Does Radeon graphics make web browsing go faster?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hruvulum, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. hruvulum macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2011
    Corte Madera, CA
    The only thing I want to do with a new Mac mini that might conceivably go faster with Radeon graphics and on which I am willing to spend money is "frantic web research": namely, opening lots of tabs, switching quickly between tabs and scrolling in Google Chrome. Those things would not go significantly quicker with Radeon graphics, would they?

    I am pretty sure that when my computer has been unable to keep up with my "frantic web research", most of the time, the delay is because the page's Javascript has not finished running. Surely, Radeon graphics is not going to help with that; is it?

    I almost did not post this because the answer seems so clear, but then again, well, I am no expert.

    Another source of delay in the past has been waiting for large images to show up on the rendered page. If the image is not already in graphical memory, would Radeon graphics do that significantly faster than Intel graphics? (If so, is that because the bandwidth between CPU and Radeon graphics is higher than that between CPU and Intel graphics?)

    Finally, same question for PDFs instead of images.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. HellDiverUK macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2009
    Belfast, UK

    Only thing the Radeon graphics might help with is lots of Flash content.
  3. thankins macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2007
    RAM is going to help most in this case
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    It could also be limitations in the multi-tasking abilities of the web browser. I know some functions can choke up Firefox. When neither my CPU or RAM are being taxed heavily. Such as at the completion of a download Firefox sometimes hangs for a second or two depending on the type and size of the file.

    With any new computer really only a faster internet connection will speed up browsing. Like switching from DSL to Cable or paying for a higher speed tier with your current ISP.
  5. caligomez macrumors regular


    Feb 8, 2011
    San Juan, PR
    I have a 2011 MBP with a dedicated Radeon GPU. However, I notice that for most browser tasks, the Radeon GPU doesn't even kick in. Everything is mostly handled by the integrated GPU (Intel HD 3000).

    So basically, you might find that the Radeon GPU is not going to affect your "frantic web research"...
  6. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    No. A graphics card is more for rapid screen refreshing like movies, games and some image editing problems - it is only under certain conditions like those that the chip will even kick in. So you don't need a good, or even dedicated GPU, for web browsing.

    As a side note i often have several taps open in Safari and if I find a site is taking unusually long to display a web page I do a quick test with other taps to see if the problem is the same on all sites. This test shows me if the problem lies in the connection or the website - 98% of the time it is the site itself.

    Your Mac Mini should be more than adequate to this task
  7. hruvulum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2011
    Corte Madera, CA
    Thanks, everyone. Informative answers, especially this one:


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