256MB VRAM == soon obsolete?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cube, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. cube macrumors G5

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    #1
    For how long do you think one will be able to get by with 256MB of VRAM, specially now that OpenCL arrives?
     
  2. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

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    #2
    Depends on the GPU. With high end ones, it's already obsolete, and has been for some time. The real issue is whether or not the GPU will hit the limit of the VRAM before it hits it's own performance limits.
     
  3. cube thread starter macrumors G5

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  4. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    #4
    For as long as the GPU stops being the bottleneck. 256mbs is good for slower GPU's like the 9600 since it cant go through 512mbs of data fast enough for it to matter anyways.

    Video card ram isnt the same as system ram, theres a certain amount of ram that the card can handle before it hits a bottleneck and stops benefiting from the extra ram. The slower the card the less ram it can go through, 256mbs is just right for the 9600.
     
  5. Dwalls90 macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

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    Feb 5, 2009
    #5
    LOL

    Any well-informed enthusiast should know that VRAM is "obsolete" relative to the actual processing power of a GPU.

    A 9600GT 256mb would own a 9400M with 512mb.
     
  6. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

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    May 25, 2009
    #6
    For gaming on the 15 inch macbook pro, is the extra 256 worth it? I'm torn between a (300 dollar cheaper) 15 inch 2.66 and the 2.8. I don't want the larger HD, but I do want excellent video performance. Will SL end up using the extra ram?

    Also, anyone know if the 2.8 in the 15 inch has a 35 w TDP? I need the best battery life I can get.
     
  7. cube thread starter macrumors G5

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    #7
    Why would Apple sell MBPs with 512MB of VRAM if it were useless?
     
  8. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    #8
    To make more money. The practice is not new, video card makers have been putting excessive amounts of ram into their budget video cards as "upgrades" for years even though there is no performance impact (and in some cases it hurt performance since they used slower speed ram to keep the price from raising too much).
     
  9. Biolizard macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Well back in the day you could get an ATi Radeon 9800XT with 256MB that it (IIRC) couldn't really handle, but GPUs have moved on so much in 5 years that I find it hard to belive an nVidia 9600M couldn't make good use of 512MB VRAM. The memory hasn't increased much considering the amount that GPUs have moved forward.
     
  10. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

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    #10
    Marketing.
     
  11. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    #11
    The 9600m is about equal to an old 7600gt desktop card which was 256mb with the 512 versions being gimmicks, its not very fast. The 9800GTX in my PC only has 512mbs of ram and it destroys the 9600m. 512 is overkill for that thing.
     
  12. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #12
    Anyone able to estimate this prior to actual benchmarks?
     
  13. Biolizard macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Really? :(
     
  14. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

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    #15
    I have to disagree. I had an old 7800gt desktop card and I can't believe how much better the 9600m is in comparison. Games are actually more smoother that I can't even think of how a card could be faster. I know the CPU is better but still.
     
  15. cube thread starter macrumors G5

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    #16
    I hadn't noticed the 2.4 had only 3MB L2, that sealed the deal.
     
  16. w00t951 macrumors 68000

    w00t951

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    Jan 6, 2009
    #17
    In my opinion, the new NVIDIA 9600 card is a very high boost in performance, especially in programs like COD4 and Crysis. On my desktop of a 7xxx series card, the framerate for Crysis: Warhead was around 19FPS. With my Macbook Pro, the FPS was around 40 consistently. The settings for both were all mediums, with the textures set to high. Plus, the scrolling in Preview and other Apple special effects were a lot better and higher in quality then the previous Mac's card. And the NVIDIA card's doubled RAM would significantly alter the performance of the machine.
     
  17. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #18
    9600M GT isn't powerful enough to properly utilize 512 MBs. You get a 5 - 10% boost tops.
     
  18. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #19
  19. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #20
  20. Dwalls90 macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

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    Feb 5, 2009
    #21
    Well, yea of course the 9600GT M is probably on par with the 7800GT (I had one too!). We're talking generations apart of video cards.
     

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