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1gig graphics card stealing another 1gig off my m/b.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by platinumgold, Mar 13, 2013.

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  1. platinumgold

    platinumgold Thread Starter

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    Nov 30, 2006
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    It looks like this new 1gig graphics card might be leaching a gig of memory from my on board RAM when I don't want it to.

    I've no need for such a powerful graphics card (I don't play games) but I've just acquired an unwanted 1gig graphics PCi card. (nvidia geforce 9500 1gb) to put in my machine, to replace the 256mb one that had a noisy fan. (I would be happy with 256 or 512mb graphics but this was free and the noisy old card had to go).

    Running on windows 7, (32 bit system), with an AMD Phenom quad core 9850, and 4 gig of DDR2 ram. running on native 1440 x 900 resolution.

    When I look at dxdiag, display, it tells me that the total memory of the graphics card is approx 2287mb

    When I look in the advanced part of the resolution/display settings, and goto adapter details, it shows me that the
    total available graphics memory = 2303mb
    dedicated video memory = 1024mb
    system video memory = 0mb
    shared video memory = 1079mb

    What's with the 2 gig of graphics? I only need 256 if truth be told! The biggest worry is that it might be leaching some RAM off my motherboard, and I want the maximum RAM leftover to use, not added, to an already oversized graphics memory as it is.

    It's a 32 bit system so I was hoping for the usual maximum 3.5gig of my 4 gig installed memory to be recognized and available to use (NOT FOR GRAPHICS!), however, in my system information, it says

    Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
    Total Physical Memory 3.00 GB
    Available Physical Memory 1.80 GB
    Total Virtual Memory 6.00 GB
    Available Virtual Memory 4.69 GB
    Page File Space 3.00 GB

    In my BIOS settings I have tried limiting the sharing of the memory using the options between 512, 256, 128, 64 and it got worse, my total RAM available came down even more! So now I've left it on auto, so my operating system shows/recognizes installed RAM as 3 gig.

    So, is my graphics card leaching off my m/b RAM, why is the graphics card showing as 2 gig when it should only be 1 gig, and how can I get maximum RAM available back on my m/b i.e. 3.5 (or close) gig.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Tanis

    Tanis

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    First Name:
    Shane
    It looks like you have some shared memory assigned, this is a BIOS setting and was probably previously setup to compensate for the lack of dedicated RAM on your old graphics card.

    You need to go into the BIOS and there should be a setting called something like 'Shared Video Memory'. You need to put that down to its minimum or preferably disable it totally if you can, you may not be able to disable it totally some older motherboards can only minimise the amount rather than disabling it.

    Also, because you only have a 32bit Operating System, your PC only has 4Gb of memory address space available to it (this isn't the amount of actual RAM, but rather the maximum space it can use to talk to RAM ... kind of). Now, out of that 4Gb of 'talk' space approximately 500Mb is permanently assigned to running the PC, the next priority is dedicated graphics RAM (you have 1Gb on your new card). So, that 1.5Gb permanently assigned to the PC and video RAM which means that your PC can only use up to 2.5Gb of the 4Gb of physical RAM you have installed!

    Even if you disable the shared memory in the BIOS, you will probably see something like I have put below for your overall memory allocation:

    Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
    Available Physical Memory 2.50 GB

    This is due to the limited address space I mentioned above.

    Hope this makes some sort of sense, it did to me as I typed it but that doesn't mean anything haha.
     
  3. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Messages:
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    When you install a 1gig video card into a system with 4gig of ram [32bit os] you decrease the amount of ram available to the os.

    This is because a 32bit os can address a total of 4gig of memory. That is ALL memory ie ram, video memory, memory on a ram controller, etc.

    I have seen that message with older video cards and I cannot recall if there was a setting to disable the virtual memory for the card's use. In any case, I would not worry about it since your specs show the max amount of available memory ie 3gig available [with a 1gig video card]
     
  4. platinumgold

    platinumgold Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    I think I've done everything I can in the BIOS prior to posting here with the initial question.

    I'd already changed the shared memory allocation settings and AUTO appears to give me the best results. Will try a few more times on different settings over the next few hours between reboots, bur previous experiments made it worse, with less recognized/available memory..

    Just a quick question..

    Had I put a 512mb graphics card in my machine, would that have allowed more available memory (out of the 4 gig of RAM) to be usable by the system, (compared to the current situation with the 1 gig card)? i.e. Would a 512mb graphics card have shown more than my current 'Available Physical Memory 1.80 GB' in system information?

    I was hoping for at least 3 GB available memory. If replacing my 1 gig video card with a 256 or 512mb video card would give me more available RAM to be usable by my system, then I'll swap cards, as I only need 256 - 512 for my graphics needs.
     
  5. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Yes. All you get is 4gig and that is ALL memory; video memory, ram, any memory on a card, etc.
     
  6. Tanis

    Tanis

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Shane
    As crj says ... yes, putting a 512mb graphics card in would have give you more available System RAM.

    In essence, all RAM is allocated address space (out of the available 4gb in a 32bit system) in order of priority (simplified version :) ):

    Priority 1) Normally around 500mb allocated to System Resources, you can not change this that I know of. (Leaves 3.5Gb address space)
    Priority 2) Video RAM. Any RAM on a dedicated card sits here, so in your case 1gb out of the remaining 3.5gb address space is assigned to your graphics card, leaving 2.5gb.
    Priority 3) Any Shared Video RAM. Any shared video memory is then assigned address space (in your case 1gb) from the remaining 2.5gb, this leaves only 1.5gb address space remaining for System RAM.

    The above are approximate numbers.
     
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