2.16GHz vs. 2.33Ghz MacBook Pro - VRAM

dansgil

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2005
206
0
Vancouver, BC
I apologize if this has been asked already.

I'm going to order one of the new MBP's in the next week or so and wanted some opinions. I'm deciding between the 2.1Ghz (with 2GB ram upgrade) or a stock 2.33Ghz. I don't really think I'll notice the processor difference, so that's not a problem. The VRAM is double on the higher model, and was wondering, do you think I'll notice any difference between the two?

I won't be doing any gaming (at least not in the near future) and will mostly be doing iLife stuff, Aperture, and maybe some Final Cut Express stuff in the future.

Thanks in advance.
 

PygmySurfer

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2006
321
9
Wellesley, ON
dansgil said:
I apologize if this has been asked already.

I'm going to order one of the new MBP's in the next week or so and wanted some opinions. I'm deciding between the 2.1Ghz (with 2GB ram upgrade) or a stock 2.33Ghz. I don't really think I'll notice the processor difference, so that's not a problem. The VRAM is double on the higher model, and was wondering, do you think I'll notice any difference between the two?

I won't be doing any gaming (at least not in the near future) and will mostly be doing iLife stuff, Aperture, and maybe some FCP in the future.

Thanks in advance.
I had the same debate, and decided to go for the 2.33 GHz. I figure the cost of the CPU+Extra memory was worth the cost of the upgrade, making the extra VRAM just an added bonus. I also think the extra VRAM might be a bit of an advantage in 2-3 years. Sure, it won't keep up with the latest GPUs, but I imagine it'll work better for basic OS X new OS X features, similar to how Quartz Extreme and Core Image needed higher amounts of memory. Remember when Apple introduced features like that, some of the older lower-end GPUs didn't support them? I think there's a slightly better chance of the 256mb model being able to support such things.

Also, from what I understand, Aperture will run better with more VRAM.

Just my thoughts, hope it helps :)
 

dansgil

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2005
206
0
Vancouver, BC
Thanks, the thing is, with the money I'd save by buying the cheaper model, I could buy an external HDD and some accessories. I guess I'll just have to sleep on this.
 

mleary

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2006
145
0
dansgil said:
I apologize if this has been asked already.

I'm going to order one of the new MBP's in the next week or so and wanted some opinions. I'm deciding between the 2.1Ghz (with 2GB ram upgrade) or a stock 2.33Ghz. I don't really think I'll notice the processor difference, so that's not a problem. The VRAM is double on the higher model, and was wondering, do you think I'll notice any difference between the two?

I won't be doing any gaming (at least not in the near future) and will mostly be doing iLife stuff, Aperture, and maybe some FCP in the future.

Thanks in advance.
If you won't be doing any gaming the extra vid ram won't matter to you. It's only useful for 3d games/apps.
 

bigbossbmb

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2004
1,759
0
Pasadena/Hollywood
if you are going to be using Aperture, then you SHOULD definitely get the upgraded VRAM. no question about it. this is something that you can't buy later and you will kick yourself if you don't get it now.
 

mleary

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2006
145
0
bigbossbmb said:
if you are going to be using Aperture, then you SHOULD definitely get the upgraded VRAM. no question about it. this is something that you can't buy later and you will kick yourself if you don't get it now.
Are you sure Aperture actually makes use of the GPU? I've heard people on here say the same thing about Photoshop but this says otherwise:

http://blogs.adobe.com/psperf/2006/06/some_tips_and_stories.html
 

dansgil

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2005
206
0
Vancouver, BC
I won't be using Aperture very much, so a slight boost in performance probably won't make much of a difference.

I think I'm going to get the low-end and upgrade the RAM. It should be sufficient for my needs.

Thanks for all your input!
 

dansgil

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2005
206
0
Vancouver, BC
Okay, I was all set to go ahead and order the 2.16GHz w/ 2GB RAM and the 160GB HD, but now I'm having second thoughts.

I'm not using an external monitor at the moment, but I heard that when an external monitor is used, the VRAM is divided between the two displays, thereby splitting video performance in half. Is this true?

I still can't decide which model to get. If I order the cheaper one, I'll get the bigger HD. I'm still not sure is the $339 CAD (~$300 USD) is worth the slight speed increase and VRAM upgrade.

The lower model will be more than adequate for my current needs, but who know what I'll be doing a couple years down the road. :D

Any help with this decision is appreciated.
 

tekmoe

macrumors 68000
Feb 12, 2005
1,553
27
dansgil, i was going to initially purchase the stock 2.33. i then gave it a good thinking over and decided to buy the stock 2.16. this machine is plenty fast. chances are i am going to sell it after a year or so anyway and buy something faster. if you are trying to futureproof yourself, which mind you is very hard to do at this day in age with computers, go with the 2.33. if you are going to get another computer within the next 3 years, buy the 2.16 and save yourself $500 for other goodies.

all my opinion of course. :)
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,418
124
Location Location Location
^^Geez, if you're trying to futureproof yourself, don't buy a new computer. In 2 years, the speed difference between a 2.16 and 2.33 GHz machine is going to be seen as identical. It's like asking, "Which machine is faster.....a 933 GHz G4 iBook, or a 1 GHz 12" PowerBook?" Answer: They're both slow.

