioned all 64 MB cards because ALL of those cards support pixel shading. Whether or not you have 64 MB or 128 isn't really going to matter... it's going to depend on the architecture of the card and how many pipelines it has to do per pixel processing...

    Something similar to this would be OS X's compatibility with non Radeon/GeForce cards... an example would be the Rage128 series. There were Rage cards that had 32 MB of memory but really didn't do crap simply due to the fact that the chipset was not advanced enough to handle certain transparency filters...

    Simple answer, VRAM doesn't really mean as much now as it used to. It's only really going to be helpful with something, say, like Doom3 which has a huge array of texture files that can be quickly stored in the VRAM buffer for quicker access. The 2D application isn't going to be nearly as apparently from an increase in VRAm as it's 3D application.
     
  21. Eatsnax macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    #21
    Is PB G4 good for video editing?

    Hello im a independant film maker and Ive just spent thousands on a dell M60 and built my own monster of a desktop, only to find out that it was the biggest mistake since Bush was elected.

    My roommate is a PC buff, and swore up and down that a PC was my best choice even though my gut told me to go Mac!

    To make a long story short my laptop and desktop have grown to hate each other. It seems that i spend 90% of my time fixing them instaed of using my precious time editing! When i fix my dell, my desktop says F@*K YOU!!, gets jeleous, and *****s on me, vice versa. Im am not married for the simple fact that im not ready for kids, but my two hellions need their diapers changed every day!

    Im sick and streesed, I think i smoked myself into lung cancer and only after 4 months of fighting these machines im going to make the swicth.

    So my question is this...To all video buffs out there...Is the powerbook
    G4 with 128 mb of video ram, 2GB memeory, gonna be good? Or is it too slow to handle my video editing needs. Running FCP? My concern is rendering. Among others.

    I know that the G5 desktop is a monster of a machine, but i like the portability. Since i do most of my editing at my part time job...Im lucky to have a cool boss that would let me do this at work.

    But im afraid that it will be too slow.

    Anyone out there with a PB G4, Using Final cut pro, happy with its performance? Or not?

    Any input would be great.

    P.S. Every night i have sweet dreams of tossing $8000 dollars of Pc out my 7th story window, as my PC loving roomate walks home from work.
     
  22. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #22
    I got the upgrade because i plan on doing video editing with my pb. I would recommand the 1.5 so in the future it will be less out dated. I would say if you can get a good deal it will be nice, you never know what she/you will be doing with it in the future. And in the future you might be able to sell it for more. If you can afford it, get it...but that's just me!
     
  23. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #23
    i think a lot of people edit video for movies on Powerbok. it's a quite capable machine, and if you go to an apple store, i'm pretty sure you can ask them to demo it. but other than that, afaik, people do use a PB G4 to editt videos and they seemed to love it. the G4 is no slouch, especially the latest 1.5 Ghz ones. i say sell your annoying PCs fast and get yourself a Powerbook or Powermac and get the new Production Suite.

    or get a nice Powermac and a 12" Powerbook or iBook. so you can transport videos, etc, but also have the monster machine at home to do the heavy lifting.
     

Share This Page