1GB vs 2GB graphics card on 27" imac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Swift Sketcher, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Swift Sketcher macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2007
    I'm debating which graphics card to opt for. I don't really game that often, but I do a lot of intensive photoshop/aftereffects/finalcut/maya type stuff. Just wondering what kind of pros and cons I'm looking at, or if I won't really notice a difference. Thanks for the input :)
  2. dndlnx macrumors 6502


    Dec 9, 2010
    2GB couldn't hurt, it's nice for bragging rights. :)

    But 1GB is pretty good. I'd probably care more about system RAM, not so much the VRAM.
  3. imswimmin macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2011
    I agree with DNix.

    For your tasks, it seems as though you should be more focused on your CPU and RAM choices. (I'm sure you've already taken a look at these though. :eek:)

    While 2GB is nice to have, I don't think you will notice a significant performance difference (for the tasks you listed) if you choose to go with 1GB.

    Good Luck! :D
  4. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    I'd say get 16GB Ram (OWC) and 2GB Graphic Card! Over Kill is always better! :)
  5. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Photoshop, Maya, Final Cut Pro? 2GB no doubt you will get your moneys worth out of it for that type of work.
  6. brucem91 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2009
    In maya you will see a performance gain by going with the 2 GB VRAM graphics card. However, I have 1 GB of VRAM in my 27" iMac and Maya runs just fine. Earlier I was running a scene with 450,000 faces, and I could view it "decently" with textures turned on. At school with 2 GB (I think) it was a bit more responsive. As for Photoshop, I *think* it's more main RAM intensive, and I normally use Nuke instead of After Effects, so I don't know.
  7. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I Do A Lot Of

    High end video work and went for the 2GB option with the i7 and 16GB of RAM. Never misses a beat.
  8. Georgio macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2008
    Essex, UK
    I originally went with 1GB but felt it lacked oomph, so backed that machine and got a BTO with 2GB.
    Add in 12GB RAM and you're good to go.
  9. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    2GB version might help if you're doing light 3d work. The extra ram would help with properly displaying textures. Photoshop won't show a bit of difference between the two. It uses the gpu a little but OpenGL drawing of 2d images isn't a lot to ask of a modern graphics card.
  10. jchall30 macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2011
    What about in gaming? Is the 2gb better than the 1gb?
  11. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    I doubt that many will see a performance difference between the 1GB and 2GB cards.

    Maybe for FCP and a few other professional applications, but even then, it is very case dependent (and still very unlikely).
  12. B.A.T macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    Unless you're running multiple screens it would seem that 1gb is fine.........for now.
  13. swmr macrumors regular


    Jan 22, 2008
    Penn State
    I was planning on getting 2gb for mine so Starcraft II runs at max settings. And hopefully whatever game I buy in two years can run at max settings.

    Still haven't ordered yet, maybe next week. Some of you might convince me 1gb vram is enough but I doubt it.
  14. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    You won't be running games at full settings in two years. You can barely do that now.

    The issue isn't the amount of memory on the graphics card, it's the power of the GPU itself. It isn't terrible (in fact for what the iMac is, it is a very impressive inclusion), but it certainly isn't going to hold up for two years.
  15. pashko macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2011
    I am going to be purchasing an iMac this week and I was wondering the same thing. Is it worth the $100? Also how easy is it to upgrade the ram after you purchase the computer?
  16. NMF macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    The thing with gaming is the extra VRAM is only beneficial when playing at resolutions greater than 1080p. Since the 27" iMac is 1440p native, it is absolutely beneficial.

    At $90 it's a no-brainer. Get the 2gb!
  17. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    You would be correct. It uses the gpu a little but it doesn't lean on it very hard. This may change in future versions but we have no way of knowing what the hardware requirements to unlock future features will be. Maya might make the extra vram worthwhile simply because it should help with unbaked textures.
  18. ugp macrumors 65816


    Jan 7, 2008
    Inverness, Florida
    It never hurts to have more. It's not going to hurt you in anyway other than costing more. More is always better and will last longer for Software and Games in the future as they demand higher System Specs.

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