integrated graphics and UI speed

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 2ms, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    Do Macs with dedicated graphics memory and discrete circuity (ie not integrated on board) have snappier general OS user interface? Or does the difference in graphics speed only come to bear in particularly graphics intensive applications like games?
  2. tipdrill407 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2006
    Macs with Dedicated GPUs will sometimes experience a bit of graphics lag when triggering expose with two monitors running or if there is only 512 mb of RAM installed. Other UI Features run fine.
  3. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2005
    Little grey, chilly island.
    In order to answer your question we need to have a "relative to" added.

    Is the UI faster on a MacPro because of it's dedicated card? Yes, possibly - would it be faster if the macBook had dedicated ram? Who really knows.

    I have a Powermac G5 1.8 and the user interface is just as snappy as on my Macbook which has integrated graphics. The power of the graphics isn't actually as bad as I thought when people were moaning on these boards. I can play all my games that I couldn't actually play on the iBook I had before it. The GMA is a pretty good chip!
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Intergrated graphics - dependent on amount of system RAM

    Discrete graphics - usually fast unless the hard drive is asleep

    I noticed Expose is a tad bit grainy on my Mac mini at work. I have to tweak my new LCD some more though. It still doesn't compared to my old 9800.
  5. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    I thought I read somewhere that integrated graphics have faster timings for things like the GUI?
  6. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    It used to be the case that no matter what, integrated graphics were always very slow. However, these days system RAM is a lot faster than it was in those days. So I do not know how fast or slow modern integrated graphics are. Is the graphics hardware the same between MiniMac and MacBook? Do these machines use dual-channel ram that doubles the bandwidth or anything?
  7. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    The slowest thing for integrated graphics is vertex processing (it doesn't do it; it just hands it to the cpu), but a 2D interface shouldn't have much of that; I'd expect it to basically depend on resolution vs. available memory.
  8. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    Am I going to be A-ok safe for a while from amount-of-ram UI slow-downs with 1GB of RAM or does Tiger like to have more than that somewhat commonly? And if so, do u think 1GB will still be plenty when 10.5 and 10.6 come around?
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Depends entirely on what programs and data you open, and how many at one time. Not possible to guarantee you AOK. 1 Gb is fine for Tiger and 1 or 2 apps, 2 Gb is best for graphic programs, digital audio, digital video and for running a bunch of programs at once.

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