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Low Video RAM

By sugata_m ·
I have a 16 MB shared Video RAM on an IBM system. I do not have an AGP slot with this Intel 810 E chipset motherboard(graphics card inbuilt). My total memory/RAM is 256 MB. Can I configure my system to get more bytes on my VRAM? If so how?

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by TheChas In reply to Low Video RAM


At boot, enter BIOS setup.

Look for settings for memory and / or video.

See if you can increase the amount of RAM dedicated to video.

If you are running Windows 2000 or XP, I would install more system RAM before dedicating more RAM to video.

Alternately, if you have a PCI slot, you can install a PCI video card that will have more video RAM, and a better graphics processor.
For $50 or so (US) a video card would make for a significant performance improvement.


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by csmith In reply to Low Video RAM

When we are asked this question, about 80% of the time it is by gamers.
(The other 20% is Photoediting and CAD)
Judging from your email address, I assume this is a "Can I get my games to run better/faster?" question.
The fundamental problem here, is that this chipset, and these motherboards, were not designed for these applications.

Intel's idea was to save costs, and promote chip sales by selling chips that would use the cheaper DRAM on the motherboard instead of more expensive Video RAM, plus a card would be saved, a slot could be eliminated, the MB could be smaller, and the manufacturers that sold these systems could make more money.
For normal Office applications, that was fine, and Dell, IBM, etc. sold a lot of these PCs.
Unfortunately, some of these PCs were bought by people who got into games.

The problem with these 810 chipset boards is that not only do they use the slower RAM on the motherboard, all of the video information between the Video Chip and the RAM has to travel over the bus, and be allocated by the memory manager.
Next, The video chipset development speed is very high, so a chip is very rapidly out of date.

The advantages of a video card are: First, the video card manufacturers can use RAM types that are much faster than can be used on a current motherboard. Thus you see, on video cards, a new release type of DDR RAM operating on a 800 Mhz clock. There are no PCs with a 800 Mhz frontside bus.
Second, there is no "bus" on a video card. The RAM chips are directly wired to the video chip, and the electrical circuit is very short, so the highest speeds can be used. (No timing problems, lags, etc.) Third, Video cards are purchased by people who are serious about video performance. The higher price, allows the video card developer to put more time, effort, and components into the supporting circuits, and chip implementation, and thus the performance is better.
Dell, and the others, buy strictly on price, and thus corners are cut, to

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by csmith In reply to

meet the price.

Now the options, besides a new video card. Setting aside a larger area in memory for use by the video chip will only increase performance if, resolution requirements, plus the textures in the game, exceed 16 Mb.
(This assumes, the current chip properly handles the textures of your game. A big assumption.)
This increase is not that large.

To cut memory management overhead, download Cacheman from www.cnet.com and check to make sure the Disk Cache is set at twice the Cache on the hard drive. (This is a free download from Cnet. Cnet is the parent of TechRepublic.)
The usual setting for your PC will be 8Meg Max and 2Meg Min. You can look the hardware cache up for your particular hard drive on the manufacturer's website. It is one of the specifications.

If your RAM usage is under 50%, a slight performance increase can also be gained by disabling virtual memory. Windows will complain, and the PC will crash if you run out of free RAM, but the load on the memory manager is slightly reduced, so the PC speeds up. (A safer way to do this is to engage "conservative swap file usage" under Cacheman. This gives 90% of the benefit, with no risk.)

Last, the other end of the spectrum.
If you plan on getting seriously into games, consider selling the IBM and purchasing a new PC.
Warning! Good video cards for games are expensive. ($300-$400)
The only good part is, the rest of the PC only has to be good enough to support the video card.
RAID, high speed hard disks, etc. are not necessary. Almost all of the game functions are done on the video card.

Regards, Chris

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by theohkm In reply to Low Video RAM

Ocassionaly, you can get one PCI display card from the market. I highly recommend you to buy one. This way not only speed up the display but also the system performance by releasing memory bandwidth for inbuilt display adaptor.

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