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Frequently Asked Questions about Graphics Memory for Windows 7*, Vista*, XP*, and 2000*


Last Reviewed: 08-Mar-2017
Article ID: 000005472

Note For newer Intel® Graphics Technology, refer to the Windows 8* and 8.1* Graphics Memory FAQ.


Click or the topic for details:

How much graphics memory does my computer have?

Intel® graphics do not have dedicated memory but uses some of the computer's system memory. The amount of memory used for graphics may be a fixed amount or dynamic amount (varying up to a maximum amount). Graphics memory depends on if your computer manufacturer has configured your computer to use a fixed amount, a dynamic amount, or a combination of both.

Display adapter method
To view your computer's maximum graphics memory:

  1. Right-click the desktop.
  2. Select the option for Screen Resolution.
  3. Open the link for Advanced Settings.
  4. The total available graphics memory is listed under Adapter Information in the Adapter tab.

graphics memory as seen from the Adapter tab
Figure 1: graphics memory as seen from the Adapter tab


Alternative methods for determining graphics memory
From the list below, choose the version of the Intel® Graphics Control Panel currently configured on your system.

Intel® HD Graphics Control Panel

The Intel® HD Graphics Control Panel does not display graphics memory information. If your system is using this version of the Intel Graphics Control Panel, refer to the display adapter method for finding your graphics memory information.

Intel® Graphics and Media Control Panel

  1. Press Ctrl Alt F12 to open the Intel® Graphics Control Panel.
  2. Select Options and Support from the left tab.
  3. Select Information Center.
  4. Note the amount of graphics memory listed in the System Information.
Note Newer versions of the Intel® Graphics and Media Control Panel do not display the graphics memory information. You will need to use the Display Adapter method.
 
graphics memory information as seen in the Intel® Graphics and Media Control Panel
Figure 2: graphics memory information as seen in the Intel® Graphics and Media Control Panel


Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator Driver

  1. Press Ctrl Alt F12 to open the Intel® Graphics Control Panel.
  2. Click the Information button in the bottom-left corner or the i button in the upper right corner of the window.
  3. Note the amount of graphics memory listed in the Maximum Graphics Memory field.

graphics memory information as seen in the Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator Driver
Figure 3: graphics memory information as seen in the Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator Driver
What is Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT)?

Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT) is a method for dynamically allocating system memory for use as graphics memory to balance 2-D/3-D graphics and system performance. If your computer is configured to use DVMT, graphics memory is allocated based on system requirements and application demands (up to the configured maximum amount). When an application no longer needs memory, the dynamically allocated portion of memory is returned to the operating system for other uses.

Many graphic-intensive applications (especially games) require a minimum amount of video memory to run correctly, or to run at all. Video memory is allocated based on the amount requested by the operating system. When the memory is no longer required, it's returned to the operating system for use by other applications or system functions.

DVMT allocates memory based on system needs. Some newer systems have an option in the system BIOS that adjusts the amount of memory available for DVMT. Memory can be allocated up to the maximum limit set by the graphics driver. Unlike previous operating systems, Windows Vista* and Windows 7* have greater control over memory management and determine the amount of the graphics memory with the Intel® Graphics Driver.

 
What is the maximum amount of video memory my computer can use?
Maximum Graphics Memory1
Intel® Graphics Controllers Windows 2000* Windows XP* Windows Vista* Windows 7*
Intel® Iris® Pro Graphics 580 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® Iris® Graphics 550 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® Iris® Graphics 540 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® HD Graphics 530 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® HD Graphics 520 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® HD Graphics 515 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® Iris® Pro Graphics 6200 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® Iris® Graphics 6100 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® HD Graphics 6000 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® HD Graphics 5500 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® HD Graphics 5300 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® Iris® Pro Graphics 5200 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® Iris® Graphics 5100 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® HD Graphics 5000/4600/4400/4200 Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® HD Graphics 4000/2500
(Paired with Intel® 7
Series Chipsets)
Unsupported operating system Up to 1 GB1 Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® Pentium®
Processors
2000/G2000/G2100
Series with Intel® HD
Graphics
Unsupported operating system Up to 1 GB1 Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® Celeron®
Processors 900/1000/
G1000 Series with
Intel® HD Graphics
Unsupported operating system Up to 1 GB1 Unsupported operating system Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel Atom®
Processors with
Intel® Graphics
Media Accelerator
3600
Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system Unsupported operating system

