3 Replies Latest reply: Apr 29, 2012 3:30 PM by Klaus1
epicbobman52 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

hello, sorry If this is in the wrong place.


I own a late 2009 ( 21 inch display, 3.06 GHz procesor) and I mainly use to  play games with my freinds. But lately Ive been noticing that my framerate has been slowing in newer games. I am going to upgrade to 12gb of ram, but was wondering while Im at it why not look int graphic cards, I read online that I can buy an external graphic card adapter ( I think it uses USB 2.0 or firewire ) and was wondering If anyone knew anything about them, or If they can be used with my system. I am asking because my computer has a nivida Geforce 9400 with 256mb of GRAM, and some newer games say I need more ram. im currently on 10.6.8 snow lepord, but can upgrade to lion IF necasary.


thanks in advanced for any advice.

p.s. sorry I dont have any links, ill try to post some ASAP

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: late 2009 imac external graphic card.
    necronym Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    The Geforce 9400 with 256MB RAM is shared with your system RAM, it's not dedicated graphics memory. If you have 4GB DDR installed and up it to 12GB you will see a better overall system performance, but your graphics card will still only access 256MB from the system RAM.


    By increasing system RAM to say 12GB, you are allowing the full 256MB to be used for the graphics, leaving a significant amount of free RAM for the system to use. If you are currently using the default 4GB, it's possible that memory intensive tasks are 'stealing' a bit of your 256MB graphics memory and so you see a drop in frame rate when playing games.


    Increasing the RAM should help to a certain extent, but as new games come out, the graphics demands are pretty much always higher and so for newer games, you may have to drop framerate and / or detail etc to get a better more fluid gameplay experience.

  • 2. Re: late 2009 imac external graphic card.
    epicbobman52 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks, but that dident awnser my question, It was helpfull though.

    also, is there any way to dedicate more ram to my graphic card?

  • 3. Re: late 2009 imac external graphic card.
    Klaus1 Level 8 Level 8 (44,505 points)

    You cannot upgrade the graphics card on an iMac as it is integrated with the motherboard.


    Adding more RAM may help. Apple OS X allocates memory on the fly.