MBP 256MB graphics v. 512MB

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macdot, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. macdot macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2005
    I'm looking to get a MBP for some light video editing... how noticeable will the upgrade to 512MB graphics be? I know there is also a processor bump and such, but mainly, the graphics would be the only reason I'm pony up for the more expensive 15".
  2. Essjay macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    From what Ive read the 256 -> 512 jump wont result in much of a speed jump because the 9600 is a 128 bit processor and cannot utilize much more than 256 MB of dedicated memory. I think this is correct but you may want to double check...
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    not correct, that wont make any difference, the GPU can address all the memory that is made available to it (in this case).

    OP i dont think you would notice ANY difference. tests have shown that the difference between 256mb and 512mb in games is somewhere around 5%-10% increases. to me it seems like a waste, but it may be worth it to you.

    what programs will you be running? will the programs you run even take advantage of the GPU at all??
  4. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2008
    It may make more of a difference in Snow Leopard when the gpu will be used more, but now its only going to affect those who run their gpu full bore alot.
  5. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    If you need the 512 graphics card then you'll know.
  6. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City
    Pretty sure there's a "Murphy's Law" for this.

    If you buy the 512 meg you will never fully use it and the 256 would work...

    If you buy the 256 meg you find out you need the 512 verions :)

    Good Luck with that decision!
  7. cg165 macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2008
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    That's incorrect (for games). It isn't just 256 to 512. One is sharing the computers memory (nvidia 9400m) and the 9600m gt is using 512mb dedicated memory. For gaming there will be a big difference but for everything else not so much. The 9400 is a great card actually and if you aren't playing games and don't need it, then you can live without the 9600.
  8. Hydroxs macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2008
    Even if games, the different it not that much. Around 1-2%
  9. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    sorry, but for gaming, there won't be a big difference if any at all....there are already a bunch of threads about 256 vs. 512. read up on it, same to the OP.
  10. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Might also come in handy if you plan to drive a large external display
  11. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    we arent talking about the difference between 9400 and 9600! we are talking about the difference between 256mb and 512mb.. (if we WERE talking about 9400 vs 9600 then the difference would be massive)
  12. simonpickard macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2009
    Look.. If you're using more than 256MB of texture memory for anything be it games, The OS, 3D Apps, other apps, etc, and you only have 256MB of ram then you'll notice a HUGE hit as the gfx card will have to offload to system ram.

    If you have 512MB of ram the chances of this happening are of course greatly reduced.

    If you're not using close to 256MB of ram there will be no difference between a 256 and 512MB card.

  13. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    for playing crysis or editing 1080p video you might see a difference

    for playing a less demanding game or editing 720p or below video there likely won't be a difference

    basically..if the app you are using requires more than 256 of vram, then there will be a visible difference. Otherwise, you won't see any difference really at all.

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