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Shared Video memory in Vista

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by shaheel16, May 4, 2007.

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  1. GazUK

    GazUK

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    Jul 7, 2005
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    in reply to 12

    its not hard coded i think its VISTA taking the memory from my RAM to keep the memory avaiblble at 1g

    hence the reason its taking 768mb now when i have a 330mb card,

    and when i had a 512mb card (2x256mb sli) it took 515mb.

    so it must be a setting you can change with vista because i've never seen it on XP ever!
     
  2. horsecharles

    horsecharles

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
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    Oops, lost track of this thread.

    There are only a couple of ways shared memory is handled nowadays(HT or HST?):

    1. Most common scenario(& almost exclusively so far): thru bios an amount is reserved from the system(absolute max. of 495mb IF 2 gb or higher config present is the current standard)-- thus the OS cannot see this appropriated amount. If there is no specific setting in Bios for this, then you're SOL unless you can mod / replace it....or in the 'very' unlikely event the graphic adapter driver and/or control panel had some function(whether viewable or only hexable) to accomplish such an edit.

    2. The driver tells the system what amount to reserve...in such a case the OS / software would be seeing / reporting the entire installed ram capacity. In this seldom/never yet?-seen scenario(i've yet to hear of such an instance)it would further fall to the manufacturer as to whether this could be a user-editable option...further unlikely.

    Ironically around the corner, when software is created to take advantage of this, programs will be able to utilize unused video memory. :p
     
  3. GazUK

    GazUK

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    Jul 7, 2005
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    The Weird thing is, on Vista's Experience Index where it rates your computer on how good it is by testing ram, graphics, cpu, disc ascess etc.. with the slower older cards (6800s) it was rated at 4.5 but when i installed my new card it was down rated at 3.8.

    Even so i reverted back to XP-Pro much better, i don't recomend visita to anyway at least until Sp1 comes out.
     
  4. horsecharles

    horsecharles

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    One change: the new 8000 series actually allocate more system memory: up to 767mb if installed ram is 2 or more GB.

    Let's clarify this once and for all IN VISTA:

    When one clicks on Display Properties / Advanced, there are three settings below Total Available Graphics Memory:

    System Video Memory: this one is usually 0. When it is NOT, this tells us there's an integrated onboard graphics that comes with little / more likely none of its own ram & is using a portion of system ram for itself.

    Dedicated Video Memory: the ram that the graphics adapter already brings with it, PLUS "any system ram it wants to exclusively appropriate for itself"(other subsystems would not be allowed to use it ever).

    Shared System Video Memory: the portion of available system ram that the graphics system can borrow IF / WHEN it is available. In other words, this is really first-come, first-served: the shared memory is available to the graphics system & to other non-graphic subsytems... neither can appropriate memory in use by the other.

    NOW...the video card is going to tell the system how much system memory it's going to allocate for its use:
    IF it does this during POST, thru a call to the BIOS reserving a ram amount, windows will not 'see' the subtracted amount.
    IF instead it does this during startup @ driver initialization, windows 'sees' this.
    However, the end result is the same no matter what windows reports: dedicated system memory is NOT available to the system...& shared memory may or may not at times.

    WHY is the shared memory setting not readily user-editable? THEY want to keep us from harming ourselves-- witness UAC, etc.-- due to the heavy requirements of Areo, which get exacerbated by the exploding demand of ever-bloating games, multimedia, etc.; while likely justified because it's not 'dedicated' memory.

    Interesting Index Score-- maybe because windows 'sees' less ram with that new-fangled card?
     
  5. Courtneyc

    Courtneyc

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    My card GeForce 7900 GT/GTO is using 495MB of memory (from my 4GB so no problem).

    Indeed it is the video drivers that are doing the allocation, not Vista. If you have an nForce card (Nvidia chipset) it does so before the computer boots and takes advantage of memory Vista can't use (if you have over 3.2GB on a 32-bit system). If not, it takes it from your system RAM after Vista boots.

    Courtney sends....
     
  6. horsecharles

    horsecharles

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    Yeah, what Vista does(or at least wants to control) is manage & allocate memory available to video & system thru DX10 / various API's...when used memory starts climbing, it begins to throttle down various desktop & aero features.
    So i don't think manufacturers & MS are too anxious to allow users to fiddle with a setting that can affect the system to such an extent.
     
  7. ACSanchez

    ACSanchez

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    I have been looking high and low for a clear, concise explanation like this for 2 weeks.

    THANK YOU!!
     
  8. rjbeep

    rjbeep

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
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    All,

    I've just run into this same issue after adding an nvidia 8500gt card w/512mb to my system, but my numbers are just a bit different. Would you be able to confirm that it is the same thing described here versus some other problem I need to chase down? Situation goes like this:

    Dell E520 has 3gb RAM (2x1gb + 2x512mb sticks) and onboard Intel graphics that uses system memory.

    I installed an nVidia 8500gt 512mb card in the PCIe-16 slot

    Display Properties - Advanced reads:
    Total Available Graphics Memory: 1534 MB
    Dedicated Video Memory: 512 MB (the card, right?)
    System Video Memory: 0 MB (card not stealing any, right?)
    Shared System Memory: 1022 MB

    The kicker is that Vista shows main system memory at 2558 MB instead of 3.x GB???

    I know I can't have more than 3gb seen by Vista, but if my onboard video is disabled and my PCIe-16 card isn't stealing any, shouldn't I still see the total 3gb memory for system use?

