256MB vs. 512MB ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by annkie, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. annkie macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2008
    Hi all,

    I am trying to decide between a MacBook Pro 15" w/ 256 MB video card or 512 MB. Here's a quick background on me:
    I'm a graphic designer. I work in CS3 for print and web. I'm doing more and more Flash work.
    I'm not an expert on hardware which is why I'm posting in here. So, the question is: Will the 256 MB video card result in great performance for the type of work that I do? I am on a budget.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    The 256 will be more than enough for you. Unless you know why you need 512mb, you don't :) (That sounds flippant, but it is actually true).

    I don't need 512mb either.

    Very, very few people do.
  3. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    CS3 does not use the extra video memory. I'd only recommend 512 mb for games or 3D apps like Cinema 4D, Maya, etc.

    Go with the 256 mb mbp and rather use the saved money for the 7200 rpm hd and 4 gb ram.
  4. RITZFit macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2007
    In my Corner
  5. thisonechance macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    Another vote for the 256. My girlfriend is a graphic designer and she has no problems running with the (older) mbp with 128. Like others have said, unless you know you need it for specific applications, the low end GPU will be more than enough.
  6. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    wouldn't even recommend 512 for games. Honestly, the only games that would make use of 512 ram would run painfully slow on a mbp anyhow with its 8600GT.
  7. k3rnelkurtz macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2007
    What about running games with the 256mb video card on a 20" ACD with 1680x1050 res? I'm thinking about getting a MBP soon and I need Warcraft III to run smoothly on it (currently with my macbook and 20" ACD performance gets very choppy after a while) and I will also be getting StarCraft II the moment it's released.
  8. annkie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2008
    Thanks all! One more question... I was also going to buy a 24" monitor to hook up to my laptop. Will the 256 MB suit that as well?
  9. steinlager macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2007
    Yes, 256 will be fine when hooking the MBP up to a monitor. Extra ram is only used when you're playing high detailed games with high textures and only when you have a powerful enough video card to use the extra ram. Since the 8600M is underclocked in MBPs, there's really no use for the extra ram.
  10. SpastikMonkii macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2007
    I'm in the same boat, debating between 256 and 512 except I work in video.

    I really don't use any 3d stuff (except the occasional project in Motion), so from this thread I've gathered that I should be fine with 256, right?
  11. steinlager macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2007
  12. sickassdog13 macrumors newbie


    Jan 22, 2008
    I too was debating this subject this past weekend when I picked up a 2.5ghz, 512mb VRam, 250Gb HD. after reading all your posts, I decided the lower end 2.4 mpb and 256mb VRam would probably be more than enough for me. since i don't work with any kind of 3D animations or play games. (But I will be swapping out the HD when the 500GB HD becomes available.) So i took it back and exchanged it. good thing I didnt open up the first one. the 2.4 i got is perfect. no yellowing, no dead pixels, no buzzing. works perfectly great.
  13. mikerzt macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2008
    what if i want to play games like call of duty 4 or crysis? 512 or 256?
  14. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Get the 256. And no it doesn't make a difference in Crysis considering the GPU isn't fast enough.
  15. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    Go with the 256 and use the money saved towards 4GB of RAM.
  16. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
  17. mikerzt macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2008
    awesome, thats what i needed to hear. thanks a lot guys....and girls.
  18. annkie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2008
    Thanks guys! I ordered the 256 MB version last night :D

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