1 GB total of RAM results in 247 MB max video RAM1;

2 GB total of RAM results in 759 MB max video RAM1;

4 GB total of RAM results in 1399 MB max video RAM1

Intel® HD Graphics 3000/2000
(Paired with Intel® 6
Series Chipsets)
Unsupported operating system Up to 1 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® Pentium®
Processors
900/B900/G600/G800
Series with Intel® HD
Graphics
Unsupported operating system Up to 1 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® Celeron®
Processors
700/800/B700/B800/
G400/G500
Series with
Intel® HD Graphics
Unsupported operating system Up to 1 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1
1st Generation Intel®
Core Processors with
Intel® HD Graphics
(Paired with Intel® 5
Series Chipsets)
Unsupported operating system Up to 1 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® Pentium®
Processors
G6000/P6000/U5000
Series with
Intel® HD Graphics
Unsupported operating system Up to 1 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® Celeron®
Processors
P4000/U3000
Series with
Intel® HD Graphics
Unsupported operating system Up to 1 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1
Mobile Intel® 4
Series Express
Chipset Family
Unsupported operating system Up to 1 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® G41, G43,
G45, Q43, and Q45
Express Chipsets
Unsupported operating system Up to 1 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1 Up to ~1.7 GB1
Intel® G35
Express Chipsets
384 MB1 384 MB1 358 MB1 358 MB1
Intel® G31, G33,
Q33, and Q35
Express Chipsets
384 MB1 384 MB1 256 MB1 256 MB1
Mobile Intel®
GL960 and GM965
Express Chipsets
384 MB1 384 MB1 358 MB1 358 MB1
Intel® G965
Express Chipsets
384 MB1 384 MB1 358 MB1 358 MB1
Intel®
Q963 and Q965
Express Chipsets
256 MB1 256 MB1 256 MB1 256 MB1
Intel® 946GZ
Express Chipsets
256 MB1 256 MB1 256 MB1 256 MB1
Mobile Intel® 945GM
Express Chipset
Family
224 MB1 224 MB1 256 MB1 256 MB1
Intel® 945G Express
Chipset Family
224 MB1 224 MB1 256 MB1 256 MB1
Intel® Graphics
Media Accelerator
3150
256 MB1 384 MB1 286 MB1 256 MB1
 

1The actual amount of maximum graphics memory on your computer can be less than the amounts listed in the above table. The actual amounts greatly depend on your computer model's specific configuration. Configuration factors may include but are not limited to the following:

  • The graphics memory allocation method set by your computer manufacturer.
  • Amount of system memory available.
  • Amount of pre-allocated memory.
  • Operating system.

The best place for obtaining information about your computer's specific configuration is from your computer manufacturer. Your computer manufacturer may have altered features, incorporated customizations, or made other changes that may limit or reduce the actual maximum graphics memory amount possible for your computer.

 
Can I increase my computer's graphics memory to the maximum amount supported by the chipset?

In most cases, your computer manufacturer has configured your computer to use the maximum amount of graphics memory that is possible for your particular computer model. This maximum amount may be less than the maximum amount supported by the Intel® integrated graphics product itself. Check with your computer manufacturer for the maximum graphics memory supported by your computer. Check if you can increase the amount of graphics memory of your computer.

If you use Windows XP* or Windows 2000*, a setting may be available in your computer's system BIOS that allows you to increase your graphics memory to the maximum amount. The maximum amount is often called "Maximum DVMT." This setting is not commonly available on laptops. Your computer manufacturer can tell you whether this setting is available.

 
Can I add more physical memory by increasing my graphics memory amount?
Adding more physical memory may or may not increase your graphics memory. For example, adding more memory wouldn't make a difference if your computer is configured to use a fixed allocation method for the graphics memory. Check with your computer manufacturer for available options to increase your computer's graphics memory amount. Check if adding more system memory is an option.
 
I upgraded my computer from Windows XP*/Windows 2000* to Windows Vista*/Windows 7*, and now my maximum amount of video memory is less. How do I switch it back to the higher maximum amount?

Lowered maximum amount is expected behavior. Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems handle memory differently. Both require more system memory than Windows XP and Windows 2000. Windows Vista and 7 have new memory requirements such as support of the Aero* user interface.

Unlike previous operating systems, Windows Vista and Windows 7 have greater control over memory management. Both determine the amount of the graphics memory together with the Intel® Graphics Driver. Check with your computer manufacturer on the maximum graphics memory to expect when using Windows Vista or Windows 7.


 
Can I control how much graphics memory is used by a single application?

The Intel® Graphics Driver Properties window does not have a user-configurable setting to control or increase the amount of graphics memory used by a single application. The amount of graphics memory in use is dynamically allocated to balance the needs of the operating system and all running applications.

 
 
Related topics
Microsoft Windows® 10 graphics memory FAQ for Intel® Graphics Drivers
Graphics memory FAQ for Windows 8* and 8.1*
Graphics memory FAQ for older Intel® graphics products