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Understanding how Video Memory is used (Windows 7)

This document applies to HP and Compaq Desktop PCs with Windows 7.
This document provides instructions for viewing video memory information and describes the different types of video memory.
Viewing video memory information
Follow these steps to view video memory information:
  1. Right-click an open area of the desktop, then click Screen resolution.
    The Screen Resolution window opens.
  2. Click Advanced settings.
    Figure : Screen Resolution
    Screen Resolution window, showing location of Advanced settings
  3. Click the Adapter tab.
    The video memory information is displayed under Adapter Information:
    • Total Available Graphics Memory: A combination of all memory available for graphics. The system may not actually be using all of this memory, but it is available when requested.
    • Dedicated Video Memory: Memory set aside for the exclusive use of the graphics adapter.
      For Integrated Graphics Cards, this memory is set aside by the BIOS and is subtracted from system memory before Windows 7 is loaded. Windows 7 does not report this as part of total system memory.
      For Discrete Graphics Cards, this is the memory that is on the graphics card. It is not subtracted from system memory.
    • System Video Memory: A fixed memory allocation that is subtracted from system memory after Windows 7 loads. Windows 7 reports this as part of total system memory. It is available to software programs.
    • Shared System Memory: An additional pool of memory that may be dynamically allocated and released as needed. This memory is available to programs and may be used for graphics if required.


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