New iMac VRAM thoughts....

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ShockTroop, May 3, 2011.

  1. ShockTroop macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #1
    Looking at getting the new high end iMac. Should I go with 1GB or 2GB of VRAM? Differences, benefits, etc. I do a little video editing and gaming.
     
  2. Dyne macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #2
    Hi ShockTroop,

    Here is a benchmark that Hellhammer was nice enough to link me earlier which helped influence my decision this evening. This is for the Radeon HD 6950 (the actual desktop card), but it will give you a very good idea of the differences between the cards running with different v-ram configurations. Also, these benchmarks are running games at a resolution of 2560x1440.

    Hope this helps you! :)

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/02/24/amd_radeon_hd_6950_1gb_performance_review/3
     
  3. Hastings101 macrumors 68000

    Hastings101

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    K
    #3
    I'm not the most informed person on this subject, but I seem to remember that anything over 1GB of video ram is useful for high resolutions, and considering the 27" iMac has a very high resolution it might be pretty useful.
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #4
    It's only $100 more on a $2000 computer so if you can stretch, do it.
     
  5. coolspot18 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    Looks like 1GB is enough for most purposes but 2GB can enable some higher graphic settings in certain games?
     
  6. Dyne macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #6
    Pretty much. :) For almost all games, it's a negligible upgrade. Doesn't mean that will be the case for some future titles!
     
  7. hipnotizer, May 3, 2011
    Last edited: May 3, 2011

    hipnotizer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    #7
    Taken from the above link, I am glad that I got the 2gb. I know this is based on the desktop model card but it gives and idea of what to expect when it comes to RAM.

    The Bottom Line

    As it stands there is no better value than Radeon HD 6950 GPU based video cards in this "sweet spot" of ~$249. The Radeon HD 6950 GPU has proven to be a powerhouse for gaming, and now you have two different pricing options. The 1GB models are undercutting the GTX 560 Ti right now, and the 2GB models compete with the factory overclocked GTX 560 Ti cards. In all our gaming experience with all three video cards, there is no better value than the Radeon HD 6950 2GB video card right now. The inclusion of the 1GB Radeon HD 6950 just gives gamers one more option. If you are gaming at 1920x1200 or lower, and are on a budget, get the 1GB version. If you love the high levels AA eye candy, or game at higher resolutions go for the 6950 2GB model.
     
  8. Hexley macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #8
    I have a 27-inch Dell U2711 for which I intend to hook up to the 2011 27-inch iMac so 2GB is pretty much a must.

    I do heavy Aperture 3 & Final Cut Pro work.
     
  9. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #9
    pfft. You could run those apps on a base 27" iMac plus the 2711 and it would still run fine.

    $5 says you would never notice the difference.
     
  10. sth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    The old world
    #10
    Both not very VRAM-hungry.
     
  11. Hexley macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #11
    I may decide to add another U2711. Would then 2GB matter then?
     
  12. tsugaru macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    Edmonton
    #12
    Of course. The memory for drawing on that other screen (if you are doing extended desktop, wouldn't make that much sense to mirror) has to come from somewhere.

    Think of it. 2560x1440 pixels being pushed per monitor. Almost 3.7 million pixels. Double that. More memory will help out.
     
  13. sth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    The old world
    #13
    Needs ~11mb of graphics memory

    ~22mb

    :p
     
  14. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #14
    Actually use 2560*1440*32/8 instead of 2560*1440*24/8 :p
     
  15. sth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    The old world
    #15
    The framebuffer itself doesn't have an alpha component. :p
    Any textures stored by the window manager will, though.

    But even with the miserable GPU RAM management of Windows Vista, the base model's 512mb graphics card would be more than enough for any kind of desktop work.
     
  16. pcguru83 macrumors 6502a

    pcguru83

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #16
    I'm curious about where you are going with this. I keep going back to going with the base 27" instead of the high end 27", so how big a deal is it that the base model only has 512MB of RAM? I've never been much of a PC/Mac gamer at all, so gaming would be minimal.

    My concern would not be so much with gaming as it would be with eye candy that is eventually introduced into the OS (as it always seems to be eventually). Your math intrigues me, because not knowing much/anything about the specifics of how these cards work, that number is surprisingly small.
     
  17. sth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    The old world
    #17
    Minimal or nonexistant?

    If you are going to play 3D games: Get the bigger GPU. Unless you're a hardcore gamer, the 1gb model will be totally fine.

    If you're not going to play 3D games: The graphics card doesn't matter. Even the base model does everything you need for desktop work, including heavy photo and even video editing.
     
  18. A Macbook Pro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    #18
    From what I understand it boils down to this:

    Gaming? Get 2GB VRAM
    Everything Else: 1GB is more then enough

    Heck, you wont even notice the difference in games until maybe a year down the track.
     
  19. sth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    The old world
    #19
    IMHO:

    Gaming? Get the 6790M 1GB
    Lots of gaming? Maybe consider the 6790M 2GB
    Everything else: Choose whatever model you like, even the base 21,5" model has enough power.
     
  20. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #20
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    The sales tax will be more than this upgrade. You'd be crazy not to get it. In 3 years 2GB will be the standard on the base model, and you'll want it on this iMac. The cost is about $0.09 a day over 3 years.
     
  21. ShockTroop thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #21
    I noticed that the only the top of the line iMac offeres either 1gb or 2gb vram. All other models only offer 512 vram. Seems a little weak to me.....
     
  22. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #22
    256 MB is more than enough for everything, except proper gaming..
     
  23. dh2005 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #23
    Yep.


    (PS. Fixed the model numbers for you...!)
     
  24. ShockTroop thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #24
    I would disagree, I have 256MB VRAM now. I have to shrink the resolution down big time when playing Assassins Creed Brotherhood on BootCamp. I look ridiculous with this huge screen and only using half of it when gaming :)
     
  25. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #25
    .
     

Share This Page