Much difference between the two 15" graphics?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Broph, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Broph macrumors 6502


    Jun 23, 2010
    New Zealand
    Hey, looking at (preferably) a 15" macbook pro....

    The cheaper of the two looks fine, except I'm not so sure of the graphics - I use CAD (not highly intense stuff), and I'd assume I'd throw Inventor / Solidworks / CS5 on there... Would the graphics card on the cheaper model suffice? Given it's only 256MB, compared to 1GB... Just want to know if it's worth the extra $800!

    Would the Macbook Air's graphics card be sweet as?
  2. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
    both can run CAD no problems.

    the 1gb would give u more speed when rendering stuff on it.

    its up to you if ur willing t pay 800 more dollars for a bit more speed
  3. cfII macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2011
    MY advice? Get the base model. If it won't rock your program the way you want it too(doubtful w a quadcore) just take it back
  4. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    CAD work should be perfectly fine with the base model. I do some on an external 1080p screen with my nVidia 8600gt(which is going on 4 years old) and it's not too bad, the newer radeon is much faster so you're probably good to go.
  5. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Ya, I've got the base 15" and its just fine. If you start to have performance issues in the first 14 days, just swap it for the higher model. I rather doubt you'll need too but its nice the option is always there.
  6. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    It's no secret that I don't like the ATI 6490m in the year 2011. Even integrated GPU's ( from ATI / AMD fusion ) are faster than the ATI 6490m which is sad. An ATI 6490m doesn't belong in a $1800 laptop imo.

    But if such performances are enough for your work, I guess there is nothing wrong with it. Just buy what you need.
  7. jgz macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2011
    I would be interested how much the difference is between the 6490m and an Intel hd 3000 (with 8GB 1600 RAM) - as the Intels IGP's speed increases with RAM speed and the memory with overall RAM, but the 6490 isn't affected by that, isn't it?

    Maybe there isn't much difference then??
  8. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Yeah there is. Yes 1600 Mhz RAM helps a little but only a little. The HD 3000 really isn't all that bottlenecked at the Memory access side.
    AMD Fusion prooves that there is plenty of free bandwidth left for even much faster GPUs. The Intel HD is limited by having only 16EU which isn't all that much number crunching power and by not doing well when more complex calculations are required that the more fixed function Intel GPU doesn't adapt to very well. It can keep up quite good in low detail settings in game but it gets destroyed once you up settings too much.
    It was designed to be very power efficient and therefore they used more fixed function stuff but it was never supposed to be a gaming GPU or much of a GPGPU. It is perfect at what it does 2133Mhz RAM won't change that too much.
  9. Big Shisha macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2010
    I have the same dilemma, but I'll be using FCP X. Am I going to notice much difference in the upgraded graphics card?

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