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Old 03-01-2009, 06:42 AM
Lucio M Nicolosi
 
Default Video Memory

On Sun, Mar 1, 2009 at 2:50 AM, Carl Friis-Hansen
<ubuntuuser@carl-fh.com> wrote:

> Many computers used to have a fixed on-board 64MByte memory. Wouldn't
> this explain your numbers? What does the manual say?
> Just a thought.
> --
> * * * +---------------------------------+-------------------+
> * * * | Carl Friis-Hansen * * * * * * * | Fiskeryd Nybygget |


Unlike an offboard video card, my onboard NVidia (and Ray's) shares
(sucks) DDR memory with (from) the system. It can use up to 256 Mb.
Frame buffer, that is the memory reserved for video in BIOS begins at
32 and goes up to 512 Mb. Available RAM memory is reduced accordingly.
So we do not have a fixed size video memory.

L.

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Old 03-01-2009, 02:41 PM
Derek Broughton
 
Default Video Memory

Ray Parrish wrote:

> Lucio M Nicolosi wrote:
>>
>> Please correct me if I'm wrong, seems your video board has indeed a
>> resident memory of 256Mb, and requires at least another 128 Mb (RAM
>> memory) for managing, thus leaving 384Mb of free RAM. (?)
>>
> Well , unless someone snuck into my house, and installed some extra RAM
> in my computer that I haven't noticed yet, the video card using 256 MB's
> of RAM only leaves my main RAM with the other half of the 512 MB's in my
> machine which is 256 MB's as well.

No, I think Lucio is probably at least close. Many video cards have their
_own_ on-board memory. In fact, I think since you have an actual video
card, rather than intel-on-the-motherboard, it's likely. I'm not sure that
your video has 256MB, I rather think it's 128MB of its own memory, and
128MB of your system's memory. So the system sees it as using 256MB, and
it's still only using 128MB of main memory.

I'd want to try telling your BIOS to use _less_ memory, and see what
happens - seems to me any system still limping along on a mere .5GB of main
memory doesn't need to be running video modes that need 256MB
--
derek


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Old 03-01-2009, 03:40 PM
Lucio M Nicolosi
 
Default Video Memory

> I'd want to try telling your BIOS to use _less_ memory, and see what
> happens - seems to me any system still limping along on a mere .5GB of main
> memory doesn't need to be running video modes that need 256MB
> --
> derek

Absolutely, I would allocate the minimum needed for the required
resolution. It could be as little as 8Mb. (and see what happens).

L.

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Old 03-02-2009, 06:26 AM
Ray Parrish
 
Default Video Memory

Derek Broughton wrote:
> Ray Parrish wrote:
>
>
>> Lucio M Nicolosi wrote:
>>
>>> Please correct me if I'm wrong, seems your video board has indeed a
>>> resident memory of 256Mb, and requires at least another 128 Mb (RAM
>>> memory) for managing, thus leaving 384Mb of free RAM. (?)
>>>
>>>
>> Well , unless someone snuck into my house, and installed some extra RAM
>> in my computer that I haven't noticed yet, the video card using 256 MB's
>> of RAM only leaves my main RAM with the other half of the 512 MB's in my
>> machine which is 256 MB's as well.
>>
>
> No, I think Lucio is probably at least close. Many video cards have their
> _own_ on-board memory. In fact, I think since you have an actual video
> card, rather than intel-on-the-motherboard, it's likely. I'm not sure that
> your video has 256MB, I rather think it's 128MB of its own memory, and
> 128MB of your system's memory. So the system sees it as using 256MB, and
> it's still only using 128MB of main memory.
>
> I'd want to try telling your BIOS to use _less_ memory, and see what
> happens - seems to me any system still limping along on a mere .5GB of main
> memory doesn't need to be running video modes that need 256M
>
Hello,

The whole point of this thread has been to discover why things in Ubuntu
report the figure of 256 MBs allocated to my "on board" not separate
video card, when I have the BIOS set to 128 MBs for the video card's
shared memory allocation.

I looked at the motherboard's web site today. It's a First International
Computers, Inc. K8MC51G that uses an Nvidia chipset. There wasn't much
information, just a short list of basic capabilities.

I installed hwinfo today, and have just ran it. It offers a framebuffer
parameter, but when i use it, it returns nothing. I used the -all
parameter and in the output I found the following for the video card.

Driver Modules: "nvidia"
Memory Range: 0xfb000000-0xfbffffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
Memory Range: 0xd0000000-0xdfffffff (rw,prefetchable)
Memory Range: 0xfc000000-0xfcffffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
Memory Range: 0x30000000-0x3001ffff (ro,prefetchable,disabled)

However I don't know for sure what the numbers are. I used my calculator
to try to convert the numbers to decimal, but when I plug them in as hex
and try to convert, the second number in the first row returns the error
"no sane value" from the calculator. The same happens if I try it as
octal first and try to convert to decimal.

It's been too long since I went to college, so I don't remember what I'm
doing with numbers of this sort. I was trying to convert the portions
after the 0x and I'm not sure if that is what I should be doing with them.

