Gma X3100

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Yashamaru, May 27, 2008.

  1. Yashamaru macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I was wondering if you're able to to control the amount of shared memory the GMA X3100 uses?
    In my macbook, the GMA X3100 shares up to 144 MB with the main system memory. Now I know that in Windows you can control this through BIOS, but since there's no BIOS on mac I'm wondering if there's anonther way to do this.
    I'd like to changes this amount of shared memory to 384 MB (which is the full potential of the GMA X3100) since I have 4 GB RAM and I think m ymacbook can handle it.
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #2
    As far as I am aware it cannot be changed under OSX.
     
  3. Yashamaru thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    That's just weird :S ...

    And if you run Windows on a macbook through bootcamp, VMware, Parallels, whatever..., would BIOS then be functional to change the amount of shared memory and if so would it 'remember' the settings for OS X?
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #4
    I think it gets set by the drivers, not the BIOS so no. Even when booted to Windows there is no real BIOS to speak of, just a thin BIOS emulation layer sitting on top of EFI.

    To be honest I'd be surprised if you see any massive improvement anyway: it's still system RAM, not high speed dedicated VRAM.
     
  5. Yashamaru thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Yeah maybe, but still I can imagine that is must make some difference 144 MB or 384 MB...

    I did find a driver for the GMA X3100 on the Intel website which should unlock its full potential but it is Windows only. But if I use that driver through Bootcamp, VMware or Parallels would it affect OS X as well?
     
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #6
    It'd be amazed if you can install it (and use it) at all in VMWare or Parallels: they present virtualised non-hardware graphics hardware, no the real hardware. Rebooting from Bootcamp to OSX will allow the OSX drivers to reinitialise the system resetting the memory.
     
  7. Yashamaru thread starter macrumors newbie

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  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #8
    Whilst you are running Windows? Sure, almost certainly.
     
  9. Yashamaru thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Alright.

    Thanks.

    If I install this driver the shared memory will change from 144 MB to 384 MB but since the driver is Windows only, will the shared memory still be 384 MB when I run OS X?
     
  10. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #10
    I don't think so, but it won't do you any harm to try it out.
     
  11. Yashamaru thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    OK, I'll be sure to get back on this as soon as I've tried it, and I'll also try and post the changes in performance (If there are any...)

    If anyone else has some info on this or has already tried it, please post your findings...

    Thanks
     
  12. arsenalfan004 macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Do you have the link for the driver? I would like to try this as well.
     
  13. Yashamaru thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=N&DwnldId=12536&lang=eng

    I'm not 100% sure it'll work since it's written specifically for the Intel® G965, Q965, Q963, 946GZ, 945G, 945GM, 915G, 915GM/GMS, 910GL,and 910GML chipsets and will not function with any other product. But since these are the only laptop chipset which have the GMA X3100 embedded I think they'll work fine.


    (There's also a Vista driver available)
     
  14. Yashamaru thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
  15. mosx macrumors 65816

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    #15
    What's the point? The X3100 is such a bad performer (worse than the GMA 950 in real world situations) that you'll be wasting your memory for absolutely no performance gain. None. Zero.

    And unlike Intel GPUs of the past (and some other integrated GPUs), the GMA 950 and X3100 allocate memory dynamically, not through the BIOS. I mean the driver/OS allocate memory as needed or not. OS X's drivers set aside a certain amount and leaves it there. Windows will use as much or as little as needed. Windows drivers will not allow you to choose how much memory the card does or does not use. And, again, theres absolutely no performance gain by going up to 384MB with the X3100. It's an absolutely terrible GPU. The worst of the worst.

    Also, Macs have no BIOS. They use EFI with BIOS support for Windows.

    Anyway, it's all driver based. Even if you could tell WINDOWS to use 384MB through the driver, that would all be reset when you reboot the computer into OS X. Older Intel GPUs and some by nVidia and ATI will take a certain amount of memory at startup and use more if necessary, but the GMA 950 and X3100 do it through drivers. Again, OS X allocates a certain amount at startup and leaves it as it is, while Windows will use memory dynamically based on need.

    If you want better performance you're better off selling the MacBook and getting a PC that costs less and has the same GPU as the MacBook Pro.
     

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