Any noticeable difference with 256mb or 512mb in video card of last generation MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by matthewcap, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. matthewcap macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Im about to purchase a last generation MBP, and I was just wondering if the 512mb videocard is worth the extra 200$ over the 256mb of Nvidia 8600 GT.
  2. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    That depends. What will you be doing with it? Unless it's hardcore gaming, CAD or maybe FCP or CS4, probably not.

    OTOH, graphics requirements for new programs steadily increase. My g5 powermac had a 64mb 9600 AGP card in it, and that wasn't even the low end card at the time. If you plan on keeping the machine for a while the 512 might make it a little more, dare I say it, 'future proof'.

    And everyone's speculating that 10.6 will shuffle off more tasks to the GPU, and software written for it will take advantage of it, it may be to your advantage.

    In short, today the answer is likely 'no'. Tomorrow the answer may very well be 'maybe'.:)
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Likely it will make a difference in you future apps.

    When people kept saying 64 or 128 we'd tell them the card with the most video RAM, now even the 128 likely won't power some of the new apps.

    If you plan on keeping the machine 2-3 years or beyond the Apple Care period. the 256MB video memory may be as welcome as a 64MB GPU card by the end of the period, and the 512MB memory might just be considered low end of useful.

    With some of the Snow Leopard features making the larger card more attractive, it might be worth it.
  4. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    Not sure if this applies or not, but as Snow Leopard 10.6 will be hitting on the GPU for a lot of processing that is done on the main processor in 10.5, will the VRAM come into play in that process? If the answer is yes, then you probably would want all the VRAM you could get. Otherwise, with a very few application-specific exceptions, you won't find a bit of difference running most apps (including Photoshop) under 10.5 today. 3-D rendering applications (and probably games) are the main exception.

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