RAM or GPU upgrade?

I've recently been running Civ 5 on my macbook pro, and have experienced a low frame rate only when there are many, many units in play. When beginning a new game, there are few units in play, and the frame rate is not noticeable. (I have not attempted to quantify the frame rate.)

My suspicion is that this reflects a heavier load on the memory to track all those units. Can you confirm or reject this hypothesis? Does the presence of more units in a game like Civ increase the load on the GPU?
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  1. Forgot to include the specs:

    CPU: 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo
    Ram: 4GB of DDR3 @ 1067
    GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 320M with 256MB of VRAM

    Video settings: Low/Minimum, no option to change resolution from 1280x800

    What I really want answered is the general question about GPU loading in the OP.
  2. I think that the GPU is probably the bottleneck more than RAM or CPU.

    I am not a *mac* person, but hardware is hardware and 256 MB RAM video cards are going to have trouble even with 10 year old games.

    My bet would be on a new video card.

    Most games require surprisingly few calculations in terms of unit movement, attack success, damage calculations, etc.

    The thing that really brings computers to their knees is usually drawing the graphics.
  3. Raiddinn,

    Thanks for your response. That's what I was afraid of - there's basically no way to upgrade the GPU. It's the first time I've seen this computer struggle with any task, so I was curious about what was happening. I guess the GPU gets loaded by having to process animations for all those little units.

    Luckily, Civ has an animation-free mode, although the aesthetics of the game are a big part of its appeal.
  4. macbook.... the laptop? im not sure if you can upgrade those, laptops generally cant upgrade GPU's because they are soldered into the motherboard....so its a bust upgrading the gpu to alleviate this issue
  5. Your GPU is bottlenecking the game beacuse of it's memory,as "Raiddinn" said it could cause trouble even in 10 years old game and that's right and you can't also upgrrade GPU as "FlintIronStagg" said and that's strange that you don't have option to change the res,I've this game before it worked fine on mine,no lags,no freezes,nothing.....strange
  6. Well, like I said I am not a mac person so I don't have any knowledge about how upgradeable Apple products are.

    I would assume if its a laptop then upgrading the graphics card would be extremely difficult.

    Or it could be easy, I don't know about macs.

    I just think its probably a video card problem.
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