How to Increase Dedicated Video RAM in Windows 10
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Seeing errors related to dedicated video RAM on your Windows PC? Struggling to run graphic-intensive programs like video editors and new video games? You may need more video RAM.

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But what even is that, and how can you increase video RAM? Read on for everything you need to know about video RAM.

What Is Dedicated Video RAM?

Video RAM (or VRAM, pronounced “VEE-ram”) is a special type of RAM that works with your computer’s graphics processing unit, or GPU.

The GPU is a chip on your computer’s graphics card (or video card) that’s responsible for displaying images on your screen. Though technically incorrect, the terms GPU and graphics card are often used interchangeably.

Your video RAM holds information that the GPU needs, including game textures and lighting effects. This allows the GPU to quickly access the info and output video to your monitor.

Using video RAM for this task is much faster than using your system RAM, because video RAM is right next to the GPU in the graphics card. VRAM is built for this high-intensity purpose and it’s thus “dedicated.”

How to Check Your VRAM

Windows 10 Video RAM Information

You can easily view the amount of video RAM you have in Windows 10 by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings menu by pressing Windows Key + I.
  2. Select the System entry, then click Display on the left sidebar.
  3. Scroll down and click the Advanced display settings text.
  4. On the resulting menu, select the monitor you’d like to view settings for (if necessary). Then click the Display adapter properties text at the bottom.
  5. In a new window, you’ll see your current video RAM listed next to Dedicated Video Memory.

Under Adapter Type, you’ll see the name of your Nvidia or AMD graphics card, depending on what device you have. If you see AMD Accelerated Processing Unit or Intel HD Graphics (more likely), you’re using integrated graphics.

How to Increase VRAM

The best way to increase your video RAM is to purchase a graphics card. If you’re using integrated graphics and suffer from poor performance, upgrading to a dedicated card (even a solid budget graphics card The 6 Best Budget Graphics Cards for Cheap Gaming The 6 Best Budget Graphics Cards for Cheap Gaming Budget graphics cards are very capable these days. Here are the best budget graphics cards that will let you game on the cheap. Read More ) will do wonders for your video output.

However, if this isn’t an option for you (like on laptops), you may be able to increase your dedicated VRAM in two ways.

Increase VRAM in the BIOS

The first is adjusting the VRAM allocation in your computer’s BIOS. Enter your BIOS How to Enter the BIOS on Your Computer How to Enter the BIOS on Your Computer Inside the BIOS you can change basic computer settings, like the boot order. The exact key you need to strike depends on your hardware. We have compiled a list of strategies & keys to enter... Read More and look for an option in the menu named Advanced Features, Advanced Chipset Features, or similar. Inside that, look for a secondary category called something close to Graphics Settings, Video Settings, or VGA Share Memory Size.

These should contain an option to adjust how much memory you allocate to the GPU. The default is usually 128MB; try upping this to 256MB or 512MB if you have enough to spare.

Not every CPU or BIOS has this option, though. If you can’t change it, there’s a workaround that might help you.

Faking a VRAM Increase

Because most integrated graphics solutions automatically adjust to use the amount of system RAM they need, the details reported in the Adapter Properties window don’t really matter. In fact, for integrated graphics, the Dedicated Video Memory value is completely fictitious. The system reports that dummy value simply so games see something when they check how much VRAM you have.

Thus, you can modify a Registry value to change the amount VRAM your system reports to games. This doesn’t actually increase your VRAM; it just modifies that dummy value. If a game refuses to start because you “don’t have enough VRAM,” upping this value might fix that.

Open a Registry Editor window by typing regedit into the Start Menu. Remember that you can mess up your system in the Registry, so take care while here.

Head to the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Intel

Right-click the Intel folder on the left sidebar and choose New > Key. Name this key GMM. Once you’ve made it, select the new GMM folder on the left and right-click inside the right side.

Select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name this DedicatedSegmentSize and give it a value, making sure to select the Decimal option. In megabytes, the minimum value is 0 (disabling the entry) and the maximum is 512. Set this value, restart your computer, and see if it helps a game run.

Windows Registry Editor GMM

These methods aren’t guaranteed to work, but they’re still worth a try if you run into issues. If you don’t have a lot of system RAM and are having trouble running games with integrated graphics, try adding some additional RAM for the integrated graphics to use. Like most tasks, this is usually next to impossible to upgrade on a laptop 5 Things to Know Before Upgrading Your Laptop Hardware 5 Things to Know Before Upgrading Your Laptop Hardware If you're thinking of upgrading your laptop's hardware, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before diving in. Upgrading may not be the answer! Read More and simple on a desktop.

What Kinds of Tasks Need Video RAM?

Before we talk specific numbers, we should mention what aspects of games and other graphics-intensive apps use the most VRAM.

