Is 128 megs video ram worth $250?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
A friend of mine is becoming a switcher, but has a dilema. He has an opportunity tomorrow only to purchase a 20" iMac with 2 gigs RAM. Here's the deal: he can save $250 with this special deal if he takes the computer with 128 megs video ram verses an identical computer with 256 megs of video ram purchased at any time. He is not a gamer and will not be doing video, but will be using the screen for DVD playback. Is the extra 128 megs video ram worth the extra cost? What's the likelyhood that the extra 128 will make a difference 4-6 years from now with such things as basic core functions or running Windows?

I told him that I didn't think it would make much difference, at least not $250 worth. I am interested in what you all think.

Thanks in advance.



  • Reply 1 of 4
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    128 is fine for DVD playback. Heck, my Pismo has 8MB video RAM and works just fine. The big thing here is games. I know you said he is not a gamer, but in my experience people who install Windows on a Mac mostly do it for games and those rare business related programs. If your friend wants to "upgrade" to Vista >= 6 months from now he will want the 256 since the 128 is bare minimum. I am running the Vista demo on a system with a CheapOLA? 128 card and it is choppy.

    Overall, I don't really care about windows so I would save the $$$. If he will be using Win on a regular basis, I would get 256.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    thortsthorts Posts: 13member
    Thanks, Ebby...

    He works at a university and may need to dual boot (or where ever we are going with that) to be able to do some windows-based stuff rarely, but it won't be a big thing..and the university surely won't be upgrading to Vista any time soon. And he is NOT a gamer, so that's not a consideration.

  • Reply 3 of 4
    imacfanimacfan Posts: 444member
    I really don't think that it would be much of a difference - the extra memory is only important if you're doing something that needs more than 128Mb of VRAM - 2D applications almost certainly won't, and many games won't either. Only extremely high quality games and 3D hardware accelerated modelling with huge textures etc will be needing that.

    As it is, the video chip is identical in both machines, so I don't see a huge advantage from the significant extra cost.

  • Reply 4 of 4
    nauticalnautical Posts: 109member
    In this particular case I would advice against the extra VRAM. But speaking generally one should almost always plunk down the extra cash to maximize VRAM.
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