VGA Share Memory Size from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide!

VGA Share Memory Size

Common Options for UMA : 1MB, 4MB, 8MB, 16MB, 32MB, 64MB, 128MB

Common Options for DVMT : 1MB, 8MB

 

VGA Share Memory Size : A Quick Review

The VGA Share Memory Size BIOS feature controls the amount of system memory that is allocated to the integrated graphics processor when the system boots up.

However, its effect depends on whether your motherboard supports the older Unified Memory Architecture (UMA) or the newer Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT).

VGA Share Memory Size from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide!

If you have a motherboard that supports UMA, the memory size you select determines the maximum amount of system memory that is allocated to the graphics processor. Once allocated, it can only be used as graphics memory. It is no longer accessible to the operating system or applications.

Therefore, it is recommended that you select the absolute minimum amount of system memory that the graphics processor requires for your monitor. You can calculate it by multiplying the resolution and colour depth that you are using. Of course, if you intend to play 3D games, you will need to allocate more memory.

If you have a motherboard that supports DVMT, the memory size you select determines the maximum amount of system memory that is pre-allocated to the graphics processor. Once allocated, it can only be used as graphics memory. It is no longer accessible to the operating system or applications.

However, unlike in a UMA system, this memory is only allocated for use during the boot process or with MS-DOS or legacy operating systems. Additional system memory is allocated only after the graphics driver is loaded. It is recommended that you set it to 8MB as this allows for high-resolution splash screens as well as higher resolutions in MS-DOS applications and games.

 

VGA Share Memory Size : The Full Details

Some motherboard chipsets come with an integrated graphics processor. To reduce costs, it usually makes use of UMA (Unified Memory Architecture) or DVMT (Dynamic Video Memory Technology) for its memory requirements.

Both technologies allow the integrated graphics processor to requisition some system memory for use as graphics memory. This reduces cost by obviating the need for dedicated graphics memory. Of course, it has some disadvantages :

  • Allocating system memory to the graphics processor reduces the amount of system memory available for the operating system and programs to use.
  • Sharing system memory with the graphics processor saturates the memory bus and reduces the amount of memory bandwidth for both the processor and the graphics processor.

Therefore, integrated graphics processors are usually unsuitable for high-demand 3D applications and games. They are best used for basic 2D graphics and video functions.

GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO WiFi Motherboard Preview

The VGA Share Memory Size BIOS feature controls the amount of system memory that is allocated to the integrated graphics processor when the system boots up.

However, its effect depends on whether your motherboard supports the older Unified Memory Architecture (UMA) or the newer Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT).

If you have a motherboard that supports UMA, the memory size you select determines the maximum amount of system memory that is allocated to the graphics processor. Once allocated, it can only be used as graphics memory. It is no longer accessible to the operating system or applications.

Therefore, it is recommended that you select the absolute minimum amount of system memory that the graphics processor requires for your monitor. You can calculate it by multiplying the resolution and colour depth that you are using.

For example, if you use a resolution of 1600 x 1200 and a colour depth of 32-bits, the amount of graphics memory you require will be 1600 x 1200 x 32-bits = 61,440,000 bits or 7.68 MB.

After doubling that to allow for double buffering, the minimum amount of graphics memory you need would be 15.36 MB. You should set this BIOS feature to 16MB in this example.

Of course, if you intend to play 3D games, you will need to allocate more memory. But please remember that once allocated as graphics memory, it is no longer available to the operating system or applications. You need to balance the performance of your 3D games with that of your operating system and applications.

If you have a motherboard that supports DVMT, the memory size you select determines the maximum amount of system memory that is pre-allocated to the graphics processor. Once allocated, it can only be used as graphics memory. It is no longer accessible to the operating system or applications.

However, unlike in a UMA system, this memory is only allocated for use during the boot process or with MS-DOS or legacy operating systems. Additional system memory is allocated only after the graphics driver is loaded. Therefore, the amount of system memory that can be selected is small – only a choice of 1MB or 8MB.

It is recommended that you set it to 8MB as this allows for high-resolution splash screens as well as higher resolutions in MS-DOS applications and games.

 

Recommended Reading

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