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Old 02-21-2010, 01:44 PM   #1
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Question New vid card with 1 g vram, but Win 7 still says I have 3.5/4 g memory usable?

Previously I was running a 8800gt 512mb card on a windows 7 32-bit machine with 4 gigs of ram. My understanding of the win 7 32-bit architecture was it only supports 4 gigs of ram and ram available was total - video memory = total usable. Hence, 4 gigs - 512mb video ram = 3.5 usable in system information.

However I just upgraded to a 5770 Radeon with 1 gig vram. After I installed it, windows system information still says I have 3.5 usable with 4 g installed. This is nice, I'm saving 512 mb of ram, but shouldn't I only have 3.0 g? I thought maybe win 7 was not reading my new video card right but all drivers were installed. I even pulled out my memory and booted with 2 g ram to reset the mobo, but still it reads 3.5 after installing all 4 g.

I can't help but think something is wrong or maybe my computer is only utilizing 512mb of the 1024mb radeon. Anybody have any experience with this?

Intel Q9550
Gigabyte 965P-DS3 Rev 1.3
2 X 2g G.Skill DDR2 800 (4g total)
XFX Radeon 5770 1024mb vram
Windows 7 32-bit
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:14 PM   #2
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As per my understanding to your question posted here, i believe you are worried about why the system isnt taking up 1GB of the usable memory for VGA due to your upgrade,

You probably have an onboard VGA, the 512 deducted is for the onboard VGA, and it doesnt matter if you increase your VGA or RAM, it would only use its required memory, therefore you need not worry and this is not an issue, this is called shared memory, memory used by the onboard vga

You can do one other thing as a test or could even boost system performance, Go to bios, and disable onboard VGA, you should then see the total 4GB RAM
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:55 AM   #3
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No, I dont have onboard VGA, I'm quite sure that is not it.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Scrooge2 View Post
No, I dont have onboard VGA, I'm quite sure that is not it.
Check device manager to see what is there under display adapter.

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Old 02-22-2010, 10:51 PM   #5
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A video card that is standalone (pci-x) will not cause your RAM count to go down.

This only occurs when your video is onboard and it's sharing your system ram. Windows of any flavor in 32 bit will only show 4GB and only address between 3.2-3.5GB of that. The only exception to this is if you happen to install SQL server and turn on PAE/AWE.

Having 4GB of RAM in the system will show what you report, 4GB installed, 3.5GB useable. That should not change unless you enable the onboard VGA.
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Old 02-25-2010, 10:34 AM   #6
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The amount of Video Card Memory will not influence the total amount of System Memory used in a 32 or 64 bit OS.
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:05 PM   #7
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You're thinking about addressing space. See more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Address_space

More info also here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/25...d-stole-memory

Edit: I can also confirm that onboard video is NOT the issue. OP's motherboard does not have an IGP - I have the exact same board minus the solid-state capacitors (965p-s3 vs 965p-ds3)
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:23 PM   #8
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I'm hardly an expert when it comes to ATI video cards. But some of the ATI 5xxx series cards have dual GPUs, which divide the VRAM in half. I wonder if the Radeon 5770 does something similar, only exposing half of the memory to the rest of the system.
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Last edited by RebateMonger; 02-25-2010 at 08:28 PM.
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memory, radeo, ram, video memory, windows 7

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