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Increasing VRAM.. Can this be done?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 28, 2008 1:26:45 AM

First of all, yeah i know this question has been asked many times before (2 times on THF.. Yeah i searched before posting....) Secondly, HI! Im new to THF. So you can expect a lotta noob qns from me!
I was wondering... Is it possible to increase the amount of video memory in a graphics card? No im not talking about magic software (im not such a noob). Is it possible to solder extra ram chips to the cards pcb? Yeah.. I know the pins are very close together n soldering them wil be VERY tough. But..... IS IT POSSIBLE? To do this first of all we will need a card with an unused memory slot n i think the 9600 gso is one of em right? I heard tht some of the galaxy cards have 8 ram chips instead of 6. So wat im askin is , is it possible to fix 2 extra ram chips to the 6-ram-chip editions of this card? (or to any card for tht matter). Even if some brave soul did risk damagin his card n successfully ended up soldering the chips to the card, there wil still be the problem of the cards bios not detecting (or not being able to utilise or watever) the extra additions. I've thot of tht too. The 9600 gso is "basically a crippled 8800gt...". N the 8800gt has 512mb of vram right? N im guessing tht the 512mb is essentially 8x64mb right? So if we replace (flash?) the 9600gso's bios wit a 8800gt's bios, then it should be able to "see" the extra memory right? Then there is the memory width (I hav NO idea wat it is, but im gonna pretend like i know wat im talkin about.....) The 9600 gso has a 192-bit interface whereas the 8800gt has a 256-bit one. According to some guide i found on "how to softmod a (GALAXY) 9600gso into a 8800gt", i understand tht once the 2 unused chips are unlocked, the memory interface (again, im remindin you.. i dont know wat im talking about. Im jus using these fancy words i found on tech-sites) increases to 256-bit. So tell me, does this "width" thingy depend on the number of chips used in the card? If so, then i guess once someone (crazy) actually solders the extra chips to the 9600gso's pcb, it should hav a 256-bit "width" right? N in case all of this is actually possible, then wil it help if we use faster, lower latency rams? 0.8ns may be? I think the palit n galxy versions of this card (9600) use samsung chips.. The K4J52324QE-BJXX (i don remember the latency correctly.. Some of them use 1ns while some use 1.25ns i think.. Im not sure.. But i read tht the galaxy overclocked ones have 0.8ns...) Sooooooo, y not get some of these chips, steal a friends gso n use it as our test subject? Look, i dont know anythin about Soldering or graphics cards (looks lik thers a lotta things i dont know a lot about) I jus wanna know if this is possible. I was plannin on gettin a 9600 gso. Thts wen i came across the 9600gso-softmodding-8800gt article. But i read tht only the 8-ram-chip galaxy ones could be softmodded. But Galaxy does not hav a service centre anywher near wher i live, but palit has one thts very near (Just in case somethin goes wrong wit the card n if its not my fault, i would like to be able to kick some card-vendor-butt! So im gettin one from palit). So i was like, the hell wit galaxy. Im gonna make my own 8-ram-chip edition gso! Thts how i got the idea.... N yes i know.. I wont be able to just buy the samsung chips at some local supermarket... N NO, IM NOT GONNA EXPERIMENT WIT MY NEW CARD. DONT EVEN ASK...

More about : increasing vram

a b U Graphics card
July 28, 2008 1:45:10 AM

Not possible to anyone other than those with surface mount PCB machines, and even then next to 99.44% impossible, so for the general public it's X where X approaches impossible. What you ask to do after the fact would likely fry the traces even if you had the proper equipement and give you a very high failure rate.

The rest of your post just doesn't make sense, especially considering you are aware and seemingly proud that you know nothing about soldering or graphics cards.
July 28, 2008 2:35:24 AM

First off you don't have to declare so many times what you don't know. You can take a little credit for the things you figure out as long as you don't start talking like you're the pooh and making the rest up.

As far as the RAM vs. the memory bus width...and mind you this may not be 100% true to theory; I'm just trying to help... Think about a parking lot. The RAM chips are the parking spaces. The cars would be the textures from your game that need to be stored.

Adding two more chips is like making more parking spaces (RAM). More space for cars (textures).

The memory bus is the driveway into and out of the parking lot. Going from a 192bit to a 256bit memory bus would be like having two entrances to your parking lot and adding a third. You can get more in and out of it in the same time period.

Textures from 3d apps and games are stored in the video RAM, and the have to travel over the bus to get in and out. Now, as to why this is possible and why you shouldn't bother.

This is not the first time a card could be soft-modded. I'm sure the reasons vary...but the last time it happened it was (afiak) the Radeon 9700. Again...I may be generalizing or have this slightly off...but this is how I remember it.

ATI had so many half busted 9700's that were defective off the line that they basically turned half of the card off and made the 9500 out of it. This was funny because it meant that the 9500 was faster than the 9600 in a lot of cases. The 9500 was not originally supposed to exist. After putting money into making the 9500 line they needed enough 9500's to make it worthwhile, so some 9700's that were fine were converted into 9500's.

The result was that certain 9500's could be turned back into 9700's with a soft-mod because they were not half defective but intentionally crippled. Most of the 9500's though, you would turn the card into a paper weight by trying this.

The same thing is suspected to be going on with AMD's phenom X3. They're regular phenoms that came off the line with a busted core...maybe. So turn one off and make a new product out of it.

A lot of cpus, ram, etc are like this... the higher quality ones make fast parts and the less perfect runs are made into parts that run slower and live with less stress.

This may not be the case with these cards you're looking at. It may have just been easier for the maker to cripple a faster card to make and sell a slower one. Easier than developing a whole new platform at least. A lot of the time though when it comes to this kind of thing there is a reason; and associated risks.

Know the story about why its possible and whether it works on all of product X before trying this. Oh and like Ape said...a lot of components have one time solder. Parts are put on with dry solder and put in an oven of sorts. You'd cook most stuff trying to redo something.
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a b U Graphics card
July 28, 2008 4:07:04 AM

yes...

but can normal people...

no


Oh... BTW... whats with the gargantuan posts guys?
a b U Graphics card
July 28, 2008 7:38:33 AM

nekatreven said:

ATI had so many half busted 9700's that were defective off the line that they basically turned half of the card off and made the 9500 out of it. This was funny because it meant that the 9500 was faster than the 9600 in a lot of cases. The 9500 was not originally supposed to exist. After putting money into making the 9500 line they needed enough 9500's to make it worthwhile, so some 9700's that were fine were converted into 9500's.

The result was that certain 9500's could be turned back into 9700's with a soft-mod because they were not half defective but intentionally crippled. Most of the 9500's though, you would turn the card into a paper weight by trying this.


That's a bit of a mix-up of the reason for the R9500, it wasn't because of the high defect rate of the R9700 that the R9500 was added it was because of the lack of a mid-range card, so while some bin'ed chips could be re-used, the majority were healthy chips simply crippled to sell into the mid-range segment until they could later be replaced by a dedicated part (the R9600).
July 28, 2008 11:18:15 AM

Im sorry if my post dint make much sense (atleast to one of u anyway). I was typin the whole thing at 4 in the morning/night. zzzzzzz.....

Thank u.
a b U Graphics card
July 28, 2008 12:30:05 PM

As I recall some very early video cards had memory upgrade slots. I wonder if I still have one of those kicking around somewhere.
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