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Upgrading graphics card in 32bit xp system

Last response: in Windows XP
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November 5, 2012 6:38:20 PM

I was reading somewhere in these forums that the graphics card memory will count towards the 3.5 gig maximum RAM useable limit on Windows XP 32 Bit OS (i.e. if you have a 1 gig video card, you only have 2.5 g useable RAM for the system, so purchasing any extra RAM over 2.5 gig would just be a waste of money). However, local IT people have told me that the video memory only counts towards the max RAM limit if the video capability is intergrated with the motherboard (i.e. a separately purchased video card with its own memory of 1 or 2 gig would not take away from the system's useable ram, so you could get you 3.5 gig ram and a 2 gig video card to significantly enhance system performance).

So, what is the truth?

Thanks, in advance for your thoughts.

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a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2012 6:51:28 PM

Hopefully I can explain this correctly. Both are true. A discrete memory card has it memory mapped over to a portion of the address space where as an integrated card uses system memory once the discrete card's ram is fully used. In either case, some of your ram may become unusable.
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a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2012 9:16:44 PM

Just one minor correction: Most video cards only map a 256MB window into their card memory and the video driver handles moving this window around to access all card memory. This is done specifically to reduce the amount of memory mapped when used with a 32-bit OS.
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a b U Graphics card
November 6, 2012 10:55:37 AM

^ Good to know PhilFrisbie. Thanks for the clarification.
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a b U Graphics card
November 6, 2012 7:01:55 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
^ Good to know PhilFrisbie. Thanks for the clarification.

I love to keep up with video hardware advances. In a past life I wrote some Linear Frame Buffer code for DOS graphics libraries, and even wrote a Cirrus Logic CL54XX series driver for a game. Yes, that was the life, blissfully working with interrupts, IO port addresses, and 64K memory frames. . .
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November 15, 2012 11:07:35 PM

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Much appreciated.
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November 15, 2012 11:11:30 PM

Best answer selected by rbens1.
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November 18, 2012 4:13:51 AM

rbens1 said:
I was reading somewhere in these forums that the graphics card memory will count towards the 3.5 gig maximum RAM useable limit on Windows XP 32 Bit OS (i.e. if you have a 1 gig video card, you only have 2.5 g useable RAM for the system, so purchasing any extra RAM over 2.5 gig would just be a waste of money). However, local IT people have told me that the video memory only counts towards the max RAM limit if the video capability is intergrated with the motherboard (i.e. a separately purchased video card with its own memory of 1 or 2 gig would not take away from the system's useable ram, so you could get you 3.5 gig ram and a 2 gig video card to significantly enhance system performance).

So, what is the truth?

Thanks, in advance for your thoughts.
the card has it own MHz that usually all it take u can put in 4GB ram on that system ;) 
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