What ARE integrated graphics?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by speedemonV12, May 17, 2006.

  1. speedemonV12 macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2005
    what exactly does integrated graphics in the macbook mean??...does it mean that windows will run slower, games will run slower under the windows, will applications that take a lot of ram in OS x run slower? ...how does it hinder the machine, if it does at all??

    im going to get the macbookpro in august, when they get the merom chip that intel will release, but im starting to think about the macbook since it is so much cheaper, but integrated graphics is one thing that might hold me back if it is that much of a problem, other than that, the macbook, and the macbookpro, are very similar machines, i cant seem to see what the large differences are in the two ...

    thanks for all your help !
  2. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Wikipedia summarizes it rather well... the key points is its NOT upgradeable and usually shares the system's RAM for Video RAM.

  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Intel's GMA965 looks to support vertex shaders and Shader Models 3.0 and 4.0. It's not a powerful NVidia or ATI GPU but it's cheap and you'll be seeing it in the future.
  4. speedemonV12 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2005
    so under the integrated graphics, will Windows run slower?, will games in windows run slower? or how about some of the high level apps in OS x, for video editing?.
  5. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    Portland, Oregon
    If you've got plenty of memory, then the amount of memory the integrated graphics will steal will not affect normal application performance to any great degree. So high level apps will work fine.

    Games are another issue as the most demanding games use 3D graphics, which integrated graphics adapters usually do not cope very well with. If you run 3D games I would steer you away from integrated graphics, otherwise I think you'll be fine.
  6. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I had a PC with Integrated graphics and I was suprised some games ran as good as it did. You would think the thing would crash from the comments here. I think people are upset because for a few dollars more it could be much better with a dedicated graphics chip.

    I wonder what the percentage of PCs sold today have integrated graphics and people still play games on them without knowing any difference.
  7. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    The saddest thing is we have games coming that are just going to laugh at Integrated graphics, I would bet many wont even play on this cheapist of all GPU's. Integrated means low low cost and that = low low performance. You want to play a game from years ago it should be OK. You want to play a brandnew game? better prepare yourself for dissappointment. Come on Apple how hard is it to have a option of a real GPU in your machines? Apple is so busy fighting between product lines they forgot to offer customers options. So what they are doing is putting the lowest form of graphics in its so called consumer models as if consumers arent gamers. This is the Nintendo generation and not having a decent gpu option in todays machines is BS.
  8. fredwards macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2005
    The GMA950 (integrated graphics in the macbook and mac mini) essentially is not nearly as powerful as the standalone Graphics in the higher end systems, however it is still "Vista Ready" and evidently runs OSX's graphical environment flawlessly.

    Basically unless you are doing 3D modelling or gaming, it will not really impede on the performance of your OSX (or windows) experience. However, the second you touch a game, the performance gap will be SIGNIFICANT (and I mean significant).

    It's up to you. Personally, OSX is not the greatest gaming platform, and although installing Windows to run games is appealing, it still is not ideal. For the price gap between the MBP and Macbook, I dont think this will be a make or break issue.

    The difference in price can easily by an Xbox 360 or something of the like that will deliver a great gaming experience and still save some cash in the process.

    THe only thing I wish the GMA950 could do is allocate a larger amount of system ram for use as vRam. The GMA itself is 400Mhz and being able to allocate 256mb-512mb to video processing would probably make it a pretty decent itegrated solution.

    {Edit} I forgot to mention that it seems as if HD processing is routed to the CPU so I dont think HD video will be effected by having a GMA950 vs another GPU
  9. speedemonV12 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2005
    okay well i am gettin into hardcore gaming now, cs, wow, UT 2004, so i think that i would be better suited going with the dedicated, i was just trying to save myself some money, could get a macbook, for almost a grand lesss than the MBP, o well ...
  10. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    When people complain about Integrated Graphics in their Macs, I don't think how well Windows performs is their first concern. It is inferior to the latest ATI and nVidia GPUs, regardless of what OS you're running.
  11. speedemonV12 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2005
    right, but i did want to do a lot of video and audio editting, and people said that it would be fine, but my next concern was gaming. which is mostly a windows dominated area.
  12. mikemodena macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    Integrated graphics wont affect video or audio editing, but they will affect programs like After Effects, Aperture, Motion, etc. Integrated graphics aren't as bad as people make them out to be. It was said before but the MacBook 1.83GHz with Integrated is better than the iBook G4 with Radeon 9550.
  13. Transeau macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2005
    Alta Loma, CA

    But why are people buying a "budget" notebook if they are looking for the power of a high end notebook? two quotes come to mind;

    Buy the best and cry once.

    You get what you pay for.

