i7 GPU?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jgw1283, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. jgw1283 macrumors regular

    jgw1283

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    Aug 6, 2007
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    Tempe, AZ
    #1
    I've been eyeing a Mini for a while now and have a few questions. How is the GPU that comes with the 2.7 i7? More specificially will it be able to handle Windows 7 64bit for gaming (with 8gb of RAM)? I already have a monitor so I dont need an iMac. I'm also considering replacing my MBP with the new ivy bridge chips when those come out but a Mini is much cheaper and for now would be fine.

    thoughts?
     
  2. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #2
    I play RAGE with smooth frame rates at full native resolution (1440x900) on my 1.8ghz i7 MacBook Air with 4GB of ram under Windows 7.

    It should do fine.
     
  3. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

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    Aug 24, 2011
    #3
    There are many factors that determine playable frame rates. Both the 2011 mid-range Mac mini with AMD 6630M and the Mac mini server with integrate Intel HD 3000 can play modern games such as BF3. The Intel HD 3000 is compatible with most, if not all games in the Mac App Store. However, this does not mean playing at full screen, hi-res, and high quality settings. I would say 720p resolution is very reasonable. 1080p resolution is pushing it. The AMD 6630M will perform better than the Intel HD 3000 because the AMD 6630M has dedicated GDDR memory, although a very limited amount (256MB).
     
  4. jgw1283 thread starter macrumors regular

    jgw1283

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    #4
    what I'm debating is how much better all of this would be on a new MBP and if its even worth the price difference
     
  5. The-Pro macrumors 65816

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    #5
    benchmarks for the 6630M, several game fps further down
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6630M.43963.0.html

    The 6630M has DDR3 memory btw, and not GDDR3 or GDDR5 like many people say. thats essentially the difference between the 6630,6650,6730 and the 6750 and 6770. the last two have GDDR5 whilst the other three have DDR3 which is much slower.
    A MacBook Pro will achieve much better performance as it has a 6750 or 6770 which both have GDDR5 and also 512 or 1024MB of it. 6750M is on average 15-30% faster
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6750M.43958.0.html
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6770M.43955.0.html
    If you click on the fps numbers you can see which system they were achieved on.
     
  6. jgw1283 thread starter macrumors regular

    jgw1283

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    #6
    I'm coming from a 2.5ghz Core 2 Duo MBP with 4gb ram so I really dont know the true differences between i3/5/7 and dual core vs quad core. I figure any of them are going to blow my current MBP away....

    I'm not looking for an Alienware rig to run everything on extreme maxed out graphics on 4 monitors while running 12 apps simultaneously, just looking for something that will run most modern games/apps well.
     
  7. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a

    pilot1226

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    #7
    Could you make a case for the integrated video card to be better because it could use more than 256 MB of system memory? I imagine this is a setting somewhere. Windows/BIOS had one like "AGP Apeture Size" or something along those lines.
     
  8. HandySam macrumors member

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    May 9, 2011
    #8
    Lol BF3 with HD3000, no it's not playable at all. Even @ lowest settings.

    I've tried BF3 on my MBP with GT 330M 512MB and everything on lowest settings, it is not playable. (on a clean install with latest drivers)


    If you want to play some real games (not angry birds or something) then you must pick the model with the discrete GPU (AMD) and this is a minimum.
     
  9. borostef, Feb 29, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012

    borostef macrumors 6502

    borostef

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    #9
    You are wrong... Mini with AMD graphics has 256MB GDDR5 graphic card. It has DDR3 memory interface, which means that it uses DDR3 RAM memory to communicate with the processor. That has nothing to do with the graphic card memory... It is just your good old RAM that can be DDR, DDR2, or DDR3... Of course the Mini uses DDR3, up to 8GB officially, and 16GB unofficially...
     
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #10
    if you like to game do not buy a mini. maybe the 2012 mini will be good but the 2011 does not cut it on a 1080p screen.
     
  11. InuNacho macrumors 65816

    InuNacho

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    #11
    The i7 the OP is talking about comes with the 6330M and from the video below looks fairly playable. Not stellar but playable.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1AkRT80SXc
     
  12. The-Pro, Feb 29, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012

    The-Pro macrumors 65816

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    #12
    So why is it that the links state that the 6630M, 6650M, 6730M all have DDR3. And that the 6750M and 6770M have GDDR5. It even says "HD 6750M is a 6650M with GDDR5 memory. So ist seems like the 6650, 6630 and 6730 have DDR3.
    Also how does it make sense that a 6750 has better performance than a 6730 with 125MHz higher clock and same amount of shaders??? According to the link "HD 6730M is a 6770M with slow DDR3 memory."

    Until i saw that I thought it had GDDR5, im just saying what the links tell me.
     
  13. philipma1957, Feb 29, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #13
    i have taken photos of the discrete gpu in the mini and it is clearly ddr5 I will try to find a post.

    this is the discrete gpu mini's ram


    http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/...ni-2011/6265433?seq=68&tag=siu-container;jj6b



    some very nice shots of the mini

    http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/...433?tag=siu-container;thumbnail-view-selector
     
  14. The-Pro macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Very interesting. Appears like the notebook check is wrong. Still doesn't explain HD 6730M is a 6770M with slow DDR3 memory" or "HD 6750M is a 6650M with GDDR5 memory" Especially because what else can cause the performance difference in cards with the same amount of shaders and same or higher clocks.
    Maybe there are certain editions of the 6630M, one with GDDR5 and one with DDR3?
     
  15. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Singapore
    #15
    I was under the impression that dedicated or discrete GPUs always used their own memory (GDDR), and integrated GPUs had it hard wired from RAM (as they are on-die, etc)....?
     
  16. borostef macrumors 6502

    borostef

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    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    #16
    Look at the specs of the Mini with AMD graphics on the Apple site, I do not think they would be lying...
    Those specs can also be found on many other sites.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4515/2011-mac-mini-goes-sandy-bridge-specs-details-and-our-thoughts
    http://www.apple.com/macmini/specs.html

    I still think that you are maybe confusing DDR and GDDR memory...
     
  17. The-Pro macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Im not confusing anything, im stating what is says on the website. Also im wondering why GPU's with the same amount of shader cores and clock rate have a 15% performance difference when the only difference is apparently the memory type.
     
  18. emoore macrumors regular

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    Aug 27, 2003
    #18
    Yeah it appears like notebook check is wrong since AMD and Apple state it has GDDR5 memory. I would trust AMD over notebook check.
     
  19. jgw1283 thread starter macrumors regular

    jgw1283

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  20. The-Pro macrumors 65816

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    #20
    haha
    The processor itself is very good. More power then most people ever need.
    An the GPU is good enough. You need to decide if its good enough for you. For that look at the fps in games it had achieved (in the links from my first post)
     
  21. class77 macrumors 6502a

    class77

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    Nov 16, 2010
    #21
    I have been very happy with my i7 with AMD graphics. So far, it's handled everything I've thrown at it
     
  22. jgw1283 thread starter macrumors regular

    jgw1283

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    #22
    I can play the waiting game forever. I'm debating just getting a maxed out mini now or waiting for a refresh AND/OR ivy bridge Mac Book Pro.....just fun asking opinions on here :)
     

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