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  #1  
Old 07-27-2010, 08:07 AM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Graphics card question

I'm a mac guy with a question for windows guys.

If I remember correctly, a while back I remember seeing a few threads about how graphics cards should not go above 512 of memory (I forget what the issue was) for a computer that uses protools. What I'm wanting to know is if that was specific for windows, or what the specific issue was.

The reason I'm asking is Apple just released new Imacs, and they now have discrete graphics cards (up until now they were always integrated). And if you order the top-line I7 quad core, the graphics card has 1GB of memory (no customization to make it less).

I didn't know if that would be an issue, because I don't remember what the issue was on windows, or if it would even apply to a mac.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:08 AM
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Default Re: Graphics card question

It's specific to Windows.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:41 AM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: Graphics card question

Thanks. Can you elaborate on why that is? I'm just curious.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: Graphics card question

It has to do with how Windows manages and allocates memory (poorly, IMHO ).
I have been under the impression that this was a problem on 32-bit Windows systems, but I'm not sure what tests have been done in this regard on 64-bit W7.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:21 AM
Mr. Kelly Mr. Kelly is offline
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Default Re: Graphics card question

I'll take a stab at this... although, I'm hoping one of the "godz" on here will verify...

Apparently, Windows "allocates" RAM space for the size of the memory on the video card to be used exclusively for Windows, thus, leaving that part of the RAM unavailable to other apps. This means, if you have a "big" video card, you'll end up not being able to access as much RAM.

A smaller video card isn't supposed to be a deficit for PT, given that video requirements for PT are light.

That has been my understanding. Let's hope someone else chimes in, too!
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:28 AM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: Graphics card question

Thanks guys! So if this is not a problem on Mac, then we might even see a performance boost if the graphics card is more powerful, in the sense that the main processors won't have to do as much work for anything graphic related. Correct?
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:16 AM
Mr. Kelly Mr. Kelly is offline
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Default Re: Graphics card question

Not sure more memory on a video card would do much for PT. Have you ever had the graphics on PT fall behind, or any messages indicating graphics problems? I haven't.

You may benefit in other ways from a better card: better for games/videos & editing, etc.. !!!
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: Graphics card question

This was mainly an issuse when using 32 bit Windows since it was limited to 3.25 - 3.5GB's of Ram for the total system. It wont be an issue when using a 64 bit OS such as Windows 7 64 bit or OSX.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Graphics card question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benoni View Post
This was mainly an issuse when using 32 bit Windows since it was limited to 3.25 - 3.5GB's of Ram for the total system. It wont be an issue when using a 64 bit OS such as Windows 7 64 bit or OSX.
Is that merely due to the large RAM sizes and capacities of 64 bit systems, or does W7 64 process memory in a different way???
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Graphics card question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Kelly View Post
Is that merely due to the large RAM sizes and capacities of 64 bit systems, or does W7 64 process memory in a different way???
well of course if you have Windows 64 bit with just 3GB's of Ram, than a 1GB card may reduce the amount of Ram for other apps. Im kinda of assuming you will have at least 4GB's of ram if you are using Windows 7 64 bit. Guess i should of made that clear.

Ive been searching for a well explained answer and this is what I've found so far, from the guys at Techguys.org. This is relating to Vista, but as far as I know its the same for Windows 7.

Quote:
Let's clarify this once and for all IN VISTA:

When one clicks on Display Properties / Advanced, there are three settings below Total Available Graphics Memory:

System Video Memory: this one is usually 0. When it is NOT, this tells us there's an integrated onboard graphics that comes with little / more likely none of its own ram & is using a portion of system ram for itself.

Dedicated Video Memory: the ram that the graphics adapter already brings with it, PLUS "any system ram it wants to exclusively appropriate for itself"(other subsystems would not be allowed to use it ever).

Shared System Video Memory: the portion of available system ram that the graphics system can borrow IF / WHEN it is available. In other words, this is really first-come, first-served: the shared memory is available to the graphics system & to other non-graphic subsytems... neither can appropriate memory in use by the other.

NOW...the video card is going to tell the system how much system memory it's going to allocate for its use:
IF it does this during POST, thru a call to the BIOS reserving a ram amount, windows will not 'see' the subtracted amount.
IF instead it does this during startup @ driver initialization, windows 'sees' this.
However, the end result is the same no matter what windows reports: dedicated system memory is NOT available to the system...& shared memory may or may not at times.
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