Dedicated memory v. shared memory with more overall RAM

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 99redballoons, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. 99redballoons macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2009
    Hey, I don't know very much about how computers work and such, so I'd like to ask for clarification. I know that MacBook Pros have this feature called "dedicated memory" for their graphics cards, while MacBooks do not. From what I can understand, a laptop with shared memory for graphics will leech from the normal memory the laptop is using, which slows down the computer because the graphics card is using memory that could otherwise be allocated to other applications.

    So, would it be better to buy a MacBook Pro with dedicated memory and 2GB RAM, so all of this 2GB RAM will be used for computer applications and not graphics, or would it be better to buy a MacBook with 4GB RAM so that the graphics card can leech however much it wants but I still have sufficient memory to run my applications quickly? Is this how it works?

    (I'd like to do some 3D gaming/playing around with Photoshop without experiencing lag. Obviously, I am also looking to save some money. Edit: I am bent on getting an Apple laptop so no, I will not buy a Windows laptop for better specs and a cheaper price. I would like to experience the wonderful world of Apple, please. As much I would love for both Windows + Apple machines to use for their specialized features, I don't have the luxury of being able to carry around two laptops nor do I have any place to put a desktop.)
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    MacBooks have intergraded 9400M GPUs which uses your systems RAM memory. Dedicated GPU has it's own memory (GDDR3). 9400M uses 256MB of RAM is computer has more than 2GB of RAM. While 256MB is one eight of 2GB, it isn't much and shouldn't slow down your Mac (you can upgrade RAM for 4GBs by yourself).

    If you want to play games, then MBP is the way to go. Intergraded GPUs aren't very good at games because they have low clockspeeds and aren't designed for hard work.

    Sorry, my writing is quite crap now, I'm drunk :D

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