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How to enable more onboard ram? (ATI Xpress 200 - Compaq)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by corruptrelic, Feb 5, 2006.

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  1. corruptrelic

    corruptrelic Thread Starter

    Feb 5, 2006
    As briefly as I can - my new compaq (sempron 3400+ presario) came with 512 of ram and an onboard ATI Xpress 200 video card that claims "Up to 256mb of shared video memory can be allocated" - it came with 64 preset. I tried changing that to 128 but in the bios/setup screen it was greyed out.
    Calling compaq's tech support proved to be useless. They said you need to install more ram and then you can change the amount of onboard ram.
    So a few days later - today - I got 2 512mb sticks, giving me a total of 1.5gb of ram.
    Going back to setup, it's still greyed out at 64mb. Calling tech support they said "go to my computer and right click on properties" and asked how much ram I had, I said 1.46gb is available. They said "There, that's how much ram you have."
    After about 30 minutes of back and forth of trying to explain my problem, they said you can only have up to 128mb of onboard ram shared. At this point I was just getting pissed and said fine then how do I make it 128mb?
    Needless to say, compaq support didn't go anywhere.

    I went out and spent $140 on 1gb of ram today (getting some rebates with them) but my onboard ram is still stuck at 64mb. The bios gives you the option for video "Onboard, PCI, PCI-EXPRESS" it's on PCI right now. I tried switching to onboard, and it's the same thing. Greyed out at 64mb.

    I know onboard video sucks and all, but more than anything I'm just disappointed that the compaq box made a bold claim that you could allocate up to 256mb of system memory to the onboard graphics, yet it wont let you do more than 64mb, and to top it off ,their tech support don't know how to help their customers.

    Any suggestions?
  2. GripS


    Apr 30, 2005
    I suggest you return the ram you bought. Get it back down to 1gb. Take that money and buy a PCI-express video card. The fact of the matter is on-board video does not handle gaming very well. You'll be much happier with say a 6600gt. It will play whatever you throw at it.

    You paid 140 for 1gb of ram? Check this out:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150098

    Thats your best course of action. You'll even end up a few dollars ahead.
  3. Mayor Quimby

    Mayor Quimby

    Jul 7, 2004
    ^^^^^^^^^^ agree!
  4. KingCody


    Nov 3, 2005
    you say that you know on-board video sucks, yet you went out and spent $140 to let it steal even more system memory!!!! eeekk!!!

    That system is a far cry from a gaming rig, so I will assume that you're not a gamer and that's not what you bought it for. That being said, why do you feel the need to increase the aperture size anyways, you probably won't see any performance gains
  5. corruptrelic

    corruptrelic Thread Starter

    Feb 5, 2006
    Actually that's exactly why I want to increase the onboard video ram to 128mb - to be able to play games like Empire Earth 2 that require 128mb video cards.
    You can't tell me you need a top of the line graphics card to play a RTS like Empire Earth 2.. I mostly just play strategy games, which haven't caught up to the kind of rigs you need to play the latest first person shooters.

    I plan on getting a new video card soon enough, but right now, I just want to do what this computer says you can do - allocate up to 256mb of your system ram to the onboard video. Even if I went out and got a pci express card tomorrow (have one slot open) it still pisses me off that the box claims one thing, and you can't do it. And believe me, I've tried 1800-OK-COMPAQ and their email forms even online chat plenty of times. These guys cant help me at all except put me on hold for 10 minutes at a time and say something entirely different like "I see, your system ram is 1.43gb so you have plenty of ram" Only one guy actually targeted the subject and that's when I had 512 ram, he said I needed more ram in the pc and then the 64mb onboard graphics option woudn't be greyed out anymore, and I could allocate more ram to the onboard video. Yet I took his advice, bought 1gb of ram, and it's still greyed out.
    Just was hoping that maybe someone out there might know what's going without having to get into of how much onboard graphics suck,etc.. believe me I know they suck! :eek:
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