A big factor in VRAM consumption is your monitor’s resolution. Video RAM stores the frame buffer, which holds an image before and during the time that your GPU displays it on the screen. Better displays (such as 4K gaming) use more VRAM because higher-resolution images take more pixels to display.

Aside from your display, textures in a game can drastically affect how much VRAM you need. Most modern PC games let you fine-tune graphical settings 7 Common Video Game Graphics Settings Explained 7 Common Video Game Graphics Settings Explained Don't know what those settings on your video games are all about? Let us explain what they mean and how they affect your games! Read More for performance or visual quality. You may be able to play a game from a few years ago at Low or Medium settings with a cheaper card (or even integrated graphics). But High or Ultra quality, or custom mods that make in-game textures look even better than they normally do, will need lots of RAM.

Beautification features like anti-aliasing (the smoothing of jagged edges) also uses more VRAM due to the extra pixels. If you play on two monitors at once, that’s even more intensive.

Specific games can also require different amounts of VRAM. A game like Overwatch isn’t too graphically demanding, but a title with lots of advanced lighting effects and detailed textures like Shadow of the Tomb Raider needs more resources.

Conversely, a cheap card with just 2GB of VRAM (or integrated graphics) is sufficient for playing old PC shooters. Games back then had nowhere near 2GB of VRAM at their disposal.

Even if you’re not interested in gaming, some popular software requires a fair amount of VRAM too. 3D design software like AutoCAD, particularly intense edits in Photoshop, and editing high-quality video will all suffer if you don’t have enough video RAM.

How Much VRAM Do I Need?

It’s clear that there’s no perfect amount of VRAM for everyone. However, we can provide some basic guidelines about how much VRAM you should aim for in a graphics card.

1-2GB of VRAM: These cards are usually under $100. They offer better performance than integrated graphics, but can’t handle most modern games at above-average settings. Only purchase a card with this amount of VRAM if you want to play older games that won’t work with integrated graphics. Not recommended for video editing or 3D work.

3-6GB of VRAM: These mid-range cards are good for moderate gaming or somewhat intensive video editing. You won’t be able to use ultra-insane texture packs, but you can expect to play modern games at 1080p with few issues. Get a 4GB card if you’re short on cash, but 6GB is a more future-proof option if you can spare it.

8GB of VRAM and above: High-end video cards with this much RAM are for serious gamers. If you want to play the latest games at 4K resolution, you need a card with plenty of VRAM.

However, you should take the above generalizations with a grain of salt. Graphics card manufacturers add the appropriate amount of VRAM to a card depending on how powerful the GPU is.

Thus, a cheap $75 graphics card will have a small amount of VRAM, while a $500 graphics card will pack a lot more. If a weak GPU isn’t powerful enough to render video that takes 8GB of VRAM to store, it’s a waste to have that much VRAM in the card.

Extremes aren’t the concern with VRAM. You don’t need an $800, top-of-the-line card with 12GB of VRAM to play 2D indie platformers. Really, you only need to worry about how much VRAM to get when a card you want to buy is available in multiple VRAM options.

Common Video RAM Concerns

Remember that just like normal RAM, more VRAM doesn’t always mean better performance. If your card has 4GB of VRAM and you’re playing a game that only uses 2GB, upgrading to an 8GB card isn’t going to do anything noticeable.

Conversely, not having enough VRAM is a huge problem. If VRAM fills up, the system has to rely on standard RAM and performance will suffer. You’ll suffer from a lower frame rate How to Fix Low Game FPS in Windows How to Fix Low Game FPS in Windows Frames per second (FPS) are to gaming what horsepower is to racing. We show you tweaks that will save you from low game FPS. Unleash the true power of your rig and watch FPS soar! Read More , texture pop-ins, and other adverse effects. In extreme cases, the game could slow to a crawl and become unplayable (anything under 30 FPS).

Remember that VRAM is only one factor in performance. If you don’t have a powerful enough CPU, rendering HD video will take forever. A lack of system RAM prevents you from running many programs at once, and using a mechanical hard drive will severely limit your system performance too. And some cheaper graphics cards could use slow DDR3 VRAM, which is inferior to DDR5.

The best way to find out which graphics card and amount of video RAM is right for you is to talk to someone knowledgeable. Ask a friend who knows about the latest graphics cards, or post on a forum like Reddit or Tom’s Hardware asking if a specific card would work for your needs.

What’s Different With Integrated Graphics?

So far, our discussion has assumed that you have a dedicated graphics card in your PC. Most people who build their own computer or buy a pre-built gaming PC have a desktop with a video card. Some beefier laptops even include a graphics card.

But on budget desktop or off-the-shelf laptops don’t include video cards—they use integrated graphics instead.

