128 MB or 256 MB VRAM for new MBP?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by appleii2mac, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. appleii2mac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    #1
    I'm curious if anyone thinks it's worth the extra $500 for the 2.4Ghz/256MB VRAM MBP verses the 2.2Ghz/128MB VRAM?

    I'm thinking mostly of using it for Lightroom (or maybe Aperture) along with some occasional PS.
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    London
    #2
    I'm 95% sure Lightroom does not use the GPU to perform it's calculations. Neither does Photoshop. Aperture on the other hand one love 256Mb.
     
  3. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #3
    In terms of photo editing having a massive GPU isn't really needed. More RAM would be a much better investment.

    I didn't realise Aperture relied on the GPU. I figured my slowdown on my MacBook was due to my paltry 1GB of RAM...
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #4
    It runs all the image decoding and manipulating in CoreImage. So if your GPU is not up to it then your CPU should get used instead, but if you've got a fast GPU it can use it instead or even in some case as well as the CPU.
     
  5. appleii2mac thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 23, 2007
    #5
    Would Aperture be able to use the extra 128 MB? Or does it just take advantage of the faster GPU?
     
  6. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    Oct 9, 2005
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    #6
    Is the new MBP going to be your ONLY machine? If so, then you should kit it out as best as possible. Go for the full 256 MB VRAM. You will need it.

    If this new MBP is intended to be an adjunct to another machine and if you're dedicating this machine primarily to photo editing while using another one for all other activities, then probably the 128 MB should be sufficient.....
     
  7. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    London
    #7
    It likes both. Aperture (and the WindowServer for OSX) are using GPU memory more like main memory and the GPU more like a CPU. If you have to page things from main memory to the GPU memory this takes time. The more GPU memory you have the more stuff that can be left there and not paged in and out resulting in greater speed.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    In fact, the GPU is much faster than the CPU for graphics related tasks, which is why you can't even minimise a window while multi-tasking in WinXP without getting some weird effects. Everything is done by the CPU, which takes a long time processing the task you're doing, and is struggling to redraw your screen.


    But anyway, I highly doubt Aperture needs 128 MB of vRAM to run well, let alone 256 MB. Just think about how much memory that is.

    And if you go with Lightroom, you're not even going to benefit from the graphics card, so either decide which one you want to use before buying the system (in case you decide on Lightroom), or get the 128 MB machine, which will be able to handle both tasks very well.

    Lightroom runs very well on my Core Duo 1.83 Ghz MacBook with 2 GB of RAM. Just make sure you get 2 GB of RAM, and you're set. A new MacBook would run it even better than my system, which already runs it very well, IMO. :)
     

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