2GB Graphics Needed?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MattMac81, May 5, 2011.

  1. MattMac81 macrumors newbie

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    May 1, 2011
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    Sorry any duplication of query here, but just wanting some advice if it's recommended to upgrade to 2GB graphics from 1GB for my particular usage requirements, on my new i7?? I won't be doing much gaming but would like to watch movies etc with the best quality possible. Potentially, if and when possible, I might like to hook a PS3 up to it though.

    Thanks very much in advance
     
  2. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    #2
    No, you won't need it for that. The only thing I can think of needing that 2GB is really demanding games on very high settings with high resolution textures and/or high AA.
     
  3. MattMac81 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Ok great, thanks very much for the quick advice. Do you think it would help if/when the PS3 is able to be connected?
     
  4. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Or hooking up a similar size monitor to the iMac, in that case you must have 2GB or it might be a bit rough
     
  5. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

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    #5
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    What does a ps3 have to do with getting a 2gb or 1gb card?
     
  6. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #6
    Nothing... Which I suppose is your point. :)

    Cheers,
     
  7. MattMac81 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    No idea to be honest - I thought it may help with picture quality for the PS3 games??
     
  8. vigu360 macrumors member

    vigu360

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    #8
    My 128MB vRam drives a 20" and a 24" display without any problem. So my guess is the 1GB should be fairly sufficient to handle both the monitors
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    PS3 and its GPU handles the processing, the iMac is just used as a screen.
     
  10. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #10
    Using the iMac as a screen for games systems does not use any system features so the gpu is irrelevant. At that point it's just a big tv/monitor.

    Cheers,
     
  11. ballgeoff macrumors newbie

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    Chicago, IL
    #11
    How would the quad i5 vs quad i7 high-end iMac impact playing games? I'm floating around in the same boat wondering what to do with the 2GB GPU ram as well.
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #12
    Hyper-Threading may even slow down some games so for gaming, just go with the i5.
     
  13. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    #13
    No worries, and no it wouldn't. The PS3 uses it's on GPU and CPU, etc.
    Hmm, why's that? From the benchies I've seen in PCs with the i5 2500K and i7 2600K the i7 wins in games that use the extra thread and is usually the same in games that don't.
     
  14. MattMac81 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    I see, thanks very much everyone, perfectly understood. It seems it would be an unused luxury if I were to go with the 2GB...still, can't help but feel like going for it :)
     
  15. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #15
    Exactly my dilemma too ..

    I´m confused whether to take 2Gb VRAM option or not. Yes it´s ¨only¨ $100 compared to other BTO options

    But does 2Gb really help? Yes I´m quite a gamer. I wanna play Battlefield 3 with graphic setting just like on Youtube demo, but on a Mac computer, what a greedy b!tch, am I :D

    Is it possible to reach higher setting in gaming graphic just by increasing the VRAM? Or it just help caching textures so the game run smoother than 1Gb VRAM?

    And for Hellhammer .. wow how so an i7 can possibly slower than i5 for some games? Does the hyperthreading decrease performance or what?
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #16
    [​IMG]

    I haven't really seen any games taking advantage of more than four cores. While the difference between the CPUs in gaming seem to be negligible in newer tests, there isn't much point in getting the i7 if there are no other CPU intensive tasks involved.

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/02/24/amd_radeon_hd_6950_1gb_performance_review/3

    That compares 1GB 6950 and 2GB 6950 (both are desktop). There is no noticeable difference in most games but like they say in the link, 2GB version sometimes allows AA to be turned on while still maintaining a playable FPS. It's only 100$ so it's not that expensive.
     
  17. mac.copy macrumors newbie

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    #17
    I have ordered my iMac i7 with 2GB VRAM because I'm going to use Parallels a lot to boot my Bootcamp-Partition. And with 2GB VRAM, I can split my resources equally between Mac OS X and Windows 7/Ubuntu (2 Cores, 8GB RAM, 1GB VRAM for each).
     
  18. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

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    #18
    IMHO it's a cheap way of extending the useful life of the machine and surely will benefit if you add two external screens. Also useful for complex video editing special effects.
     
  19. Zen0Jin macrumors member

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    Feb 1, 2011
    #19
    This thread is a cluster-F of false information.

    VRAM is irrelevant for driving monitors.

    VRAM is only useful for graphics rendering and gaming.

    The 6970M is not powerful enough to make use of 2GB VRAM. Assuming you max out your resolution of 2560x1440 on an iMac, you would need to max out your AA/AF and effects, which the card could not keep up with. People intending on gaming on the iMac... you're probably looking at 1920x1080 on modern games with high settings on to keep a 60FPS gaming experience, the extra VRAM doesn't come into play because the card isn't fast enough to push those settings. This is a different story if we're talking about a high end desktop card driving 2560x1440, because then you can turn all the settings up on a modern game and it WILL use more than 1GB VRAM.
     
  20. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #20

    I believe that you're wrong and I will happily await to be proven wrong with actual facts.

    I believe that this is the more correct version of your statement:

    VRAM is relevant for driving monitors and VRAM is useful for graphics rendering and gaming.

    What do you think the GPU is doing when driving one or two monitors? Taking a drive in the country? No, it's rendering graphics.
     
  21. yustas macrumors regular

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    Dec 11, 2009
    #21
    I am planning on running Parallels as well and would like to confirm that 2 GB VRAM can be split up between Windows and OS X. Is it true?
     
  22. Badger^2, May 5, 2011
    Last edited: May 5, 2011

    Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #22
    Nothing I have ever seen allows that.

    WTF would you be running on Parallels that would need 1 gig of VRAM? Parallels SUCKS for gaming, so that aint it.

    For you heavy Parallels users, $100 on 8 gigs more ram would a far better choice.

    And VRAM for everyday use is highly overrated -- heres a photo from NINE years ago -- thats my G4 933 with a 64 meg Geforce 4X powering a 24" Sony FW900 @ 1920 x 1200 plus a 17" Viewsonic @ 1024 X 768 -- and it ran great. And that was my brand new 933, it replaced a G4 533 running a Geforce 2MX with 32 megs of VRAM powering the same 24" Sony.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #23
    You can split your RAM between your virtual machine and Mac OSX. Why and how would you be planning to split your VRAM? That just does not make any sense.
     
  24. Zen0Jin macrumors member

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    Feb 1, 2011
    #24
    LOL...

    I was running Eyefinity with 3 monitors @ 1920x1200 each with a Radeon 5870 1GB over a year ago. Even THEN, it was irrelevant in a 3D environment.

    Why do some of you insist on talking about things you know nothing about?

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-ram-4870,2428.html
     
  25. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #25

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