Lack of VRAM on an old macbook, any way I can pool it with the DRAM?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bookingvaness193, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. bookingvaness193 Suspended

    Dec 14, 2018
    So I bought an old macbook late 2008 (aluminium unibody, 13 inch 1280x800) which has a core 2 duo clocked at 2.4GHz, and 4GB of DDR3 dram. I did it as a little project to make it useable, installing an 850 evo, latest software (available for it anyway) cleaning it out, and increasing the ram.

    4GB doesn't sound like enough to share to VRAM, but since all I'm using this for is mainly youtube videos and internet browsing, it's enough. No one games on a mac, especially one that is 10 years old. (no offence if you do, Minecraft ran just fine)

    Everything has been fine, the laptop runs as expected and I see no problems with its use, except youtube videos running at 720p60.
    It is an old laptop, but it can handle 720p60 just fine, until about 5-10 minutes into the video, which is where I assume the whopping 256MB of VRAM is used up on the discrete GeForce 9400M soldered to the motherboard. I think an extra 256MB would fix the problem, and I know this is possible on a windows PC, but I have almost no experience with macOS.
    The amount of RAM free while watching a video is around 3GB, and I hardly ever ago to 2GB, and the CPU runs at an OK temp of 70-80C under load of about 40%, at least for a computer of this age on a lap.

    The laptop is running macOS El Capitan 10.11.6. While largely unsupported, it's good enough.
    It has

    It would be lovely if someone could share their macOS expertise with me to sort this out. Thanks!
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Which browser are you using to run the YouTube videos?

    What happens at "about 5-10 minutes into the video”? You didn’t describe it.
  3. jtara, Dec 18, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018

    jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009
    You'll probably get more response posting in Mac Notebooks, rather than Mac Apps and the Mac App Store!

    I have one of this model, and am the original owner.

    - This model does not have VRAM. It does exactly what you are asking for - it uses some of the DRAM as display memory.

    - You are not limited to 4GB of RAM. While that is Apple's "official" story, it can be upgraded to 8GB. I have 8GB in mine.

    - You can't change the 256MB, as far as I know. I don't know if is a limitation of the integrated graphics, or the driver software. I vaguely recall (from before upgrading memory) that it uses LESS than 256MB in some of the smaller memory configurations. I think the minimum memory it was sold with was 2GB, and then I think it uses less memory for the graphics controller.

    If you want to update to 8GB, do some searches first. You need to have your firmware up to date. You MIGHT have to get specific memory from OWC or similar company that guarantees it will work in this model.
  4. Traace macrumors member


    Jul 21, 2018
    Try SMTube with a current mplayer build. 1080p is no problem with it :)
  5. shock34, Dec 27, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018

    shock34 macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2018
    Thank you very much for your reply. As for where I posted this, I actually didn't. I uploaded the thread on Tom's hardware, but I think a bot from Mac rumors copy pasted it to gain more traffic, but I don't mind, as I got a much better response here.

    I'd like to add that I am certainly not bookingvaness193, and I never made that account, but I am the original poster of this thread.

    The original post can be found here:
  6. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Strange. We don't have a bot that does this. And I'm not sure the motive for the original poster. I'd normally think it's a spam account that just copied to content to seem like a legit account. But there has been no other spam-type activity from it. I've banned it anyway.

    Googling... it appears this same account is doing the same across other sites:


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