Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

2GB graphics card in a system with a 32bit OS

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
October 18, 2011 5:33:18 PM

My friends system has a 32bit OS and his 5770 has broke and XFX are offering an upgrade option. He can get the 6950 2GB for about £147 including shipping or get the 1GB model for £15 less. However because he only has a 32bit OS and 4GB RAM how would the OS go about sharing them RAM and graphics memory and can he change it? For example would the system allocate 2GB to RAM and 2GB to video RAM?

He plays at 1080P and plans to keep the card for at least 2 years so I think the 2GB version is worth the extra £15 as he can upgrade to Windows 7 64bit in the future when he has more money. He can not afford the 64bit OS at this point in time however. He has a 2.8GHZ core2duo but also plans to upgrade this to a quad in future.
a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 5:57:13 PM

If before he was using a 4GB system + 1GB video card + all cacheable memory, he already needed to upgrade his OS. Losing rough 1,5GB memory already.

Future proof: Get the 2GB VGA and upgrade to 64bit OS ASAP.

AFIK windows 32 and 64 serial keys are interchangeable, does he tried to reinstall windows 64bit with the same key (considering his OS is windows)
a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 6:02:01 PM

Please look at today's article: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6950-1gb-.... 2gig cards show no inherent superiority to 1 gig cards running most of today's toughest games. An overclocked 1 gig card beats a reference 2 gig card every time. Most bag for the buck (hmm pound) would be to get the 1gig and OC it a bit.
Related resources
October 18, 2011 6:12:30 PM

He has a serious money issue so upgrading to a 64bit would definitely be next on his list of upgrades. The main question is though, until he upgrades to 64bit OS would the extra 1GB VRAM eat into the RAM resources?

DogSnake: I didn't think it would benefit now, however as he plans to keep the card for over 2 years I would expect the £15 spent on the extra 1GB VRAM to come in handy down the line. Especially since he'll be playing modern day games in 1080P
a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 6:24:54 PM

@DogSnake
Yes, he could get 1gig card and OC it a bit, but he could get 2gig card and OC it a bit too.

In the end, same clock = same performance. Saying that I would get the 2gig since it's so little money to get this 'upgrade'

@Dark comet
Ask him to look for answer bout using 32bit windows key to activate 64bit windows.
I did it here
October 18, 2011 6:36:09 PM

I know his OS is a OEM so technically he would have to buy another OS for 64bit. There's no legal way around it, only the retail allows this.
a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 7:50:13 PM

Why do people get this confused so often? The videocard has its own memory. The only way they are gonna share memory is if one has a integrated graphics chip on the motherboard ONLY. Video ram is for the video card and system memory is for the system. The 32 bit OS will have absolutely no effect on the video memory.
October 18, 2011 7:59:26 PM

I thought the OS manages all of the RAM and due to OS constraints it could not use more then 4GB. This is why people only have 3.3 or so because their video card is also using some. But if this is not the case all the better.
a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 8:10:57 PM

buzznut said:
Why do people get this confused so often? The videocard has its own memory. The only way they are gonna share memory is if one has a integrated graphics chip on the motherboard ONLY. Video ram is for the video card and system memory is for the system. The 32 bit OS will have absolutely no effect on the video memory.




Wrong. It's total address space. Go put a 2gb video card & 3gb of RAM in a system with a 32bit OS and tell me what you get....

I'm willing to bet your OS shows 1.5GB - 1.75GB usable RAM.




a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 8:11:59 PM

buzznut said:
Why do people get this confused so often? The videocard has its own memory. The only way they are gonna share memory is if one has a integrated graphics chip on the motherboard ONLY. Video ram is for the video card and system memory is for the system. The 32 bit OS will have absolutely no effect on the video memory.





Wrong.


Go put a 2GB video card & 3GB of RAM into a system with a 32-bit OS, and let us know how it goes. I'm going to bet your OS shows 1.5GB - 1.75GB usable RAM.
October 18, 2011 8:19:38 PM

If it comes to that would there be a way for it the user to change the system to use 3GB RAM and only 1GB of the cards 2GB RAM though? Otherwise he's going to take a bit hit in games with only 1.75GB RAM and Windows Vista..
October 18, 2011 8:22:07 PM

mavroxur said:
Wrong.


Go put a 2GB video card & 3GB of RAM into a system with a 32-bit OS, and let us know how it goes. I'm going to bet your OS shows 1.5GB - 1.75GB usable RAM.


LOL what you been smoking dude? Maybe YOU should try your experiment before posting...
a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 8:23:54 PM

he could somehow grab hold of a 64bit copy then not put in the cdkey... you need to reauthenticate it every now and again, not going in to how, but basically you get all updates for about 6 months :) 

i dont think its illegal because windows actually has it built into the system :) 

Edit: and mavs theory sounds believable, im gonna look into it more though, google here i come!
October 18, 2011 8:25:57 PM

Dark Comet said:
If it comes to that would there be a way for it the user to change the system to use 3GB RAM and only 1GB of the cards 2GB RAM though? Otherwise he's going to take a bit hit in games with only 1.75GB RAM and Windows Vista..


short version, No
October 18, 2011 8:57:26 PM

the truth is actually half way in between. Video card does use up memory addresss space and reduce the amount of ram, however only part of the video memory is duplicated in RAM. So yes 2Gb ram is going to take a greater hit but not as much as it first sounds.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinovich/archive/2008...
read section called 32-bit Client Effective Memory Limits.
October 18, 2011 9:10:16 PM

play around with texture modification and tell me you dont like having 2 gigs around ;) 
October 20, 2011 10:07:38 PM

zhihao50 said:
the truth is actually half way in between. Video card does use up memory addresss space and reduce the amount of ram, however only part of the video memory is duplicated in RAM. So yes 2Gb ram is going to take a greater hit but not as much as it first sounds.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinovich/archive/2008...
read section called 32-bit Client Effective Memory Limits.


This sounds about right to me, thanks.
a b U Graphics card
October 20, 2011 10:35:33 PM

yeah the video memory is totally separate from system memory, and having a 32bit os does not force you to run a 1 gig card that is absolute nonsense...

At the end of the day I have never given Microsoft a dime, just saying....
a b U Graphics card
October 20, 2011 10:59:08 PM

jjb8675309 said:
yeah the video memory is totally separate from system memory, and having a 32bit os does not force you to run a 1 gig card that is absolute nonsense...

At the end of the day I have never given Microsoft a dime, just saying....



but how do you play games... :) 
September 22, 2012 2:34:20 PM

buzznut said:
Why do people get this confused so often? The videocard has its own memory. The only way they are gonna share memory is if one has a integrated graphics chip on the motherboard ONLY. Video ram is for the video card and system memory is for the system. The 32 bit OS will have absolutely no effect on the video memory.


the videocard ram will need an address in the installed system ram for the system to access the videocard ram. for a 2 gb installed ram system the address needed will not affect the usable system ram since it will be written above the 2gb. if however 4gb will be installed there will now be overlapping due to allocation for the address needed to access the videoram. in this case the total usuable system ram available will be 4gb less ?gb of videoram less .3gb used by OS.
!