    The GMA950 is a nice GPU. It's quick, it's low power, it's cool. It takes up only 5% of the space that the X1600 takes. It also supports all the core features of OSX. Not to mention that it's firmware is upgradable.

    If people are looking for a great gaming notebook, I really don't think a MacBook or a MacBook Pro is the solution for them. There are plenty of $3,000~$5,000 notebooks out there that are built to be massive game systems. There are even SLI Nvidia based notebooks available.

    Personally, I could care less about games. I like to edit video and remix audio on my MacBook Pro. And I'm heading down to the local Apple Store to pick up a Black MB so I can have something small to take to clients. (17" is nice, but a bit bulky for schlepping around daily)
  14. Subiklim macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2006
    Manhattan, New York
    Since when are ANY graphics processors in a notebook upgradable?

    Integrated graphics is a slight dissapointment, it's nothing major. My brother's mac mini runs HL, and CS:S just fine. Chances are if you're buying a macbook and not a macbook pro, you won't even notice a difference.
  15. dr_lha macrumors 68000

    Oct 8, 2003
    Some laptop manufacturers make machines with upgradable GPUs, Alienware (now owned by Dell) are an obvious example.
  16. Xephian macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    United States
    Almost all high-end PC notebook's have upgradable GPU's. Some aren't as easy as others, but for most, it's possible.
  17. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    The point being those high end gaming laptops generally have a battery life of 30 - 60 mins.

    My bro spent a fortune on a gaming notebook from Alienware and it was heavy, noisy, hot and battery lasted 31 mins if you tried to game on it whilst on battery.

    It was really really unpractical as a laptop.

    The macbook is a sweet LAPTOP, it runs cool enough and battery life is great, and for traks like photoshop, painter, word, dreamweaver, flash, and myriad other s it wil work an absolute treat. I've even seen Final Cut running very well on a core duo mac mini, so i'm expecting it will run great on a 2GHz MacBook.

    Yes programs like Aperture, Motion dont officaly support integrated, but they can run them all the same (albeit fooling the installer)...

    It will excel the models its replacing by a signifcant margin and in comparison to other 13" PC laptops with the coreduo is very competative price wise. Nearly all the 13" core duo I've seen all come with integrated graphics so it's not like Apple specifically are conning us.

    Like others say if gaming is such a big thing to you, go for a macbookpro, or a desktop...

    GAMING has never been an important factor for Apple and the vast majority of Apple users...

    You pay's your money and you make a choice.

    GMA950 is alright overall, time to find a bridge and get over it people :) :) :)
  18. Hls811 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 19, 2004
    New Jersey
    But its still only sharing UP TO 64MB of Ram (in the MB)... Whether you have 512MB of Ram or 2Gb - its still only going to allocate up to that 64MB limit. (Obviously, the more ram the better because its 64MB NOT being pulled away for video...)
  19. yadmonkey macrumors 65816


    Aug 13, 2002
    Western Spiral
    Are you certain that will always be the case? It wouldn't surprise me if Apple or a third-party provided a way to allocate more.
  20. Transeau macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2005
    Alta Loma, CA
    The GMA950 can (and will) use up to 224MB of system memory for textures in 3D apps. Normal usage (browsing, watching a movie, iDVD, iPhoto and iMovie) will use 8M~32M depending on resolution and color depth.
  21. Josias macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2006
    My wincrap laptop has a GMA/852 16 MB shared (nor DDR). I play Halo smoothly without hacking or anything. I tried to run an external screen along with my laptop screen, no hacking or problems. I played a 720p video, no hacking in either sound or picture, and I got 25 fps. Also the fact that I have 256 MB PC-3200 333 MHz DDR RAM, gives the GMA worse odds. A MacBook with the superfast intel ram, will be able to run the graphics tasks at an impressive level. If you get just 1 gig (cost $100 to upgrade), you'll have plenty of spare ram for other tasks. The MacBook is the ultimate owner machine, and I would never for a second doubt it being able to run Aperture at acceaptable speeds.;)
  22. electronboy macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2005
    Integrated graphics--at least from Intel are a disaster for anyone who is a performance maven.

    Games run slowly or not at all. Pro apps such as Aperture, Final Cut, Shake, and Motion will also not run becuase Intel integrated graphics are not supported under Core Image.

    If you can afford a MacBook Pro step up. You will get much better performance. If your life revolves around word processing, e-mail and internet browsing then the Intel graphics will be adequate. Do upgrade the memory to 1GB though.
  23. electronboy macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2005
    WRONG! Aperture requires Core Image support. I don't see any Intel graphics chipset on this page:

  24. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House

    Christ, I get tired of you whiny game-playing people. Get a fracking console.

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