512mb vs 1gb

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Onimusha370, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Onimusha370 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2010
    Hey everyone,

    Just wanted some opinions on whether the 512mb card will be enough in the new 27 inch iMacs for a decent level of photo editing? Anyone had experience with 512mb cards in an iMac? Is the amount of V.ram a big factor for photo editing?

    All replies are greatly appreciated :)
  2. Jlrera macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2011
    East Amherst
    Damn I thought this was going to be about ram, anyways 512mb would probably get the job done, although if your at all serious about photo editing I'd recommend maybe going up to 1 gig.
  3. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    The amount of video RAM plays almost no part to performance increases in photo editing. The video chipset and processor are more important. Video RAM becomes more important in 3D gaming where image information, textures, and texture maps are stored in the memory.

    Case in point: My first Hackintosh I built used a nice, 512MB video card with a fast chipset. This second Hackintosh I built used a crappy, 1024MB (1GB) video card. The first computer has no problems playing videos and running apps at the same time; the second lags badly if a video is being played.
  4. Onimusha370 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2010
    Thanks for the info mate, that's really good to hear. I'm actually interested because my dad's looking to buy his first mac, he'll be glad to save the £200 needed for the 1gb card :)
  5. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000


    Jun 5, 2012
    All very true...

    I have the 2011 - 27 in. iMac with 512MB and have no problems at all editing 24MB photos with Aperture...smooth as silk. :cool:
  6. Onimusha370 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2010
    Great to hear, cheers!
  7. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    My friend and I talked about this kind of thing. OEMs will stack memory into a mediocre card to make it look attractive though the old saying "You can put lipstick on a pig and it's still a pig." comes to mind.

    You need a good card and a good amount of VRAM as I see it.
  8. Ryan.Tanner macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2008
    McKinney, TX
    So, do you think the 675MX with 1GB VRAM will perform decent for mild gaming compared to the 680MX with 2GB?
  9. cosmowilly macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2011
    I'm looking at the Hi-End 21'' model and I do Phantom Camera Hi-Speed decoing which is a major toll on chips.

    the 512MB does just fine can decode .Cine files almost or around realtime which is good enough for me.

    really curious how it handles .R3D files on FCPX and RedCineX
  10. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Video RAM is not as important as a few years ago. Then the videocard was interfaced with PCI-Express. This interface was 10-20 times slower than the memory bus.
    Today the GPU is directly on the main RAM memory bus, and even when the Video memory itself is GDDR5 and faster than the DDR3, the main memory bus is fast enough to refresh a 512 Gb VRAM EVERY 1/60th second (every frame). So what is the problem?
  11. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    512 should be fine for video editing, if you are really editing hardcore, you might consider 1 GB (check the program(s) you are using to be sure).

    I think you are off a little bit. Nvidia rates the gtx 680 (desktop) for 192 GB/s. 512 gb every 1/60th of a second is over 3.5 TB/s (512/8*60=3840 GB/s). Vram is still important, its just that it is no longer such a limiting factor in most cases.

    True, the problem is that apple did not put a good amount of vram on the card. While it seems that OEM's will put absurd amounts of vram on crappy cards to make people buy them, it seems like apple does not put enough vram on its cards to make people buy a better model or have to sell it later down the line.

    For gaming, the gt 650m and gtx 660m will choke on 512 MB, gaming will be possible but you will have problems, especially running vram hungry games like skyrim (btw on my crappy gt 525m laptop, skyrim uses 450-525 MB vram at 1366 x 768 on medium).

    Considering the 6970m had problems with 1 GB (or was very close) the gtx 675mx may have problems.

    Note: these vram issues are only for gaming.
  12. Occamsrazr macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2012
    Wouldn't the 2GB version take care of that concern?
  13. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    Depending on the game you probably won't need to spend the extra money though if I'm buying the ultimate iMac to begin with, I might as well get the better video card and with more memory. It would be as though I'm buying a luxury car and them offering satellite radio for a bit extra. I figure "Might as well."

    I think we can all agree on the following. If you're going to game on a Mac, go for the absolute best option you can.

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