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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Macbook - Shared Memory Graphics Card


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CarlConti08

 
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Will someone please explain the shared memory graphics card to me. If it sucks so much compared to the regular graphics card, then why did apple choose to use it in the macbook. Is there any way to alot more memory to the graphics card if the computer has more memory. For instance, if i upgrade the memory to 2gb, will i or is there any way to receive an increase in graphical performance? Someone help me out, i dont exactly kno what to ask someone to explain so please just explain what you can!

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taseal

 
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it just means that the graphic card 'borrows' 64mb of ram from the onboard ram to do it's graphic stuff... and it has to emulate T&L which takes from the CPU...

macbook doesnt have this because if it did, it would be just as well equipped as a macbook pro, so then man ppl wouldnt buy the mbp

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Aptmunich

 
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Shared memory means that the graphics chip doesn't have it own dedicated batch of memory, it simply accesses the main memory and uses part of that.

So adding memory will improve overall performance, as your standard 512MB are really 432MB for the system and 80MB for the graphics.

The graphics card can't access more memory than that under OS X though, so adding more memory will boost overall system performance, but not the graphics throughput.

The chip was used because it's whilst it's not brilliant for games, it's cheap and affordable and has enough horsepower for probably 90% of users out there.

Performance really isn't that bad... it's probably on par with the 64MB chip in the powerbooks and waay better than the chip in the iBooks.

Also because this system is generally really fast, the cpu can compensate quite well.
Do a search on macbook gaming, there's quite a few first-hand experiences posted - I am one of a number of happy macbook gamers. (It's "good enough"). If you are really into gaming though, look at the macbook pro.
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lionel

 
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When i was checking the shared memory on the Macbooks at my local Apple store, one of the 1GB models had 256 shared, the Genius told me the version of OS X it had allowed you to scale it the following way:

512 RAM = 64 Shared
1GB = 128 Shared
2GB = 256 Shared

Baffles me why 1GB had 256 shared but he mentioned after 10.4.7 (i think) it automatically scaled as above as needed.

Oh yeah, and they used it because the chip itself costs $7 per unit apparently.
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Well I have 1,25GB but I still only have 64MB available for the graphics card....
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lionel

 
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Maybe while you run something like a game it scales up, i'm not sure about it, all i know is that store model with 1GB ram had 256 shared and another with 2GB had 256 shared too.
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taseal

 
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I have 2gigs, and I have 64 as well

not sure where u get that 256, doesnt show in system profiler, and it would show there...

i've also never heard of computers changing it dynamically (VRAM for gfx card)

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I would have taken a photo, but the security guard in the Apple store said i couldn't... :/
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