Macbook Pro graphics (256 vs 512MB)


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 24, 2007
A friend of mine was going to purchase a new MacBook Pro and was stuck between the 2.4ghz/256MB 8600M GT versus the 2.5ghz and 512MB 8600M GT.

They aren't likely to be using it primarily for games, but they would certainly like to be able to play upcoming games like Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 smoothly without low settings.

What sort of a difference would there be between the models, and is it worth the $500 it would cost?

Keep in mind that you can't upgrade the card later (to my understanding) and both models come with 2GB of RAM.


macrumors member
Sep 1, 2008
If gaming isn't really a big concern, the 256MB would do just fine. But if they have the extra $500 to spend, why not go for it just for the sake of "future-proofing" a little bit. It's all about what they feel comfortable spending for their specific needs.


macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
With its 128 bit memory bus, MBP's graphics card won't even be able to efficiently utilize extra 256 MBs. Totally not worth 500$


macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
Isla Nublar
I would go with 512 if theres gaming involved. In my personal experience where me and a co worker who have the same specs except for the graphics card (and he had 2.4 vs 2.5ghz) played the same games (in windows) on the machine there was a noticable difference in several titles.

Everyone tries to tell me I'm wrong and points me to the barefeats link but honestly dont believe everything you read online. Its better to try for yourself. I did and saw a difference, and the difference was big enough my coworker sold his machine and bought the same one you see in my sig.


macrumors 68020
Jan 22, 2008
Bay Area
Graphics card memory has been shown not to be important. What's important is the actual graphics card itself. And the MBP's isn't that great. Usable, but don't expect to play Crysis on max settings.