Can a 512mb GT 650m Graphics Card Power a 1680X1050 Resolution?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DavidLeigh, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. DavidLeigh macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2012
    This is going to be a short and to-the-point question. I know the GT 650m is a good card but i'm not sure about the 512 mb of memory. I also know 512 mb is better for lower resolutions. I'm not sure if 1680X1050 is considered high resolution, but will the the 512 mb grahics card have trouble powering it?

  2. shorty66 macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2012
    Sure otherwise apple wouldn't put this in their macbooks ;)
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    yup, I'm driving a 24" apple cinema display with it right now
  4. inlinevolvo macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2012
    No trouble at all. There could be some argument to having 2gb on the retina model, but you will have zero issues.
  5. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Well the frame buffer is not a problem. So yeah it definitely can drive it.
    You can drive a lot more with just 256mb.

    The problem comes in when you play games and loads of textures need to be in the VRAM or when you have many windows open where each wants a bit of VRAM visible or not.
  6. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It'll be fine for everything but games.

    Somebody said something about "multiple windows needing VRAM" or something - which doesn't make sense. There's really nothing in a 2D environment that entails more than 30MB of video RAM, even in the most intensive of multitasking scenarios.

    Besides, individual windows don't take up vRAM - it's a system process that handles drawing the windows. I think it was either SystemUIServer or WindowServer.
  7. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    My 10 year old computer can drive it, so you can be sure the latest GPU [even if not the highest end] can drive it.
  8. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    The window data does and quite a bit at that.
    Here is something from Windows.,7644.html
    OSX doesn't work any way fundamentally different.
    If you only have only 4-5 windows of standard apps open you probably aren't too far off 30MB. A single Photoshop Window will suck more already.

    A drawing process is a CPU process it is only a process that delegates work to the GPU. The GPU later does the actual work and needs the necessary working data in VRAM for whatever it is tasked with.

    The times when all the VRAM held was the frame buffer has been a long time past. It is still called frame buffer sometimes although that isn't really appropriate anymore.
  9. ivoruest macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2010
    Long story short, it will. Pretty good actually.
  10. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Have people forgotten many CRT monitors from 10+ years ago used to have resolutions like 1280x1024 and 1600x1200? Back then 64MB/128MB video cards were considered good.
  11. DavidLeigh thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2012
    But what about gaming then? I'm a very light gamer myself. I have a PS3 and even then i haven't gamed for months. If i do game on the Mac it will be for non-graphically intensive RTS games. Anything else like FPS i will get for my PS3 as it's unlikely i will prefer a 15 inch screen. But i do want to know my options though.
  12. iLikeTurtles! macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2012
    my 2011 macbook had a 256mb card and it dirves an anti glare high res display

  13. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    Depends on what you want to do. Obviously 2d use should be fine. Some games may struggle with only 512MB though
  14. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
  15. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    To put it simply 512MB is currently enough on "normal" resolutions you will get good fps.
    More VRAM primarily helps quality. The gaming engine will automatically adapt itself to the lower available VRAM and it will render frames usually almost the same speed. Those frames will tend to offer lower quality, more popping up textures and so on. In many games the available quality settings will be limited based on how much VRAM there is.
    512MB is currently about to become the minimum any game expects. It is still being optimized for while the support for 256mb is being removed from games. They still run but very poorly.
    More VRAM is especially useful in games with out door levels and great visibility. Flight Sim., BF3. CoD is more streaming and less VRAM dependent.

    For speed (fps) alone it doesn't matter unless you drive high resolutions. High being at least full hd but it really hurts above that.
    For quality more VRAM is always better and I would say 1GB should be minimum on a GPU as fast as the 650m. 2GB should be and is the most often used option with that GPU.
    Apple is very skimpy with VRAM because they don't think it matters in normal OSX use, they don't care about gaming and it saves space on the logic board. 2GB GDDR5 are actually quite cheap.
    I also think they try to make the low end version look deliberately unappealing. Otherwise they really should have put 2GB on the high end and 1GB at the low end.
    The 650M replaced a GPU the 560M which was slightly slower and game standard with either 1536 or twice that in VRAM. There is enough processing power to render a detailed graphics but it can only use shaders if there is no data to work with. Nothing is cheaper than high def textures in speed vs. quality.
  16. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
  17. HarryKNN21, Aug 18, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012

    HarryKNN21 macrumors regular

    May 25, 2012
    Hong Kong
    I am running games on the 1GB VRAM version, and even at 1080p 40 FPS is easily possible, at 1440 x 900 I saw 70 FPS. However, depends on the game you are running, if you are playing heavy motion games like Need for Speed, you better set the graphic quality at medium to low to get the highest frame rate.

    Besides VRAM, the amount of available system memory is important as well. You will never run a game smoothly with less then 4GB of available system memory, no matter what kind of display card you machine is on. I just upgraded my new machine to 16GB RAM, and I am delighted to say most games I play don't lag anymore, although I don't see a big bump on FPS during HD gaming.

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