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Changing the Amount of System Memory Used for On-Board Video

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This document pertains to PC models that come with integrated on-board video.

About integrated video memory (UMA)

Unified Memory Architecture (UMA) is memory that can be used by the system and the video display at the same time. Giving more memory to the display reduces memory available to the system. The entire system will work better if the UMA memory is set lower and the display is set to a smaller resolution and color depth. The system memory (as viewed in System Manager, Performance) is reduced in proportion to the amount of UMA VGA RAM. Depending on the amount of memory in your system, video RAM can be set higher to improve video performance. Increasing the amount of video memory can also eliminate memory errors that occur when changing to a higher video mode or color depth.

About Intel Onboard Video

Read this section if your PC uses Intel on-board video.
Certain Intel chipsets use Dynamic Memory Allocation. How the memory is used by the system depends on the setting:
  • Pre-allocated Memory
    Pre-allocated memory is memory that is assigned before the operating system and graphics driver are loaded into memory. Pre-allocated memory supports DOS applications or other basic text-mode programs.
  • Fixed Memory
    This method allocates a fixed block of memory for use by video drivers loaded by the operating system. The operating system typically reports the memory as present but in use. This mode supports all 2d and 3d graphics at any size and color depth supported by the computer and display hardware. For Intel chipsets, fixed memory may be used in combination with Dynamic Memory. Think of the fixed memory setting as a minimum memory allocation.
  • Dynamic Memory
    This method reserves a pool of memory to share between programs and the graphics display. When the graphics display requires more memory the system provides it. When the graphics display requires less memory, that memory is released for use by programs. Dynamic Memory may be used in combination with Fixed Memory.

About ATI Radeon Xpress Video

Read this section if your PC uses ATI Radeon Xpress on-board video.
ATI Radeon Xpress 200 chipsets provide integrated graphics support using system memory. The Hypermemory feature in the chipset sets a fixed level of graphics memory and dynamically allocates additional memory based on need and availability. Graphics memory allocation is preset by the amount of system memory that is installed and is not adjustable as a setting in the BIOS.
There are two times memory is given to the PC when the PC is started:
  1. Memory is allocated to the system before the BIOS loads, either 32MB or 64MB.
  2. A Windows driver dynamically allocates memory to Windows. Windows can have more than the initial memory than was allocated before the BIOS loads (see chart).
    ATI Radeon integrated video chart
    Installed System Memory Video Memory before BIOS Video Memory for WindowsTotal video memory
    128 MB 32 MB 32 MB 64 MB
    256 MB32 MB 64 MB 128 MB
    384 MB64 MB 128 MB 192 MB
    512 MB64 MB 192 MB 256 MB
    1 GB64 MB 192 MB 256 MB
  • The BIOS will not report additional dynamic memory. Additional memory can be used by Windows.
The system's BIOS will not report additional dynamic memory. This additional memory is controlled by OS-level drivers.

Instructions for changing video memory

For integrated video memory that is adjustable, use the following steps to change the amount of video memory (RAM) from the PC BIOS Setup:
  1. Turn on the PC.
  2. When the blue HP screen appears, press the F1 key.
    Entering Setup should appear on the screen.
  3. When BIOS Setup screen appears, use the RIGHT ARROW key to select the Advanced screen.
  4. Use the down Arrow key to select the video memory setting; for example; VGA RAM Size, integrated video, or On-Board Video Memory.
  5. Press the Enter key.
  6. Use the down Arrow key to select the desired amount of memory or memory setting that is listed and then press the Enter key.
    CAUTION: Do not select a DISABLED setting without a video card installed! Doing so can cause the monitor to go black until a video card is added or the BIOS is reset.
  7. Press the F10 key, and then press Enter to save changes and exit.
    The PC is set to use the new video memory setting.