Upgrading the Video Card - Worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tk26, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. tk26 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    #1
    Hey is it worth the extra money to upgrade the video card from 128Mb to the 256 Mb video card, will I notice much of a difference in things like watching dvd's/movies, digital photography/editing nothing special though just some basic stuff in photoshop. I read something about having 2 monitors how does this work and will I be able to do it with only the 128Mb video card and do i need any additional software or cables to do it?
     
  2. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #2
    Extra video memory is worth it because

    1) It cant be updated after the event and it's not too much extra money.

    2) Apple is slowly off loading some CPU tasks onto the GPU in order to speed performance. Including iLife (the iMovie effects are now GPU accelerated).

    I predict when universal binarys of apps like CS3, or Final Cut Studio 2 are more available we will see further off set onto the GPU in order to optimise tasks and performance.

    3) Digital Photography apps like Aperture already request a decent graphics card, so it will boost performace

    4) Split screen (dual display) does work with 128mb, but what happens is the computer automatically alocate half of the video ram to each screen. Hence you would have 64mb on your iMac screen and 64mb on your external.

    By uping the video memory to 256, you will get 2 screens with an allocated memory of 128mb each...

    5) You plan on having the computer for a few years, then a small added investment now may prove dividends in the future should application system requirements change (which they do) and as you begin to experiment you may find that you want to do somthing where the extra ram would prove beneficial.

    ---

    Initially system ram will make more of a difference, however that can be upgraded at any time - video ram can not.
     
  3. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #3
    For an older computer used strictly 2-D tasks like PS, it's not really worth it, unless you plan to move into something that involves 3-D tasks, like editing live video/gaming/modeling/animation ect ect

    However, if buying a NEW computer, get the best you can, that way it will be a longer time before you need another one. BUT, also max out the system ram too, for best overall performance :)
     
  4. tk26 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    #4
    Ok thanks guys you've really made a good point in that the small investiment now will help me keep the computer for longer, I also didnt realise that it couldnt be upgraded later, so i think im definitly going to go for that option.
     
  5. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #5
    The card can be upgraded, but not the memory on the card.
     
  6. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #6
    no, it can't, unless we're talking about a power mac, which i doubt.
     
  7. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #7
    Um, the entire post is about whether the original poster should upgrade his video card from a 128mb card to a 256mb card UNLESS he is talking about which card to get in an as yet unpurchased Mac, in which case it could be an iMac or a PowerMac.
     
  8. tk26 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    #8
    thx guys for all the help but i ordered the upgraded 256 mB card, we tend to keep our computer for a long time so this was it will be up-to-date longer.
     

Share This Page