video card

Does your Mac graphics card have enough video memory?

Graphics info from System Information utility

While many people pay attention to the speed of their computer’s CPU (central processing unit) and how much RAM (random-access memory) their applications need, the video card (also called the graphics card) is getting more attention as image-editing, video-editing, and game applications increasingly rely on it. In addition, today’s desktop displays are larger than ever, and a new wave of high resolution monitors such as the Apple Retina display have a dramatically increased pixel density (pixels per inch resolution) that has also increased the number of screen pixels that need to be managed for a given screen size. All of these changes add to the work that a video card has to do.

(Note: This article covers how graphics hardware works on Macs using Intel processors. Macs using Apple Silicon processors work differently, and that is not covered here. I may cover that after I gain a better understanding of the differences.)