Anyway, if someone can tell me what the numbers above mean we can see
what particular utility is returning. Anybody out there currently in a
college level math class?

Later, Ray Parrish

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http://www.writingsoftheschizophrenic.com/


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Old 03-02-2009, 06:29 AM
Ray Parrish
 
Default Video Memory

Lucio M Nicolosi wrote:
>> I'd want to try telling your BIOS to use _less_ memory, and see what
>> happens - seems to me any system still limping along on a mere .5GB of main
>> memory doesn't need to be running video modes that need 256MB
>> --
>> derek
>>
>
> Absolutely, I would allocate the minimum needed for the required
> resolution. It could be as little as 8Mb. (and see what happens).
>
> L.
>
Somehow I don't think that compiz would work very well with only 8MB of
video memory even if there were a way to set it that low. My system
isn't limping along either, it seems to work just fine, with the
exception of an occasional gray out of a program while it's doing
something intensive.

Later, Ray Parrish

--
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Poetry from the mind of a Schizophrenic
http://www.writingsoftheschizophrenic.com/


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Old 03-02-2009, 08:59 AM
"Joep L. Blom"
 
Default Video Memory

Ray Parrish wrote:
> Lucio M Nicolosi wrote:
>>> I'd want to try telling your BIOS to use _less_ memory, and see what
>>> happens - seems to me any system still limping along on a mere .5GB of main
>>> memory doesn't need to be running video modes that need 256MB
>>> --
>>> derek
>>>
>> Absolutely, I would allocate the minimum needed for the required
>> resolution. It could be as little as 8Mb. (and see what happens).
>>
>> L.
>>
> Somehow I don't think that compiz would work very well with only 8MB of
> video memory even if there were a way to set it that low. My system
> isn't limping along either, it seems to work just fine, with the
> exception of an occasional gray out of a program while it's doing
> something intensive.
>
> Later, Ray Parrish
>
Ray,
Using the calculator in Gnome (Scientific form) it calculates without
any problem the hex to dec conversion:
FBFFFFFF = 4227858431

Choose Hex and enter the figures (of course without 0x). Then choose Dec.
That's all.
Joep




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Old 03-02-2009, 10:38 AM
Ray Parrish
 
Default Video Memory

Joep L. Blom wrote:
> Ray,
> Using the calculator in Gnome (Scientific form) it calculates without
> any problem the hex to dec conversion:
> FBFFFFFF = 4227858431
>
> Choose Hex and enter the figures (of course without 0x). Then choose Dec.
> That's all.
> Joep
>
OK, that's what I was using the first time. For some reason when I try
it again now it works. I don't know why it tossed an error before.

Anyway, here are the numbers I get after converting the following memory
ranges.

Memory Range: 0xfb000000-0xfbffffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
Memory Range: 0xd0000000-0xdfffffff (rw,prefetchable)
Memory Range: 0xfc000000-0xfcffffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
Memory Range: 0x30000000-0x3001ffff (ro,prefetchable,disabled)

For each range above I subtracted the first number from the second after
converting them to decimal. I then divide that result by 1024 twice to
convert to MB's. Here are the results I get for each row.

15.999999046
255.999999046
15.999999046
0.124999046

Adding those together gives the result. -

288.124996185

If I only divide the last memory range by 1024 once I get this result.

127.999023438

So... I'm not too sure what this is saying, as I do not know what the
memory ranges are specifying for sure. The second memory range matches
the reported 256 MB's reported by most utilities in Ubuntu, and dividing
the last memory range by 1024 only once matches 128 MB's but that
decimal number before division is only 131070.999658496 so if it's in
bytes it doesn't make sense to only divide once.

Anybody out there write device drivers for video cards?

I guess I'll just have to continue to be mystified as to how much memory
my card is actually using.

Later, Ray Parrish

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Old 03-02-2009, 11:05 AM
"Joep L. Blom"
 
Default Video Memory

Ray Parrish wrote:

>>
> OK, that's what I was using the first time. For some reason when I try
> it again now it works. I don't know why it tossed an error before.
>
> Anyway, here are the numbers I get after converting the following memory
> ranges.
>
> Memory Range: 0xfb000000-0xfbffffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
> Memory Range: 0xd0000000-0xdfffffff (rw,prefetchable)
> Memory Range: 0xfc000000-0xfcffffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
> Memory Range: 0x30000000-0x3001ffff (ro,prefetchable,disabled)
>
> For each range above I subtracted the first number from the second after
> converting them to decimal. I then divide that result by 1024 twice to
> convert to MB's. Here are the results I get for each row.
>
> 15.999999046
> 255.999999046
> 15.999999046
> 0.124999046
>
> Adding those together gives the result. -
>
> 288.124996185
>
> If I only divide the last memory range by 1024 once I get this result.
>
> 127.999023438
>
> So... I'm not too sure what this is saying, as I do not know what the
> memory ranges are specifying for sure. The second memory range matches
> the reported 256 MB's reported by most utilities in Ubuntu, and dividing
> the last memory range by 1024 only once matches 128 MB's but that
> decimal number before division is only 131070.999658496 so if it's in
> bytes it doesn't make sense to only divide once.
>
> Anybody out there write device drivers for video cards?
>
> I guess I'll just have to continue to be mystified as to how much memory
> my card is actually using.
>
> Later, Ray Parrish
>
Ray,
This URL is I think of interest for you.
http://www.folder101.com/CompHardware/Notes/MemMap/MemoryMap.htm
Joep

