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19 What's VRAM? (Macintosh hardware)




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This article is from the Macintosh hardware FAQ, by Elliotte Rusty Harold elharo@shock.njit.edu with numerous contributions by others.

19 What's VRAM? (Macintosh hardware)

Video RAM is where the computer stores the images displayed on your
screen. On some earlier Macs with built-in video (Mac 128, IIci)
this was kept in main memory. However it's considerably more
efficient and faster to store the screen image in its own separate
RAM. Generally the more VRAM you have the more colors or shades of
gray you can display and the larger the monitors you can use. The
chart below shows the number of colors that can be displayed at a
given resolution with the specified amount of VRAM. Monitor size has
no direct relation to the amount of VRAM required though larger
monitors normally support higher resolutions. Larger monitors just
have fewer dots per inch than smaller monitors with the same
resolution. Also note that simply because a particular video card or
Mac has sufficient VRAM to support a given number of colors doesn't
mean that it actually can though more modern cards and monitors
typically do support several resolutions.

Resolution   512x342    640x480    832x624    1024x768    1152x870    1280x1024
VRAM 
256K           256         16         16
512K          32768       256        256         16           16
768K          32768      32768       256         256          16          16
1024K       16777216   16777216     32768        256          256         16
2048K       16777216   16777216   16777216      32768        32768        256
4096K       16777216   16777216   16777216    16777216     16777216      32768

 

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