Mac Mini Graphics (I Know Now!)

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Intel Inside, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Intel Inside macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2008
    Hey Guys!

    For all of you out there wondering - Why does the more expensive mac mini have a better graphics chip? (128MB vs. 256MB)

    If you read the small print on apples website it states - Memory available to Mac OS X may vary depending on graphics needs. Minimum graphics memory usage is 128MB for 1GB configuration and 256MB for 2GB configuration.

    Basically the reason that the higher end mini has a "better" graphics chip is because the standard configuration is 2GB of RAM

    So that means if you add another Gig of RAM to the lower end mini, you get the 256MB of graphics chip

    Hope that clears it all up :):)
  2. foulmouthedleon macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2008
    Annapolis, MD
    I think this has been covered several times. It solidifies my decision to buy the base model and drop in 4gb of RAM and my 7200 Hard Drive.
  3. bagelche macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
    Western Mass.
    Just to be clear, the video memory in the mini is shared RAM borrowed from the main RAM. So if you have 1 Gig of RAM installed in the machine it splits off 128M for video. If you have 2G of RAM installed it splits of 256M for video. The video RAM maxes out at 256M regardless of how much RAM you have above 2G.

    I also see little reason to pay $200 more for 1G of RAM and a 320G HD. The only reason is if you're uncomfortable dissecting the machine or are concerned about sending it back under warranty and potentially risking your investment in a larger HD, etc. Real reasons to be sure, but not for me.
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Because it would really suck if I had 1GB of RAM and they allocated 256MB of it to the video card.
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I agree with you if this is truly the case. Re - add RAM to the lower model MacMini and gain an additional 128M of video for a total of 256M.

    The question is - has anyone added RAM to the lower end MacMini offering and gotten 256M of Video showing up?

    Also - does anyone as of yet know what CPU upgrades can be done?

    I admit I was hoping for a reasonable bump in CPU speed to say 2.4 or so. Sitting at 2 and just a fraction above doesn't seem to be a speed improvement over the last model. The rest of the new MacMini makeup is welcomed.

    - Phrehdd
  6. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    CPU is socked so I think it's not possible to upgrade it
  7. Beerfloat macrumors regular


    Feb 21, 2009
  8. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    CPU is epoxied to the board. No upgrade is possible.
  9. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Thanks for the response to all on the Video and also on the CPU.

    I waited several months in hope of a MacMini that was around a 2.4 or 2.5 for the higher end model and not only is it "stuck' at 2.0 but really "stuck" to the mobo.

    This is a shame for those wishing to use PLEX or other software for multi-media center showing hi def files. As someone else pointed out elsewhere, Snow Leopard might bring the video more into play and now I'll just have to wait on that.

    My thoughts - Microsoft holds the PC world ransom and Apple holds OSX ransom on its expensive and at times underpowered Macs. I may be looking at Linux with far more interest given this situation and go for XMBC front end for multi-media. ... Sony's PS3 technically has the ability to play lots of different media files yet, intentionally doesn't support m2ts VC-1 or MKV ...

    All of this is a real shame as companies get stupid and greedy.

    - Phrehdd
  10. bugout macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    is everything!

    The previous gen 2Ghz mini plays 1080p HD perfectly with plex, boxee, XBMC, and VLC.. what makes you think the new one doesn't?
  11. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I don't mean to argue the point but I have seen first hand where it did NOT handle high bit rate 1080p m2ts files perfectly at all. In fact an iMac 2.0 doesn't handle all perfectly.

    There are in Plex forums several instances of posts that also mention dropped frames.

    Again - for me I simply wish Apple had a bump say to 2.4 or 2.5.


    - Phrehdd
  12. Goldenbear macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Well, the new Mini also has a much faster bus and faster RAM. That could make a difference. You could also spring for the 2.26GHz processor, even though it's a bit overpriced. That may provide that last bit of speed needed to not drop frames.

    The reality is, if Apple offered 2.4GHz for the processor upgrade, there would be people complaining they wanted faster.
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man


    As you know from our past discussions, OpenCL in Snow Leopard should render the lower clock speed of the Mini a moot point. If it is as good as Apple says it will be, and if they make it easy for devs to utilize it, then Plex should be able to leverage those 16 gpu processing cores on the 9400m, which would alleviate any limitations of the cpu. Let's hope Apple's not misleading us.
  14. bugout macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    is everything!
    My 2ghz mini has flawlessly played every 1080p x264 .mkv I've thrown at it.
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Try a variable frame rate m2ts file and you'll see what Phrehdd is talking about.

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