from Apple website: 'Minimum graphics memory usage is 256MB'?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Mic'sBook, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. Mic'sBook macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #1
    Take a look at this:
    http://www.apple.com/macbook/specs.html

    It says:
    Graphics and video support
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory3

    At the bottom (for the superscript 3):
    Memory available to Mac OS X may vary depending on graphics needs. Minimum graphics memory usage is 256MB

    ==========

    Should it be 'maximum' instead of 'minimum'?

    I don't quite understand what that means, if someone could clarify on that, that would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    It says the same in Finnish site as well (it's in Finnish so not worth linking).

    I think it's right because it's the same in 13" MBP as well

     
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #3
    Shared video RAM increases with the total system RAM you have and the demand for VRAM. The minimum allocated is 256 MB.
     
  4. pricej636 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 30, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    There is no dedicated vram. What it means is that 256MB of system RAM is dedicated to video, regardless of whether you using it or not. This 256MB is not available for the OS to use at all. Which is one reason the macbooks respond so well to RAM upgrades. If you are using the stock 2GB of RAM, 1/8th of it is unavailable to the OS. I cant recall the last time i used any kind of computer with less than 2GB of RAM.
     
  5. pricej636 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #5
    I guess I should clarify, the graphics chip doesnt have onboard RAM. In reality there is 256MB of dedicated VRAM, but it lives on the same chip as the system RAM. Thus the term "shared" VRAM.
     
  6. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #6
    Activity monitor is always out of 1.75 GBs (2 GBs installed) for me, so I think it's generally a fixed amount of RAM (256 MB). Well it seems to be that way on my MBP.
     
  7. pricej636 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #7
    I think thats what the apple quote means. There is a minimum of 256MB allocated to video, always. It implies that you could pull more VRAM if you need it, and if you have enough system RAM spare.
     
  8. Mic'sBook thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #8
    Thank you pricej636, BlizzardBomb and the rest of the replies! :)
    It seems that I interpret what they are saying wrong, as I thought the maximum video RAM that NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor can get is 256MB shared RAM from the system RAM.
     
  9. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #9
    I'm using the 9400M in my MBP and I added up all the Real Mem usages of the top 29 processes (one page) in Activity Monitor (smallest RAM use out of those processes is 1.8 MB) and got ~1414 MB. My Activity Monitor shows up as 1.75 GB so where did the extra ~378 MB go? To the VRAM?
     
  10. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #10
    Not quite sure what you mean. Do you mean that your MBP has no free RAM left but adding up all the processes doesn't make it up to 1.75 GBs? If so, recently quit applications will still be held in "Inactive" RAM.
     
  11. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #11
    There's 1.97 GB of Used RAM. I think that explanation makes sense, my Inactive RAM is ~403 MB which isn't far from ~378 MB + ~30 MB for the other processes that use really tiny amounts of RAM.
     
  12. EuroBrit macrumors member

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    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Solihull, UK
    #12
    I use one on a daily basis. :(
     

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