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"More VRAM Better?" The Answer


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#21 Lemon Lime

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 05:23 PM

View Postrob_ART, on June 16th 2007, 03:12 PM, said:

Sorry. I goofed. I labeled the Doom 3 results as Quake 4 and vice versa. I corrected the posting above.
ok good, im not going crazy then....

#22 rob_ART

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 12:04 AM

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)
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#23 bobbob

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 11:20 AM

View Postrob_ART, on June 16th 2007, 11:04 PM, said:

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

That's FSAA for you. Maybe crank it up to 8x and see what the 128MB model can do with only about 49MB of VRAM left for textures and geometry.

#24 Lemon Lime

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 01:48 PM

We just recorded a great podcast episode with Bryan Clodfelter where we had a discussion about this. should be out in a few days.

#25 broaddd

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 09:18 PM

I'd really like to see these same 128 vs 256 benchmarks performed under Vista, where I understand Turbocaching system RAM can make up for the difference in GPU RAM?

#26 Lemon Lime

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 11:39 PM

View Postbroaddd, on June 20th 2007, 08:18 PM, said:

I'd really like to see these same 128 vs 256 benchmarks performed under Vista, where I understand Turbocaching system RAM can make up for the difference in GPU RAM?
Vista is such a resouce hog (first hand expierence) and the drivers are so bad right now, that you shouldnt expect anything.

#27 Janichsan

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:40 AM

View Postbroaddd, on June 21st 2007, 05:18 AM, said:

I'd really like to see these same 128 vs 256 benchmarks performed under Vista, where I understand Turbocaching system RAM can make up for the difference in GPU RAM?

View PostLemon Lime, on June 21st 2007, 07:39 AM, said:

Vista is such a resouce hog (first hand expierence) and the drivers are so bad right now, that you shouldnt expect anything.
I wouldn't expect anything even if Vista weren't such a performance hog: the GPU has no direct access to the extra VRAM but has to take a diversion. This can never be as fast as dedicated VRAM on the graphics boards. Technically, this "Turbocaching" is the same as the shared memory of the Integrated Intel Crap. In times of trouble, it can fulfill the hunger for needed extra memory space, but it won't be able to grant the same access speed as fast as dedicated VRAM. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if using "turbocached" VRAM lowers the performance.

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#28 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:44 AM

View PostJanichsan, on June 21st 2007, 12:40 AM, said:

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if using "turbocached" VRAM lowers the performance.

From what I have heard this might be the case. It was from the low end turbo cache video cards though.
--Tetsuo

Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

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#29 broaddd

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 02:45 AM

That's why I'd like to see some benchmarks, to know for sure :)

#30 Janichsan

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 02:58 AM

View Postbroaddd, on June 21st 2007, 10:45 AM, said:

That's why I'd like to see some benchmarks, to know for sure :)
The page is in German, but the graphs speak for themselves (there are more when you click on "Weiter >>"). Everything marked with "TC" is with TurboCache.

But as SmokeTetsu said: these are all more low-ends cards. It seems that there aren't that many drivers for higher-end graphic boards available at the moment that support TC. But I see no reason why the obvious trend should be reversed with better GPUs.

The conclusion of these benchmarks are noteworthy: "TurboCache is a prime example for empty and exaggerating marketing terms."

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#31 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:58 PM

Also it seems turbocache is bolted on to XP by the video card and in Vista it's supported natively due to the new driver model. Now whether or not that makes a difference is another story but I thought I'd throw that out there. Nvidia was saying that turbocache is supposed to be faster than integrated graphics.
--Tetsuo

Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

Late 2012 27 inch iMac, Core i7 Quad 3.4GHz, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB, 3TB HDD - Mavericks

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#32 teflon

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 01:14 PM

View PostSmoke_Tetsu, on June 21st 2007, 07:58 PM, said:

Nvidia was saying that turbocache is supposed to be faster than integrated graphics.

but thats cos turbocache has VRAM attached to a discrete GPU.. so of course its going to be faster.
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#33 Lemon Lime

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 01:17 PM

Check out Episode 24 of the IMG podcast for a discussion with Bryan Clodfelter, Senior Hardware Editor for IMG (quicksilver) on the effects of more VRAM.

http://www.insidemac...view.php?ID=520

#34 randfee

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 03:40 PM

yep, he pretty much nails it! Conclusions!

- Is it worth getting the 256MB of VRAM?
""If you are a gamer, the answer is: definitely definitely yes!  In fact I wish they had given us the 512MB version.... right now, as games get more demanding, 256MB VRAM is the minimum... ""

- Bryan Clodfelter comes to the common sad realization: OSX is just not made for games. If you wanna game the newer stuff and really want to exploit the abilities of your hardware you will have to bootcamp! OSX just misses a DirectX counterpart!

- OSX is pretty much always CPU limited since the optimization of drivers and the game itself (through the process of porting it from Windows) is too crappy to really challenge the graphics card!


No offense but I didn't really like the attitude of the interviewer. Sometimes I had the feeling he was getting paid by Apple itself to undermine the obvious dominance of the Windows platform when it comes to games. When Bryan mentioned some of the really great titles that Mac-only users missed (like HL2, FarCry etc.), Mike sounded like he didn't believe it.
I mean, all of us here like Apple in one way or another, but blindly denying that it's not the best thing for every task is just stupid! Apple itself gives us the tool to get the best of both worlds and yet there are people that are so bullheaded they'd rather not play at all than booting Windows.  Well... whatever serves you.

