Graphics Card Advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by alexl102, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. alexl102 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    #1
    Hi guys,

    Need some advice. I'm a complete noob in this area so if I'm asking the ridiculous please be kind!

    I've got a late-2011 13" MBPro with the 2.4GHz i5 processor and 8GB RAM running osx el capitan.
    It has an intel HD Graphics 3000 512MB Graphics card.


    Although I didn't buy it with gaming in mind, there are one or two games that I enjoy playing on it occasionally. One of them is a sim, for which the latest version asks for a graphics card with 1GB VRam with DirectX 11 Support.

    I read somewhere recently that the Pre-2013 Intel MB Pros are the only ones on which the graphics card can be upgraded.
    So my question is: Is it possible to replace my current graphics card with one that fulfils that requirement, and if so, can I do it myself and how much is this likely to cost?

    Any help and guidance will be hugely appreciated!
     
  2. anc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    #2
    Hey, you read wrong. The mid 2012 models are the last with easily upgradable/serviceable RAM/hard drive/battery and with optical drive. None of the MacBooks form this period did gave users a luxury to change/upgrade graphics.

    You could however try to use thunderbolt connection and eGPU.
     
  3. blut haus macrumors regular

    blut haus

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    #3
    Those solutions are awfully pricey the last time I looked. I'm hoping they get commoditized a bit more. That would be pretty great to have desktop graphics solutions for mobile computers.
     
  4. anc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    #4
    You're right, they are pricey. Probably shouldn't have mentioned it since OP is not hardcore gamer.
     
  5. blut haus macrumors regular

    blut haus

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    #5
    It's still a possibility, though! I think it's not something many people know exists, good to mention it IMO.
     
  6. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #6
    You cannot. The Intel HD graphics is integrated into the i5 CPU which, in turn, is soldered onto the logic board.
     
  7. ActionableMango, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016

    ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #7
    You cannot replace your graphics system in this MBP. As mentioned previously, it is possible to add an eGPU (external GPU), but this is expensive and problematic--I would say it's not ready for prime time yet.

    It might be possible to get your software working on your existing system, although odds of this succeeding will depend entirely on which applications you're talking about. You'll basically need to address both the 1GB and DX11 requirements:

    • Regarding the VRAM requirement, it is possible to manually increase your HD3000's memory allocation from 512MB to 1GB (see here).
    • As for the DX11 requirement, your first possibility is that some applications which require DX11 can actually run on lower DX versions if you find a workaround or patch. For example Crysis 3 requires DX11 but can be patched to run on DX9 systems. So you'll have to search for an application-specific solution and hope your intended applications have a workaround of some sort.
    • If you cannot find an application-specific workaround to the DX11 issue, your next possibility is to force all DX11 applications to run on DX10 (see here). Your HD3000 supports DX10, but this method does not work perfectly or at all for all applications, so your mileage may vary. If you use this method and your application doesn't work, see if you can disable Ambient Occlusion and Tessellation in the graphics settings. Those are two of the big DX11-only features commonly used in games.
    Failing that, there isn't much you can do other than to replace your MBP with a newer model that supports the requirements.
     
  8. alexl102 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    #8
    Mine's a late-2011 so surely falls into that category?


    Thanks all. I'll look into expanding the memory allowance and have a go with the DX11 stuff. Regarding the vRAM, would expanding the allowance have any negative effect on my mac's performance? Nothing else I use other than the sim is that challenging, except occasionally Logic Pro/Mainstage which I rarely use now...
     
  9. ActionableMango, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016

    ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #9
    Expanding the VRAM by another 512MB will take another 512MB away from the main system memory. Whether or not this affects you depends entirely on how much memory you typically use.

    If you happened to be within 512MB of using all of your memory, then taking 512MB away from that will result in paging memory out to the HDD or SDD, which will slow down your system but only under those conditions.

    If you routinely use less memory than that, there will be no noticeable slowdown at all.

    If you routinely use more memory than that, then you were already paging memory to the SSD/HDD as a matter of course. Removing another 512MB will make this worse, but you were already experiencing slowdowns anyway.
     

Share This Page