AMD 6770M 1GB vs Nvidia 650M 512MB

bigpoppamac31

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
2,262
319
Canada
Would the new Nvidia be on par with the old AMD or be better or worse? Trying to decide on whether to get a new 2012 MBP (non retina) or a Late 2011 MBP 15".
 

weemanpow3

macrumors 6502
Mar 14, 2008
274
5
Correct me if i'm wrong, but you should see about 35-45% increase with 650m. If you plan on gaming with it, I would be a little worried about the 512mb. Stick with the 1gb version if you can.
 

Marrakas

macrumors 6502
May 23, 2012
407
111
512mb is enough for gaming in low res (1440x900) which is what you should do on any mac anyway. But yeah, if you can get the 1gb model, go for it :)
 

TSE

macrumors 68040
Jun 25, 2007
3,037
642
St. Paul, Minnesota
The nVidia 512MB chip will be better at gaming at lower resolutions, but about equal or slightly faster on higher resolutions where 512MBs will be limited.
 

bigpoppamac31

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
2,262
319
Canada
Cool. I'm not really a gamer but I still feel very limited with my early 2011 MBP with only an AMD 6490 with 256MB. I'd love to upgrade to the new one but not sure how much I'd get for my current one.

Current specs:
MBP early 2011 15"
Intel Quad Core i7 2.0Ghz
high res antiglare 1680 x 1050
8GB Ram
500GB HDD 7200rpm
AMD Radeon 6490 256MB
 

manicwinter

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2011
45
0
I'm looking for how the 650 performs on an external 27 inch Apple display vs the 6770 1GB. My 256MB AMD 6630 doesn't handle it well. I'm thinking the 1GB will be more helpful on the large display? I'm not gaming.
 

Marrakas

macrumors 6502
May 23, 2012
407
111
Depens on what you are doing. If you're not using any application that needs rendering then you wouldn't notice a difference.
 

manicwinter

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2011
45
0
Depens on what you are doing. If you're not using any application that needs rendering then you wouldn't notice a difference.
If I was doing gaming or other stuff requiring 3D on the 27 inch display which do you think would be better?
 

Marrakas

macrumors 6502
May 23, 2012
407
111
650m without a doubt. Less memory won't take away from the fact that it's a way faster chip.
 

Marrakas

macrumors 6502
May 23, 2012
407
111
For gaming, going from 6490m to 650m would be a huge jump, where you would probably see a 300-400% increase in performance.

Don't look at the amount of ram unless you are running high resolution 3D applications. For surfing the web they will do the same job.
A 512mb 650m would crush even a 3gb 6490m in gaming performance.
 

bigpoppamac31

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
2,262
319
Canada
For gaming, going from 6490m to 650m would be a huge jump, where you would probably see a 300-400% increase in performance.

Don't look at the amount of ram unless you are running high resolution 3D applications. For surfing the web they will do the same job.
A 512mb 650m would crush even a 3gb 6490m in gaming performance.
Well I'm not much of a gamer. I guess I just want to better "future proof" myself in having my MBP last as long as possible before the need for the next upgrade.
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,386
61
I heard all these remarks towards VRAM isn't that important before, because with the right benchmark settings there really isn't much of a difference. BUT

Even in 2D every Windows needs VRAM, which means with loads of Windows open the animations get crappy and I can attest to that with my 256MB 330M. I wouldn't buy something below 1GB just for that annoyance.
Had Apple put in 2GB DDR3 RAM it would have shown better results.

Also in 3D res is not the only thing that matters different detail settings have a different memory impact. Many games by default don't let you enable certain settings if you don't have the necessary VRAM. 512MB is todays minimum. In 1-2 years that will be too little for any higher details.
AA settings increase VRAM use. With enough VRAM enabling 8x MSAA costs you 20% performance, with too little it cuts 40% of your frame rate.
Textures at highest level are the cheapest way for good quality with little performance impact if you can store enough in VRAM.

