650m on MBP: 512MB vs 1GB?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Larrabee213, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Larrabee213 macrumors regular

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    May 27, 2009
    #1
    I am having to go from a desktop to a macbook pro as I am moving to Japan. Basically I need to do some simple video editing, about 2-3 hours of video each week in Adobe Premiere and export to 2 formats which I have presets for.

    My question is, will I get a lot of extra kick with 1GB 650m vs the 512MB 650? I just don't want to spend the extra $$ if I don't need to since I will be upgrading the hard drive to a 7200rpm one anyways.

    Also how would this hurt gaming? I have a decent Steam library (Far Cry 3, hopefully the new Bioshock, Saints Row 3), but plan on getting a PS4 so it is not a deal breaker.

    Edit: also I am guessing I should stay away from the rMBPs still? Seems to be issues with them from the screen to the heat.
     
  2. ovation802 macrumors member

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    #2
    I would like to know this as well. I am in the market for a 15" cMBP and was waffling between those two choices.
     
  3. JeffiJers macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    heat problem looks to be taken care of with 10.8.3 i think?

    w the price of the total package the 1gb video is well worth it
     
  4. Ultra AleM macrumors 6502a

    Ultra AleM

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    #4
    512 MB should be ok for your needs.

    PS: the new 2013 Retina has no problems.
     
  5. Larrabee213 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Thanks. Any other input?

    It is about a $500 difference from the 15" cMBP with 512mb video ram and the entry 15" rMBP with the 1GB of ram. Honestly the rMPB hardware still worries me a little, especially the monitors.
     
  6. Wafflausages macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Pretty sure if you customize the cMBP on the website you can select the 1GB option + a highres for about $300
     
  7. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    #7
    VRAM is basically for textures. If you want to play games with textures on high, get 1gb. If medium textures are ok, get 512. Prob won't affect final cut editing much, as I'm sure that's CPU bound.
     
  8. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #8
    That's not all. Creative Suite lists specific VRAM requirements for gpu leveraged functions, whether they're CUDA or OpenCL. The same is true with 3d paint apps. I would find 1GB ideal if this has to last some time. It's weird that they ship notebooks in that price range with 512 in the current year. As far as creative suite goes (mentioned due to the OP mentioning premiere) Adobe has all of that info on their site including what things leverage the gpu.
     
  9. BlueRaider macrumors regular

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    Mar 2, 2012
    #9
    I've had both the 2012 cMBP and rMBP and there's no way I could go back to the cMBP. The Retina is worth the upgrade. I think you have a misconception about problems with the rMBP. All you read about here are the tiny minority of people who have had problems. The vast majority, like me, have had no problems from day one.

    If you're dead set on the cMBP I would definitely get the 1GB 650M. On top of higher performance in games it helps future proof the laptop. Most games now require 512MB VRAM minimum. In another year or two that's probably going to go to 1GB. Since you're stuck with the GPU for the life of the laptop you might as well spend the money now and get the best. If you don't, you're just going to have to spend more money in a year or two for another laptop that meets minimum specs.

    On a side note, I game ALOT on my Retina and its been unbelievably good. COD BOP's 2 runs at 100+Fps @ 1920x1200. I keep other settings low because it looks fine to me but you can run them at medium no problem.
     
  10. zakee00 macrumors regular

    zakee00

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    #10
    Seconded. One of the key factors to me was that the rMBP just *felt* like such a newer piece of tech. The slim form factor, display, and SSD just blew everything else in the Apple store out of the water for me. Boot camp gaming has been great so far, even better than I thought it would be, this coming from someone who used to build and overclock gaming PCs from scratch.

    You mentioned getting a 7200RPM drive...would the Retina's SSD have enough storage for your video editing needs? Or are you working on external storage anyway? The 256GB SSD seemed skimpy for me, but now you're talking about a big price difference if you want to upgrade that...
     
  11. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    swerve147

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    #11
    This is a completely non-technical observation but in messing around with GTA IV settings the past week I discovered that anything over medium settings requires at least 600-700MB of video RAM. And this is a 2+ year old game.