I want the best tool for the task. For me, that is an Apple with OSX and Windows to do the stuff OSX cannot provide. If that means booting windows to run Crysis, so be it, with pleasure!

just my 2 cents!
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#35 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 03:48 PM

View Postrandfee, on June 21st 2007, 03:40 PM, said:

OSX just misses a DirectX counterpart!

My 2 cents is it's not because OS X is missing Direct X. Direct X isn't absolutely nessasary.. most consoles other than the 360 don't use it. I've read that the drivers\opengl is supposed to be optimized in leopard to bring more speed parity with Windows but I'll take that with a grain of salt for now.
--Tetsuo

Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

Late 2012 27 inch iMac, Core i7 Quad 3.4GHz, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB, 3TB HDD - Mavericks

Late 2009 27 inch iMac, Core i5 2.6GHz, 12GB RAM, ATI Radeon 4850HD 512MB, 1TB HDD - Mavericks

Mac Mini, PowerPC G4 1.4Ghz, 1GB RAM, Radeon 9200 32MB, 256GB HDD - Leopard

Dell Inspiron 1200 Notebook: 1.2GHz Celeron, 1.2GB RAM, Intel GMA915, 75GB HDD - Ubuntu

Generic Black Tower PC, Dual Core 64-bit 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, GeForce 9600 GT 512MB - Windows 7


#36 Dark_Archon

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 04:46 PM

View Postrandfee, on June 21st 2007, 05:40 PM, said:

- OSX is pretty much always CPU limited since the optimization of drivers and the game itself (through the process of porting it from Windows) is too crappy to really challenge the graphics card!

I wouldn't be too sure of that. Lets compare the x1600 iMac to the 7600GT iMac. The minute difference in processors isn't what is causing the huge performance difference when it comes to games. A different comparison? Compare a 2.0 ghz Mac Pro with a 3.0 ghz Mac Pro while keeping the graphics cards constant.

Poor optimization does cause performance problems, but the games are still GPU bound, not CPU bound.
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#37 randfee

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 04:52 PM

View PostDark_Archon, on June 22nd 2007, 12:46 AM, said:

...
Poor optimization does cause performance problems, but the games are still GPU bound, not CPU bound.

partly true, but the performance hits the roof faster than would if the code was more optimized. (Look at windows performance of the same game with the same settings, the way it scales there! Bryan nailed it: "the performance flattens out way faster when scaling GPU power!)
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#38 broaddd

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 11:43 PM

View Postrandfee, on June 21st 2007, 03:40 PM, said:

No offense but I didn't really like the attitude of the interviewer.

I'm afraid Lemon Lime/Mike Yaroshinsky doesn't come across very clearly. Either he knows what's he's talking about but sometimes expresses himself in a confusing manner, or he doesn't always know what he's talking about but doesn't want to admit it... leaving the interviewees to pause and say 'um, ok, well actually...' For example, at first he seemed to say something like a quad-core Mac Pro would be the best for Mac gaming, and the interviewer says 'quad core won't do much for gaming', and Mike said 'yes, that's what I mean...' To be fair, maybe I just got confused by the way he expresses his views...

I'd offer the constructive criticism that if you have experts on your podcast, just ask them a bunch of questions to draw out their expertise; rather than making subjective statements that they will then have to gently disagree with.

I mean, the whole thesis behind the first post is that 256mb VRAM isn't worth it on the MBP. That may be true if  only gaming under OSX due to poor optimisation and lack of DX/D3D or whatever. However, I believe many Intel Mac users genuinely interested in this-gen and next-gen gaming will be gaming under Windows XP with Bootcamp. Yet Mike seems to doubt this fact. Personally, I really love my Mac, and don't like booting into Windows, but I accept as a fact that a game originally coded for Windows will almost always run better (sometimes far better) under Windows, and not via a port, and probably not via a translator option. So I can choose to play it as it was meant to be played best, at high resolution and settings and a silky framerate under Windows, or I can choose to play it under OSX at the much lower resolution and settings required for a bearable framerate (and even then, it might be very poor to play). For me, the choice is easy.

The first post should really clarify that if you have no intention of booting into Windows on your MBP, then 256mb VRAM won't help your gaming. But for all those gamers that use Windows on their MBP (it'd be interesting to poll the numbers), the 256mb VRAM will definitely make a huge difference (like 50-100% faster in some games).

B

#39 teflon

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 06:10 AM

i gotta stick up for mike, he does know what hes talking about for the most part, but every once in a while hell come out with an absolute corker of confusion.

oh, and hes Lemon Lime on the boards too.

i think what may have got in the way is that behind the scenes were all friends, and interviews with friends dont necessarily work too well because of a large amount of familiarity between the people.

as for the dual booting question, if the games im playing were available to play in OSX, then i would happily do so to avoid rebooting.
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#40 aliquis

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 08:59 PM

View Postrandfee, on June 21st 2007, 11:40 PM, said:

I want the best tool for the task. For me, that is an Apple with OSX and Windows to do the stuff OSX cannot provide. If that means booting windows to run Crysis, so be it, with pleasure!

just my 2 cents!
But on the other side if you will dual boot and therefor don't stay "true" OS X you can just as easily buy a PC machine with decent hardware for cheap, install Windows and be happy with it, and get whatever crap mac Apple get out of their asses because you wont game anyway =P