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Video Memory Allocation

Last response: in Windows 7
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February 10, 2010 3:29:00 PM

Hi All,

I know just enough about computers to know I don't know much. About to take the plunge and purchase a new HP computer. Will be running PSCS4 and Lightroom primarily. The pc i am interested in says it has 512mb dedicated video memory and "up to 3327MB total available as allocated by Windows 7."

So what the heck does that mean? I know CS4 uses the GPU so I know that more video memory will help it run. It comes with a ATI Radeon HD 4350.

Thanks all ye smarter than me!

Scott
a b $ Windows 7
February 10, 2010 3:37:39 PM

Windows (all versions) use system memory also for video / graphics work for larger texture processing etc.

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February 10, 2010 3:52:45 PM

Thanks Ulysses,

So I could increase that allocation up to say 2gb? I plan on maxing out the RAM after purchase (16gb).

Scott
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
February 10, 2010 4:32:42 PM

If you're going for 16GB of memory, then you'll need to use the 64-bit version of Windows 7. And with that version, the video memory won't take away from the RAM available to programs. So you can buy a card with as much video memory as you want and you'll still be able to use all your RAM memory.
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February 10, 2010 7:08:59 PM

sminlal said:
If you're going for 16GB of memory, then you'll need to use the 64-bit version of Windows 7. And with that version, the video memory won't take away from the RAM available to programs. So you can buy a card with as much video memory as you want and you'll still be able to use all your RAM memory.


Any video cards you would recommend? I will be using 64-bit. I could post the specs of the computer if that would help.

Thanks Sminlal!!

Scott
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a b α HP
a b $ Windows 7
February 10, 2010 8:14:39 PM

If money no object for a machine that is going to handle complex images then the ATI Radeon HD 5970 2GB is the puppy to go for, it is in effect a 5870 X2 on a single PCB, with a slight drop in clocks to keep the thermals in check and outperforms nVidia top of the line GTX 295.

Be aware that this thing will need 294watts, 75 Watt is supplied though the PCie bus, the 6-pin PEG delivers another 75W and then the 8-pin connector delivers 150W.

It is unlocked, so overclocking can be done, with the appropriate increaes in power consumption and yes, you can run them in crossfire mode.
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
February 10, 2010 10:05:49 PM

For non-3D processing like Photoshop and Lightroom, the video card isn't that important a consideration. I have an Asus EAH4350 (uses the same ATI Radeon GPU as the card you mentioned) because it's passively cooled and this really helps to my system very quiet. Windows only gives it a 3.7 for "Desktop Performance for Windows Aero" rating, but it works just great on my 64-bit Windows 7 system with Photoshop CS4 and all my other applications.

I wouldn't expect it to run 3D games all that well, though, even though Windows rates it as 5.7 for "3D Business and gaming graphics performance".

Photoshop can take advantage of the video card to offload some of it's work, but unless you're processing really huge images or doing work in large batches you're not too likely to see much benefit from that, IMHO.
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February 10, 2010 10:27:32 PM

sminlal said:
For non-3D processing like Photoshop and Lightroom, the video card isn't that important a consideration. I have an Asus EAH4350 (uses the same ATI Radeon GPU as the card you mentioned) because it's passively cooled and this really helps to my system very quiet. Windows only gives it a 3.7 for "Desktop Performance for Windows Aero" rating, but it works just great on my 64-bit Windows 7 system with Photoshop CS4 and all my other applications.

I wouldn't expect it to run 3D games all that well, though, even though Windows rates it as 5.7 for "3D Business and gaming graphics performance".

Photoshop can take advantage of the video card to offload some of it's work, but unless you're processing really huge images or doing work in large batches you're not too likely to see much benefit from that, IMHO.



Thanks Sminlal,

Actually I would be working with rather large files and batch processing. I shoot weddings in RAW format.

Hope you're not getting tired of my replies or ignorance.

Thanks!

Scott
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February 10, 2010 10:30:42 PM

das_stig said:
If money no object for a machine that is going to handle complex images then the ATI Radeon HD 5970 2GB is the puppy to go for, it is in effect a 5870 X2 on a single PCB, with a slight drop in clocks to keep the thermals in check and outperforms nVidia top of the line GTX 295.

Be aware that this thing will need 294watts, 75 Watt is supplied though the PCie bus, the 6-pin PEG delivers another 75W and then the 8-pin connector delivers 150W.

It is unlocked, so overclocking can be done, with the appropriate increaes in power consumption and yes, you can run them in crossfire mode.



Thanks Das,

You lost me at puppy. I am not looking to replace the power supply too unless I absolutely have to. Any thoughts? It comes with a 300w power supply.

Regards,

Scott
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
February 11, 2010 12:05:49 AM

If you're doing volume processing than a better video card might well be of some benefit. But I'm no video card guru so I'll leave it to others to make suggestions.

Be aware though, that a lot of video card freaks here are looking for the best gaming performance, and that may not be the best thing for Photoshop. You might want to ask around on a PS-specific forum for recommendations.
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