Intel HD Graphics Card Upgradability?
What are some ways to upgrade the graphics card? I've read that this Intel might perform worse on some tasks then the 2011 models' AMD cards.
The Mini's graphics can't be upgraded (internally or externally).
The Intel HD4000 services is part of the processor chip set. Unlike other systems there is no I/O services to install an alternate graphics board within the system.
The Thunderbolt port can drive an external monitor via DisplayPort services.
There is no means to add a second graphics card via Thunderbolt (wishful, not likely)
The Intel HD4000 isn't soldered onto the logic board. ;-)
It's an embedded part of the sandy bridge chipset.
But that changes nothing about the non existing upgradeablity.
On the other hand - the HD4000 is a quite potent graphics solution. Some tests shows that even crysis will run on appropriate framerates.
I do personally play games like torchlight, diablo 3 and world of warcraft and these will run very smoothly without raising the system fan to the limits. Absolutely no comparison to the older HD3000 in my MBA.
Yes. In the future.
You can upgrade the graphics card in the Mac Mini by
using an external graphics card connected via ThunderBolt.
Apple may not wish to support such things themselves, but third
parties might make them work.
The graphics "card" would become a graphics module.
(Note - These modules do not yet exist.)
There would be no PCIe connector, since the bus connections would
all be between a couple of chips on the circuit board.
All you'd see is a ThunderBolt cable leading to what looks like a heat sink.
No power cable. Just great graphics.
They could optionally add an HDMI or DisplayPort connector if
you wanted it to drive an extra monitor.
Redwood City, CA
It depends on what you need, Intel 4000 is integrated, and uses system RAM to operate. Upgrading to ram increases the ram dedicates to video, for example I'm running 16GB on my 6.2 and that bumped the VRAM to 768MB, the OS may be able to Modulate this up to the intel limit (2Gb I think I read somewhere, but don't quote me) But I haven't seen it yet. Keep in mind this will always be DDR3, which is slower than a dedicated card. If DDR3 isn't fast enough for you, Thunderbolt may someday be your solution.
Thanks so much everyone. Your detailed insight is very helpful.
I have a 6 year old base iMac (white) and there is a thin red line running vertically. This happened within a year and a half of owning it.
I'm am afraid if I get this Mac mini with the same type of integrated graphics card as my old imac, then it might fail, with NO chance of repair.
I might just buy the new 27In iMac (higher end) and not have to worry about the integrated card.