256 or 512 vram?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gregvet, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. gregvet macrumors regular


    Jan 21, 2008
    Brighton, UK
    I will be ordering a new MacBook Pro next moth, primarily for work but also for Aperture, which I cannot run on my eMac at present. Can anyone give me any idea how much better/faster Aperture will run on the middle spec machine with 512 vram rather than the base one with 256?

    If the difference is negligible I may just save myself a few hundred pounds and go on a much needed holiday!

    Cheers everyone
  2. puke macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2007
    Will work flawlessly on 256mb VRAM. No need to take the bigger one unless you really got the money hangin around.
  3. gothamm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2007
    the difference in 256 vs. 512 is so ridiculously negligible.

    Seriously, if everyone can somehow realize this great myth...
  4. Pees330 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV
    You will be fine with the 256, so I would save yourself a couple hundred pounds. I ordered the base machine today.
  5. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    We do video editing on an iMac at church with 256.

    I heard that 128 is too whimpy for a lot of pro apps. You need the 256.

    I heard that 512 is mainly for gaming or a lot of intense CAD/CAM or High-Def stuff...

    256 is all you need for day-to-day pro apps...
  6. Grokgod macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2002
    Deep within the heart of madness!
    What would be the circumstances that 512 would be advisable?

    Video editing?
    Photoshop work?

    what else..

    I plan to use this primarily for video and graphics work in Motion, etc.
    Is 512 better, and why would it not be worth it?

  7. fsckminix6 macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2006
    Chicago (847)
    i am in agreement. 256 is more than enough i run photochop and lightroom with no problems.
  8. ChrisN macrumors 65816


    Aug 27, 2007
    Demarest, NJ
    How well do games work with 257? Is it the fine and how well does the graphic card handle games like cod4?

  9. gregvet thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 21, 2008
    Brighton, UK
    Thanks for the quick replies everyone. Seems like everyone thinks 256 is enough after all. Good to know. Reason I was not so sure was that I am aware of other people using Aperture on MacPro's who have upgraded the video card to 512 vram and say it makes quite a difference. I guess this may not be so obvious on the portable side of things.
  10. grooveattack macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2008
    games will work fine, i think the difference between 128 and 256 is noticeable but 256 to 512, pffft no point
  11. El Phantasmo macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2005
    i may be wrong but as i understand it, the more VRAM the card has, the bigger amount of pixels it can draw at a given time, that is: the bigger resolution monitor you can use... 1400x900 vs 2560x1200 etc... with smooth video

    so if all you are going to be doing is playing games in a dual or triple huge monitor setup, a 512MB card with a fast processor will do great (altough that kind of defeats the purpose of a notebook computer). if you are going to do photoshop at 1400x900 you wont be able to tell the difference between integrated graphics and 512MB...
  12. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    in order for your comp to really take advantage of anything that would use 512 of ram, you would need something better than a 8600GT. 256 is really the sweet spot for that card.
  13. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030


    Jun 15, 2005
    512 MB is only useful to the heaviest of users, especially on a card like the 8600M GT which is relatively weak. Gamers and photoshoppers are likely not to notice any difference. It's only particularly useful in apps like Maya where very complex 3D objects need to be redrawn in multiple views.
  14. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    I think the benchmarks showed a 10-12% increase from 128mb to 256mb. That said, the increase from 256-512 will probably be even less. I'd guess around 5% increase overall...
  15. skiffx macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2008
    512 will last you longer, and if you are working with multimedia, why not get it ? Yeah maybe 256 is enough now, but will it in 1 yr? I dont know what benchmarks these people are talking about, but you can always tell the difference between 256 and 512 if you play a game and I use game as an example because its the most obvious, it trickles down to everything else as well.
  16. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    The only thing you could do to make 512 worth it is to run bootcamp and play Crysis :D That, or some heavy 3d video editing. 256 is the sweet spot right now and everyone should be thrilled the base MBP has it now. Go with 256.
  17. raharu macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2008
    If you are talking about this:

    That performance increase was mainly due to the extra 0.2GHz on the processor.

    PD: If anything is making me doubt which one to take is the 3MB L2 vs. 6MB
  18. djinn macrumors 68000


    Oct 4, 2003
    Its too bad they kept the 8600gt. To bad they didn't upgrade the video card. How are the drivers for the Nvidia Card now?
  19. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    They DID upgrade the video card, they gave users more RAM.

    If you think there is a better MXMII card out there right now, please point it out.
  20. Dreamer2go macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    YOu dont need the video card for photoshop. it's all CPU and RAM based
    For video editing, yes, 512 would be better, but negligible.
  21. Harvey Cooper macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2008
  22. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    I'm not sure what you mean about motion, but the matte screen is better for accurate color representation.
  23. burningrave101 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    512MB version isn't worth it because the 8600M GT isn't fast enough to use that much VRAM. You can't just stick like 512MB or 3 gigs of video memory on a card and that cause it to be faster. The memory bus has to be capable of transferring larger amounts of data to make use of the added memory and the 8600M GT. It's limited to a 128-bit memory bus. If you wanted 512MB of VRAM you would need an 8800M GT or something similar. Definitely wouldn't waste another $500 on an upgrade like that.
  24. harveycooper macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2008
    then which MBP?

    So then to do final cut pro and photoshop cs3 should I get the new 2.5 15" mbp or the previous 2.4 santa rosa 2.4 15" mbp at a significant discount around $1700 and use the difference to up to ram to 4gb and buy software?
  25. Alpinism macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2005
    Yes to 512 ram with Motion, Color and Maya. You dont need GPU for FCP. You can even run FCP with Macbooks.

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