Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Video Memory

Video Memory
Thread Tools
Mr Mushroom
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jul 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 13, 2004, 03:53 PM
 
I am about to make the switch from PC to MAC, and will be buying a 17" Powerbook G4 in the next week or so. I have been reading this forum and surfing the web looking at the options available, and from what I can see, the only place to buy the Powerbook with additional video memory or the faster hard drive is the Apple Store website. Is this the case, or does anyone know of a reseller that has sold this option?

How much impact will the extra video memory have? I am not likely to use the computer for games, but I will be watching a lot of DVD's on it, and if there is a noticeable difference I would like to get the upgrade, especially as I assume there is no way to upgrade this option at a later date?

Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Mr Mushroom
     
bluedog
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 13, 2004, 05:16 PM
 
You WON'T get an upgrade option after purchase. The video is built-in and not upgradeable as seen on a 'few' PC laptops.

The extra video ram won't make a difference AT ALL for watching movies. What you will see with extra video ram is in gaming performance (or other 3d apps) depending on your settings, OR when you drive ultra high resolution screens (with an external monitor).

Neither of the two limitations will affect MOST people. If you think you need it, pay up for it. If not, buy what you can and enjoy it - either way you win with a great laptop from Apple!

I have an iBook and simply love it. It's not stellar compared to my desktop machine, but it is 90% of all the computing I want or need to do -- actually more because its wireless and I can take it with me!
     
Blue Flame
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Jun 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 13, 2004, 05:27 PM
 
the 5400rpm drive makes a big difference. someone recently posted a comparison done on the different drive speeds and overall speed of the computer and it was a large gap between the slower drives and the 5400. smaller gap between 5400 and 7200 though..
     
iREZ
Professional Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Los Angeles of the East
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 13, 2004, 05:39 PM
 
I hear you could BTO from smalldog.com, why not give that a shot. As for upgrading the VRAM, do it and never look back. It's a small price to pay for twice the power. This is just my opinion.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
djohnson
Professional Poster
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 13, 2004, 05:50 PM
 
get the 5400 hd. I have that and the 128MB ram in my powerbook and it is great. Very fast! I needed the video ram for some opengl stuff I am messing with. I figured it would also help after seeing the stuff for 10.4
     
cloudaj
Forum Regular
Join Date: Nov 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 13, 2004, 06:27 PM
 
i'm wondering what the effect of more video ram will be when 10.4 comes out with core image...well, couldn't hurt, and for $50, why not.
     
iREZ
Professional Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Los Angeles of the East
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 13, 2004, 06:33 PM
 
i'm wondering what the effect of more video ram will be when 10.4 comes out with core image...well, couldn't hurt, and for $50, why not.
Nope, your wrong $90 with an educational discount now a days. Those that got it when the getting was good were lucky.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
kafoochy
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Boston, MA, USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 13, 2004, 06:57 PM
 
Originally posted by iREZ:
I hear you could BTO from smalldog.com, why not give that a shot. As for upgrading the VRAM, do it and never look back. It's a small price to pay for twice the power. This is just my opinion.
Yes, if you go to SmallDog.com you can build a BTO system and they have systems with the 128MB of Ram and 5400RPM drive. For what you're doing now, the 128MB of VRAM is going to make little difference. I haven't been following the 10.4 rumors or developer specs, but it seems as if the latest Core Image/Video is more dependant on the features of your chipset and not the VRAM, as I can't remember seeing any mention of it. However I would go for it if you can. It really can't hurt, especially if you can afford it. However, you probably would notice a speed boost if you upgraded to the 5400rpm. The only reason to wait is if you want something even faster or bigger. I think the 80GB is a little small. A few companies have announced and are shipping 100GB drives already.
     
cloudaj
Forum Regular
Join Date: Nov 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 13, 2004, 08:28 PM
 
Originally posted by iREZ:
Nope, your wrong $90 with an educational discount now a days. Those that got it when the getting was good were lucky.
oh look at that, it is now more expensive. hmm, that must have changed within the last couple days as I priced out a machine just a few days ago and it was still $40 (unless i was just totally oblivious, which is definitely possible).
     
Thinine
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jul 2002
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 13, 2004, 08:51 PM
 
You want 128 MB of VRAM for Tiger. Trust me.
     
RonnieoftheRose
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 14, 2004, 12:01 AM
 
In my PB there's the default 4500RPM drive. I always thought 10.3 was fast anyway but installed the OS on an external 7200RPM drive just to check. I can tell you the difference in system response is incredible. So if you want speed go for the fastest drive possible. It's such a pleasure to use OSX on the best and fastest hardware possible. And upping the RAM, I bet it will help if you like many open windows, multiple sites under different tabs in Safari and video/graphics work.
     
wuzup101
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Feb 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 14, 2004, 01:19 AM
 
IMHO go for the 128mb vram and the 5400rpm HDD if you can afford it. They are both great options that will speed up your computer. The HDD will give you noticeable gains in just about everything that uses it, while the 128mb vram will only give you gains in gaming/3D graphics/photo work/etc... anything that uses the VPU heavily. You may not think you need it now, but since you can only get it as a BTO I would go for it if you have the money. If you can only afford one then go for the HDD upgrade over the vram as you'll see the most improvement.

On a side note, a PB with the larger vram and faster HDD will be more "future proof" and shold also command a higher resale value.

Also, if you're a student you may want to check out the ADC Hardware purchase program. It's $99 to join as a student and you get a one time 20% discount on hardware. I'm still fairly certain the upgrades are still like $45 for the vram and $40 for the HDD at the site... as I just ordered a 15" (see sig) there myself on sunday night.
Mac: 15" 1.5ghz PB w/ 128mb vid, 5400rpm 80gb, combo drive, 2gb ram
Peripherals: 20gb 4g iPod, Canon i950, Canon S230 "elph", Canon LIDE30, Logitech MX510, Logitech z5500, M-Audio Sonica Theater, Samsung 191T
PC: AMD "barton" XP @ 2.3ghz, 1gb pc3200, 9800pro 128mb, 120gb WD-SE 120gb
Xbox: 1.6, modded with X3 xecuter, slayers evoX 2.6, WDSE 120gb HDD
     
wuzup101
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Feb 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 14, 2004, 01:36 AM
 
Sorry... to correct my above post... using the ADC purchase program it's $80 for the extra vram... still worth it. To give you a ballpark... the machine in my sig cost me 1959 + taxes and the $99 to sign up for the student ADC program for a year.
Mac: 15" 1.5ghz PB w/ 128mb vid, 5400rpm 80gb, combo drive, 2gb ram
Peripherals: 20gb 4g iPod, Canon i950, Canon S230 "elph", Canon LIDE30, Logitech MX510, Logitech z5500, M-Audio Sonica Theater, Samsung 191T
PC: AMD "barton" XP @ 2.3ghz, 1gb pc3200, 9800pro 128mb, 120gb WD-SE 120gb
Xbox: 1.6, modded with X3 xecuter, slayers evoX 2.6, WDSE 120gb HDD
     
Mr Mushroom  (op)
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jul 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 15, 2004, 03:10 AM
 
Many thanks for all your responses - I will take all the information on board before I make my final decision.

Thanks again

Mr Mushroom
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:09 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,