Need Opinion: New iMac, VRAM?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by FrankySavvy, May 29, 2011.

  1. FrankySavvy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #1
    So I am about to purchase the new iMac 27" i7 3.4Ghz, however I have been going back and forth whether I should get the 1GB or 2GB VRAM.

    I am a Graphic Designer, which will be mostly what I am doing on my machine. Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator etc..

    However, I do like to game on occasion.....
    I would like to run games like StarCraft 2 and DOW II, which I know shouldn't be a problem.

    However will the 1GB of ram be good enough to run upcoming games like:

    Battlefield 3, Diablo 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

    ??

    Will the graphics card bottleneck out before the 2GB VRam even be used???

    Please help......

    -Franky
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    At least in Portal, the 1GB version is actually slightly faster (though could be due to the CPU too): http://www.barefeats.com/imac11c.html

    The extra VRAM might help in some future games but I doubt the difference would be dramatical.
     
  3. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    #3
    I had the1GB i7 3.4 and felt the GPU was bottle-necking the system,(it was faulty) so gave it back and got the 2GB variant.

    I can only comment about world of Warcraft ATM but it is a lot smoother and I'm getting 60+ fps at 2550x1440 so I'm more than happy.

    I also run Illustrator and photoshop as a designer, but the VRAM makes no difference for these apps anyways. System RAM is what you need for these, I'd recommend about 12GB depending on your usage.

    For the difference in cost, £80 in the UK the upgrade was a no brainer to be honest, the only hassle is the week wait while they build the system, assuming you don't want an SSD ofc.
     
  4. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    You can't change it later. It's worth it just for peace of mind in my opinion. However, I do think it'll be possible for a game to chew up more than 1GB, even if it is only by a little, at 1440p. As reported by Barefeats, Portal 2 on High was consuming ~96% of the VRAM in the 1GB model. Higher quality textures, more AA, who knows how much is needed to put it past the 1GB mark.

    Dragon Age 2 has a "High Resolution Texture Pack" which they recommend at least 1GB of VRAM. That's very likely at 1080/1200p though, at 1440p you'd probably want at least 1.5GB. Going into the future we may see more and more things like this.

    I'd say get the 2GB for sure.
     
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #5
    Some games will run smoother with the 2GB of VRAM.

    Another factor to consider, are you going to be adding a second display to your system? If so, you will probably want 2GB since the second display eats a chunk of the VRAM.
     
  6. FrankySavvy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #6
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

    My issue is I am nervous about buying online...in case I have a yellow tint issue and or dead pixels or any other issues were I would have to return the unit and send it back......

    I am not a huge gamer, more of a casual one....

    Just don't wanna get something I dont need or won't benefit from within the four years I use the unit.

    Franky
     
  7. bpeeps macrumors 68020

    bpeeps

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #7
    Eh just buy it and send it back if it has those problems. All of the yellow tint, noisy hard drive worrywart posts will only make you more apprehensive. Here's some anecdotal info for you, I bought a 27 BTO iMac and it is fine, no problems. And I am sure there are plenty of others who have as well.
     
  8. mankymanning macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    #8
    Surely given the overall amount you are spending on the machine the extra for the 2GB gfx doesn't make all that much difference does it? I'd get it for resale alone I think.
     
  9. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #9
    While I'm not saying the issue isn't there, it's usually blown up out of proportion on the net. Plus it''s easy enough to return or bring to a store for service depending on the issue.

    As for the VRAM, If you plan to use a second display it's a good idea. Also, while you may not be a major gamer, it can still affect your playing.

    Also, if you're keeping the unit for 4 years it's a very small amount of money and it's something that can't be upgraded if you decide you need more VRAM.
     
  10. FrankySavvy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #10
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Thanks guys, I have decided I am gonna get the extra VRAM, considering it's only 90 dollars more.

    I spoke with one of the Apple Store retail employees and they said if there was a problem with the unit I could bring it to my local store to be serviced. So there will be no need to ship it back to Apple....

    :)

    Thanks for the help guys! Now should I wait until Lion comes out? Lol
     

Share This Page