Graphics cards with shared memory

June 24, 2009 at 04:20:40
Specs: WinXP Pro SP2, 1.6GB/512DDR2

Hello,

I was looking at the spec of a computer with graphics card.

"NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory."

Does this mean that the graphics card would use 256MB of the main memory of the computer?

Is this because the graphics card doesn't have any memory on board, and has to use the main memory?

I guess if the graphics card is using the main memory of the computer this would mean the graphics would be slower, as it has to get the memory from the computers main board.

If the graphics card is shared memory, does this also mean it cannot use no more than 256?

Many thanks for any suggestions,

Steve


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#1
June 24, 2009 at 06:15:39

This means the the graphics hardware is built into the motherboard, there is no graphics card as such. This is very common on laptops and on some desktop motherboards.

It doesn't slow the graphics down as all the memory allocation is done during the boot process. It might slow down the overall performance as you are losing some main memory. There is often a setting in the BIOS to vary the amount of main memory used if you don't need 256 Mbs of video memory.

On a desktop computer you can disable the on-board video and install a separate graphics card which will have its own memory. The will give the 256 MBs back to main memory.

Stuart


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