Macbook Pro graphics

macgeek77

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 24, 2006
153
0
I needed some help deciding between the two 15" model Macbook Pros. I feel that for most of my interests, the baseline Macbook Pro would be just fine. However, I do feel that I will want to play games on the Windows side. THe games I would play would be those found on PS2 and XBox 360. I would only play games from time to time, but I want really good graphics (detail, no skipping, etc). Do I need the upgraded graphics card? If possible, i want to save money. Thanks!
 

kumbaya

macrumors regular
Jan 12, 2005
118
0
when i had a look at most of the newest games for Windows, i found that they almost invariably recommended have 256MB of VRAM to run well.

That by itself made my own mind up and I went for the top level MacBook Pro.
 

iCeFuSiOn

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2007
511
0
Yes, but is it really worth it? I was speaking to an Apple Reseller who I've known now for years about the difference between the base 15.4" MacBook Pro and the high-end 15.4" MacBook Pro, and in Canada the price difference for 40GB more hard disk space, a 200MHz processor bump and 128MB more VRAM for the 8600M-GT graphics card really doesn't seem all that worth it in a lot of ways.

I'm still kind of on the fence myself regarding this however because I too am looking to purchase a MacBook Pro within the next month or so, and with the nature of Apple notebooks they tend to last longer as far as value and performance wise, so if you're going to get something you should go with the most powerful option that you are comfortable with, but at the same time keeping cost in mind (unless of course cost is not an option).
 

booksacool1

macrumors 6502
Oct 17, 2004
293
1
Australia
when i had a look at most of the newest games for Windows, i found that they almost invariably recommended have 256MB of VRAM to run well.

That by itself made my own mind up and I went for the top level MacBook Pro.
Good advice. 128mb is so 2004. Even with turbocache in windows, you'll still run short in every modern game. I'd go as far to say that 256 still isn't enough, although the turbocache does well to balance that.

Choose the 256mb model. Both models may post similar 3dmark05/06 scores, but the 128mb model will run into problems sooner with high quality textures/high resolutions.
 

kumbaya

macrumors regular
Jan 12, 2005
118
0
There seems to be a difference in performance under Mac OSX and under Windows XP:

From Barefeats themselves:

PC GAMING vs Mac GAMING?We installed a copy of Prey under both Mac OS X and Windows XP Pro. In our first test, we ran at 960x600 in windowed mode, max quality settings, 4X FSAA, 4X anisotropic filtering. Under Mac OS, the 17" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz scored 37fps. Under Windows XP Pro, it scored 73fps. Hmmm.

And for the killer:

More "VRAM Wars" -- 15" MacBook Pro 2.2GHz (128M VRAM) versus 2.4GHz (256M VRAM).

Under Windows XP Pro, I ran 3DMark06 at 1440x900, 4X FSAA, 4X Anisotropic Filtering:
SM2.0 Gaming
128M = 641 rating
256M = 1279 rating (or 100% faster)

HDR/SM3.0 Gaming
128M = 554 rating
256M = 1063 rating (or 92% faster)

Under Windows XP Pro, I ran Prey 1.3 at 1440x900, 4X FSAA, 4X Anisotropic Filtering:
128M = 31 fps
256M = 46 fps (or 48% faster)

There is a suggestion that the Windows drivers written by nVidia are superior to the Mac OSX drivers written by Apple, thus the VRAM difference simply doesn't show up for OSX games, but does when running games under XP, as the OP intends to do. This is separate to the difference in clocking of the video card under the two OSes.

:):apple:
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
6,384
3,268
Florida Resident
So maybe Apple will update the video drivers for OS X or maybe not. They may not even know there is a problem or perhaps the inhouse talent isn't savy enough to improve the drivers further.

I am glad with Windows, the extra memory is worth it.