Increase Integrated Graphics Memory?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by arcobb, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. arcobb macrumors regular

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    #1
    So I just got my new black MacBook. I love it. But I'm doing some reading about the Integrated graphics chip and I ran across a link on Intel's website that says it can have up to 224 MB maximum of video memory. Is there a way to change this setting on a MacBook above the 64 MB spec apple reports? Would this be a firmware update or is it possible by changing something within the OS (via terminal or something). Is anyone trying this sort of a thing?

    Also would there be a benefit of increasing the video memory on a integrated graphics chipset? Thanks!
     
  2. vniow macrumors G4

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    #2
    Its dynamically allocated. It can use anywhere from 64 to 224 MB of system memory. There's no need to manually increase it.
     
  3. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

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    #3
    Wrong. The GMA/950 in MB's and Minis are set to consume a maximum of 64 MB. This can maybe changed somehow, I don't know why. Drawing 64 MB, leaves the stock user with 448 MB of RAM. On Apple's site, it says that you only have 432 MB left. This is because the bootup of the system and the running of OS X occupies 16 MB in addition to the GMA's 64 MB. These extra 16 MB have nothing to do with the GMA, opposed to what many people think. This is why I took 1 GB in my MB, and why many peole with 512 MB have systems running a bit slow. I don't know how or if, the GMA's memory draw can be changed, yet the limit is when you buy it 64 MB, not 224 MB. Your statement saying it can draw 64-224 MB is also wrong, since it doesn't have a minimum draw of 64 MB. It can draw from anywhere between 0 and 64 MB.
     
  4. vniow macrumors G4

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    #4
    Wierd. On my PC with a 915, its certainly dynamic. Maybe its a firmware limitation.
     
  5. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #5
    I know some BootVamp users have noted that the Windows Vista graphics take up 224 MB.

    EDIT: On MacBooks
     
  6. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

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    #6
    My old windows XP Amilo Pro had a GMA/852 with 16 MB of memory. It never went over that, so I guess it depends on the manufacturer having locked it or...:confused:
     
  7. kevin.rivers macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    #7
    OS X does not dynamically allocate. Whereas Windows does. Which means it would be a driver limitation.
     
  8. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

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    #8
    What is your source on this? I never heard about something like this...:confused:
     
  9. arcobb thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Hmm... so it sounds like it must be an OS limitation and not hardware/firmware issue if bootcamp users are experiancing 224 MB... can anyone confirm this? (I'm using Parallels... works great!). If so it sounds like a hack would be farily easy (well... easy for someone else anyway!)

    I got 2 x 1 gig sticks... so I should have plenty of memory to give the video card some more room to breath. It would be nice to pump it up a little since I plan on hooking up the MacBook to an external monitor.
     
  10. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #10
    yeah, it would be great if someone could get round this limitation and let us assign up to 224 MB for graphics. Might really help with some things!
     
  11. arcobb thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Agreed! :cool:
     
  12. AlBDamned macrumors 68030

    AlBDamned

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    #12
    It would be great if you could scale up the IG memory use but surely there's a reason why Apple wouldn't have built this in?
     
  13. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #13
    It wouldn't really give you too much of a benefit.

    Normally, if you look at a 32MB vs. 64MB vs. 128MB vs. 256MB graphics card, that graphics card has memory directly on the card, that it can access really really fast. That memory is independent of the memory on your computer. If the memory on the graphics card is not enough, then graphics data has to be moved from your computer's RAM to the graphics card's RAM, and that takes its time.

    With integrated graphics, it doesn't work like that. There is only one kind of memory, and that is your computer's RAM. Both graphics card and CPU access it when they need to. The only difference between "64MB" and "224MB" integrated graphics memory is that either 64MB or 224MB have been set aside so that the graphics driver can decide what to do with that memory, and the operating system doesn't touch it. If the 64 MB is not enough, then the graphics card can access data outside that region just as fast as data within the 64 MB, because it is all the same kind of memory anyway. So setting aside 224 MB will not have much affect at all, except that your Mac will run slower because it has less memory available to all the applications.
     
  14. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #14
    I can confirm that both in XP and VISTA beta, the GMA950 in my macbook was seen as 224mb ram when checked in device manager.
     
  15. arcobb thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Interesting... So this would be evidence that OS X is using less then possible. Whats the benefit of doing this? What's the benifit of increasing it?
     
  16. codo macrumors 6502

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    #16
    The number looks smaller than "128" and sells more MacBook Pros...
     
  17. purelithium macrumors 6502

    purelithium

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    #17
    Hah! exactly!
     
  18. lewion macrumors regular

    lewion

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    #18
    I think we found ourselves a reason why here... Mac mini vs imac 64 vs 128
    macbook vs macbook pro 64 vs 128-256 that just seems to be it... if people who don't know a thing, see that mini has 224 and imac 128.. they go for the mini... if people see macbook has 224 and pro has 128, they go for macbook... it's just marketing....
     
  19. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #19
    Well the 'official' line seems to be, they limited memory in OSX because they dont want to take too much away from the stock 512mb.

    What's annoying is that they dont smart implement it into the operating system, so that as soon as OS X sees more than the stock 512, it adjusts your memory accordingly....

    Also this is an operating system limitation as if it was written into the gpu's firmware it would also be limited in Xp & Vista, which it isnt...
     
  20. arcobb thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    So is this as simple as going Terminal>backflip>sudo>find graphics card>pray not to hose the computer>increase memory to 128>cross fingers>restart?

    Anyone know where to even start looking?
     
  21. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    #21
    I'd say apply just don't know how to get it to dynamically change the allocated memory. Just as they don't know how to get speedstep working properly. It's new hardware, give them a chance to work out the little issues. I bet it will be a "feature" of leopard.
     
  22. grabberslasher macrumors 6502

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    Éire
    #22
    Hey, as I don\t have a Mac mini or MacBook myself, can someone with either of those machines give me their nvram readout? It could be that there's an nvram variable that sets the graphics memory , and since Windows cannot see the EFI it doesn't have the limit.

    Type this into terminal and paste results please: "nvram -p"
     
  23. wilk0076 macrumors member

    wilk0076

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    #23
    Last login: Mon Jun 19 19:28:31 on console Welcome to Darwin!
    navi:~ matt$ nvram -p
    boot-image %02%01%0c%00%d0A%03%0a%00%00%00%00%01%01%06%00%02%1f%
    03%01%08%00%00%01%00%00%04%01*%00%02%00%00%00(@%06%00%00%00%00%000<%
    f2%06%00%00%00%00+M%17%94%8by%a2N%b5%8c%9dV%bc%bf%00 %02%02%04%04%18% 004%009%00b%007%009%00a%000%000%000%00%00%00%7f%ff%04%00
    SystemAudioVolume
    boot-args 0x0
    navi:~ matt$
     
  24. grabberslasher macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Damn that's a pity, I'm sure there's some sort of variable for graphics memory though. Maybe Apple will unlock it themselves with Leopard (since it only needs an EFI/driver update).
     
  25. alec macrumors regular

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    Oct 19, 2005
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    Washington DC
    #25
    OK, so this is interesting: games like Civ 4 played in Windows on a MacBook function very well. However, Civ 4 for Mac, shipping this week from Aspyr, says the MacBook does not meet the requirements for playing Civ4. Are playing 3D games going to only be viable on BootCamp on Mini's and MacBooks because of driver/software limitation presented in OS X?
     

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