Dedicated Graphics vs. Integrated Graphics

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by MacSA, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68000

    MacSA

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I'm trying to get some idea of the performance improvement I would get moving to a Mac from my current low spec PC. I'm thinking G4 Mac mini/eMac or iBook rather than anything G5.

    My current setup:
    Intel Celeron 667Mhz, Integrated graphics (82810 Intel Graphics Controller, what ever that is lol) 320Mb RAM. Windows Millenium Edition. It's 4 years old . :eek:

    I downloaded a screensaver called "flurry" for my PC....it hardly moves at all... the screen updates about once every 2 seconds.

    How big of a difference does having a dedicated graphics card make compared to integrated graphics?
     
  2. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #2
    Actually if i understand the terminology correctly, they're roughly the same thing.

    The difference will be in the performance specifications of the graphics unit in each system.

    You should see better performance on any of the machines you have listed, but I cannot say for sure since I don't know what the specs are for the Intel thing.
     
  3. macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #3
    Whoah! That's a nightmare of a PC! Integrated graphics use your computer's CPU to do graphics processing. They also share the computer's RAM. All macs have dedicated graphics processors, which means that eye-candy doesn't slow down your CPU for serious processing tasks.

    Obviously any current Mac will blow that PC away, though I think all the computers you list have only 32 MB of VRAM, which might be a limiting factor if you decide to upgrade to Tiger in the future (it will work, but some of the eye candy might not function).
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68000

    MacSA

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    So my 4 and a quarter year old PC could be faster than most of Apples current hardware? :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: It was very low spec when I bought in Jan 2001. lol

    EDIT...ooops Wordmunger responded while I was typing this response to Bear.
     
  5. macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #5
    No! I think you misread what Bear and I were saying. Any new Mac will be a HUGE improvement on that PC.
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #6
    Err... no.
     
  7. macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #7
    who said that??

    integrated graphics are exactly what WordMunger said, they use the processor and ram from the computer, a dedicated grapics card uses the ram and proc that comes with that chip, meaning your graphics are rendered seperate from the processing
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    #8
    I know the Intel graphics card you speak of. The performance on those Macs will be MUCH better.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    rtdgoldfish

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    #9
    If you move to any of the Macs you listed, you should notice a great jump in performance. Just moving away from Windows ME will be a great move. Used to have it on my old PC and I do believe it was the buggiest OS I have ever used.

    If you already have a monitor, keyboard and mouse, go for the Mini. If all you are doing is doing some word processing, e-mail and surfing the net, the Mini is a great machine. I even do Photoshop and the Macromedia Studio suite with mine and it runs very well.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 68000

    MacSA

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Tell me about it lol..........it crashed twice witihin the first hour of me using it.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    micvog

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #11
    Actually "integrated" and "dedicated" graphics are not the same thing.

    In your current system you have the Intel 810 GPU which, besides being virtually useless for anything 3D-related, also uses your slower system RAM for video (i.e. of your 320MB RAM, probably ~4MB is reserved for video, the rest is available for the system). Any "dedicated" graphics card (even a lowly RADEON 9200) would provide a substantial improvement in performance as the GPU is much more powerful and it has dedicated, faster vRAM.

    You didn't mention the manufacturer of your PC. Be warned that many PC manufacturers - including Dell, HP and Gateway - spec their "integrated graphics" machines with low-end power supplies that generally have problems supporting "dedicated" video cards (this usually manifests itself in your computer spontaneously rebooting). Even then, IIRC, the 810-chipsets don't support AGP slots so most likely the only "dedicated" graphics card you could put in your system would be PCI. If you decide to go that route, make sure to update the BIOS and make sure you have the ability to disable the "integrated" graphics. My experience is that this is hit or miss - many times the resulting system is unstable.

    As Bear pointed out, any Mac currently sold would provide substantially improved performance over your current system - even if you upgraded the graphics card on your PC.

    EDIT: Beaten by a bunch of people... move on.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #12
    Integrated graphics have ment low cost,meaning cheap,cheaper and cheapo, Dedicated graphcs worse performer meaning 9200 is still better then the best Integrated but the sad thing about this is there are about 20+ other dedicated graphic chip/cards that outperform 9200/fx5200. MacMini has a 9200 in it which means its better then your garbage integrated graphics but still the bottom end of dedicated graphics, most likely a $10 or $15 part while your integrated costs near nothing perhaps a dollar or two. Do some research you can find videocards costing as much as $500 but you have to have a machine that can hold them and at the moment that means Powermac or a Pc with a real videocard slot.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68000

    MacSA

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    Well...it looks like anything will be better than what I have right now. :D

    By the way it's an HP Pavillion 6712.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    Fukui

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    #14
    Yea, flurry on my 5 year old G4 (Cube) 400Mhz runs at about 30fps so you should definitely see a huge performance boost from any mac, even the cheapest MacMini.
     
  15. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #15
    Integrated graphics is the graphics support built natively into the chipset. It doesn't always mean using main memory as VRAM, but that's the way it usually works out.

    Heck, you don't usually expect Intel to worry much about how well their driver's work with games. On a dedicated chipset from somebody like ATI, you can usually expect faster driver updates -- even if it is a pathetic and underpowered card.

    All current Mac have dedicated VRAM, you have to look at machines that OS X doesn't support any longer to find a graphics chip using main memory -- but even some of those systems had empty VRAM slots.
     
  16. macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
    #16
    iirc, a mobo with something like the radeon 9100 IGP uses dedicated vram, but the cpu for processing, but could be wrong. but yeah, integrated graphics, like everyone else has said, blow. discreet, dedicated, real, whatever you want to call it graphics are awesome.
     

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