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I need to change my "AGP Aperture Size"

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 7, 2006 1:13:29 PM

Hi everyone,

I Have an ATi Radeon X800XL 256MB AGP card. I play alot of Battlefield 2, but I often keep my texture setting on medium - the reason is because when it's on High, I get alot of studdering and also several-second freezes. Later I realized this is because Battlefield 2 has so many textures, that it fills up all of my free video RAM and I get several-second freezes for it to clear it completley and fill it again.

Whenever I start a game I have 380MB of "FTM" (Free texture memory). I'm guessing this is because I have 256MB of GPU ram + 128MB of an aperture size which equals about 380MB. When my settings are on high, it gets down to eventually 2MB free, and then freezes (I get 380MB again) and quickly fills it up.

My question is: Can I change my aperture size (possibly by adding 64MB more or so to the size) So I can run texture detail on High without the long freezes? Note that I do NOT have the setting in BIOS to change it.

P.S. If you look Here at my thread at Pro-Networks, you can get some other information that I may not of mentioned here.

- Thanks, any help appriciated!
July 7, 2006 1:33:37 PM

It's usually a BIOS setting. However, texturing from AGP memory is pretty slow anyway.
July 7, 2006 1:51:01 PM

You should set it to 256. That should be enough. :wink:
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July 7, 2006 2:05:45 PM

What res on Med setts are you running it on? I'm using 1024x768 Med without any stutters fairly decent frames 40-55ish fps range on my 9700pro
July 7, 2006 2:11:57 PM

there's an urban legend that says you must set it to half your ram, therefore, 512MB in your case.
It wont hurt... you can try a value and see if it helps

edit:
how about your pagefile size? i noticed a huge improvement in games when i increased the page file size, even though task manager informed it wasnt fully used.
July 7, 2006 2:14:58 PM

Really? :o 
I always set it at twice the video RAM...
July 7, 2006 2:16:48 PM

Quote:
I noticed a huge improvement in games when i increased the page file size, even though task manager informed it wasnt fully used.


Well, yes you did, with that PC of yours, I'm sure you did. :wink: :lol: 
July 7, 2006 2:17:02 PM

Quote:
there is no such thing as AGP memory.


Sigh. 'AGP memory' is shorthand for 'system memory accessible through the GART'. Is that good enough for you?

Quote:
the data transfer rate of the AGP bus is more than enough to handle even today's gfx cards throughput.


Rendering from system memory accessed through the GART (typically 1-2GB/second max) is damn slow compared to rendering from video memory (typically 30-50GB/second max). It's faster than continually swapping textures in and out of video memory if you only need a small amount of data per frame, but that's about the best that can be said for it.

Still, it's always amusing to be lectured about video technology when I've been writing video card drivers on and off for fifteen years.
July 7, 2006 2:25:14 PM

im guessing he took it too literally?
July 7, 2006 2:25:46 PM

Quote:
there's an urban legend that says you must set it to half your ram, therefore, 512MB in your case.
It wont hurt... you can try a value and see if it helps

edit:
how about your pagefile size? i noticed a huge improvement in games when i increased the page file size, even though task manager informed it wasnt fully used.


That legend came about back in the day when video card memory was rather low, 16-32Megs. Today, it's probably best to set it at 64-128Megs, but run tests and determine how it works for you. On same games, painkiller for example, it was found that larger apetures were causing issues. I typically set mine now at 128 and leave it alone, but if you're worried about it, runs some tests with various settings and see what works best for the particular game you like to play.
July 7, 2006 2:36:49 PM

Quote:
runs some tests with various settings and see what works best for the particular game you like to play.

exactly
July 7, 2006 2:54:25 PM

To function without lag or stuttering, BF2 actually needs 2Gb of memory. I had 1Gb myself when it first came out, and after being annoyed constantly by start-up lag and slideshow frame rates, I upgraded to 2Gb for about $75 without having to buy a better video card.

After that, all my problems stopped and the game ran smoothly.

**Also, setting the AGP aperture to 256mb won't hurt, so go for it.
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2006 3:14:48 PM

I think you guys are missing the point, he said he can't change it because its not a bios option and is thus looking for an alternative method.
July 7, 2006 3:18:46 PM

Quote:
I think you guys are missing the point, he said he can't change it because its not a bios option and is thus looking for an alternative method.

oh, indeed.
that's why i would take a look at the page file size too

Cody_7, did you notice if when the computer freezes the hd led is on?
July 7, 2006 3:20:27 PM

PowerStrip has an option, I guess. I recall I've seen it in some "Properties" screen of PowerStrip...
July 7, 2006 4:08:03 PM

Quote:

It's faster than continually swapping textures in and out of video memory


Yes, exactly. I've never seen a game fill up all of your video RAM (I'm referring to both the GPU RAM and Physical RAM) so quickly. That's why I need to raise the aperture number - because I will get 5 second freezes with textures on high, while my card empties it's texture memory to fill it again with the textures from the rest of the map. This is a problem when flying a jet, because it happens constantly.

