Languages

About integrated video on Intel-based Macs

Learn more about the integrated GPUs available with Intel-based Apple computers and the amount of system memory they share.

About shared memory

Some Intel-based Apple computers feature both an integrated and a discrete Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). Others may feature only one GPU, which can be either an integrated or discrete GPU. 

Discrete GPU provides high performance graphics support using discrete video memory. An integrated GPU provides effective graphics support and shares video memory with the main system.

For Mac computers with both integrated and discrete GPUs, some models allow you to use OS X to decide which GPU to use for rendering graphics. Other models automatically switch between discrete and integrated graphics depending on the task at hand. For more information on models that switch between integrated and discrete please review:

The following integrated GPUs are used in Apple Products:

 


Intel Iris Pro Graphics

Apple computers using Intel Iris Pro Graphics as the primary GPU dynamically allocates up to 1 GB of system memory. 

Products with Intel Iris Pro Graphics:

  • iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013)

 


Intel Iris Graphics

Apple computers using Intel Iris Graphics as the primary GPU dynamically allocates up to 1 GB of system memory. 

Products with Intel Iris Graphics: 

  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013)

 


Intel HD Graphics 5000

Apple Computers using the Intel HD Graphics 5000 as the primary GPU dynamically allocates up to 1 GB of system memory. 

Products with Intel HD Graphics 5000 include:

  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013)

 


Intel HD Graphics 4000

Apple Computers using the Intel HD Graphics 4000 as the primary or secondary GPU reserve 384 MB to 768 MB of system memory. 

Products with Intel HD Graphics 4000 include:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early, 2013)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Early, 2013)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2012)
  • Mac Mini (Late 2012)

Intel HD Graphics 3000

Intel HD Graphics 3000 allocates a base amount of memory to the integrated GPU based on how much system memory is installed:

  • 2 GB of RAM, 256 MB allocated
  • 4 GB of RAM, 384 MB allocated
  • 8 GB of RAM, 512 MB allocated. Exception: 384 MB is allocated on 15-inch and 17-inch systems

Products with Intel HD Graphics 3000 include:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch Mid 2011)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch Mid 2011) 
  • Mac mini (Mid 2011)
  • Mac mini Server (Mid 2011)

 


Intel HD Graphics

Intel HD Graphics allocates a base amount of 256 MB for video and boot processes at startup. 

Products with Intel HD Graphics include:

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2010)

  


NVIDIA GeForce 320M

The NVIDIA GeForce 320M allocates a base amount of 256 MB for video and boot processes at startup.

Products with the NVIDIA 320M include:

  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Late 2010)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Late 2010)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010)
  • MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2010)
  • Mac Mini (Mid 2010)

 


NVIDIA GeForce 9400M

The NVIDIA GeForce 9400M allocates a base amount of 256 MB for video and boot processes at startup. Exception:  Mac mini (Early 2009) with 1GB of memory shares 128 MB instead.

Products with the NVIDIA 9400M include:

  • MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008)
  • MacBook (13-inch, Early 2009)
  • MacBook  (13-inch, Mid 2009)
  • MacBook (13-inch Late 2009)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008) when "Better battery life" is enabled
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2009) when "Better battery life" is enabled
  • Mac mini (Early 2009)
  • iMac (20-inch, Early 2009)
  • iMac (24-inch, Early 2009) with 2.66GHz Intel Core Duo processor
  • iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2009)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.53 GHz, Mid 2009)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2009) when "Better battery life" is enabled
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2009) when "Better battery life" is enabled

  


Intel GMA X3100

The GMA X3100 allocates a base amount of 144 MB for video and boot processes at startup. Performing certain tasks such as using extended desktop, display mirroring, or using graphics-intensive applications may increase memory usage to 160 MB.

Products with the Intel GMA X3100 include:

  • MacBook (Late 2007)
  • MacBook (Early 2008)
  • MacBook (Late 2008)
  • MacBook Air (Early 2008)

 


Intel GMA 950

The GMA 950 allocates a base amount of 64 MB for video and boot processes at startup. Performing certain tasks such as using extended desktop, display mirroring, or using graphics-intensive applications may increase memory usage to 80 MB.

Products with the Intel GMA 950:

  • Mac mini (Early 2006)
  • Mac mini (Late 2006)
  • Mac mini (Mid 2007)
  • iMac (Mid 2006) 17-inch (MA406)
  • iMac (Late 2006) 17-inch (MA710)
  • MacBook (13-inch)
  • MacBook (Late 2006)
  • MacBook (Mid 2007) 

 

Additional Information

Graphics performance

For best graphics performance your computer should have two same-size SO-DIMMs installed, one in each slot. When memory is installed in your Mac in same size pairs, the computer gains some performance benefits from the memory being interleaved. If you upgrade the memory in your Mac, make sure you have matching SO-DIMMs (both in memory size and speed) in each slot for the best graphics performance. Systems with integrated memory already benefit from having matched pairs of memory installed

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Mar 24, 2014
Helpful?
Yes
No
Not helpful Somewhat helpful Helpful Very helpful Solved my problem
Print this page
  • Last Modified: Mar 24, 2014
  • Article: HT3246
  • Views:

    1171673
  • Rating:
    • 71.0

    (2716 Responses)
Start a Discussion
in Apple Support Communities
See all questions on this article See all questions I have asked