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Video RAM in Mac Mini

11643 Views 40 Replies Latest reply: Mar 9, 2009 8:20 AM by RyanManUtd RSS
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RyanManUtd Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)
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Mar 3, 2009 7:46 AM
According to Apple website, the new refresh Mac Mini comes with NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card.

Q1. Anyone knows whether NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics comes with how much video RAM ? it says it has 128 or 256, so are we getting 128 or 256 ?

Q2. Is NVIDIA GeForce 9400M sufficient to do video editing using FCP without getting hang since this is a shared and not dedicated video RAM ?

Thanks
iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.4), 24 inches
  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,045 points)
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    Mar 3, 2009 8:00 AM (in response to RyanManUtd)
    The cheaper model comes with 128Mb shared RAM and the more expensive has 256Mb. It therefore depends on the model, not the card.

    In terms of whether FCP is compatible, it's odd that Apple have not yet modified the FC minimum specs to reflect the existence of anything other than 'Intel integrated graphics'. As yet they have not however, so it's not possible to tell for sure whether the new minis will run the current version of FCP or not. I would expect the FCP page to be updated pretty soon however - or for users to experiment and begin reporting back.
    G5 DP/2.0 : Mini/1.25 : Mini/1.50 : 2x iMac 24/2.4 : TiBook : iBook : iPhone, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Bart S. Calculating status...
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    Mar 3, 2009 8:05 AM (in response to AndyO)
    This isn't entirely clear. The specs page says the vram is tied to how much RAM you get. So if you select the cheaper model and upgrade to 2GB, does the vram become 256MB (since it's shared) or does Apple lock it down somehow? This is preventing me from hitting the "purchase" button. I'd prefer to get the 250GB harddrive, but not at the expense of vram.
    Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,045 points)
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    Mar 3, 2009 8:10 AM (in response to Bart S.)
    There's no indication in the system specifications that increasing the RAM in the base model will increase the memory set aside for the graphics processor, so at this point one would have to assume that it is fixed.

    I suspect that details such as this will become more clear over the next few days as journalists and engineers get their hands on systems, or those who have already been testing them have the embargo on their findings lifted and begin to report.
    G5 DP/2.0 : Mini/1.25 : Mini/1.50 : 2x iMac 24/2.4 : TiBook : iBook : iPhone, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Bart S. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 3, 2009 8:17 AM (in response to AndyO)
    But if you go to the specs page ( http://www.apple.com/macmini/specs.html ), the footnote for the graphics card says this:
    Memory available to Mac OS X may vary depending on graphics needs. Minimum graphics memory usage is 128MB for 1GB configuration and 256MB for 2GB configuration.

    The fact that it shows up on the 120GB configuration as 128MB vram and on the 320GB configuration as 256MB vram might just be because the 120GB configuration has 1GB RAM and the other one has 2GB RAM. I guess we do have to wait because it's not clear what selecting 2GB for the 120GB does. On the order page there's no indication that the graphics card is any different. Just says "NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics" for both.
    Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,045 points)
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    Mar 3, 2009 8:58 AM (in response to Bart S.)
    As said in other threads on the same subject, the conflicting information Apple is providing is not likely to be clarified by them, so we'll have to wait for 3rd parties to test this and let us know. I can't imagine it'll be long since it's an obvious question to ask and many users are likely to want to know.

    That said, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility (indeed has happened before) that Apple use the same component in differing systems with differing results. A previous mini used an ATI 9200 video card which in some systems had 32Mb VRAM and others 64. It's therefore not impossible that Apple use the same Nvidia component with different base specs. I would hope not however!
    G5 DP/2.0 : Mini/1.25 : Mini/1.50 : 2x iMac 24/2.4 : TiBook : iBook : iPhone, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • nfoo Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
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    Mar 3, 2009 2:28 PM (in response to RyanManUtd)
    I'm almost certain it's driver and system memory determined, not locked.

    256 MB RAM would be a quarter of all system RAM, if you only have 1 GB.
    Apple doesn't "expect" you to change the installed RAM.
    It sells you the low end Mac Mini as the "1 GB installed" Mac mini.

