Solved Don't understand video graphics card specs.

Wd Western digital caviar blue wd5000aak...
August 5, 2013 at 20:39:29
Specs: windows 7, 4gb
Have a Dell Studio 540, Quad core, 4gb ram. 2009 model. So I was looking to upgrade the video with a pci-express card(none installed now). The windows experience score is 4.6 due to the graphics. But when running the Dell "My Dell" / PC Doctor program it shows I have 1.76 video card memory. When surfing the net for an upgrade they show a 512mb card to be an upgrade. If I knew how to post the link on here I would. (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/278800-33-dell-studio-graphics-card-upgrade). So how do I find out exactly what graphic specs I have or is what the "My Dell" thing says right? Also how do I attach a file picture to this like you do for email? Thanks and still learnin.

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✔ Best Answer
August 7, 2013 at 05:19:16
You don't have a video CARD, you have onboard graphics. That means the graphics chip is built into the motherboard. There is no dedicated graphics memory, the memory is "borrowed" from the system RAM on an as-needed basis (dynamic sharing). I don't know why you need to know any of this if you plan on installing a PCIe card? The card's memory & the system memory are completely separate & have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Please answer these questions:

What's the purpose of this upgrade - gaming? HD video? CAD? Video editing?
How much are you willing to spend?
What are your power supply specs (not just wattage)?

Since you didn't answer those questions the 1st time around, here's some generic info: if you want a decent card, look for one that has 1GB GDDR5 memory with at least a 128-bit interface. And your PSU should be a minimum of 400W with a single +12v rail of 30A or more. The PSU should be 80 Plus certified & have active PFC. Does that help? If your PSU doesn't meet those requirements & you don't want to upgrade it, you're have to choose a lower end card that will work with your current PSU without overloading it.

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: July 2013

message edited by riider



#1
August 6, 2013 at 06:02:09
You're currently using onboard graphics so the memory amount varies due to "dynamic sharing". I guarantee that you're NOT using 1.76GB memory on a machine that only has 4GB.

What's the purpose of this upgrade - gaming? HD video? CAD? Video editing? How much are you willing to spend? What are your power supply specs (not just wattage)?

BTW, don't post links in parentheses: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/2...

And if you don't know your system specs, try running Speccy portable or Speccy Slim: http://www.piriform.com/speccy/builds

message edited by riider


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#2
August 6, 2013 at 17:25:41
Thanks for the reply but you didn't answer my question. I don't think I have to add another program to find what memory I have and like I said above I don't know how to post a link on here and was asking for help.

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#3
August 7, 2013 at 00:05:24
Hi Tarzan,

if you read what Riider says, you will realise that he is unable to provide the answer(s) you are seeking without additional information.

e.g. the program he suggests provides SYSTEM specs, not just the memory size, and with this information, more accurate answers can be provided for you.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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#4
August 7, 2013 at 03:45:57
OK so allow me to rephrase my question. How do I find out how much video memory I have (without installing another program) so I know what video card to install for a upgrade? Please refer to the first question above as to the 1.76 vid mem. I want to post a pic of what the Dell thing is showing. Once I know what I have then I "think" I can figure it out from there (maybe). And how do I post a link or picture on here like you do in email? Thanks.

message edited by thetarzan


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#5
August 7, 2013 at 04:33:35
So I installed the program Rider suggested and it doesn't show any specs about my graphics memory. Only what chipset I have. So what now?

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#6
August 7, 2013 at 05:19:16
✔ Best Answer
You don't have a video CARD, you have onboard graphics. That means the graphics chip is built into the motherboard. There is no dedicated graphics memory, the memory is "borrowed" from the system RAM on an as-needed basis (dynamic sharing). I don't know why you need to know any of this if you plan on installing a PCIe card? The card's memory & the system memory are completely separate & have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Please answer these questions:

What's the purpose of this upgrade - gaming? HD video? CAD? Video editing?
How much are you willing to spend?
What are your power supply specs (not just wattage)?

Since you didn't answer those questions the 1st time around, here's some generic info: if you want a decent card, look for one that has 1GB GDDR5 memory with at least a 128-bit interface. And your PSU should be a minimum of 400W with a single +12v rail of 30A or more. The PSU should be 80 Plus certified & have active PFC. Does that help? If your PSU doesn't meet those requirements & you don't want to upgrade it, you're have to choose a lower end card that will work with your current PSU without overloading it.

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: July 2013

message edited by riider


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#7
August 7, 2013 at 14:00:19
OK so I don't have a specific reason. But what difference does it make want I need to use it for... Does it matter?... Buy that I mean do you have to install a specific card for a specific application? ......And to find the Power specs is it located somewhere onscreen or do I have to take the cover off and get the p/n off of P/S?......Again how do I post a link/picture on here?...... Thanks and still learnin.

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