Diff Between 9600m GT 256 vs 9600m GT 512

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Greenhoe, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Greenhoe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #1
    Hi,
    I was wondering what the main difference I would notice with the extra 256v Ram on the higher end Mac Book Pro and when would it actually be used even when I have 4GB of memory in my MBP. Thanks
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    As the 9600 doesn't take memory from the RAM 2GB or 4GB won't make a difference in graphic performance.

    The extra 256MB video RAM might come in handy when large textures/data have to be loaded, might it be with 3d software, motion graphics design or maybe even a game.

    But you can do a forum search for already existing topics on that.
    MRGoogle might come in handy. Or a google search per se.
     
  3. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #3
  4. TK2K macrumors 6502

    TK2K

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    #4
    The time that texture memory becomes useful is when you are getting to larger and larger displays. For example, if you were plugged into an external 30" or a 1920x1200 you would notice a performance difference in full screen renderings. As far as on your laptop screen goes, you won't notice a difference.
     
  5. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #5
    well doing regular stuff you wont notice, but if i was getting a new computer id get the bigger one. Reason for that being snow leopard, since it will use the memory card for better performance, so that would sell me
     
  6. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #6
    Wasn't there an upheaval about the 128bit card? I heard that that a 128bit card can't utilize the full 512MB of vRAM...?

    Was a definitive conclusion ever reached?
     
  7. Hydroxs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    Here is a quote from notebookreview.com

    1.Is a GeForce 8600M-GT 256MB DDR2 better than a GeForce 8600M-GT 512MB DDR2?

    This is a very common train of thought – more video memory must mean better performance. This is not true – the video card itself matters much more than the memory it has.
    In this case, both cards have the same performance. The 8600M-GT DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH POWER to use more than 256MB of memory. It has a limited 128-bit memory bus. Only cards with a 256-bit bus or greater are going to be able to use more than 256MB of memory. It is not worth spending any extra money on a mid-range card like the 8600M-GT with more memory. There is no performance gain to justify the price.
    Why can't it use more memory effectively? Here's a primitive example. An office worker can use a maximum of three computers at a time. If he is given an additional three computers, is he any more productive? No, because he can only use three of them to begin with. The extra three do nothing.
     
  8. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #8
    Yes, I know. That song has been sung many, many times. However, some people still disagreed with it (can't remember why). Was there ever a definitive conclusion? Most people still seem to think that the 8600 with 512MB of vRAM is still better. In fact, some use it as a justification for the 2.53Ghz model.

    Why on earth would Apple make such a stupid decision? Is there any way for SL to correct for the 128bit 'bottleneck'?
     
  9. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #9
    Sweet, good thing i didnt spring for the bigger one when i got mine then:D
     
  10. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #10
    To be fair, you do get a lot more than just the extra vRAM. That said, most of the improvements were over-priced user upgradable parts. I think the whole allure of the 2.53Ghz model is pure laziness.
     
  11. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #11
    ha yah, i actually got my config bc it seemed to be the best for battery and good on performance too. Me and my dad searched around and found that the difference between me getting the 2.4 and 2.8 would be about 10 seconds on the highest of processor load, plus the 2.8 takes more power, more heat and all the other stuff. Wish i woulda got the 7200 rpm though, but i guess the slower hd supposedly takes less energy as well. Wonder how the batt life is if i had a SSD hmmmmmm
     
  12. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #12
    Trust me, you're better off without the 7200rpm HD because the vibration resonates throughout the unibody. Wait until mid-2009 for an SSD because that's when we'll see 250GB versions hit mainstream. I'm interested to know what battery life would be like with an SSD as well...
     
  13. Quu macrumors 68020

    Quu

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #13
    That notebook review comment is quite flawed. It lightly tries to make out that the extra 256MB of Memory is completely incapable of being utilised which isn't so at all.

    The GPU is quite capable of recognising all 512MB and utilising it if it needs to. However what they are trying to say is to run Games at a quality level where it would need to utilise more then 256MB of RAM you would need a faster GPU core to be able to process all those extra effects. And because you the user would not run a game at 10fps just to have every piece of eye candy on max (and utilise that 512MB) it makes the reasoning for purchasing the GPU with the extra RAM pointless.

    HOWEVER - OpenCL & CUDA changes all of this as it will happily use all the RAM available on the card for its processing as the RAM on the cards is much much much faster then the system memory and hundreds of times faster then the Hard Disk that it would be taking data from to process.

    Furthermore games that utilise HDR and other graphical effects often keep the entire scene that is being rendered in memory 2 or 3 or 4 times. This means you need more memory but not more GPU power (As only 1 scene is sampled at any one time to create the overall image).

