Do you need 512MB VRAM or is 256MB enough? Test results.

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,168
1,212
NYC
Interesting results with X-Plane.

For some reason my GTX285 @ 2560x1600 suffers a bit when I turn it up yet the results show pretty good frame rates on the GT330M. Looks like I need to inspect my hardware.

I do wish to point out that the 15" i5 2.53GHz model you have listed in your charts only have 256MB VRAM; only the 15" i7 model has the 512MB VRAM configuration. (Copy and paste error?)
 

rawd

macrumors regular
Aug 20, 2008
186
0
I've read your site a few times in the past. Like it alot, thx for the post
 

CTechKid

macrumors regular
Sep 9, 2008
127
0
I do wish to point out that the 15" i5 2.53GHz model you have listed in your charts only have 256MB VRAM; only the 15" i7 model has the 512MB VRAM configuration. (Copy and paste error?)
It's a 17" as listed in the legend.

LEGEND of GRAPHS (ORANGE bar means SLOWEST)
MBP i7 2.66 (512MV) = 15" MacBook Pro Core i7 2.66GHz with GeForce GT 330M (512MB VRAM)
MBP i5 2.53 (512MV) = 17" MacBook Pro Core i5 2.53GHz with GeForce GT 330M (512MB VRAM)
MBP i5 2.53 (256MV) = 15" MacBook Pro Core i5 2.53GHz with GeForce GT 330M (256MB VRAM)
 

diamond.g

macrumors 603
Mar 20, 2007
6,361
324
Virginia
I wonder if you can turn off settings while keeping the resolution up to see what is the biggest hit (my guess is AA). Too bad none of the test allow you to see how much VRAM you are actually using.
 

MBHockey

macrumors 68040
Oct 4, 2003
3,932
169
New York
I had a feeling this was the case.

I went with the i7 for the CPU increase. I don't think I'll ever use the extra 256 vram. I would have gladly paid $100 less for an i7/256 vram config. :\
 

DesmoPilot

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2008
1,167
25
Interesting; but keep in mind the games tested are decently old. Back when those games were launched, 256MB was pretty much high-end. Would be interesting to see you test 256 vs 512 on newer games under bootcamp to really give the 330M a workout (Bad Company 2 etc).
 

iamrawr

macrumors 6502
Apr 16, 2010
263
0
New Jersey
Interesting; but keep in mind the games tested are decently old. Back when those games were launched, 256MB was pretty much high-end. Would be interesting to see you test 256 vs 512 on newer games under bootcamp to really give the 330M a workout (Bad Company 2 etc).
:rolleyes: good point actually... i second that
 

iketeru

macrumors member
Jul 31, 2007
83
15
gaming would obviously benefit from more vram, but anyone know how it affects stuff like photoshop, final cut, etc? my initial guess is that adding more system RAM would be more beneficial. I couldn't find any clear-cut answers with benchmarks (or my googling must be off today).
 

puercaeli

macrumors regular
May 10, 2008
233
2
Glad I got top end with 512MB

Not sure if X-Plane and FS X behaviours similarly but it seems like at high res set up(which is more likely with flight sim) 512MB kicks the 256MB ass. Thank you for the post! :D
 

spaceballl

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2003
2,860
242
San Francisco, CA
I've noticed that most of the Barefeats benchmarks run with 4x AA turned on. It is good for eye candy, but I don't think most gamers would turn that on, unless they were running some better desktop-quality hardware.
 

DesmoPilot

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2008
1,167
25
I've noticed that most of the Barefeats benchmarks run with 4x AA turned on. It is good for eye candy, but I don't think most gamers would turn that on, unless they were running some better desktop-quality hardware.
He's probably aware of that; but why not enable the 4x AA and stress the card?
 

spaceballl

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2003
2,860
242
San Francisco, CA
He's probably aware of that; but why not enable the 4x AA and stress the card?
I agree for the purpose of this test, finding the 256MB breaking point, it's definitely a good idea, but for his general gaming benchmarks I'm not a fan of doing it this way.

Don't get me wrong. I love the site, and I visit it daily :D.
 

DesmoPilot

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2008
1,167
25
I agree for the purpose of this test, finding the 256MB breaking point, it's definitely a good idea, but for his general gaming benchmarks I'm not a fan of doing it this way.

Don't get me wrong. I love the site, and I visit it daily :D.
Well he's not really finding the "breaking point" per se; he's testing using basically ancient games or games based off of ancient engine's.
 

barefeats

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 6, 2000
1,055
17
I'll gladly use newer games for testing as long as there is a way to do "automatic" benchmarking that's repeatable and delivers average frame rate. All suggestions and guidance welcome.

What do you think of Bioshock and Starcraft II? Any auto-benchmarking or timedemo for those two?

I normally don't test with 4X AA at high resolutions (1920x1200 and 2560x1600), but it was the only way to "break" the 256MB VRAM model. Turn off AA and it matches the numbers of the 512MB models.
 

DesmoPilot

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2008
1,167
25
I'll gladly use newer games for testing as long as there is a way to do "automatic" benchmarking that's repeatable and delivers average frame rate. All suggestions and guidance welcome.

What do you think of Bioshock and Starcraft II? Any auto-benchmarking or timedemo for those two?

I normally don't test with 4X AA at high resolutions (1920x1200 and 2560x1600), but it was the only way to "break" the 256MB VRAM model. Turn off AA and it matches the numbers of the 512MB models.
BioShock's decently old to; but if you want to run it why not. Could you run some tests in Bootcamp? Can't speak for SC2, but I'm fairly certain that Bad Company 2 has a repeatable benchmark or a way to make your own.

Here's a list off the top of my head, feel free to add to it:
Bad Company 2
Starcraft 2
Fallout 3
Left 4 Dead 1 or 2
 

MBHockey

macrumors 68040
Oct 4, 2003
3,932
169
New York
BioShock's decently old to; but if you want to run it why not. Could you run some tests in Bootcamp? Can't speak for SC2, but I'm fairly certain that Bad Company 2 has a repeatable benchmark or a way to make your own.

Here's a list off the top of my head, feel free to add to it:
Bad Company 2
Starcraft 2
Fallout 3
Left 4 Dead 1 or 2
Yeah i'm really curious about 256 vs 512 on Starcraft 2 with the graphics settings on Ultra
 
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