Quote:
To function without lag or stuttering, BF2 actually needs 2Gb of memory. I had 1Gb myself when it first came out, and after being annoyed constantly by start-up lag and slideshow frame rates, I upgraded to 2Gb for about $75 without having to buy a better video card.


I do get a little start-up lag, but nothing too serious. I did notice though, sadly, my average framerate while playing online is lower than single player. And i know it's not because of my video card -- BF2 is so RAM intensive, that only having 1GB of ram does seem to affect your framerate with a large-player server.

Quote:
I think you guys are missing the point, he said he can't change it because its not a bios option and is thus looking for an alternative method.


Lol, thank you dewey! That's exactly the thing. My main problem is that I cannot access the setting trhough BIOS and I need to up it slightly so I can run textures on high without the constant "texture refill" freezes. It's rediculous that having a 256MB card isn't enough texture memory for the game! I will try out Powerstrip and see if it has an AGP aperture option.

P.S. Yes, my HDD led is typically on whenever I get any kind of freezes. That brings me to another question: I have BF2 installed on my secondary Hard drive (D: ) but my paging file (Set at 1.5 - 3.0GB, automatically manged) is on my main disk (C: ). Is it true that putting my paging file on another hard disk that where my OS is will help? Should I set the paging file at a set size, isntead of auto-expanding like I have it now?

-Thanks.
July 7, 2006 4:18:21 PM

Your going to get lag in BF2 no matter what if you hav less than 2gb of memory, thats just the way it is.
What are your windows performance settings? Dont let windows manage your performance settings, set it manually to "best performance".
As far as I know agp aperature settings must be changed in the bios. You can change them whether you have agp or pci-e.
Also someone said to set it to twice the amount of ram you have...... :roll:
I dont think you agp aperature settings go to 2 gb...lol.. :roll:
July 7, 2006 4:21:28 PM

Twice the **video** RAM, not twice the system RAM :lol:  :lol: 
July 7, 2006 4:38:47 PM

Quote:
such a thing as AGP memory which was slow.


Hmm... How about this. We'll refer to system RAM (The 184-pin chips you put on your motherboard) as "Mobo RAM", we'll refer to the much faster memory on your graphics card as "Video Ram" and the AGP Aperture size we can call just that.

I don't think anyone needs to argue over tiny specifics, as long as we try and be clear about what we're talking about. :p 

P.S. I will look around at Powerstrip and tell you guys what I find.
July 7, 2006 5:00:14 PM

Okay. I took a look at Powerstrip, and the only thing I saw was an information box to display the AGP Aperture size. I don't see any place to actually edit that number - correct me if i'm wrong, though!



P.S. In response to MrsD: I set my paging file for the custom size of 1.5GB to 3.0GB. Should I set it to always be a set size of 3GB instead of a range?
July 7, 2006 5:01:15 PM

Quote:
Is it true that putting my paging file on another hard disk that where my OS is will help?

that's true

Quote:
Should I set the paging file at a set size, isntead of auto-expanding like I have it now?

yes, give it a try.

edit: there's another urban legend that says if you assign a page file to each unit you have, windows will automatically balance the usage within these page files. Worth a try.
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2006 5:32:57 PM

Forget the myths, then you can quit repeating them.

Some programs run faster on some cards with a certain AGP aperture setting. The "best size" has nothing to do with the amount of system memory or the amount of memory on the card already. You pick based on what performs best with your game and your card.

I've had my best luck with 128MB, but 256 is a usefull setting for some operating conditions.
July 7, 2006 5:39:46 PM

i prefer saying is a myth, because unlike some people, i cant assume it is true or not, but it's worth a try. It has to do with something you said:

Quote:
You pick based on what performs best with your game and your card


if it helps, then good. If dont, he didnt lose anything (but a few minutes, maybe) for doing it
July 8, 2006 2:08:30 AM

Arg, I wish I could figure out how to access the setting! The more I think about it, the more angy I get. Seriously, a 256MB card that can't handle all the textures? What the hell Do I need? An X1900XTX 512MB?
July 8, 2006 2:22:20 AM

Lol... I dont understand why you people say you get jitters in BF2 with anything less than 2gb of ram.. I have 1gb and I certainly don't... taskmanager says its uses around 700mb of ram on my system...I cant recall how much page file is in use during the prog.. but I know its around 200ish before I load it.. I have around like 35-39 processes active then..
July 8, 2006 2:28:52 AM

AntiHax0r, are you reffering to something I said? Just to clarifly, let me say this again.

When textures are on high, it fills all of my video memory, causing it to freeze for 5 seconds at a time to clear out the memory (and make more room) for new textures.

I've seen the game use all but 2MB of my video memory, and it will freeze for 5 seconds or more -- then it goes back to 380MB, and freezes again to fill it up with textures.

That's why causes the jitters I get -- therefore, I need a way to raise my AGP Aperture size to accomodate all the textures on high.
July 8, 2006 12:55:31 PM

if you have older system and 1024 mb ram you can set your agp aparture size to 512 mb,if not aparture sized not affect new systems like old. ican play fear and oblivion 1024*768 4x aa in medium details with 9550 (oc 515*750)with 512 mb aparture size, if i use lower than this i cant play very well in this details.
!