    End Result: 512 is better if the GPU is exactly the same on the 256 and 512 model and if the ram speed and latency is also the same. If this is not the case then it depends specifically at how you will be using the GPU, in OpenCL tasks, old games, new games or games that require large frame buffers.

    There is no end all definitive answer on this subject but I want to make clear that even with a 128-Bit memory pathway the card is fully capable of recognising and filling all 512MB of Memory.
     
  14. Quu macrumors 68020

    Quu

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #14
    I don't know what your talking about with regards to vibrating through the unibody. The screws that hold the Hard Disk in place have 2mm rubber gaskets on them that absorb all vibration and the disk does not touch any part of the case except for where those rubber gaskets meet the frame. There is no 'vibration' if the Hard Disk has been fitted correctly.
     
  15. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #15
    I figured OpenCL would somehow utilize the full 512MB of vRAM, but will the user notice any perceptible performance improvement in everyday tasks? Do you have any concrete examples for non-tech people such as myself?
     
  16. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #16
    Haha oops, i didnt put on my lil description thing that i have a non-uni- but yah, im not gonna worry bout getting a uni any time soon bc im going to wait till the ssds get bigger and then get one. I no this computer would really scoot with one of those:D Well that and i dont want a new mac til the new generation processors come out and have at least a 500gb ssd, and that will be awhile.....maybe not who knows
     
  17. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #17
    I disagree (I went through two). In the end, I think it really depends on how anal you are when it comes to vibration. In my case, I was able to feel a slight tingle if I gently rested my fingertips on the keys (not electrical). FYI, I was using a hitachi 7200.
     
  18. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #18
    I have no doubt that SSDs will reach 500GB within a year or two - whether or not they will be affordable is an entirely different question...
     
  19. Quu macrumors 68020

    Quu

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #19
    You can use OpenCL for video transcoding for example from a DVD to iPod in 1/5th the time that it would take to do the same action on a current generation Intel CPU.

    I would say that example is quite consumer orientated. I've also seen code examples from my colleagues where they have used GPGPU's to process RAID arrays in higher end desktop systems such as those found in the Mac Pro which only currently utilise Software RAID by offloading that to the GPU they were able to maximise raid building times and online capacity expansion. This isn't Consumer but its not scientific either.

    OpenCL has the capability of expanding any task that currently takes a very long time. I would also say that in the future you may see Final Cut and Motion and other Pro apps (Aperture) using OpenCL features where Video Memory will become important when you have lots of these apps running at the same time.

    I've also had two 7,200RPM drives in my MacBook Pro and I've not had any vibrations at all. And I would notice. I believe whoever fitted them in your Laptop did it wrong. Be that Apple or 3rd party. Mine were a 100GB Seagate and a current 320GB Western Digital (Which has Anti-Vibration technology but still hits 70MB/ps reads)
     
  20. Bearxor macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    #20
    The 9600/8600 can utilize more than 256mb of ram. The problem is in diminishing returns. The 8600/9600 simply aren't powerful enough processors to be able to run high resolution graphics at settings that would allow it to access all 512mb of ram.

    It's just like regular ram. There's a point in your useage where adding more memory just doesn't do anything for you. For most people right now, that's 2gb. I can't tells difference in my machine with 2gb or 4gb while doing basic tasks with it, which is the vast majority of the user base. At some point, I just don't care if it takes 3 seconds to open Safari or 6. Now, if I have my WinXP virtual machine going and fcp open in the background, then yes, I will notice the difference between 2gb and 4gb, but let's face it, that's not normal usage.

    It's the same thing for graphics cards and memory. The CPU is far more important than the Amount of memory it has (to an extent). I would take a 128mv GF9800 over a 512mb GF9500 any day. At some point, the return just isn't worth the extra memory.

    The 8600/9600 can do playable frame rates in most games at 1440x900 at med-high setting AT BEST. That's not counting really intensive games like crysis. Do you think the 9600 is going to be able to push 3D @ 1920x1200? If you do, you're kidding yourself.

    Now, if you're using a specific application that you know benefits greatly from more VRAM, then by all means shell out for the 512mb version. But if the only reason you're eyeing the 2499 mbp is the extra VRAM, drop it and just pick up the base model. Heck, not even the CPUs are significantly different in speed.
     
  21. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #21
    honestly, i prefer to leave the gaming to things that are made for gaming-(cough, PS3, Xbox, not laptops) And if anyone is so hardcore about video, games, 3D, HD what ever, then get a macpro and get you that 1.5 gb vid card:p
     
  22. theNEOone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #22
    There was a complete misinterpretation of the amount of ram that the 128bit card could use. It can, and always has been able to, utilize 512mb of ram.

    The issue is that you probably won't see any performance increase going from 256 to 512....but again, this has NOTHING to do with the card's ability to utilize/see/read/write on 512mb.


    =|
     
  23. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008

Share This Page