Nvidia 650M 512MB vram

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 2mer, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. 2mer, Jun 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012

    2mer macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2012
    Just bought the base 15 inch MBP with base specs
    I've come across several questions regarding to the questionable vram size for the lower end 650m model. For the most part, the 512 650M should be able to handle most games/tasks considering you have the base resolution (1440X900).

    DIABLO 3:
    The current tests were a little buggy for me because the current state for the mac version seems to have a lot of spike issues which is being overlooked according to blue post over at diablo 3 technical support for mac.
    For the most part I was getting around high 30s to 50s(mid 40s AVG) with everything on high details with AA.


    With MAX settings


    With shadows on low (everything else remains the same)

  2. Xcallibur macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Any chance of trying a more demanding game at a higher resolution (external display)? Thanks :)
  3. henrikrox macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010
    If you use higher resolution on a external display 512mb vram is not going to be enough.

    For example Portal 2 uses 700mb vram at 2560x1440 and isnt the most demanding game ever.
  4. Xcallibur macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Sometimes the lack in VRAM is unnoticeable depending on if the GPU is powerful enough though, so its definitely worth testing.
  5. henrikrox macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010
    It is noticeable. This is already been tested. The 512mb vram version of gt650m looses to 1gb 6770m from last years model where games are using more then 500mb vram.


    "What about the fact that the 2.3GHz MacBook Pro has half the video memory of the other two?" That could be a factor. Using OpenGL Driver Monitor, we determined that Portal 2 used 680MB of video memory during our run. Cutting the resolution down to 1280x720 dropped it to 536MB. Going from "BEST" quality to "DEFAULT" brought the video memory use down to 325MB."

    Now we all now gt650m is a better card then the 6770m. So what happens when we use games that dont use much vram. But if you are serious about gaming now and in some years, i would never take the 512mb vram card.


    But those are not demanding games. If you notice portal 2 still uses 536mb vram at 1280x720. But for casual stuff, its fine.
  6. 2mer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2012
    This, anything other than base resolution will flop in demanding games. I just decided to test mac games such as CIV V and it seems to work very good with mixed settings.

    512mb is just enough to give the needed power for 1440x900. If one is going to upgrade to high res, you should probably just by the retina or the upgraded version of mbp 15.
  7. Xcallibur macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Great post, thanks.
  8. dHk macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    If you game on native rez without buff you will see better fps than the 6770m. If you go on higher resolution, get the 1 gb model. End of story.
  9. Kingofnima macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2012
    Crisis 2 ?

    I am really wondering whether I could play Crisis 2 (in windows of course) on the 512mb version. Maybe even a little round of Battlefield 3 or is this completely impossible?
  10. Ben8472 macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2008
    can you please give us your opinion on how loud the fans get on your 2012 model and how the temperatures behave while playing Diablo 3? thanks alot in advance!
  11. dHk macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    If you stay on the native 1440x900 resolution you could run both of these games on high to max settings. If you plan on gaming with a higher resolution, you should go with the 1gb version.
  12. atlasica, Jun 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012

    atlasica macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2011
    You've just made my day :D
    Can barely run Crysis 1 on my current Macbook...
  13. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Depends on the viewing distance & texture settings. The farther you can see the more VRAM you need regardless of resolution.
    Games like CoD run well on fairly little VRAM. BF3 outdoor tank battles or plane flying is probably the opposite.
  14. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2012
    It was a great product strategy to handicap the base MBP with half the vram and push customers to the Retina model. That said, it's upsetting that Apple did it. Legacy 15" MBP with the same GPU would've made my decision of legacy vs. Retina much, much, much easier.

    Still can't make up my mind. Base model is off the board though.

    It's high end 15" high res anti-glare vs. base Retina for sure. Looking for VALUE.
  15. dHk macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    True true. I got the "handiccaped" 15" model. Its still better than the 2011 high end model.


    The nvidia 650m is a very fast chip. Even with the 512mb, it should run bf3 on medium-ultra.
  16. pandamonia macrumors 6502a

    Nov 15, 2009
    Running x1440 external off a notebook GPU is not great full stop.

    Thats a tough task even for a desktop GPU.

    Your better off using one of the 1080p displays for games on external.
  17. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2012
    Definitely didn't mean to offend anyone who purchased the base model, and not saying that I think you even were offended. Just sayin'.

    What I meant is that, from what I've read before, nvidia doesn't even sell this GPU with 512mb ram. This means Apple made nvidia manufacture a card that was lower spec'd than their base chips. Dick move, I say.
  18. dHk macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    You didn't offend me. :p I totally agree that apple made a dick move. the 512mb is better than any 2011 15" macbook so I was forced to get the 512mb in my price range.
  19. getwellsoon macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    Oh this doesn't sound good for me.
    Since the keynote i can't decide which macbook to take.
    Now i was pretty sure, that i'll go for the macbook classic baseline version, because i dont wanna spend 2000€+ for a notebook.
    Is the 512 MB version of the card really very bad?
    Is it better than the 1GB version of the 2011 Macbook pro or even worse?

