GMA950 64mb + Shared Memory on Mac Mini

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
According to Apple the new GMA950 graphics chipset has 64mb onboard and can share up to 250mb of ram from the memory you put in the mac mini, whichi is good i guess. Not too bad.

"Memory available to Mac OS X may vary depending on graphics needs. Minimum graphics memory usage is 80MB, resulting in 432MB of system memory available"

It also supports realtime playback of up to 2 1080p streams without stutter.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    Anyone able to elaborate on performance differences between the Intel Integrated and the previous Radeon 9200.

    Everything I have read always says integrated sucks. That was a nice thing about Apple is they did not use any integrated graphics chips. Also, it steals system RAM away so now the 512MB is no longer 512 dedicated to OS X.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    chychchych Posts: 860member
    From brief searching, it seems that the intel is roughly equivalent to the 9200 in gaming, but has some more useful features, i.e. for HD playback.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Note also that the shared RAM will contest bus with the CPU compared to dedicated bus from the old dedicated GPU RAM.

    On the upside, Apple notes there are now two DIMM slots, for a maximum * of 2GB

    *Officially supported, probably spec'd on "reasonable prices" of available 1GB sticks.

    Most modern Macs since the iMac Rev A have actually accepted greater than spec'd amounts of RAM per slot... I know users who are happily using 256MB sticks in old iMacs that were officially only rated for 64/128 per slot

    It should theoretically be possible to run 2 x 2GB sticks in the new mini for a max of 4GB

    This will make the hit from integrated graphics shared RAM less significant in % terms.

    Max shared RAM according to intel is 224 MB

    We'll have to wait for some CineBench or similar results to see what the actual +/- of the GMA950 is in various RAM/sharedVRAM configurations ~ vs. ~ prior 1.5 mini with Radeon 9200/64 VRAM ~ vs. ~ 'official/Apple Store' spec prior 1.42 mini with original Radeon 9200/32 VRAM


    Originally posted here

    GMA900 (915G) ______________________ GMA950 (945G)

    Core frequency 333MHz ______________ 400MHz

    Pixel rate 1.3 gigapixels per second ___ 1.6 gigapixels per second

    Memory bandwidth 8.5GB/sec _________ 10.9GB/sec

    Pixel shader support Up to 2.0 _________ Up to 2.0

    The rendering engine supports all the texture modes you'd expect from a modern 3D engine, including cube map support, various texture blending modes, and S3TC texture compression. New this time around is support for anisotropic filtering. Note that vertex shaders are handled by the host processor, so the faster the CPU, the faster the vertex processing.

    Or, from the proverbial Horse's Mouth... Intel's GMA950 specs page
  • Reply 4 of 7

    It should theoretically be possible to run 2 x 2GB sticks in the new mini for a max of 4GB

    Yonah is 32-bit, and 32-bit chipsets/chips can only use 2GB at a time, even if you stick 16GB there. It's a limitation of the architecture, not empty slots.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Intel's 945G chipset can address 4GB of RAM, although a big chunk of that memory addressing with be reserved for PCI/PCIe bus addressing.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    Really? I thought the 32-bit processor would be the deal-breaker. Hm. You learn something new every day.

    Edit: Yep, you are right.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    The only reason I know is that I've been comtemplating building a PC with a 945G chipset and when you read Intel's motherboard manuals, it warns about all 4 GB will not be usable because of the way the x86 reserves memory for the PCI bus and other things. But you can have 8Gb on the 955/975 chipsets, if you use a 64bit OS.
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