8 Replies Latest reply: Sep 25, 2015 12:33 AM by DamienNY
mhasman Level 1 (0 points)



Question about MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011) with Intel HD Graphics 3000. I upgraded RAM with 16GB, and wonder if it is possible to allocate more then 512 MB of system memory for shared VRAM. Now system profiler shows 512 MB shared VRAM, the same like it was with 8 GB RAM before the RAM upgrade.


"About integrated video on Intel-based Macs" topic (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3246) mentions MBPs with 8 GB of RAM only.



  • tjk Level 7 (24,220 points)

    HI M,


    On a Windows machine, you can go into the BIOS and change RAM allocation.


    I have found nothing to suggest the same is true on a Mac. It appears it is controlled in ROM, and unless Apple makes a firemware upgrade, it is what it its. Which begs the question, what is it?


    Given that the article you cite states the VRAM allocation goes from 256MB to 512MB by increasing RAM from 4GB to 8GB in one example, it would seem that amount might go up to 1GB VRAM with 16GB of RAM. As you're probably aware, Apple bases everything on RAM available at time of production of the Mac, and never goes back to change specs as RAM density increases, so it may also be "locked in" at 512MB for 8GB.


    Bottome line: It's possible the base VRAM available may indeed go up as needed on your Mac, but that's far from certain. There is information out there on the internet suggesting this "as needed" theory, so you may want to do further searching reading and see if you can find that needle in a haystack.

  • mhasman Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you tjk!

  • tjk Level 7 (24,220 points)

    You're welcome, m. Sorry I couldn't be more help, but you're in rather uncharted territories. I'd certainly be interested to learn more if you discover anything. One other avenue you may want to check is an app which monitors RAM/VRAM usage and keep an eye on it when playing labor intensive games. Good luck to you.

  • maclover1234 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes you can hack it, I have 2gb RAM onto my Mac but my Intel HD 3000 has a 771MB Allocated RAM!



    Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 11.16.17 AM.png


    See! i did it! i hacked into the GPU and did it! my gaming experience is lot smoother now!


  • Baxtab Level 1 (0 points)

    how exactly did you "hack it"

  • Robodisko Level 3 (725 points)

    I'm not entirely sure that's true. Based on (iirc) their never being a core i3 MacBook Pro model and that all I-series Macs came with a base 4Gb of Ram. I suspect that screen shot is of a Hackintosh Pc based laptop so not strictly relevant. I could however be wrong.

  • Baxtab Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you Robodisko, i was kinda wondering myself because i had done pretty extensive research on this and all viable paths kept leading me to the same conclusion of not possible on mac os. While i'm asking questions, maybe you can help me with another... Is the intel HD 3000 @ 512Mb shared DDR3 better than the amd radeon HD 6490m @ 256Mb GDDR5 dedicated? I am brand new to the mac os and have NEVER been so impressed with a computer while i was a windows victim lol. Thanks in advance.

  • DamienNY Level 1 (25 points)

    The is old, but in case someone researching the subject runs across it.

    You actually can increase the allocated Vram based on the amount of memory you have. I wouldn't go so far as to dedicating 2/3rds like he did, but it's not that uncommon. Especially if you're maxed with 16gb.


    You can find a couple longer threads on it in macrumors of examples increasing HD 3000 and HD 4000 to 1,2 and even 3GB's. Couple people ran benchmarks (before and after).



    Screenshot 2015-09-25 00.13.24-1.png