    Now i am using a macbook white mid 2007 (upgraded to 2GB RAM). I just used it for games like WoW, D2 and WC3.
    I could play wow but with bad settings and bad performance but it was ok for me.
    So if i'll spend 1850 € for the macbook pro classic high res, i want to use this at least 5 years (like the old macbook white) and still want the to play a little bit.
    I don't play shooters or anything with realy huge demand for good graphics, but i dont want the 512 mb card to become the bottle neck of this great book, so i couldnt play games any more in like 3 or 4 years. I dont need to play on best settings, but i want those games to work on my book at least.
    Gaming is not the most important thing for me, i spend less time gaming every new year... so i dont know how important this would be in future.

    Otherwise i would think about taking the big version of the new macbook pro classic even if its much more expensive :(

    D3 is sadly not working on my old macbook white any more.

    Another question: I cant decide if i should take the highres glare or the highres antiglare. Yesterday i checked both in a shop. With the lights in the shop the reflections on the glare one where very strong and i liked the antiglare.
    Before that i never thought about anitglare, because i also never had problems with the screen of my macbook white (never used it outside).
    I liked the black edge of the glare version and it will be much easier to clean than the antiglare one.
    In this video the colours look much better and stronger on the glare one:

    But i really liked the less reflections in the store of the antiglare version.

    What are you impressions and experiences?

    Hard decisions to make these days ;)

    Thanks a lot for help and excuse my bad english (not a native speaker ;)
  20. Xcallibur macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    The 650m is definitely a better/faster card, its just when running an intense game at a high resolution, the 512MB memory can become a bottleneck causing the FPS to quickly drop, if your happy to play the games at a lower than native resolution then performance of this GPU will be fine, even for the more modern games to come.
  21. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I fail to see how benchmarks of 1440p resolution are relevant for a laptop with native resolution of 1440x900.
  22. Fishcake21, Aug 20, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012

    Fishcake21 macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    That test above is bogus for one sole reason. You are running with a resolution much higher than your average LCD screen and even a with retina it has a faster CPU. Not to mention, a game like Portal 2 uses openGl and nothing has been optimized for Nvidia cards of that aspect :/

    Retina macbook pros need the 1 gig of ram because its essential, though I bet it will run as fine using it as a normal desktop with 512mb of ram. Not for anything else though....like gaming on normal res

    Its not rocket science. Vram is just memory that is like the one in your computer, just connected directly to the GPU for faster access for all its needs. IF that memory is full then it uses your main ram for the rest if necessary.

    Although for main features like the displaying of pixels on your screen, Vram is needed essentially for instant access. The more pixels you have, the more vram it takes.

    512mb for the gt 650m is more than enough for anything desktop experience wise. Even using an external monitor higher than 1080p.

    You will experience sluggish however when you are doing things that requires instant viewpoints such as games and 3d modeling. Though this is only if you are pushing more pixels than necessary such as external screens with 1080p or higher. Though vram isn't an issue really, the Gt 650m is pretty powerful and has good bandwidth from the Vram unlike the Radeon series.

    Normal games will run, even high end games if you are going to use your LCD screen as your primary viewpoint. Though i can't say for some high end games on windows such as Rage and Skyrim, some detail options might be turned off. When using an external monitor, it will push more pixels requiring more vram to be smooth. As well as using more features such as Anti aliasing, zbuffering, etc. will hog vram instead of loading more textures to be push directly to framebuffer.

    Here is a prime example of a high end game with low vram, take note on the resolution.


    Here is another with more vram issues, but i reckon the guy has a screen of 1080p. There are fixes for it though to load more textures directly to vram rather than fluctuating


    However, there are some games that allow you to configure to work with low vram , Rage has configuration files for this. It varies depending on game.

    3d modeling though, with more vram it will benefit from having it slugging in due time rendering frames. Think of it like virtual memory but for graphics cards.

    Unless you plan to hook it up to an external monitor for better quality, you don't need the extra 1 gig if you are on a budget. The price tag on it isn't worth that much, but you do get a faster cpu as well.

    BUt then again, if you are gaming, why get a macbook pro in the first place? :> my 2 cents.
  23. icanic macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2009
    I'm interested in buying macbook pro 2.3ghz base model with nvidia 650m 512mb gddr5. I would really appreciate if someone could try battlefield 4 (native resolution 1440x900) in windows 8 with bootcamp and with fraps enabled for fps display?

    Thank you!

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