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How to increase MacBook video RAM

macos gpu

Once upon a time, I was very frustrated with the amount of RAM used by integrated Intel GPU on my MacBook Pro. I always was low on memory while working with graphics-intensive apps which were using Metal acceleration for computing. I believed that GPU is sharing a memory with CPU so the limits are software. After some googling and researching I’ve managed out how to increase 1.5GB to 4GB.

Here are step-by-step instructions how to do that. Use on your own risk.

  1. Reboot your Mac into Recovery Mode by restarting your computer and holding down +R until the Apple logo appears on your screen.

  2. Click Utilities > Terminal.

  3. Type and run:

    csrutil disable

    This disables System integrity protection as we need to modify/patch system files.

  4. Reboot your Mac.

  5. If you have macOS 10.15 (Catalina) and above, open Terminal and run:

    sudo mount -uw /
  6. Get Intel graphics platform ID:

    ioreg -l | grep ig-platform-id

    you’ll get something like: "AAPL,ig-platform-id" = <0700260d>

    Remember your ID.

  7. Find a "Intel framebuffer" kext in use:

    kextstat | grep Framebuffer

    the output will be like com.apple.driver.AppleIntelFramebufferAzul

  8. Open respective framebuffer kext file in hex editor: /System/Library/Extensions/AppleIntelFramebufferAzul.kext/Contents/MacOS/AppleIntelFramebufferAzul

  9. Find your Intel ID from step 6 (mine was 0700260d) and you’ll see something like:

    0700260d 01030403 00000004 00002002 00005001 00000060

  10. Replace 00000060 (1.5Gb) with FFFFFFFF (4Gb):

    0700260d 01030403 00000004 00002002 00005001 FFFFFFFF

  11. Refresh the kext cache and reboot:

    sudo kextcache -i /sudo reboot

Done. You have 4GB of video RAM.