6970M 1 GB or 2 GB

Discussion in 'iMac' started by nochnia, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. nochnia macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2011
    Hy guys.
    I wanna get a brand new iMac (i7, 4GB+8GB Ram, SSD) in the next weeks. But I'm still not sure about the configuration of the new machine. This iMac will substitute my current machine a desktop pc which is a pretty lame horse (Core2Duo E8400 3 GHz, 4GB Ram)...

    I'll use the iMac for normal internet stuff, university stuff, heavy lightroom and photoshop work and perhaps once a month some video editing. I'm not playing any games, so this isn't any relevant for me.
    I'm using my 32" flat tv (1080p) for watching movies via the iMac via DVI-DP... and perhaps I'm using the old 19" eizo screen as a second screen for lightroom work...

    Should I pay the price for the 2GB graphics card upgrade?
  2. nayr macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2009
    based upon your needs and wants. I would say it would be worth it. It will help greatly with running a external, or two external monitors. Then as far as rendering for video etc it will be a nice bump.
  3. nochnia thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2011
    I shouldn't have said anything about the video editing... it's not even worth mentioning it...
  4. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    Since you run multi-monitor setup and do editing, I'd recommend getting 2GB.
  5. WesCole macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2010
    I am in the same boat...I think I am going to go ahead and go with the 2GB of VRAM when I order in the next couple of weeks just because it isn't a whole lot of extra money when considering what I am having to fork over for the machine. :)

    Plus, I plan on keeping this iMac for a really long time, so might as well get the best specs.
  6. nochnia thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2011
    wow. I'm a little suprised... To be honest, I wasn't interested in ordering the upgraded graphics card until now
  7. iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    Whoa I think we poisoned OP's mind, folks

    Sorry .. We didnt mean to ... But we really can't help to do so either :p
    But Tbh .. 2Gb VRAM doesn't have huge effect for anything. Radeon 6970m still not that powerful to cache and process things with that much of RAM

    Maybe yes for multiple monitor set up, but for most who don't .. You can get Applecare, or decent gaming mouse, or iTunes GC for that unspent $100

    In short, I have ordered iMac with 2Gb VRAM. But if I could pick my iMac again, i'd go with 1GB and spent the extra money for somethin else
  8. SR20DETDOG macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2011
    Queensland Australia
    Agreed, I ordered the 2GB because I wasn't entirely sure and decided to get it anyway since it was a pretty cheap upgrade. Looking back I'd much rather have my $100 back and spend it on an extra 8GB of RAM.

    Live and learn eh? Losing $100 isn't the worst thing in the world.
  9. coolspot18 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2010
    1GB is more than enough VRAM for your use.

    There are very few if any applications that can truly use >1GB of VRAM. And by the time there are, the 6970M will be too slow (it's already a slow GPU).

    Spend the 90 - 100.00 on RAM or AppleCare instead.

    Another thing I learned, you don't need an i7 - and i5 even for intensive work is fast enough. It's more cost effective to buy an i5 for 30 - 40% less and just upgrade more often.
  10. iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    Yeah.. almost feel like a mistake. Sure it won´t hurt to have that extra VRAM, but for what it give .. it should´ve been free or included by standard.

    99% of the time, 2Gb VRAM won´t be different or considerably better than 1Gb one. There´s a reason hi-end GPU (even desktop one) still have such a small amount of RAM, compared to main RAM. It´s because they don´t need one

    I hate I had to admit that mistake ... dang :p
  11. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    I have a question about the dual monitor setup. If I do want to use an external 30" monitor with 2560x1600 pixels, but only rarely for watching HD movies on the external monitor and mostly only for working on not very graphics intensive apps on both displays, do I still want the 2 GB VRAM?

    My Macbook Air with 256 MB usually does the job quite well, but there is definitely some lag sometimes, for example when I zoom out to my Spaces and zoom in to a new one (I'm not sure actually if this lag is due to the CPU or VRAM limitations of the Air. Anyone?).

  12. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2008
  13. coolspot18 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2010
    It's a GPU or CPU limitation (not sure) - the system can't process that many pixels fast enough.

    16MB VRAM would be enough to drive a 2560x1600 screen... 2 screens = 32MB of RAM. If you thrown in a couple hundred megabytes for textures and other cache, 1GB is still plenty to drive two screens. You can probably run 4 screens or more before you start to tax available VRAM.
  14. nochnia thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2011
    Thanks a lot guys.
    I'm going to invest that money in 8GB more RAM :)
  15. Lagmonster macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2007
    I went with just 1 gig. I think the card will become the bottleneck before the memory will. I rationalized by saying I would sell it in two years while still under warranty if it becomes an issue. Love it so far.
  16. Objector macrumors member

    May 16, 2011
    My iMac is arriving tomorrow and after ordering I also started to feel 'stupid' for getting the 2gb VRAM, because I will probably never use that amount of VRAM. Nevertheless it may add more resalevalue in the future!
  17. mickbab macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm also looking at getting a 27" and deciding about the graphics as well.

    It seems here that the general consensus is go for the 1GB, but would this also apply if I'll be doing video editing work with DSLR footage, and running some (at this stage unsure of which) engineering software during university next year? Or would it be best to just spend it on RAM / AppleCare / something?

    Far too many options to decide between for this purchase :p
  18. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    Bear in mind custom building adds, by itself without any options, at least $200, due to not being able to order online from a reseller with no local store!
  19. iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    Again ... for 99% of use time 1Gb VRAM is plenty.

    I admit my mistake to order with 2Gb option, since it's $100 extra which could be substituted with RAM upgrade or apple care if I didnt pick it. Considering this upgrade option has a very little impact on overall performance, more like bragging right :rolleyes:

    Even 3 display setup is not that heavy for 1Gb GPu

    Like I said, extra RAM would give u more headroom, but not so much for GPU, and for what it gives, that option should be given by standard, or at least cost like $50
  20. frontsidebus macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2009
    Is there a way to view how much vram you are using?

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