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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > Video card advantage?

Video card advantage?
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Michigan
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Dec 28, 2001, 01:43 PM
What is the advantage to installing an 8- or 16-mb video card (ATI Rage, etc.) over just adding video RAM? My PC132/G3 has 4mb video RAM in it now. If I had a video card will I get faster screen re-draws and better game play?
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Pleasanton, CA
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Dec 28, 2001, 02:56 PM
Generally, yes (to faster screen draws, etc.). The screen will redraw faster.

The performance of your system's graphics is not just determined by how much video RAM you have.

For example, an ATi Rage Fury MAXX with 64 megabytes of graphics RAM is still slower than an nVidia GeForce2 MX with 32 megabytes of graphics RAM in pretty much everything.


The graphics processing unit (called the GPU by manufacturers and a few review sites) is inherently faster.

Compare it to overall system performance determined by the processor and RAM. Pretend I have a 33-megahertz Quadra with 2 gigabytes of RAM. It will still be slower than a TiBook running at 667 megahertz with a "mere" 512-megabyte chunk of memory.
Dan Szwarc
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Southfield, MI, USA
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Dec 28, 2001, 08:17 PM
There are two basic uses for video ram: One is to merely display the colors and resolution, another is to process 3D related items (like lighting, etc.).

For basic desktop prettiness, the more VRAM the more colors you can display at higher resolutions.

For example, my 2MB of VRAM 7300 can only display millions of colors up to 832x624, a pathic resolution. If I added more Vram, I could see millions of colors at say 1280x1024 or 1600x1200 (if my monitor supported it).

Those 3d cards with 32MB and 64MB of ram use it mostly for 3d gaming. Speed depends on the GPU and the speed of the RAMdac.

So the answer is: Buy a new computer. That is Apple's answer for all computing problems.
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Perth, Australia
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Dec 29, 2001, 09:51 PM
Install the card as it will speed up 2d and 3d work
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