Considering MBP (non-retina) 2.3GHz i7 - will GT 650M (512MB) bottleneck performance?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by phased, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. phased macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #1
    so I was looking at the rMBP for a good while but am now looking closely at a refurb version of the above - stock 15" MBP, june 2012 model (current?).

    the laptop is for my sister - an architecture student - who will be using for adobe standard suite (Ps, Ai, Id) and some modelling (archicad, sketchup).

    i plan to replace the HDD with an SSD and install 16GB of RAM myself :D

    my only hesitation is the graphics card - NVIDIA geforce GT 650M - as it only has 512MB of memory, instead of the 1GB the other MBP / rMBP's have.

    will this prove to be a bit of a performance bottleneck?

    (we won't opt for the 2.6GHz MBP, which does have the 1GB, as at its cost we'd prefer a rMBP.)
     
  2. *Fanboy macrumors newbie

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  3. Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

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    #3
    Technically it will be fine, buy psychologically...

    Well thats a whole nother matter.

    Good luck always having to "wonder" what could have been...

    Im going through this trauma myself right now..
     
  4. *Fanboy macrumors newbie

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    #4

    Still regret not waiting a month for the 13 inch retina:(
     
  5. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    Rialto, CA
    #5
    I have the 650M with 512VRAM....you won't be missing the other 512MB of VRAM, especially if you aren't getting the Hi-Res screen. I can play ANYTHING I want on atleast HIGH settings. 2.3 Ghz i7 and 650M is already a monster combo.

    Too much emphasis these days on VRAM. Although important, you could give a 9400M 10GB of VRAM and it won't change the fact that it's much slower.
     
  6. Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

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    #6
    I'd love to hear more re-asuring comments such as these.
     
  7. phased thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #7
    Sorry, I should have clarified that. Stock internals, but it will have a hi-res (matte) screen. How much of a difference might that make?

    Cheers.
     
  8. TechZeke, Feb 6, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013

    TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    #8
    Not much, you are going to be losing some performance either way just because it's a higher resolution. The Hi-Res only 1680x1050, not 1920x1080. You won't see a noticeable difference with the 1GB, even if you are running a 27in Monitor at 2560x1440. Overall, from my experience, you won't be missing the extra VRAM, people really exaggerate it's need on this forum.(especially considering the extra cost you must take to get it that VRAM) If the GPU is fast, the GPU is fast.
     
  9. Shadow%20Mac macrumors 6502

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    California
    #9
    It wont bottleneck the performance any more than the 5400 RPM hard drive.

    I vote for the rMBP :D
     
  10. phased thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #10
    I'll be swapping out the HDD with an SSD
     
  11. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #11
    There was a time not too long ago most laptops got by with 16MB of VRAM.

    You will not be held back at all by the amount of VRAM the GT650 has.
     
  12. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #12
    It depends on the usage. If you want to run super-demanding games at full settings, then it might be a problem. For modelling, you won't notice any difference at all. Modelling usually doesn't involve lots of textures nor and the rendering algorithms such programs use are often very rudimentary, so it is rather light on VRAM.
     
  13. phased thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    Well, there you go. No games but reasonably heavy usage of Photoshop / Illustator / Archicad / Sketchup - things I'd always figured to be graphics intensive.
     
  14. leman macrumors 604

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    #14
    Something that works with graphics is not automatically 'graphics intensive' (meaning, taxing the GPU). And if something is graphics intensive, it does not mean that it will require lots of VRAM - for instance, I can write you an OpenGL program which will bring any GPU to its knees while using virtually no VRAM.

    Image editing software do almost everything on the CPU side of things. Photoshop etc. have some GPU acceleration built-in for effect computations, but VRAM is of secondary concern there. As for 3D modelling - it depends on what you do. Modelling usually involves lots of geometry and not that many textures. If you do really heavy modelling, you want a professional GPU (like the quadro series), because they have optimised hardware/drivers for modelling use. A modern gaming GPU, even a slower one (like the 650M) won't have any problems with light/medium modelling work.
     
  15. jvpython macrumors 6502

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    New Zealand
    #15
    I have the 2.3GHz 2012 MPB with an SSD and 16GB of RAM. I use it mainly for software development but I occasionally play games in bootcamp too. It's been perfectly fine so far. There was a little issue in Far Cry 3 due to the limited VRAM but apart from that I've been very happy with it. And I also connect my MPB to my 1080p TV and the performance is still amazing. Also note that the base 27" iMac only has 512MB VRAM to and I haven't heard any complaints even with the massive 2560*1440 res. Hope that helps as I was in a similar situation when I was deciding wether or not to buy it.
     
  16. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    #16
    Like I said, too much emphasis these days on VRAM. PC manufacturers are the worse. They will sit there and give a GT 620M or GT 640M 2GB of VRAM, making the public think that VRAM determines the speed of a GPU.
     
  17. Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

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    #17
    This post made me feel incredible!
     
  18. phased thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #18
    thanks heaps, guys. we've placed the order!

    sure, one part of me might regret not getting the rMBP (especially come july) but there's something just as sweet in having apple's last (probably) anti-glare screen. they're beautiful in their own right - and sans reflections.
     

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