The difference in vRAM also is not considered futureproofing. The difference in vRAM won't be the reason why certain apps won't run. If they don't run on an X1600 with 128 MB of vRAM, they won't run on the 256 MB version either. It's the technology built into the video card that will hold you back in the future, not the vRAM. And besides, the card itself is a bottleneck and won't allow you to utilize the full potential of having 256 MB of vRAM rather than 128 MB (ie: two times more vRAM) anyway.
 

tekmoe

macrumors 68000
Feb 12, 2005
1,553
27
The difference in vRAM also is not considered futureproofing. The difference in vRAM won't be the reason why certain apps won't run. If they don't run on an X1600 with 128 MB of vRAM, they won't run on the 256 MB version either. It's the technology built into the video card that will hold you back in the future, not the vRAM. And besides, the card itself is a bottleneck and won't allow you to utilize the full potential of having 256 MB of vRAM rather than 128 MB (ie: two times more vRAM) anyway.
good post!
 

dansgil

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2005
206
0
Vancouver, BC
dansgil, i was going to initially purchase the stock 2.33. i then gave it a good thinking over and decided to buy the stock 2.16. this machine is plenty fast. chances are i am going to sell it after a year or so anyway and buy something faster. if you are trying to futureproof yourself, which mind you is very hard to do at this day in age with computers, go with the 2.33. if you are going to get another computer within the next 3 years, buy the 2.16 and save yourself $500 for other goodies.

all my opinion of course. :)
^^Geez, if you're trying to futureproof yourself, don't buy a new computer. In 2 years, the speed difference between a 2.16 and 2.33 GHz machine is going to be seen as identical. It's like asking, "Which machine is faster.....a 933 GHz G4 iBook, or a 1 GHz 12" PowerBook?" Answer: They're both slow.

The difference in vRAM also is not considered futureproofing. The difference in vRAM won't be the reason why certain apps won't run. If they don't run on an X1600 with 128 MB of vRAM, they won't run on the 256 MB version either. It's the technology built into the video card that will hold you back in the future, not the vRAM. And besides, the card itself is a bottleneck and won't allow you to utilize the full potential of having 256 MB of vRAM rather than 128 MB (ie: two times more vRAM) anyway.
I think I've finally made the decision to get the 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, 160GB HD.

You guys have been really helpful!

Anyways, I'll probably wait until I see some benchmarks comparing the two models.
 

EGT

macrumors 68000
Sep 4, 2003
1,605
1
^^Geez, if you're trying to futureproof yourself, don't buy a new computer. In 2 years, the speed difference between a 2.16 and 2.33 GHz machine is going to be seen as identical. It's like asking, "Which machine is faster.....a 933 GHz G4 iBook, or a 1 GHz 12" PowerBook?" Answer: They're both slow.

The difference in vRAM also is not considered futureproofing. The difference in vRAM won't be the reason why certain apps won't run. If they don't run on an X1600 with 128 MB of vRAM, they won't run on the 256 MB version either. It's the technology built into the video card that will hold you back in the future, not the vRAM. And besides, the card itself is a bottleneck and won't allow you to utilize the full potential of having 256 MB of vRAM rather than 128 MB (ie: two times more vRAM) anyway.
good post!
I second that. Good points, Abstract.
 

MAcNIAC

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2006
229
51
Australia
I think I've finally made the decision to get the 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, 160GB HD.

You guys have been really helpful!

Anyways, I'll probably wait until I see some benchmarks comparing the two models.
I'm tossing up between the 2.16/128Mb X1600/2Gb and 2.33/256Mb X1600/2Gb too, with the student ADC and salary sacrifice the difference is only about $200 (Australian). I really dont think their will be much noticeable difference in speed though ... (i'm upgrading from an 800MHz G4 ibook - think I'll notice the upgrade? :D )

Will the 160G drive be faster than the 120G? - I dont need the space, it's taken me 3 years to fill the 30G in my iBook:eek: maybe I'd be better off with an external drive for backup - time machine here we come!
 

dansgil

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2005
206
0
Vancouver, BC
Will the 160G drive be faster than the 120G? - I dont need the space, it's taken me 3 years to fill the 30G in my iBook:eek: maybe I'd be better off with an external drive for backup - time machine here we come!
Supposedly, the 160GB drive uses perpendicular recording which is faster. I would spend the money on an external drive, though.
 

aliquis-

macrumors 6502a
May 20, 2007
680
0
Are you sure Aperture actually makes use of the GPU? I've heard people on here say the same thing about Photoshop but this says otherwise:

http://blogs.adobe.com/psperf/2006/06/some_tips_and_stories.html
Old thread and all, but I know for sure that on a 128MB 8600m GT aperture effects and zoom are really slow and it uses up all VRAM. So it does indeed use it.
Which sucks since Apple only gave me 128MB morons as they are.
The difference in vRAM also is not considered futureproofing. The difference in vRAM won't be the reason why certain apps won't run. If they don't run on an X1600 with 128 MB of vRAM, they won't run on the 256 MB version either. It's the technology built into the video card that will hold you back in the future, not the vRAM. And besides, the card itself is a bottleneck and won't allow you to utilize the full potential of having 256 MB of vRAM rather than 128 MB (ie: two times more vRAM) anyway.
"Oh, but in this care only functionallity of the gpu differed so ram amount will never make a difference!", oh, great logic!
Say Apple put a 130MB texture in finder, voila, 256MB vram was futureproofing.
And it could be used for better stuff aswell ;D
 
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