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RAM loss in multiple Video card setup

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Parkman, Apr 2, 2007.

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  1. Parkman

    Parkman Thread Starter

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    Hi, I am experiencing a loss of RAM in windows XP with a multi-video card setup. Here are the system specs:
    P5W64WS Professional
    QX6700 Intel Processor
    4 x 1G Supertalent DDR2 800
    2 x Seagate 160G HDD
    4 x XFX 7300 GT video Cards with 256 MB DDR2
    XP Pro

    Here is what I have done so far. For the people that may not be familiar with this particular motherboard, it has 4 x PCI-Express slots, and readily advertises its ability to handle 4 video cards and 8 displays on the front of the box. Tested the system with one video card, the normal 3 Gigs of RAM were visible in XP. I put another video card in PCI-E slot #2 and visiable RAM drops to 2Gigs in XP. I switched the second video card to PCI-E slot #3 and same issue. I added a third video card and visible RAM stays at 2 Gigs in XP. When a fourth card is added the RAM drops to 1.37 Gigs.
    At this point I took out 2 Gigs of RAM and removed all but 1 video card. The 2Gigs were displayed in XP with the single video card. I added another video card and 2Gigs remained visible. I added a third video card and the 2 Gigs were still visible. The fourth decreased visible RAM to 1.37 Gigs.
    All displays are running fine and system is stable. I am just curious if this RAM decrease is normal, if there is anyway around it, and why it is dropping at all if the video cards have dedicated memory. THanks for your time.
     
  2. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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    What you are seeing is normal. 32 bit Windows is capable of accessing 4GB of PCI address space which is shared by Windows, applications, and hardware attached to the PCI bus. Even if the hardware has it's own physical memory, it still takes part of the address space.

    You can explain the issue to your MOBO manufacturer and they may have a BIOS that maps the PCI address space more efficiently (four 256MB boards should not use 1.63GB of address space). XFX may also have a version of firmware that uses less PCI space for the graphics board I/O. Other option is to upgrade to 64-bit Windows.
     
  3. lefty1953

    lefty1953

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    I'm curious, why would a person want 4 displays coming from 1 PC? I have enough to do just looking at one at a time.
     
  4. Parkman

    Parkman Thread Starter

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    This particular person is using 6 monitors for Day Trading applications. I also spoke with Asus and they said "if you can see 4 G in the Bios its not our issue" heh, well not in so many words but that was pretty much the gist of their responce.
     
  5. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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    That was real helpful of them. :mad: I had a similar issue at work with a server that has a 2GB RAM, a 1GB video capure card, 512MB display card, and 128MB reflective memory card. With all three cards plugged in the machine would not POST. Fortunately my server board manufacturer gave me a BIOS that remapped the PCI space.
     
  6. Parkman

    Parkman Thread Starter

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    was your board a Tyan board by any chance frank?
     
  7. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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    No it was an industrial rackmount server with dual Xeons made by ADLink Technology.
     
  8. lefty1953

    lefty1953

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    Stress is not on my list of things to do. So I will stick with the one monitor. I'll live longer that way.
     
  9. horsecharles

    horsecharles

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    I'm updating my trading systems...would Vista 64bit be able to run your programs?
     
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