HD4000 768MB of VRAM with 8GB of RAM

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by rshock, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    #1
    Just got my base 2012 Mac Mini today. After installing 8GB of 1600Mhz RAM, I fired it up to see how it performs. About this Mac states:

    Intel HD Graphics 4000 768 MB

    The previous Mini maxed out at 512 MB, so this is a nice surprise. I wonder if that number may even go up with 16GB of RAM installed.
     

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  2. macrumors 6502

    MatthewAMEL

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #2
    My 13" 2011 MBP (8GB RAM) reports 512MB in OS X, but 1.5GB in Win7.

    It's an OS limit.
     
  3. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #3
    Interesting. Hopefully it says more for 16gb, for epeen purposes only. :D
     
  4. macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #4
    its 512mb on my 16gig mbp with the hd4000
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    #5
    It's not simply an OS limit. The 2011 Mac Mini running the same version of Mountain Lion maxed out at 512MB.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    MatthewAMEL

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #6
    Sure it is.

    Your 2011 Mini has the same IGP as my 2011 MBP (HD3000). They both maxed out at 512MB of RAM.

    The 2012 Mini (HD4000) reports 768MB RAM.

    In Windows 7, they both report the max memory possible (1.7GB).

    How is that not an OS limit?
     
  7. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #7
    :( All good. Mine won't be delivered till the 2nd, so I can't test it out.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #8
    Might there be a reason behind there being only 768 MB of VRAM out of 16 GB? I mean if they made it a full gig (1024 MB) it would be 1/16 of the maximum memory allowed (because we don't have 16 GB SO-DIMMS thus we can't completely max it out at 32 GB).
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Akula971

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Perfidious Albion
    #9
    All very interesting but how does it perform? Is the video performance any better with 16GB installed giving you 768MB video memory?
     
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    #10
    It's not an OS limit in the sense that it's not true that ML can only access X amount of VRAM with an HD4000/HD3000, where X is a constant. As you state, using the same OS, you see 2 different limits of VRAM, using the same IGP. I believe the limit is governed by the driver the OS is employing for the specific hardware, rather than the OS itself.

    It may be splitting hairs, but simply stating that 'It's an OS limit' suggest that no matter what you do, the OS won't recognize more than X amount of VRAM for that IGP, which isn't the case.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    Bath, UK.
    #11
    Someone needs to try 16GB!
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #12
    You guys do realize that the 768mb has no difference in performance whatsoever vs other hd4000 devices unless you're using up all your ram up and the hd4000 is starving for ram. Hd4000 is able to adjust the VRAM on the fly per its needs as long there's free ram available. Google dvmt ram for an explanation. The hd4000 is severely limited by memory bandwidth (as it has to share the same memory 'freeway' as the CPU) not by total VRAM.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    #13
    That is not the case. The HD4000 is able to adjust the VRAM on the fly *up to the limit* set by your graphics driver and specific chipset. If it is only requiring 256MB of VRAM, it will only request that much system memory (i.e. it does not reserve a chuck of system memory equal to the maximum VRAM limit). However, if it needs MORE than the limit, you are out of luck, regardless of how much system memory is free.

    It's true that the maximum amount of VRAM is less important than many other factors, including memory bandwidth. And for the HD4000, you probably wouldn't see ANY difference between 1GB and 2GB VRAM. However, the HD4000 is capable of running games at resolutions 768/1080p, where the difference between 384MB and 768MB of VRAM may have an impact.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #14
    I always thought in at least windows, IGP's can make a request to the OS to give them more ram as needed. Maybe it's an OSX limitation. Considering the majority of gaming titles on low setting released in the last year or so are already at 30fps when only at 768 resolution, the HD4000 as a 1080p gaming GPU is poor at best.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    #15
    I saw Diablo 3 running at 1440p on a HD4000 (all settings on low, of course), so it depends on what games and details you want to play. After all, it's almost as fast as the 9600M GT in my MacBook Pro.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    MatthewAMEL

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #16
    You're right. I was saying 'OS limit' when really, it's the OS X driver that is limiting.
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Skyrise

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Location:
    Turin
    #17
    Got a 2012 Mac mini i7 ten days ago, maxed it out with a secondary SSD as a boot drive and 16GB of RAM.
    With 16GB the maximum VRAM available is 768MB.

    I'm using it as an iOS video game developer machine, and it's awesome. The i7 is really fast. I was surprised by the HD4000 performance, sure is slower than discrete card but it's pretty capable also for gaming. Diablo III runs very well with medium settings at 1600 X 1050, Portal 2 runs at maximum detail at the very same resolution.
    I'm coming from a 2008 2.4 C2D MBP with the 9600M GT 256MB VRAM: the HD4000 on the mini is in another league, it's a lot faste for gaming too.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #18
    Thanks for the input!
    BTW, you added an SSD and are also using the HDD, is that it?
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Skyrise

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Location:
    Turin
    #19
    Yes, I'm using both.
    Cloned the HDD on the SSD with Carbon Copy Cloner, and I'm using it as a boot drive with my Home directory and all the application and files I'm working on. I keep my iTunes and iPhoto library and all the files and applications that don't need to be as fast as possible on the slower HDD. Works very well!

    BTW, installing the secondary drive is a bit difficult, requires a complete disassembly of the mini. Not a lot of parts or screws, but some connectors on the logic board have very little wires and removing them, expecially considering the cramped space, is a huge pain since you worry about breaking something. Done it in an hour using the very good video tutorial from OWC, everything went fine.
    The speed improvement is worth all the pain. :)
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    #20
    I really wish the OWC kit came with a special tool to help remove the IR fan cable from underneath. The spudger is nice, but I'd prefer a tool that could get completely under the cables.
     
  21. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #21
    I have not yet bought a new Mac Mini, but will soon.

    I, too, was wondering how different amounts of installed RAM might affect the amount of VRAM available to the Intel HD 4000 graphics.

    Here are the results of my limited research, for the record.

    I went to the local Apple store and check the Mini (server edition) on display with 4gb of RAM. Choosing "About this Mac" indicates that 512 mb of RAM are available for the Intel HD 4000 graphics.

    As reported above in this thread, bumping up the installed RAM in the Mini to 8gb also bumps up the available VRAM to 768mb.

    Here's a post from another thread with a screenshot from a 2012 Mini that has been upgraded to 16gb of RAM:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16261255&postcount=6
    ... as you can see, it reports 768mb of memory available for the Intel 4000 graphics.

    So the results for the 2012 Mini seem to be:
    4gb RAM = 512mb VRAM
    8gb RAM = 768mb VRAM
    16gb RAM = 768mb VRAM
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    #22
    How can we petition Apple to increase the OS limit closer to what Windows 7 is reporting as the max (1.7 GB)?
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    #23
    Makes you wonder if Apple would be better off putting the AMD A10 Trinity in the Mini.
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    #24
    MBP 16gb

    Running Mid 2012 Macbook Pro with 16gb ram here :)

    Processor 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5
    Memory 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000 512 MB
     
  25. macrumors member

    Nate392

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    #25
    My mini (16 GB of RAM) has 768 MB of VRAM.
     

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