1GB vs 2GB VRAM - Difference with FCP7 and FCPX?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Ahheck01, May 19, 2011.

  1. Ahheck01 macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2006
    Hey all, getting an editing machine - yes I know it's not a Mac Pro, it's boss's decision to go with an iMac.

    The question is this: Would Final Cut Pro see a difference between the 1GB vs 2GB graphics card? I will be getting FCP X when it comes out next month. I just have no idea how the program uses VRAM in a way that will affect performance? It will be 1080p footage - currently converting to ProRes codec since FCP7 sucks at AVCHD, but will use AVCHD in FCPX.

    Other specs:
    27" iMac:
    • 3.4Ghz Quad Core i7
    • 16GB RAM (4x4GB aftermarket)
    • 2TB 7200rpm HD
    • ADM Radeon HD 6970M 2GB? GDDR5

    Please reply only if you truly know what difference it will make and why. There are a lot of theories out there, and I don't want to make a purchase decision based off of that :)

    Thank you!
  2. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    You are already spending $2200 on a BTO iMac, whats another hundred at that point?

    Skip the ridiculously priced 2TB drive and go to 12 gigs of ram (half the costs of 16) if you want to save money.
  3. Ahheck01 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2006
    Actually, here's my though. Getting the iMac is time sensitive. For the price of the 2TB hard drive upgrade I could get a 2TB external drive for the extra storage. I'm already planning on spending the $180 from Newegg.com to go from 4 to 16GB of RAM. So, if I 1GB vs 2GB of VRAM doesn't make a difference, I'll just see if the nearest Apple Store has an otherwise stock Core i7 27" and buy it tomorrow rather than waiting a week to get a BTO one.

    But if there is an impact to the extra VRAM, it's worth the wait. That's the question.
  4. Mac_Max macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2004
    Large amounts of VRAM is great for storing textures but I doubt that leveraging the GPU for video encoding really uses much VRAM. The idea is that its basically being streamed in & out of the video card as fast as possible.
  5. Georgio macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2008
    Essex, UK
    I seem to remember that someone else on here asked the same question regarding FCE a week ago and the prognosis was that the extra Gig of VRAM made no difference at all for encoding etc.
    The i7 3.4GHz is a smart move though as I'm sure the hyperthreading will help encoding a lot.
    I use FCE and noticed a big difference going from my old duo-core iMac to an i7 with 12GB RAM.
  6. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Sounds like a decent plan.

    Again -- $80 = 8 gigs or ram. Add to stock 4 gigs = 12 gigs total

    $180 = 16 gigs brand new ram. Essentially you are paying $100 for an extra 4 gigs. 16-12 = 4.

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