In my opinion most Testing in that regard is not thorough enough and VRAM does matter and if you want anything future proof, 512MB is too little and certainly for a fairly fast 650M. It should be 1GB minimum and given the cheap price and great performance a 2GB DDR3 version should have been the default in the low MBP config. 2GB GDDR5 in the high end.
Apple doesn't do it because they want the difference to be obvious to the most uninformed customer there is, as they have a lot of those. Also 2GB GDDR5 would have taken too much PCB space.
The last generation 560M by comparison was sold with either 1.5GB or 3 GB VRAM. 1.5GB was the minimum and that GPU is equally fast. 512MB on such a fast GPU is ridiculous. 1GB is good, 2GB wouldn't hurt either.

Good summary from another gaming forum:

If you want benchmark performance, the lesser RAM with greater clocks is better.
If you want visual quality, the greater RAM - space for more and/or higher resolution textures - is better.

On a low-power laptop GPU, the benchmark performance is going to suck anyway, so if you can get the one with more RAM without spending much, you should.

Note that my viewpoint is biased - I find Mass Effect 2, Oblivion+BC+OOO, and HL2CM to be much more fun to play than 3dmark.
 
Last edited:

ninja2000

macrumors 6502
Dec 16, 2010
320
54
Just as a quick test I ran BF3 and Shogun 2 on my 2011 6750 1gb and monitored ram use.

BF3 @ 1280x800 medium/low settings with no AA or AF consumes 540mb ram on average!
Shogun 2 DX11 720p benchmark 550mb ram on average.

I think the 512mb is going to hurt if you want to play newer titles at settings the 650m is going to be capable of!
 

manicwinter

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2011
45
0
I heard all these remarks towards VRAM isn't that important before, because with the right benchmark settings there really isn't much of a difference. BUT

Even in 2D every Windows needs VRAM, which means with loads of Windows open the animations get crappy and I can attest to that with my 256MB 330M. I wouldn't buy something below 1GB just for that annoyance.
Had Apple put in 2GB DDR3 RAM it would have shown better results.

Also in 3D res is not the only thing that matters different detail settings have a different memory impact. Many games by default don't let you enable certain settings if you don't have the necessary VRAM. 512MB is todays minimum. In 1-2 years that will be too little for any higher details.
AA settings increase VRAM use. With enough VRAM enabling 8x MSAA costs you 20% performance, with too little it cuts 40% of your frame rate.
Textures at highest level are the cheapest way for good quality with little performance impact if you can store enough in VRAM.

In my opinion most Testing in that regard is not thorough enough and VRAM does matter and if you want anything future proof, 512MB is too little and certainly for a fairly fast 650M. It should be 1GB minimum and given the cheap price and great performance a 2GB DDR3 version should have been the default in the low MBP config. 2GB GDDR5 in the high end.
Apple doesn't do it because they want the difference to be obvious to the most uninformed customer there is, as they have a lot of those. Also 2GB GDDR5 would have taken too much PCB space.
The last generation 560M by comparison was sold with either 1.5GB or 3 GB VRAM. 1.5GB was the minimum and that GPU is equally fast. 512MB on such a fast GPU is ridiculous. 1GB is good, 2GB wouldn't hurt either.

Good summary from another gaming forum:

If you want benchmark performance, the lesser RAM with greater clocks is better.
If you want visual quality, the greater RAM - space for more and/or higher resolution textures - is better.

On a low-power laptop GPU, the benchmark performance is going to suck anyway, so if you can get the one with more RAM without spending much, you should.

Note that my viewpoint is biased - I find Mass Effect 2, Oblivion+BC+OOO, and HL2CM to be much more fun to play than 3dmark.
Thanks for all of the info. I'm thinking RAM is more important than people think as well. I used both the Mac mini with the HD 3000 and the AMD mini with the 6630M on the 27 inch display and the HD 3000 actually handled it better in most cases since it had twice the RAM available (if the reason is not the RAM then Apple's AMD drivers must suck).
 
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