HD 3000 allocated memory, gaming performance.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by paulied77, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. paulied77 macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2014
    Question: Has anyone figured out how to allocate more on a MBA in os x? I know it is possible through editing the drivers but I haven't found a method that works on an air.

    My System: 2011 MBA, i5 1.7ghz, 13inch, 4gb memory.

    Before I elaborate my needs further, let me preface by stating I've found the following:
    1 Guides on how to edit the drivers for more memory on HD4000, and another for HD3000 on macbook pro's, and mini's. These do not work on the Air. They result in allocating 5MB of memory.

    2 People say over and over that allocated memory will not help game performance. I've heard it before. I disagree and so does every game developer in the world.

    3 People say "You can't do it, it's a hardware limitation". I have proved it isn't a hardware limitation, as have others.

    I'm trying to play a game(Planetary Annihilation) natively written for OS X, Windows, Linux. It's performance is dismal in OSX. I have to knock the settings to low, turn off all effects and set the textures to low, and reduce the screen resolution. Once I do that it performs ok but looks terrible. It's almost impossible to distinguish between the units in the game.

    I dual boot into windows 8.1 where I have the latest drivers from intel installed. The game performs great on the default settings, minus anti-analyze. It looks wonderful. This is at the native resolution of the MBA screen, not a reduced resolution. I opened the information about the video chipset and found that the intel windows driver has achieved the following:
    Dedicated: 32MB
    Shared: 1632MB
    Total: 1664MB.

    OK, so it is entirely possible that the performance in OSX may be related to the code in that OS not being as optimized as in windows. However, I'd like to test that theory by upping the shared memory in OSX to reflect the settings I have found in windows. Obviously this is not a hardware limitation, and can be done in OSX as others have done it on this chipset on other mac models.

    Has anyone figured out how to increase the shared video memory on a MBA?

    Thanks for reading and any suggestions!

  2. joshlalonde macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2014
    There's more to the equation than Graphics cards.
    The MacBook Air is not a gaming computer, period.

    You need a faster CPU, a SSD, and a dedicated Graphics card to have better performance for games.

    At the very least, a better CPU.
    The MBA 2014 can run low to mid-tier games fairly well, but an older MacBook like yours will have trouble.

    Also, there's 1GB shared memory. You can't increase the dedicated video memory, there is no BIOS.

    Can you upgrade RAM in an older MacBook like yours? If so, that's your best option. 8GB may or may not improve gaming performance.

    Your best option is to buy a new computer dedicated to gaming, or research if a newer MacBook Air such as mine can run the games you want (it probably can, but again, it's not a gaming computer)

  3. paulied77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2014
    A: Your response doesn't answer my question. "buy a new computer" and "add more system memory" don't event come close to answering if anyone knows how to hack the driver. If someone asks how to I crease their mpg in their car you don't suggest they buy a new car or replace their engine.
    B: I've proven the game runs fine under windows with more shared memory available. Buying a faster computer to run it is a ludicrous advisement.

    I hate to have to be so blunt, but if I don't block absurd responses off at the pass more will certainly follow. Please don't respond unless you have something to add that helps to answer the question of how to increase allowed shared memory as has been done with mac minis and pros.
  4. joshlalonde macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2014
    I answered your question exactly how you wanted.
    You CANT do it.

    You could, however, try installing another OS and using that. There's probably some way to do it. But on OS X, you can't. Try the old methods if they don't screw your computer.

    So, get a new computer or give up.
  5. paulied77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2014
    Did you even read my original post? If you had you'd realize your replies are completely nonsensical in context of the original post.
  6. crsh1976, Sep 24, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014

    crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    Going by Planetary Annihilation's GPU requirements:

    Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTS 250, AMD Radeon HD 4850, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or better (512 MB VRAM, OpenGL 3.1 or better)

    Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 560, AMD Radeon HD 7790 or better (2 GB VRAM, OpenGL 3.1 or better)

    Even if you could allocate 512 MB or more to your integrated HD 3000, it still may not be enough to push things adequately..

    Also, here's a good read : http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=intel_sandy_threesome&num=3

    In short, OpenGL performance in OSX isn't as good when compared to Windows and even Linux, the report is specific to OpenGL on the HD 3000 iGPU, too.

    But since that's probably exactly what you don't want to read, carry on and good luck.
  7. paulied77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2014
    1: I'm already aware of the requirements. The game runs fine under a different OS regardless of the advertised requirements. In addition, I didn't ask what the requirements are. I don't know why you are sharing that information as requirements have nothing to do with a method of allocating more shared memory, which was the question.

    2: I clearly stated I'm aware of the possibility of the performance being osx specific outside of the confines of shared memory. I don't know why you are pointing me to articles stating the same thing.

    3: You CAN allocate more shared memory with that chipset as others have done on a mbp and mini. I already stated that you can and substantiated via having seen proof.

    If people don't know the answer to an asked question, then they shouldn't say anything. Do you know what specific values to edit in a specific kext or a resource that might shed some light on how to figure it out? No? Well then you can't answer my question, so don't try.
  8. joshlalonde macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2014
    In order to help me help you, provide links to the documentation on the process to increase vRAM for the Pro.'

    Edit: Nope, not possible. It doesn't happen at the OS level. The best you can do is trick your game into thinking you have more VRAM so it uses better textures. You can't increase your performance.

    I'm done trying to help you, there's nothing you can do.
    Don't be so rude, either.
  9. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    You have answers, but they're obviously not what you want to read.
  10. paulied77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2014
    Answers, but to what I'm not sure. I could have just posted the words "MacBook air gaming" and I'd have gotten the same vomiting of facts that don't pertain to my question.

    As requested, not that I expect you'd have a clue as you don't even think its possible.
  11. joshlalonde macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2014
    Well, they edited the actual graphics driver. I don't know how exactly to go about doing that, but I'm going to tell you that it's not worth it. It won't improve your game performance. So, I would recommend not doing this. Just give up.

    You're better off improving overall game performance through speed-boosting software, closing all unused apps and processes, etc.
  12. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Increasing memory dedicated to the GPU could potentially result in huge performance gains. It could eliminate texture thrashing which might be a huge bottleneck.

    The fact that the game runs well in Windows and not OS X indicates that poor performance isn't a hardware limitation. Whether or not it has to do with the amount of graphics memory allocated is debatable but the insistence that Paul upgrade his laptop is not warranted.

    Paul seems to have asked "how do I edit the graphics driver" and I agree that the answer to that question isn't "don't do that."

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