is 128mb vram and .17Ghz worth $300?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thumb, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. thumb macrumors 6502

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    May 8, 2005
    #1
    Hi all,

    I am looking at getting either the 'good' ($1599) or 'better'($1999) mbp config for C2D refurb.

    I know I will have either at 2GB, so I included the extra $100 (DIY) ram for base model.

    the only other differnces I see are the VRAM and the slightly faster processory. Are those worth the $300 difference?

    I will be using this as my primary computer, mobility, and some photography work (I do use aperture, but I am not a professional. It runs ok on my mini CD, so I would expect either to be an improvement).

    cheers,
     
  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #2
    depends on how long you want the machine to last too. the VRam cannot be upgraded. the processor is less of a jump (imo) but useful. but you cannot upgrade the Video Card at all, so buy with the intent that if you can see yourself needing 256mb in the future, spend the money. if you don't think you'll keep the machine long enough that you'll need more than 128mb then buy the lower model.
     
  3. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    Jan 11, 2007
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    North Central Florida
    #3
    I"m having the same conversations with myself (gee, i don't answer very well!).

    I have no answers for you - but wanted to let you know for 3 days i've done nothing but stare at the same page. Until they sell out, then I get to wait till morning and start all over again :D

    Good luck!!
     
  4. L3X macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    if you do any video editing, you should get the 256. Final Cut could have problems with the 128.

    Otherwise, 128 is fine.
     
  5. Skrilla™ macrumors regular

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    Jan 15, 2007
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    Houston
    #5
    I did the same with the refurb MB C2D then just decided to buy new.

    As for the OP, I would not think it is worth it, but that's just me :D
     
  6. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    North Central Florida
    #6
    New is my #1 choice - BUT, i might be able to borrow enough for the refurb NOW instead of waiting till at least March. I *need* the computer now - hence i'm willing to compromise some.
     
  7. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #8
    It isn't, but for better piece of mind and to prevent risk of voiding your warranty with 3rd party ram upgrades I'd just spring for it.
     
  8. bartelby macrumors Core

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    Jun 16, 2004
    #9
    Isn't RAM a user upgradeable component?:confused:
     
  9. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    #10
    isn't vram not upgradeable?
     
  10. thumb thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 8, 2005
    #11
    RAM is, but we are talking about the video RAM associated with the graphics card.
     
  11. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    Feb 7, 2002
    #12
    I know that but he is talking about getting it know to not void the warranty when in fact the VRAM upgrade isn't even possible after the purchase.

    jon
     
  12. dougnewman macrumors 6502

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    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island, NY, USA
    #13
    Well, here's another person thinking the same thing!

    I'd buy either one with 2 GB RAM and the 160 GB hard drive.

    I don't really care about the processor jump, but not sure about VRAM.

    I don't do video editing, so does that mean VRAM doesn't really matter for me? Is VRAM important for Photoshop etc.?

    I know PS CS3 (Beta) runs fine with only 64 MB on my current PB, but what about future versions? When I buy the MBP I figure I will probably keep it for a while - I can't afford not to when it is so expensive :rolleyes: ...
     
  13. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #14
    I would do that upgrade. Often v-ram is something that limits your machine down the line as it can't be upgraded.
     
  14. dougnewman macrumors 6502

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    Long Island, NY, USA
    #15
    I guess I'm leaning towards more VRAM too.

    In my case, with student ADC discount, it is a $260 difference ($1,819 for 2.16 GHz + 2 GB + 160 GB vs. $2,079 for 2.33 + 160 GB).

    Of course at that point I am halfway towards a 17", price-wise, but I don't think I want something that big. Of course it's quite thin and light, but even the 15.4" is really bigger than I'd like.
     
  15. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    Jul 4, 2005
    #16
    More VRAM (or even a dedicated graphics card) won't make a lick of difference with most things. Extra VRAM will only give you a few fps more in games but where you'll really see the difference is if you're running very large external displays with video compositing apps or apps that leverage the GPU such as Aperture, Motion and Shake.

    Everything else really isn't going to tax the 128MB much at all. Photoshop is CPU dependent rather than GPU dependent, as is iMovie, much of Final Cut Pro and the majority of most applications.

    I don't think the extra few MHz and 128MB VRAM is worth the money when you could put that extra cash to 3rd party RAM or some kick-arse peripherals and external storage, a good laptop bag etc. that would make actual everyday use more enjoyable.
     
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #17
    I don't think it's worth the $300 difference. I say take the $400, upgrade the RAM in the lower-end model for $100, and enjoy yourself. The extra vRAM isn't worth $300.
     
  17. dougnewman macrumors 6502

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    Long Island, NY, USA
    #18
    Hmm, I hadn't thought about that but it of course makes sense since Aperture uses Core Image. I might want to use Aperture someday...

    Right now I use Lightroom (or Photoshop Lightroom as it has been awkwardly re-christened), which I assume is not very GPU dependent since it doesn't use Core Image AFAIK.
     
  18. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #19
    I went for the 2.33 GHz model simply because it will last slightly longer than the 2.16. All my "Pro" system purchases have always been the best model :)
     
  19. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    Jul 4, 2005
    #20
    Yeah, PS Lightroom (sounds like a boat eh?) doesn't leverage the Core Image capabilities of OSX, neither will the upcoming Creative Suite 3 release.

    Currently Aperture is slow, the suggested specs on a Mac Pro are at least 2GB of RAM so it needs a fair whack of resources even though it will run on every Mac for sale in the main online store it's really only suitable for high-end machines.

    That said the extra VRAM won't make much difference to it's performance, more pressing is that the system has some dedicated VRAM to ensure RAM and processor usage is as free as possible for the program to use.

    I really don't think the extras are worth the money, if you have to ask then you probably don't need the extra grunt - you'd know if you needed it.
     
  20. dougnewman macrumors 6502

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    Aug 9, 2006
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    Long Island, NY, USA
    #21
    Yes, Paddle Steamer Lightroom ;) ! (Maybe a new sister ship to PS Waverley!)

    True. I know I don't need it now; I just worry whether I might regret the choice in a year or two.

    Decisions, decisions...
     
  21. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #22
    Since you will be using this as your main computer, I would spend the extra $300 and getter the (slightly) better model. :)
     

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