A question about Integrated Graphics systems

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Lobbeton

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Nov 16, 2011
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Hello. Currently I am using an HP Pavilion dm4 dx1265. While it is a very quick laptop, I was of course disappointed when I realized it had an Integrated Graphics card (why you research before you buy!). My questions are- How does the card borrow RAM from your system RAM? Specifically, this question is related to an issue with gaming. For instance, Elder Scrolls V has a minimum requirement of a 512 mg card. When I went to Can You Run It, it gave me this conflicting information:


Video Card
Minimum: DirectX 9 compliant video card with 512 MB of RAM (NOTE: This requirement is NOT yet confirmed by Bethesda - NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT & ATI Radeon X1800. Please be advised this may change soon).
You Have: Intel(R) HD Graphics
Upgrade Suggested: Unfortunately, your Video Card does not meet this requirement. Click here to see some recommendations.

Features: Minimum attributes of your Video Card

................................Required.......You Have

Video RAM___________ 512 MB_____1.7 GB
Pixel Shader version____3.0_________ 4.0
Vertex Shader version___3.0_________ 4.0

I'm confused about how I could fail this when I pass all of the minimum requirements...Of course, when I tried to run the game anyway, I couldn't get a playable FPS. Why is this?

Also, if I doubled my RAM, would my graphics performance increase drastically?

Thanks in advance!
 

flavallee

Frank
Trusted Advisor
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83,263
I believe the correct model number laptop you have is the HP Pavilion dm4-1265dx.

It comes with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, but it supports up to 8 GB.

It has either ATI/AMD or Intel integrated graphics that can use up to 1.65 GB of shared memory.

I'm not a gamer, but I'd increase it to 8 GB, especially when you consider how cheap 8 GB for it is.

http://www.crucial.com/upgrade/Compaq-memory/Pavilion+dm4+Series/Pavilion+dm4-1265dx-upgrades.html

http://www.memorystock.com/memory/HewlettPackardPavilionEntertainmentNotebookdm41265dx.html

People make the mistake of buying a laptop that's not designed for hard-core gaming, then they're disappointed when they can't play some games or play them in the quality that they expect.

Desktops are better designed for hard-core gaming, and they're much more upgradeable.

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Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
51,988
The fact is that you have 0 dedicated graphics RAM. All of it is shared with an integrated card. So you are short by 512 MB's. Adding RAM would probably make little or no difference since system RAM used for graphics is always much slower than dedicated, on-card RAM. It is designed for multiple purposes rather then optimized for just one. It is also accessed in a more circuitous way than the direct access afforded by on-card RAM.

You need another card.
 

crjdriver

Moderator
Joined
Jan 2, 2001
Messages
43,582
Trying to run graphic intensive games on a laptop is an exercise in futility. Unless it is a purpose built gaming laptop ie alienware or similar, it is just not going to run games well [if at all] Laptops are made to do work ie docs, excel files, email, etc, etc. They are not made for gaming.
 

Lobbeton

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
2
Thanks for the answers, everyone. It was an issue of me not understanding how dedicated and integrated cards differ. At the time I purchased my laptop, gaming was not my priority, nor is it now. I do enjoy playing games, and would like better performance for them, but it was not the point of the purchase.

Now, from my understanding, it is impossible to upgrade an integrated graphics card without either purchasing a new motherboard, or (more likely, obviously) an entirely new laptop. But could I perhaps increase the cap on the amount of shared memory the card can access? This would be useful,especially if I upgraded my RAM. Or would the value automatically increase when I upgraded the RAM in my pc?
 

flavallee

Frank
Trusted Advisor
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
83,263
Here are the product specifications for your laptop.

Shared video memory is "up to 1696 MB".

I'm not aware of any way that it can be adjusted to a larger amount.

I couldn't find anything that says the integrated graphics is upgradeable.

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