Adding 2nd display... performance hit?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sutekidane, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Sutekidane macrumors 6502a

    Sutekidane

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    #1
    I've been thinking of adding a 2nd display to my iMac coreduo 1.83ghz, with radeon x1600 128mb video. It's either going to be a 19" widescreen or a 22" display. My question is how much of a performance hit will it be adding the display? I do play games on this computer (WoW) and I do use a lot of CS2 and Macromedia suite. I'm assuming this won't impact my processing performance, but I'm almost certain that my framerates in WoW will go down, but by how much?
     
  2. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #2
    I can't really say how much of a performance hit you will take, but because of the fact that your video card only has 128 of vRAM, it won't handle two moniters too well. Have you considered a lower resolution moniter, perhaps one of 17 size? Your computer would be able to handle that much nicer than if it were a 22 or so.
     
  3. Xeem macrumors 6502a

    Xeem

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #3
    I totally disagree. Although OS X might say that each screen is getting 64MB of VRAM, in reality it does allocate resources based on need. So, if you are running WoW on your main screen and CS2 on the side, WoW would be getting the system resources and should run with little or no impact in framerates, unless you start using CS2, at which time WoW framerates will drop until you switch back to it. Even my iBook suffers no noticeable performance hit running WoW on an external monitor while Firefox resides on the laptop's screen (via the screen spanning hack).
     
  4. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #4
    Are you nuts? 128MB is more than enough to handle two screens for desktop use. I know, I have the same video card in my 20" iMac with a second 20" display on the side. It's smooth as butter.

    Go for whatever size you want, up to the 24". It will handle it fine.
     
  5. LtRammstein macrumors 6502a

    LtRammstein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #5
    Good to know that the video RAM won't affect performance, now the next questoin is:

    Is it better to let the OS control the monitor, or should you get a program to "span" the desktop?

    Steve
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #6
    My Radeon 9000 with 64 MB of RAM running two 17" LCDs sure is entirely incapable of doing so. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Bibulous macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #7
    FWIW my TiBook with 16mb vram drives a 20" 1680x1050 Dell just fine, only slows down when first stating to play a DVD, give it a moment and it plays great.
     
  8. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #8
    Definitely the OS. I'm not sure why you would want to introduce a third party program into the picture. The OS has to be aware of the monitor anyway for any program to use it, so I'm not sure of what types of programs you're referring to.
     
  9. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #9
    My friend has the same setup and he gets poor performance. For example, when he activates dashboard it is all laggy and the same goes for expose. He gets low fps in games when the other moniter is just sitting on the desktop. Guess I shouldn't have based my judgement off of his setup...
     
  10. nosser macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    orange
    #10
    I have a imac 1.83 cd 128mb with a dell 20" and have no problems with wow on the main screen and multiple browsers open.
     
  11. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #11
    I don't play games, but as the nosser just said it should work well enough for that. If he's having laggy issues with dashboard then I think he might have some other things going on. How much RAM does he have? I've got 2GB, that may have something to do with it.
     
  12. nosser macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    orange
    #12
    yup 2gb!
     

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