128MB vs. 256MB VRAM

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Evangelion, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. Evangelion macrumors 68040

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    #1
    I wasn't sure as to whether this belongs to Gaming-section or here, but I settled on this forum :).

    Are there any benchmarks, either from Macs or PC's that compare 128 and 256 megs of VRAM to each other? I'm interested in knowing that what is the difference between the two in games (in "normal" use there shouldn't be any difference), and would it make sense to opt for the 256MB MBP, or go for the 128MB-version. I checked Barefeats and other places, but I couldn't find any info.

    And besides games, have you noticed any difference in apps like Aperture (Aperture hits the GPU quite hard)?

    If I upped the HD on the low-end MBP to 160GB, it would cost 400e less than the middle-one. For that 400e, I could get .2Ghz more clock-speed and 256MB of VRAM. Other specs would be identical. I don't think it's worth it, but I'm still curious about the VRAM....
     
  2. ajhaji macrumors regular

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    Aug 7, 2006
    #2
    I'm interested in this as well. The price difference between the low-end and high-end MBP is quite large, and the only real benefit (for me, at least) would be the extra VRAM in the high-end model.
     
  3. jawzzy macrumors regular

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    #3
    Exactly! I'm in the same situation. Will the double VRAM make a difference in games like Oblivion?
     
  4. jp_canadianguy macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Excellent question

    I also am very much interested in the answer to this question. Not for the reason of handling games, but for driving the 30" display. I will not be playing games or doing anything too intensive, but was wondering if 128 mb would be sufficient to handle the 30" external display.

    Thanks!
     
  5. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

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    #5
    Yes, but not by a whole lot.

    You'd notice the difference in some of the pro apps too, like Motion.
     
  6. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

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    #6
    I'm also interested in the answer to this. Not because I play games on my Macs, but because I'd love to know what justifies a $500 price difference for an extra 200mhz of power and a bigger HDD, along with double the VRAM. How big is the difference, is it really worth it for the gamers out there? $500 is still $500 in my book. :D
     
  7. dimme macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Well I can't give you as side by side answer but I just ordered a MBP and I really wanted the 256 VRAM because I plan to hook it up to my HD TV. I know with my G5 tower the vram makes a big difference with games. I think $500 is a big step up but I plan to keep the machine for a while and I also wan to run vista. So for me I seem to have no option. Pay $500 more get what I want and a bigger HD and alittle faster CPU.
     
  8. Evangelion thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #8
    But in the G5, were you comparing Apples to Oranges? I mean, were the vid-cards otherwise identical, apart from VRAM? If you are comparing (for example) GeForce GT 7300 with 128MB of RAM to GeForce GT 7600 GT with 256MB of RAM, the latter is going to obviously win.

    Of course we can't have true 1:1 comparison with laptops either since the two models have slightly different CPU-speeds, but we should get a rough idea to the performance.
     
  9. dimme macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Yes you are right about the g5 video cards. I like to run Xplane and it loves vram. I also use Photoshop CS3 and it now have a preference for 3D acceleration.
    I say if you can swing it get the extra vram. Who know what Leopard will need.
    I thought a bit about changing my order last night. My wife said in a few months you will be glad you got the higher end machine. That was good enough for me.
     
  10. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #10
    I've seen 256 Vs. 512 MB benchmarks and 512 MB doesn't offer much more performance.

    I want 256 MB in a MacBook Pro at the low-end. $500 for it hurts. I still want to see some benchmarks done for Windows games. I know BareFeats will handle OS X.
     
  11. wallaby macrumors 6502

    wallaby

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    #11
    I have not seen any benchmarks, but the mid-range model seems justified only if you really need the extra performance. Is your MBP going to be your primary gaming machine? Will it be using 3D intensive programs all the time? $500 is a big difference...for that amount, you could
    a) Upgrade your RAM to 4gigs (not with :apple: )
    b) Buy an external display
    c) Get an Xbox 360
    d) Buy quite a few peripherals

    You just have to decide whether you want that extra little unchangeable vRAM, and whether that's worth the cost to you. Personally, I'm going with the low end model.
     