    If I pull out the 2x512mb sticks, the system shows a total of 2GB system RAM with the configuration otherwise the same. Put the 2x512mb sticks back and the system only sees half?

    The BIOS does report the full 3gb memory.

    I'm guessing this has something to do with this thread, but I am still not quite following it. Is it that Vista limits you to 3 GB RAM "including" the video RAM?

    Thanks for any help understanding all of this!
    rjb
    I
     
  9. ComRenGuy

    ComRenGuy

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
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    :( I recently moved from two X800Pro cards to a 7900GT + X800Pro (4 monitors) and I am now having the same problem times two. I have currently taken the second video card out of my system for diag (i.e. I removed the x800 to eliminate possible conflicts between ati/nvidia/extra memory usage). I am running Vista x64 with 4GB. I have also dissabled all but one single monitor. I get the fallowing under nVidia’s system information:

    ForceWare version: 163.69 (downloaded today)
    Total available graphics… 2047 (note the 2GB mark here)
    Dedicated video memory: 256 (what it implies)
    System video memory: 0
    Shared system memory: 1791 (why? this is far more than the max of 767 that horsecharles mentioned)
    Video BIOS version: bla bla bla bla bla
    Bla bla bla


    Task Manager performance tab:

    Physical Memory
    Total 4094 (4GB)
    Cached 3046 (the math is killing me, this number doesn’t add up)
    Free 6 (for having 4GB this number sinks the heart)
    Memory usage in the graph shows 1.44GB used of 4GB (1.44 = 1474)

    I don’t like the idea that I have all but completely lost control of my own system. Especially when I go to the trouble of upgrading to 4GB with a 7900. I don’t have any issues with sharing say 256 or 512 but 2GB is a bit “Over Kill”. It’s a lot like hunting your neighbor’s cat with a nuclear warhead! Unnecessary! :mad:
     
  10. hensucker

    hensucker

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    I am running two graphics card 7600GT XXX Edition in SLi mode they are both identical cards but something strange happens when they are running.

    1st card running on its own, Firmware 5.73.22.40.15
    runs with the following results on vista.

    Total Available Graphics Memory 1663
    Dedicated Video Memory 256
    System Video Memory 0
    Shared System Memory 1407

    2nd card running on its own, Firmware 5.73.22.51.11
    runs with the following results on vista

    Total Available Graphics Memory 1775
    Dedicated Video Memory 256
    System Video Memory 0
    Shared System Memory 1519

    When placing both cards into the machine but not enabling SLi in windows but with the newest card (see firmware) in first its displays the old cards results.

    Now i enable SLi and this is what happens

    Total Available Graphics Memory 1524
    Dedicated Video Memory 256
    System Video Memory 0
    Shared System Memory 1268

    As you notice everything goes down when enabling SLi no matter which card is in the primary slot these results stay the same during SLi.

    When SLi is enabled my graphics score in windows goes from 5.3 to 5.6, so im wondering here is my SLi working or not or is its failing to be used correctly by my pc?

    Please Help.

    Thankyou.

    Windows Vista X86
    AMD 64 X2 6000+ 2MB Cache
    4GB Corsair 800MHz DDRII
    M2N32-SLi Deluxe Motherboard
    160GB Sata 300 HDD
    2 x 7600GT XXX Edition Graphics Cards
    650W PSU
     
  11. stormfury_2

    stormfury_2

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    To Hensucker, are you running the latest BIOS for your motherboard? I'm no SLI expert really as I haven't done it yet. Also can you tell me what drivers you are using for the above cards and I beleive it is possible to update firmware on these cards to match. Check the above and make sure the latest drivers and bios is running and if possible the firmware too, from what I understand you should have a '512mb' dedicated memory if it's running correctly but i'm not sure.

    Tom
     
  12. hensucker

    hensucker

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
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    3
    ok my motherboard bios is the latest version flashed at 0703 and that is that latest according to the asus website.

    my graphics cards are running driver version 7.15.11.6925 an they both have the same driver installed, it is the latest driver on the nvidia website UK version vista 32 bit support,
    all my nforce board drivers are upto date
    everything is solid upto date.
     
  13. stormfury_2

    stormfury_2

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Hmmmm is there any chance that you are able to flash the bios of the older card?? Also give nVidia an e-mail about this too they may have more information. Let me know how this goes.

    Tom
     
  14. hensucker

    hensucker

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
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    i havent tried flashing my cards there is a program on the interet called nvflash but im not sure whether you need a rom file to flash it and cant find one, and not sure if it will make it worse.
    i will contact nvidia see if they have any outcome to this.
    thanks for your help anyway.
     
  15. nyrolf

    nyrolf

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    im starting to hate vista the more every day:mad:
    having the same problem with stupid idiotic shared memory, and NO i don't have an onboard video that needs to be disabled cause i have a laptop and NO i don't have a BIOS setting for that cause i've checked,
    so can plz anyone help me with stupid damn ******* vista that's taking my precious system memory.....
    its stealing over 700 MB of my 2GB. damn micrisoft for making an OS crappier than XP:mad::mad::mad::mad: (n)(n)

    it's driving me mad i tell you
    my video card has dedicated 512 VRAM and i dont need that another useless 700 mb!
    My configuration is : 2.2 Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2GB Ram ddr 2, Nvidia 9500M GS 512 video memory

    can someone plz help i would trully apreciate it....
     
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