How bad is this Base 15in with 256 video card?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by alexxk, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. alexxk macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2010
    I don't want to spend over 2.000 dollares on the high end 15 cause I can do a lot with 400 bucks....

    Now.... 6490M with 256MB??? How bad is that? I just think the difference between base and high end in terms of graphics card is HUGE....

    I do some light video and photo editing... Games? Not sure... I own an Xbox 360 so I don't think I need a mac to play games or maybe just games that dont make it to the 360..
  2. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    If you're not really a gamer, the base 15" MBP will suit you nicely.
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    If you don't play games, then it's nothing to worry about. It's certainly not bad, but it's not high end either. Low end 15" would be perfect.
  4. axu539 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2010
    How well would the low end 15" handle Rhino, CAD, Sketchup, and Maya, etc? My girlfriend is looking to buy a new MacBook Pro too, and she doesn't want to go all out like I did with the high end 15". Would the low end GPU be able to handle those things ok?
  5. syan48306 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 15, 2010
    It IS a dedicated video card. It just wont run games like Crysis on a decent setting. It'll be able to handle any non game application you throw at it.
  6. alexxk thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2010
    I see. Now, is this video card better than the previous nvidia base version??
  7. vipergts2207 macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2009
    Columbus, OH
  8. noripwr macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2011
    I'm stuck with this dilemma too. I have a mid-year 08 MBP 13'' and it's really slow compared to the rest of the folks these days, so I would like to upgrade and take advantage of ThunderBolt for backups and transfers [when devices are available of course].

    I do a bit of aperture here and there but mostly video editing/encodes. Of course I play games now and then too.

    Is the base 15'' enough for medium setting WoW and high-setting EvE Online? E.g., the high lvl shader settings during character creation in EvE chugs on my MBP so I would like that to be smooth. Otherwise I don't care much for COD or Crysis and I know those are more demanding than WoW or Eve.

    Also I'm leaning towards the 15'' because I want to get the High-res screen option (1650 x 1050). Any suggestion guys?

    Edit: forget to mention I have the nVidia 9400M on my mbp so I'm not sure how that compares to the 320M, 3000HD, or the base 15'' gpu.
  9. djasterix macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2010
    Paradise City
    Those things are handled very well on last gen 15" with 330m GPU's, so I think it would be fine.
  10. karohan macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    I think the higher version is definitely worth it. The lower sub-2000 version with the 6490 is even worse than a 330m. If you're looking to save 400 bucks but are willing to shell out 1800 or so for this Macbook Pro, realize that there are stupidly cheap PCs out there with better graphics cards than a 6490M. I understand the Apple experience might be better, but after shelling out that kind of money, an extra 400 to drastically improve that experience is worth it I think.

    I have the mid-2010 revision and there is a world of difference between the Intel and Nvidia. The 6490 is maybe only twice as good as the Intel.
  11. Kalach macrumors member


    Jan 11, 2011
    I don't know about the first three apps but i do know maya since i do a lot of 3d work on it and apps like after effects. And i can tell you that you need a monster of a graphics card to pull off 3d modelling and rendering smoothly! So you'll need the higher end 15" for that.
  12. evren, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    evren macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2007
    Belfast (UK)
    AMD 6490 256MB in base 15" is worse than Nvidia 330m 256MB in previous generation 15". I geniunely cannot see the logic behind this strange "upgrade" :mad:

    First of all is there really much difference between AMD 6490 and Intel HD3000 that'll make the graphics switching any meaningful?

    And secondly why didn't Apple put something like AMD 6730 into base 15"? It would make much much more sense. Even leaving 330m in the base model rather than downgrading it with AMD 6490 would be better than this.

    Furthermore, there is no point in using the faster and more expensive GDDR5 with a slow GPU like 6490.

    I have been waiting for 3 months since my laptop died to make the PC to Mac switch (was planning 15" base) but I cannot justify spending all that money for a machine with an AMD 6490 in it :( And I cannot really pay an extra £300 for the high 15". I was planning to play Starcraft 2 on my new laptop but base 15" will no way be able to handle it even at medium settings.

    I know people will flame with comments like "if you don't like it, don't buy it" but I just wanted to to hear what anybody else thinks. I really love apple design a lot and I am aware an average consumer will not be aware of any of these and happily buy this laptop regardless. But for me, such specs and design decisions in a PRO labelled product does not make sense and justify the price tag (I'm only talking about base 15" model here btw).
  13. prism macrumors 6502a

    Dec 6, 2006
    I think it makes a lot of sense, at least marketing sense. The idea is to cripple a machine just enough to incite you to go for the more expensive machine. It is my conclusion that if you really want to use the current technology to its fullest, you are going to have to spend close to 3 grand because you will need to add the higher end GPU and an SSD and whilst you are at it, it would be a pity not to throw in a hires screen with AG. A quad core without SSD is a crippled machine.

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