    If you're at all serious about gaming get the 1GB.

    As for Retina vs. Classic, the display is a valid issue (who can deny otherwise with a 400+ page thread at Apple Communities and a class action lawsuit being thrown about in the news). Heat issues on the other hand are not as verifiable. For Windows gaming in particular heat will never be an issue as long as you are willing to throttle the CPU a bit for a small hit in performance. The most recent SMC update also seems to have helped with the over-agressive throttling of the previous EFI update.
     
  12. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #12
    A guy in a gaming forum once said: "If you care about quality, always go for more VRAM even if it is slow DDR3. If you only care about fps smaller GDDR5 works too if settings are such that the VRAM suffices."
    That is the issue. VRAM isn't needed for fluid gaming. 512MB works fine but the things you can do with it are limited. Some settings you simply cannot set in the prefs with too little VRAM, even though the GPU could handle them without any problem.

    A 650M GPU should IMO have as a minimum 1GB but should come with 2GB. Apple charges a lot so it is your choice. You won't need it but if it should last long 512mb may turn out to annoy you soon. It is already the min. req. of todays games. That won't change soon as IGPs rarely offer more but they can do driver tricks more easily.
     
  13. Larrabee213 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    That is what I am thinking with the HDD. Going with a 500-750GB 7200rpm drive makes life a little easier.
     
  14. Larrabee213 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Again, I think the biggest issue with going with the rMBP is basically I don't want to pay extra for the retina, the discussion about monitor issues mixed with overheating, and a bigger HD would be nice.
     
  15. BlueRaider macrumors regular

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    #15
    The whole over-heat issue seems to be confined to a small minority. I've played Black Ops 2 (A CPU INTENSIVE game) for 4+ hours straight and not had any problems. Ultimately I ended up buying a Cooler Master SF-19 laptop cooler because I'd read about other people's issues with heat. I'm not convinced it makes much if any difference performance wise but it does keep the bottom of the rMBP cooler, which can't hurt anything.

    If you're worried about the display you have 14 days to use the laptop and check for image retention. If you get a Samsung display it probably won't be an issue. LG might be another story but you can always return it.

    I was on the fence when I ordered my Retina. I really didn't see the benefit of it over the 2011 and 2012 cMBP's I'd had. After using the Retina there is no way I could go back. The boost in performance in pretty much every aspect made the Retina a no-brainier for me. I like to have the best though.
     
  16. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #16
    Yes, you will likely notice an extra performance boost with 1GB instead of 512MB, especially if you're doing serious video editing and gaming.
     
  17. Larrabee213 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
  18. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #18
  19. Ultra AleM macrumors 6502a

    Ultra AleM

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    #19
  20. Larrabee213 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    OSX is not required for what I need it for and find Windows 7 to work fine. I know I am trading aesthetics and some stability on the OS size, but it is hard to justify an extra $1000 for a laptop with weaker specs.

    IT is DDR5.
     
  21. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #21
    It's not all about the specs and there's many reasons why I and others prefer OS X to Windows.

    But it's your money and your decision. If Windows works fine for you and as long as you like it, then you have no reason not to get it.
     
  22. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #22
  23. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    swerve147

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    #23
    2 GT 650Ms in SLI? That is pretty awesome, you usually don't see that in Lenovo ThinkPads. 2 680Ms would be unbelievable but unfortunately not at $1200

    OP if you have no need to run OS X then this is the way to go! Cheaper too
     
  24. Corax, Mar 17, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013

    Corax macrumors 6502

    Corax

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    #24
    Weaker specs? I guess you don't count the retina display or large SSD storage as a spec? And that the windows laptop your showing has a 1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive combined with only a 16 GB Solid-State Drive...helloooo!?
    And oh my goodness it only has 3 hours battery life and weights 6,4 pounds, doesn't that count as bad specs? The rMBP 15" weights 4,46 pounds.
     
  25. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    Yay Area, CA
    #25
    I have the 512MB model and it runs all my games at high quality textures with no issues running at 1440x900 (Native Resolution). I have yet to find any problems...
     

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