12" PB Graphics...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Ryon, May 18, 2005.

  1. Ryon macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2005
    So I'm eagerly awaiting a switch to Mac, and I've had my eye on the 12" Powerbook (with SD) for college next year. The only thing that makes me nervous is the graphics card. I know it's compatible with all of Tiger's hardware-accelerated stuff, but the 64MB of VRAM is the same as their low-cost eMac, and as we've seen, Apple is continuing to offload things to the gfx card, with VRAM being especially valuable for caching and such. I just hope I don't get left behind graphically with the next OS update or two, despite buying a "Power"-level product.

    Does anyone else really wish they'd let you up the card/VRAM on the 12"?

    (The GeForce FX 5100 with 64MB that came with the desktop PC I bought last year isn't exactly a workhorse)
  2. gallivant macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2004
    I don't game at all on my computers, so as long as windows fly around and video renders at full speed, I'm happy.
  3. Ryon thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2005
    Oh, me too. I don't intend to use the Mac for games (that would be silly). I'm just worried about UI and video in the future.
  4. bluemouse macrumors member

    May 1, 2005
    Fairfax, VA
    I have the exact model you're talking about. Yeah, it'd be nice to have the option to upgrade, but the 64 feels plenty snappy. Expose and Dashboard do fine. Unless they begin really pushing the graphics chip, I think it'll hold up well. Couldn't be happier.

  5. TheMasin9 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2004
    Huber Heights, OH
    wat ya do

    wat do you need for the grafix card to do, are u gonna be hardcore gaming, fcp or ps or what. if any of the above i might suggest moving up to the 15" with 128 vram, the 12 inch will do these things, but not as snappy as a 15er.
  6. MacFan25863 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    I believe the system offsets any extra gpu memory needs to the main system RAM, so if you beef that up, you should be fine.

    My 12 inch PB runs fine, even when doing GUI intensive stuff.
  7. arribadia macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2005
    No it doesn't work that way. 64mb is all it has
  8. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    I have an older one with only 32...and it still trucks along fine. Even running dual monitors, which I would assume really maxes out the card. I'd love to have more, just to have more, but I don't really have any issues with it. Photoshop uses System Memory more than VRAM, and since I've beefed that up, I can open plenty of pictures and still have Expose dancing around smooth.
  9. javiercr macrumors 6502


    Apr 12, 2005

    the 52000 card from the powerbook is supported by code image in tiger. apart from that it depends what you use it for, for games you need a lot of power, for photoshop etc the main system memory is more important.
  10. efoto macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    You'll be fine, go for it.

    I have a 12" PB (Rev.D) and I couldn't be happier with it. A friend gave me his copy of Age of Mythology which runs completely fine on this system. I have maxed out the sys.ram, so that probably helps, but as most others have stated many of the programs out there deal heavily with sys.ram so if you have enough of that it should be fine.

    Other than that one game and SC (I don't think SC takes that much, and those are the only two games I have/play on Mac :D ) all the other apps I have run wonderfully (PSCS/ImgRdy, iWork, iLife, StudioMX'04[I think]).

    I think you will be more than satisfied with it, I say go for it.
  11. kwajo.com macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2002
    Bay of Fundy
    this is true, but quartz 2D extreme (whenever that gets enable by default in Tiger) will thrown extra characters, or operations to system ram if you run out of VRAM. i think :rolleyes:
  12. Ryon thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2005
    Okay. I did intend adding a gig of system ram anyway. Sounds like the video will be okay... I think I'll wait for WWDC at least, though, just in case they add something :)

  13. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2005
    Little grey, chilly island.
    I should think they will add something.

    It's not right that the low end macs have the same video card as the "power" series. Tiger has brought the necessity for that; The Powerbooks will be updated.
  14. FriarCrazy macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2004
    Ames, IA/Eden Prairie, MN
    I have a 12" 1.33ghz and I can honestly tell you that the graphics memory in it is FINE.

    It runs World of Warcraft, Photoshop, Expose, Dashboard, no problem. Just make sure you put as much RAM in as possible when you buy it. I have mine maxed out at 1.25gigs and it really makes a difference.
  15. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    I believe he's referring to the fact that AGP graphics can access the the main RAM directly, without requiring the CPU to fetch it. The only reason to have VRAM on the card anymore is because the graphics card has a much fatter bus to its own memory than to system memory...which is why Apple is now using QDExtreme2D to render window buffers on the GPU. It results in much less traffic over the AGP bus and thus reduces the bottlenecks.

    You're right that getting 128 MB is a good idea, because the more onboard RAM the card has, the less it will have to fetch over the much slower AGP bus. Of course, on a small screen like the 12 incher, I don't know how much you need to worry about this. You'd have to have a ton of windows open to fill 64 MB of DRAM, I would think, and even when you did the performance hit wouldn't be too bad.

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