Hi, I have a question about the new Mini, concerning graphics ram.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Dan92, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Dan92 macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2010
    I checked the Apple website yesterday to find that the Mac Mini has been totally revamped in all directions. Awesome! I'm really thinking of buying a Mini, as my sister loves her Mini and my dad loves his Macbook Pro. I was a little disappointed though, to find that just like the new Macbooks, only 256 megabytes of the Mini's system ram were dedicated to the new graphics. Obviously I'm not going to be running really taxing 3d games, but even on light games like Portal and Team Fortress 2 (the kind of things I would be playing, after all, steam did come out for Mac) 256 is a little sketchy. Giving the graphics just a little more ram, say, 512 MBs, would be really nice. It wouldn't be the end of the world if I couldn't, but before I buy a computer, I was just wondering if it's possible to do that.
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Won't make a big difference on such a low-end gpu.
  3. Jawnathin macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2009
    You cannot allocate more system memory to the GPU...

    That said, I doubt the memory is the bottleneck for the GPU. I suspect the fillrate is too slow on the 320M to make use of the 256MB as is.
  4. skipjakk macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2004
    Minimum is 256K

    The new mini is probably similar to the last one. The memory is shared, so the more memory you add the higher the video memory goes. With 4mb installed on the previous mini, you got 512k video memory....
  5. Jawnathin macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2009
    You got a link or source for that? My old MB13 and MBP15 also has a 9400m thats shared with the system memory (same GPU the previous Mac Mini).

    Pretty sure it has 256MB, even with 4GB of memory.
  6. skipjakk macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2004
    Your right, I stand corrected, just checked and my mini is 256mb with 4GB memory....
  7. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    The footnotes on the Mac Mini specs page say:
    "Memory available to Mac OS X may vary depending on graphics needs. Minimum graphics memory usage is 256MB."

    perhaps it goes up to 512mb as needed on the fly, or perhaps when 8gb is installed.

    Anyone have a new mini with 8gb of ram?
  8. G2244 macrumors member


    Mar 4, 2009
    I am very interested in this. If plunking in 8gb of RAM would increase the graphics memory beyond 256MB, I could maybe justify upgrading from my early 2009 Mini.
  9. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2010
    Lawton, OK
    Confirmed that it's always 256MB of allocated memory regardless of system memory (2GB, 4GB or 8GB).
  10. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2010
    The minimum allocated to the graphics chip is 256MB. It can use more, if needed.

    This is a direct quote from the 2010 Mini tech specs, "Memory available to Mac OS X may vary depending on graphics needs. Minimum graphics memory usage is 256MB."

    That means that graphics has priority access to memory, and the OS allocation may be reduced if the graphics requires more than 256MB. I can see this being the case when rendering complex 3D textures at the maximum resolution of 2560x1600 on an external display through the Mini DisplayPort, while simultaneously feeding 1920x1200 through HDMI to another display.

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