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Increase shared video RAM?

 
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TXCiclista
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:14 am    Post subject: Increase shared video RAM? Reply with quote

Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere, but forum searches and Google yield little *definitive* information.

I have upgraded to 2 Gb RAM and I wonder if the shared memory can be increased as well 9either by official means or hacks). I'm going to boot into Windows in a sec because I understand it uses the full 224, which suggests the mac limitation is software-based. Anyway, what's the scoop? Smile
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Pleiades
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was also curious about this myself, and like you, I had a hard time finding definitive information. The most conclusive evidence I've found is a post on MacRumors.com forums from a guy who works at Intel, and said that even though Mac OS X reports only 64MB+16MB as the maximum, the machine still grabs more RAM for the video memory if it's needed and available.

My guess is that there possibly is a way to log the memory use of a Mini using the Terminal, and calculate how much RAM is being used by each application, and then launching a video memory hungry one, and seeing how it reacts on a machine with only the bare minimum of RAM, and one with a lot. If OS X is grabbing the entire 224, it may show up in that memory calculation.
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johnodd4
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always wondered this myself and was hoping that someone at project osx86 would have built a hacked driver to increase the ram size. Because according to the intel web page the chipset inside the mac mini intel version supports 256 megs of ram maximum for the graphics chip and when your in windows xp using bootcamp the direct x read out is 128 megs of ram for graphics.
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AnthroPC
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure the Mini can use the full 256MB, because if you load up the Sims 2 (which apparently shouldn't work due to a lack of video RAM), it works just as fast on any machine with a dedicated video card even when you turn the graphic details up.

Hope this helps
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Robersk
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been searching the net for ages on this and can't find hardly anything. I'm guessing that if this could be done someone would have done it by now and posted it. It would be amazing if you could though.
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Robersk
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I found the answer in this forum thread. A post from someone working for Intel near the bottom.

http://forums.macnn.com/66/ibook-and-macbook/313063/gma-950-can-it-be-uncapped/

It seems that OS X only ever tells you the minimum amount of shared RAM even when RAM is maxed out at 2Gb. The graphics card can potentialy go up to 256mb so... as and when it is needed, and if it is available, it will increase in 4mb chunks to that upper limit

Quote:
What Apple is saying (and makes complete sense based on the architecture of the chipset) is that they allocate a minimum of 80MB of system memory for the GMA950 to use. Additional memory will be allocated as needed up until the maximum addressable size which is 256MB.


Therefore... no hack needed, just make sure u max out the RAM (only £56 from crucial) so that that 256mb is more likely to be available
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TXCiclista
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome. Great detective work. Very Happy
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aj
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This caught my eye a couple of days ago and I wanted to find out what kind of an impact the extra RAM would make on playing games

I upgraded from 1GB to 2GB of RAM in my mini last night, I know this is a rather subjective and limited view on things but I frequently play Jedi Academy on my mini.

Before with 1GB of RAM the framerate felt rather low, now I've gone to 2GB of RAM there's always plenty spare and the framerate seems very nice.

It could just be because there are more resources available for the system as a whole now, or it could be because there's more video RAM being used but either way it's much nicer to play games on now!

So thanks for the heads up on the dynamic video RAM! It seems 2GB is a highly desirable option for anyone wanting to enjoy 3D games on the mini.
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johnodd4
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds cool man i wish i could install 4 gig's in my mac mini but the limitations in the mac mini's firmware would cause mac os x to go nuts
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heavy_nutz
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnodd4 wrote:
Sounds cool man i wish i could install 4 gig's in my mac mini but the limitations in the mac mini's firmware would cause mac os x to go nuts

Its not limited by the firmware, it is limited by the logic board
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Pleiades
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

heavy_nutz wrote:

Its not limited by the firmware, it is limited by the logic board

Quite true.

johnodd4 wrote:
Sounds cool man i wish i could install 4 gig's in my mac mini but the limitations in the mac mini's firmware would cause mac os x to go nuts

Furthermore, as mentioned a number of times to you on this site, OS X's upper memory limit is very high, in the petabyte range. OS X doesn't "go nuts" with 16GB in a Mac Pro.
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