An integrated graphics solution Integrated vs. Dedicated Graphics Card: 7 Things You Need to Know Integrated vs. Dedicated Graphics Card: 7 Things You Need to Know Wondering if you should use an integrated vs. dedicated graphics card? Here's what you need to know to make your decision. Read More means that the GPU is on the same die as the CPU, and shares your normal system RAM instead of using its own dedicated VRAM. This is a budget-friendly solution and allows laptops to output basic graphics without the need for a space and energy-hogging video card. But integrated graphics are poor for gaming and graphic-intensive tasks.

How powerful your integrated graphics are depends on your CPU. Newer Intel CPUs with Intel Iris Plus Graphics are more powerful than their cheaper and older counterparts, but still pale in comparison to dedicated graphics.

As long as your computer is within a few years old, you should have no problems watching videos, playing low-intensity games, and working in basic photo and video editing apps with integrated graphics. However, playing the latest graphically impressive games with integrated graphics is basically impossible.

Now You Understand Video RAM

Now you know what video RAM is, how much you need, and how to increase it. In the end, though, remember that video RAM is a small aspect of your computer’s overall performance. A weak GPU won’t perform well even with a lot of VRAM.

So if you’re looking to increase gaming and graphical performance, you’ll likely need to upgrade your graphics card, processor, and/or RAM first—the VRAM will sort itself out.

Once you’ve fixed your video RAM issues, check out other ways to optimize Windows 10 for gaming 7 Methods to Optimize Windows 10 For Gaming 7 Methods to Optimize Windows 10 For Gaming A growing number of gamers are using Windows 10. With these simple tweaks, you will be able to enjoy the best gaming experience Windows 10 has to offer! Read More .

Explore more about: Computer Memory, Graphics Card, Hardware Tips, Video Card, Windows 10.

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  1. Dave Beeken
    November 18, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    I couldn’t get through your preachy condescending article about vinyl. I usually keep my opinions to myself, as I feel mine is as welcome as yours is to me. Good luck with your over inflated ego and career.
    Regards

  2. Ali
    October 21, 2018 at 11:21 am

    The article was very helpful comparing to others. I learned a lot about vram and actually i tried increasing the vram *dummy* size from 128 mb to 512 mb. The question i was waiting for to ask was, can i increase it more than 512mb?
    I have a intel hd graphics 5500 gpu and intel core i5-5200U @ 2.20 ghz (but i boosted it to 2.5 ghz with razer cortex and it is not overclock). When i open the advanced display settings it shows that i have a total available graphics memory of 2427mb. I tried increasing to 1024mb but when i restarted the pc and saw the the dedicated memory it was still 512. Is it possible to increase to 1024mb, if yes how?

  3. Dermilare
    October 19, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    Pls help, my laptop has 8gb ram and a vram of 64mb, Pls what can I do to make it run games smoothly?

  4. Dermilare
    October 19, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    I have a HP quad core laptop of 8gb ram and dedicated 64mb vram, is it possible for me to upgrade the vram

  5. Rayhan D
    October 3, 2018 at 4:27 am

    Can someone help me, i have a amd radeon r8 m445dx with 2gb total ddr3 and a radeon r5 (dual graphic) but when i play gta 5 the vram only shows as 1gb and when i checked it in task manager both of my gpu only have 512mb each, which is weird, it supposed to be 2gb right ?
    Thanks in advanced

  6. UKSalami
    July 11, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Not clickbait at all..

    Informative, well written, and basically correct..

    Telling the folks that there's nothing much they can do, but also explaining why..

    Good work fella..

    • UKSalami
      July 11, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      Also. Google 'Wise Game Booster'..

      It's a little app that shuts down unnecessary processes, services, and settings to give you as much resource as you have available..

  7. Donnie
    June 7, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Your title is clickbait. It's clickbait because you spent the entire time going about nothing, then when you finally got to the awnser, it was simply buy another card. It was a waste of time.

  8. killurselfben
    May 19, 2018 at 10:41 am

    My problem with this article is the clickbait title, you're just the worst.

    • Ben Stegner
      May 21, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      How is this clickbait? The title reflects a question a lot of people search for, and the article explains the context behind and it then answers the question as best as you can. I don't understand how this doesn't deliver on the promise of the headline.

  9. Alex
    January 8, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    How i can change Dedicated Memory for Nvidia without BIOS?

  10. Black superman
    November 22, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    This is long boring article about nothing. Basically a tease with no payoff.

    • Ben Stegner
      November 22, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Unfortunately we can't help you change what you can't change without new hardware. I tried to explain everything about the topic I could, but really the only solution is a new graphics card or new computer if you're having issues. Sorry it wasn't what you were expecting.

      • Joe Smitherin
        February 18, 2018 at 6:57 pm

        This was very useful Mr. Stegner! I learned a lot about video ram than I did from various other websites. Thanks again for this very informative article!