    And with only a single 1 GB RAM stick the system will default to 128 MB video RAM.

    I'm almost 100% sure the driver will give you 256 MB RAM default from anything up from 2 GB installed RAM.
    MacBook Pro 1,83 Ghz - July '06, Mac OS X (10.5.2), 23" Cinema HD Display
  • nfoo Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
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    Mar 3, 2009 2:31 PM (in response to RyanManUtd)
    'm almost certain it's driver and system memory determined, not locked.

    256 MB RAM would be a quarter of all system RAM, if you only have 1 GB.
    Apple doesn't "expect" you to change the installed RAM.
    It sells you the low end Mac Mini as the "1 GB installed" Mac mini.

    And with only a single 1 GB RAM stick the system will default to 128 MB video RAM.

    I'm almost 100% sure the driver will give you 256 MB RAM default from anything up from 2 GB installed RAM.
    MacBook Pro 1,83 Ghz - July '06, Mac OS X (10.5.2), 23" Cinema HD Display
  • indychris Calculating status...
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    Mar 3, 2009 2:42 PM (in response to RyanManUtd)
    The very fact that Apple states the parameters as "configuration" rather than "model" as the defining factor, I would assume that graphics usage is determined by installed memory:

    +"Minimum graphics memory usage is 128MB for 1GB configuration and 256MB for 2GB configuration"+
    2.33 GHz MBP; 24" Intel Core 2 Duo iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • l008com Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
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    Mar 3, 2009 5:43 PM (in response to RyanManUtd)
    The question no one is asking....

    Will 4 GB give my 9400m 512 MB of VRAM?

    seriously though, will it? Cause 4 GB is the new 1 GB
    Mac Pro 2.66 / 2GB / 640GB & MacBook 1.83 / 2GB / 160GB, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • nfoo Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
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    Mar 3, 2009 5:50 PM (in response to l008com)
    I don't think so.
    256 is probably the max.

    And btw.:

    4GB is NOT, by FAR, the new 1 GB.
    Especially not on Mac OS.
    I'm a graphic designer, and 2 GB still is enough for me ...
    Todays computers are starting to get overpowered.
    Andso is the Mac Mini. For most people.

    (And the new Mac Mini might become my new graphis "workstation")
    MacBook Pro 1,83 Ghz - July '06, Mac OS X (10.5.2), 23" Cinema HD Display
  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,045 points)
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    Mar 4, 2009 5:50 AM (in response to RyanManUtd)
    Is this official ?


    Not yet in that there is no change to the statement of minimum system requirements for Final Cut Studio 2 which continues so far to reflect:
    An AGP or PCI Express Quartz Extreme graphics card (Final Cut Studio is not compatible with integrated Intel graphics processors)

    It may take some time for that statement to be updated, and that's the only 'official' statement so far.

    It might not be too long before we get someone other than Apple reporting on success or failure installing or using the system with this software however.
    G5 DP/2.0 : Mini/1.25 : Mini/1.50 : 2x iMac 24/2.4 : TiBook : iBook : iPhone, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,045 points)
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    Mar 4, 2009 7:51 AM (in response to RyanManUtd)
    But I am wondering why Apple needs to take so long to update that statement ?
    Surely, after so much testing, Apple must have by now know whether Final Cut Studio 2 works on Mac Mini ?


    Absolutely, I'm sure they have tested it and do know! The problem isn't that so much as the webmasters catching up with all the datasheets and pages that need to be changed. Aside from being time consuming, some will likely have been forgotten. It might be, for example, that since Apple don't typically expect a $600 system to be bought for use with a $1200 application, they haven't thought to update the page as yet!

    Can we connect the Mac Mini to a 24" LCD monitor ? Read some where that says that we need a 512MB of VRAM to run a 24" LCD screen. Is that true ?


    If one needed 512Mb VRAM for a 24" screen, the previous families of iMacs would not have worked since they came with 256!

    The mini will work with a 24" display - it's well within the maximum resolutions the system can support.
    G5 DP/2.0 : Mini/1.25 : Mini/1.50 : 2x iMac 24/2.4 : TiBook : iBook : iPhone, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
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