512MB vs 256MB Graphics RAM - Worth $500 extra?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lieb39, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. lieb39 macrumors 6502

    lieb39

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    Have a friend who's looking at getting the new Macbook Pro 15" - he likes to play games, etc etc. Now the question is - here in Australia the difference between the 15" 2.66GHz and the 2.8GHz is $500 Australian.. Of course, with the 2.8GHz you get double the graphics RAM - is it worth it purely from a gaming viewpoint? The budget is already stretched with the 2.66GHz but if paying that extra will make the difference, he'll be happy to.

    Had a look around already, the general message is if you can pay it, why not? But does it really make that much a difference..? Would he suffer with the 256MB?

    Cheers

    lieb39
     
  2. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #2
    From what I've read, there'll be a difference with the extra vram but not a big one by any means. Tell him to get the nicer version if he's got the budget, but otherwise the 256 will be fine. The card is more limited by it's processing speed than by its available vram.

    Notice however that with the 2.8 he also gets a larger L2 cache which may also be a factor.
     
  3. InvalidUserID macrumors 6502a

    InvalidUserID

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #3
    When I bought mine, the difference was only $120-$150 (I forget) between getting the 256 & 512MB 8600.

    I looked at it as extending the useful life of my laptop (eventually the 256MB might not be enough) and knowing that I'd kick myself for not going for the bigger card.
     
  4. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #4
    It's not worth it if his budget is already stretched. For someone who has the money to throw around, it might be, but it's not a huge difference and $500 AUD is no small amount of money. He wouldn't suffer with 256MB and the performance difference is not worth going out of budget for.
     
  5. lieb39 thread starter macrumors 6502

    lieb39

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #5
    Thanks everyone, he'll stick with the 256 and get that Apple care

    Cheers
     
  6. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #6
    id go with the 256. Anything that would require over 256 will be bottlenecked by the other factors of the gpu before that becomes an issue most likely.
     
  7. jon08 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    #7
    Yeah, get the 256 and Applecare, and you still save money...
     
  8. zalves macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Location:
    Portugal
    #8
    I have a 256MB and a game like assassination's creed or fallout 3 works great. why spend money one something thats just a number?

    If you ask if there are going to be advantages with openCL in snow leopard, I just don't know, maybe someone can fill the blanks..
     
  9. wankey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    #9
    This is one of the stupidest things that Apple has pulled on its users.

    The difference price wise, between a 256mb and 500mb is no more than a single chip of 256mb DDR3 memory, which is around 10-20 dollars.

    it is even apparent in regular harware sales that a 256 vs 512 mb card is only 20-30 dollars apart. Even more so ram is now so cheap that no video card maker even cares about it, and offers gratuisly large amounts, GTX260 getting 860, 280 geting a whoppping 1gig.

    The fact that Apple charges a massive amount of money for memory is a joke. Upgrading from 2.53 to 2.8 is a large sum of money, which is worth if you want to really get the performance. But trying to make the user understand that the extra 256mb on his graphics card and a 100 extra gig of harddrive is going to cost him 200 extra bucks is laughable at the least.
     
  10. tempusfugit macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #10
    my thoughts are that if you're really going to be doing things that require a $500 increase in price to work graphically, you should have just gone with a desktop.
     
  11. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #11
    I was going to get the 2.4 prev gen with 256, although I felt the prev gen 2.66 with 512 might be more future-proof, but then I realized the 2.4 had only 3MB L2.
     
  12. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #12
    ...to really notice much, the spec's your talking about have very little performance difference between the two...
     

Share This Page