  12. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #12
    What bugs me is that people keep suggesting Mac + console.

    What if I don't like playing on a console or the games it offers? I'm a big fan of RTS and FPS games on consoles are terrible.
     
  13. Spoony Bard macrumors regular

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    Apr 12, 2007
    #13
    While I agree with your first point, millions of Halo fans would disagree with you, I'm sure. ;)

    That being said, KB + Mouse > Unwieldy Controller. I don't play FPS games on a console unless it's exclusive to it.
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #14
    I tried Halo on Mac and on the Xbox. It never got my interest. It's terrible with the Xbox controller to move and aim. Even on the S controller my hands are just small...
     
  15. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

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    #15
    He wasn't really suggesting buying an XBOX 360, he was trying to show the things you could buy with that extra $500. Which for people who'd rather game on a console it would make more sense to save the $500. Personally, I don't really game much, but I don't think I could ever justify the extra $500. I would love to go spend it on something else :D . But I have a feeling that even for gamers that extra 128mb of VRAM and 200mhz of processing power may not even be worth the $500. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Evangelion thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #16
    No, but the machine would be seeing some gaming. It would be my only gaming-machine for years to come. Of course it would be used for other things as well.
     
  17. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

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    #17
    Get the 256MB. If you want to keep it for years, newer games will kick the crap out of it. Save yourself the trouble.
     
  18. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

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    Jan 12, 2006
    #18
    Whoa now. Be careful! If you game and want this to last you for years, you may be in the wrong laptop market. This is a midrange card here. Don't count on it being top notch in games as it is, let alone in a few years.
     
  19. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #19
    I have to agree. I like gaming on the road but I don't think the MacBook Pro fits into that category for a long term gaming laptop.

    I do have better things to spend $500 on then 128 MB more of video RAM. I get it now.

    Time for another iMac then. Hopefully at WWDC.
     
  20. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

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    #20
    Yeah the $500 gives you:

    200Mhz
    40GB more HD
    and 128MB VRAM.
    And a free iPod for a limited time!

    And it is faster than the one they had 2 days ago!
     
  21. Evangelion thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #21
    I have no interest in owning several computers, one will do just fine. And I'm a Mac-user so that narrows my choices somehwat. I also want a laptop, so my choice basically boils down to two alternatives: MBP with 128MB VRAM or MBP with 256MB of VRAM.

    That said, I have no problems with lowering the settings in games, if the machine can't handle some game. But I wouldn't like to start doing that right after I got the machines, since that wouldn't be a good thing when it comes to it's longevity. I can easily see the MBP lasting for 3-4 years in my use.

    And furthermore: I'm not a hardcore-gamer. I do like to play, but I don't live and breathe it. Besides: I currently have just a Mac Mini with 1.25Ghz G4, and my gaming has been quite limited for some time already ;).
     
  22. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #22
    Faster you say? In what sense? The newer Merom isn't terribly faster then it was on Napa. 128 MB of Video RAM is trivial as well. I wouldn't trust a laptop to have a big hard drive either.

    The Free iPod just means the pain of selling it, again.
     
  23. Evangelion thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #23
    Well, the CPU IS faster, and the GPU is A LOT faster...
     
  24. dimme macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I ordered the middrange model yesterday. I really wanted the extra vram and HD space also the faster processor. No one offered me a free ipod. Who do you have to know to get one? I need a laptop to hook up to a HD TV and to run vista so the vram is important to me. If we were having this discussion last week thing would be the same except for the fact that the cheaper machine only had 1 gig of ram. You can buy 1 gig of ram for $60.
     
  25. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #25
    The CPU, right...

    I'll give you a little on the GPU but not much.
     

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