Are the 1GB graphics really worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by eddkahn, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. eddkahn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    #1
    Ive decided to go for a 2011 15" MBP

    Most people seem to go for the higher end version but I only play the occasional old PS2 game (well the PC version of course) and anything modern will be played on my Xbox

    I do some video editing but nothing TOO intensive.
    Also if I were to get the 256MB version then I'll probably put a SSD in.

    In real world usage would the better graphics/.2ghz speed bump make a difference? Or should I go for the lower end with an SSD?

    Thanks.
     
  2. oiuh151 macrumors 6502

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    May 18, 2011
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #3
    I'll answer your question with another question. If you answer is yes, then mine is too.

    Do you game a lot? Do you want to be able to play relatively recent game for the next few years? Do you do CAD, or 3D animation?
     
  4. eddkahn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    #4
    Nope, to be fair the only games I play on my Xbox are the latest FIFA and occasionally either cod or gears of war 2.

    Sometimes I just fondly remember the old PS2 games and have an urge to play them!

    256mb version it is then!

    Thanks!
     
  5. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #5
    Glad I could be of help! Happy purchase, looking forward to getting my own(my second one) I'll buy it right before I graduate from Uni, so I can use the educational discount.
     
  6. eddkahn thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 8, 2011
    #6
    Yeah I waited until I got my results to buy one so I can use a uni discount!
     
  7. jgz macrumors regular

    jgz

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    Mar 4, 2011
    Location:
    suedtirol.italy
    #7
    what I never understood, is, how the GPU is improving the speed, when doing CAD or 3D rendering? Isnt it so, that the main power in this case comes from the processor? I read, that GPU comes in action only while zooming, moving etc some 3D models, is that right?
     
  8. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #8
    If you've ever done any large assemblies in CAD, the more complicated the assemblies is, the more calculations a GPU has to do to display it correctly onto the screen, CAD is very GPU dependant in that regard. The ability to move a 3D object every way you want while zooming and panning is very demanding. The computer I use at work uses an older nVidia Quadro that is rather powerful, yet it still struggles rendering the polygons correctly when moving a large assembly around.

    You ARE right about the rendering part though, that is solely CPU dependent.
     
  9. jgz macrumors regular

    jgz

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    suedtirol.italy
    #9
    Quadro & FirePro (or how the ATI pendant is called) are especially designed for helping the cpu for such things, if I remember well, isnt it? But "normal" GPU's (especially ATI, which doesnt support CUDA) are not really helpful doing that stuff...... and so for CAD the GPU's built in the mbp's... If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me :D

    Well, I'm an architecture student, which uses CAD a lot. 3D Modelling in my workflow is probably not so advanced - im still learning and optimizing. Most of the time Im drafting in 2D. I model my building in 3d for having a base, but detailing and making floorplans, sections etc I do all in 2D for having a maximum of control in terms of colors and all the layout stuff..... So probably for MY work, a proper GPU (QUadro etc) would fore sure be a benefit regarding rendering.... But I think, that it is not badly needed.....
     
  10. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

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    Jul 16, 2002
    #10
    I have the low end 15" (2011) and it's plenty fast. Based on the benchmarks I did not think it was cost effective to spend the extra $ for the upgraded version. I've made a few videos, used Motion (which is GPU intensive), and not had any real issues. I'm purely a hobbyist though. If I were a pro it probably would be worth it to get the fastest spec machine. But be assured the low end 15" is quite capable and faster than the high end 2010 model.
     
  11. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #11
    A major part of the total sum of work done by the computer in 3D graphics applications IS re-drawing models; with straight 3D rendering, almost all the work falls on the GPU.

    CAD is a bit more involved, where you may be bending, breaking apart objects, adding or removing detail and so on. The CPU will process that bit and create the new object, then the GPU is responsible for drawing it, so speeding up that link in the chain will lead to faster screen updates - up to a point of course, either where you hit another bottleneck in your system or where the objects being rendered aren't complex enough to bottleneck anything, allowing your computer to draw at the screen update rate.

    Even today's fastest multi-core CPUs would choke by just doing some relatively simple textured 3D graphics on a 27" Apple Cinema Display, so the GPU is absolutely pulling a really heavy load in these types of apps.
     
  12. fel10 macrumors 68000

    fel10

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    Location:
    Woodstock, GA USA
    #12
    If u are going to do some serious gaming, yes.
     
  13. DWBurke811 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 10, 2011
    Location:
    Boca Raton, FL
    #13
    Did you read any of the thread, like where at multiple times he said he wasn't going to Play any demanding games?

    Get the base 15", and a nice aftermarket SSD.
     
  14. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #14
    2D work in AutoCAD(I think that's what you architects use?) isn't all that demanding on a computer unless you're talking about a 3D wireframe drawing.

    I'm taking actual large assemblies, with over 200+ 3D parts. Everytime you make a change, be it orientation using the mouse to move around the model, holes, extrustions, anything, the GPU has to redraw the whole thing frame by frame as you move around. That's very GPU intensive. Sure the Quadro is Cuda enabled, but that only truly helps when doing finite element analysis or calculating mates and such.

    I still stand by my statement that 3D CAD work is very GPU dependent.
     

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