How do I check RAM and Video Cards?

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How do I check RAM and Video Cards?

Postby Nets_VC_15 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:00 pm

I know it sounds like a big newb question, but I never really looked into it. How can I check how much RAM my computer has and how much exactly is the maximum for most computers. Mine is a Windows XP. I am a newb at all this high tech terminolgy and stuff. Please help. :lol:
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Postby Kariudo » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:08 pm

right click on "my computer" and click properties

the maximum amount of memory depends on your motherboard and your OS
winXP (32-bit) can only address up to 4GB of ram before it has to do special stuff

it also depends on how many ram slots your motherboard has, as well as the maximum memory each slot can support (2 slots with 1GB max per slot = 2GB max total)

if I had to guess, I'd say that your max is probably 4GB (4 slots with 1GB max/slot)
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Postby Nets_VC_15 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:12 pm

whats the highest and best RAM amount currently to your knowledge for a common public computer, then to something for a bigger computer that a serious video editor might be using?
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Postby Kariudo » Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:02 pm

pre-built and public computers would typically probably range from 256MB to 1GB
typical users probably won't use more than 1GB
higher-end pre-built systems could get up to 2GB, I don't think I've seen any with 4GB

for editing, that absolute minimum I'd try editing with is 512MB
2GB is probably the sugar spot between price and added performance
I'm sure there's more than enough people maxing out with 4GB

I personally use 3GB (only 2.75GB is usable for some reason)

you can always find a way to use all of your memory, but I don't think I've used more than 2.5GB (multiple files open in AvsP, premiere pro, AIM 6, vdubmod)
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Postby BasharOfTheAges » Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:42 pm

I run 4GB right now, can expand up to 8GB on this board, and will probably start running 6GB when I get some spare cash.
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Postby Willen » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:22 am

Kariudo wrote:I personally use 3GB (only 2.75GB is usable for some reason)

That might be due to how 32-bit Windows uses memory. See my post in this thread for details.

Also, if you are using an on-board video graphics chip rather than a discrete graphics card, it's possible that the memory discrepancy is due to some of RAM being allocated for video.
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Postby Kariudo » Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:41 am

my 64-bit Fedora 8 only sees 2.75GB as well
it's the bios that reports the 3072 available, 2xxx usable

my video card (raderon x1950pro) only has dedicated vram, no onboard.

it might be something about me using all 4 slots
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Postby Joe88 » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:28 pm

most likley your motherboard as well
certain chipsets (even though they say they will work with up to 8GB) only accept up to 3GB
it seems the newer chipsets are fixing this problem though
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Postby Willen » Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:59 am

It seems like it's your hardware (BIOS) that is assigning the RAM for your PCI and PCI-E/AGP cards taking the memory chunk out of that specific address space. Newer hardware should be able to access memory mapped at higher address spaces leaving more physical RAM available to the OS or applications.
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Postby Willen » Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:08 am

Oh, and 2 other ways of finding your computer system's info:

System Information: found in Start > Accessories > System Tools > System Information. Expand the Components category and select Display to find out what video card/chip you have and how much RAM it has or is using.

DirectX Diagnostic Tool: go to Start > Run... and type dxdiag to bring it up.
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Postby Nets_VC_15 » Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:18 pm

RADEON X300 SE 128MB HyperMemory.


Adapter RAM is at 128. Which means I probably have little to no RAM what so ever as far as video editing goes right? :oops:
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Postby Willen » Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:40 am

The amount of video memory (or type of video chipset) you have has little impact on video editing. The exception is for lower-end or integrated video graphics that use main memory for video RAM.

I've edited video on a computer with 512MB RAM and integrated video which used 64MB of main memory for video RAM. That left 448MB of RAM for Windows and other programs. It worked fine.

The Radeon X300 SE 128MB HyperMemory has 128MB of on-board video RAM and can use up to another 128MB of main memory as video RAM for a total of 256MB. (Explanation of HyperMemory technology.) The amount of main memory used by the video card will vary depending on the task so at times you might have all of your system RAM available for programs.

Example 1 (assuming the computer has 512MB of RAM): basic web browsing isn't very graphics intense so the card won't need more than the on-board 128MB of video RAM. So all 512MB of RAM is available for the OS and programs.

Example 2 (assuming the computer has 512MB of RAM): playing a fairly graphics heavy game means that the video card needs more memory to function at peak levels. It will use 128MB of main memory as additional video RAM which leaves 384MB (512 - 128) of RAM for the OS and programs.

Increasing the amount of main memory will be pretty beneficial to overall performance in any system (to a point), but more so in a computer with a video adapter that uses main memory for video RAM.
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Postby Nets_VC_15 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:58 pm

I need to pick up on how to completly understand RAM some more, but I think I get the main idea that despite the small amount of ram, everything should still function, just not at top quality.

I have a question, on purchasing. I went to Circuit City with a friend and we asked a guy about buying memory. He said because my computer is a dell, I would actually have to ask dell for help or only buy a dell RAM card. My computer is a Windows XP by Dell, and XPS 400. I searched for RAM as a product and this is what came up

http://search.dell.com/results.aspx?s=d ... 00&cat=snp

The first offer of 1 GB, it's 39.99$; should I buy that or ask their CS?
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Postby Joe88 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:17 pm

2GB (2x 1GB) $38.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231044



1GB $19.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820145525


you dont need to buy from dell because they double the prices on their
if you know what your machine takes (DDR2 in the 533mhz range) then you can buy it from anywhere
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Postby Nets_VC_15 » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:47 pm

Are you sure I won't have any problems with the cheap one? This guy from Circuit city said it would need to be Dell RAM for it to work on my computer.
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