320m good enough for my needs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by drock, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. drock macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2007
    Hi guys, I had another topic about how impressed I was with the 13" MBP's specs/price for my needs and got some great responses, but I need to ask about the 320m graphics in particular and I think it should have its own topic for people in a similar situation.

    I pretty much can only afford to buy something in the 1000 dollar range this next school year, so getting a 15" or even the 2.6ghz 13" is out of the question for now. I really wish the 13" had a core i proc, but C2D has been a pretty solid proc the past few years and I think it'll work out just fine...

    But I'm concerned about the integrated graphics.. I strongly prefer discrete graphics but that just isn't an option with the 13"... I'm going to be using it heavily for 3d modeling (Zbrush, 3ds max, blender, etc) and gaming under Windows.

    What I would really love to do is part out my 2+ year old desktop to help pay for the MBP. Which means giving up my overclocked C2D and GTX 260 graphics.

    So I'd love to hear from the people with the 320M chip and let me know honestly how you feel about it.. do you ever wish you had something stronger, or gone with something else, etc...
  2. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    if it is this one: http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_geforce_gtx_260_us.html you currently have, it would run circles around the 320m.

    the 320m is a decent middle class shared GPU doing okay for using shared RAM. I think only the 330 or the alienware 335M would be a *big* improvement, or some of the mobile ATI gpu's ... but it's nothing like a dedicated desktop GPU of course. i think it could handle the modelling, but isn't 1200x800 a tad too small to do that comfortably?
  3. drock thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2007
    I would most likely hook it up to my 22" monitor.
  4. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    I can speak firsthand for gaming on windows and using 3ds max...the 320m is very sub-optimal. It will work, and non complex scenes will render without much issue, but when you start boosting the poly counts, the 320m just chokes. Gaming is about what you'd expect from a GPU using shared RAM: works fine if you don't mind your game looking like foggy pea soup ;)
  5. drock thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2007
    mike, thanks for the reply, id like some more info if you don't mind,

    have you tried overclocking the card under windows? does it help at all?

    i won't be doing a lot of rendering on this machine, just straight up modeling and texturing, and then rendering the files in my school's computer lab. so does modeling at high polys in zbrush and max still lag with this chip?

    what i'd really love is to part out my desktop machine, and buy a dock for the MBP and just drop it in when i'm home from class and work on my monitor, and do some level editing in Unreal Dev Kit and modeling in Max and Zbrush, and then do my renders and builds in the lab.

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