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Old 03-02-2009, 06:10 PM
NoOp
 
Default Video Memory

On 03/02/2009 03:38 AM, Ray Parrish wrote:

>
> So... I'm not too sure what this is saying, as I do not know what the
> memory ranges are specifying for sure. The second memory range matches
> the reported 256 MB's reported by most utilities in Ubuntu, and dividing
> the last memory range by 1024 only once matches 128 MB's but that
> decimal number before division is only 131070.999658496 so if it's in
> bytes it doesn't make sense to only divide once.
>
> Anybody out there write device drivers for video cards?
>
> I guess I'll just have to continue to be mystified as to how much memory
> my card is actually using.
>
> Later, Ray Parrish
>

My _guess_ would be that your card is using shared memory and with your
512MB of ram it's 'Total Effective Memory' is 256MB. See:

<http://nvidia.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/nvidia.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=243&p_created=1112744684&p_sid =9XVIqNrj&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=&p_s p=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jv d19jbnQ9NDEsNDEmcF9wcm9kcz0wJnBfY2F0cz0wJnBfcHY9Jn BfY3Y9JnBfc2VhcmNoX3R5cGU9YW5zd2Vycy5zZWFyY2hfbmwm cF9wYWdlPTEmcF9zZWFyY2hfdGV4dD1tZW1vcnk*&p_li=&p_t opview=1>

You might find these of interest:
http://lwn.net/Articles/257417/
[Memory management for graphics processors]

Also, to get an idea of what each of your processes are using in the way
of memory you can use pmap. You'll find this interesting:

$ pmap `pidof compiz.real`
and
$ pmap `pidof compiz.real` -d |more

See: http://marc.info/?l=xfree-xpert&m=96835767116567&w=2
and 'man pmap'



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Old 03-02-2009, 10:15 PM
Ray Parrish
 
Default Video Memory

NoOp wrote:
> On 03/02/2009 03:38 AM, Ray Parrish wrote:
>
>
>> So... I'm not too sure what this is saying, as I do not know what the
>> memory ranges are specifying for sure. The second memory range matches
>> the reported 256 MB's reported by most utilities in Ubuntu, and dividing
>> the last memory range by 1024 only once matches 128 MB's but that
>> decimal number before division is only 131070.999658496 so if it's in
>> bytes it doesn't make sense to only divide once.
>>
>> Anybody out there write device drivers for video cards?
>>
>> I guess I'll just have to continue to be mystified as to how much memory
>> my card is actually using.
>>
>> Later, Ray Parrish
>>
>>
>
> My _guess_ would be that your card is using shared memory and with your
> 512MB of ram it's 'Total Effective Memory' is 256MB. See:
>
> <http://nvidia.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/nvidia.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=243&p_created=1112744684&p_sid =9XVIqNrj&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=&p_s p=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jv d19jbnQ9NDEsNDEmcF9wcm9kcz0wJnBfY2F0cz0wJnBfcHY9Jn BfY3Y9JnBfc2VhcmNoX3R5cGU9YW5zd2Vycy5zZWFyY2hfbmwm cF9wYWdlPTEmcF9zZWFyY2hfdGV4dD1tZW1vcnk*&p_li=&p_t opview=1>
>
> You might find these of interest:
> http://lwn.net/Articles/257417/
> [Memory management for graphics processors]
>
> Also, to get an idea of what each of your processes are using in the way
> of memory you can use pmap. You'll find this interesting:
>
> $ pmap `pidof compiz.real`
> and
> $ pmap `pidof compiz.real` -d |more
>
> See: http://marc.info/?l=xfree-xpert&m=96835767116567&w=2
> and 'man pmap'
>
Yes! I did find that interesting reading. The Nvidia page specified the
6200 series cards where mine is a 6100 series, but I suppose the same
could apply to them as well. I tried to use the search on that page to
discover any more articles of that nature, and it couldn't even find the
article I was reading. How in the world did you find it?

I ran the two pmap commands, and the second one returned the highest
amount, which when divided by 1024 to get MB's revealed a total of 63.5
MB's in use. The other returned 61 MB's.

I was just in Windows, and it's System Information program reported 128
MB's of video RAM. When I rebooted I decided to try an experiment, and
went into the BIOS, and changed the video RAM setting to 64 MB's. After
logging into Ubuntu, I find it still claims 256 MB's via SysInfo, and
the Nvidia X Server Settings GUI application.

Likewise the "nvidia-settings --query all" command returns a value of
256 MB's.

Having changed the video RAM setting in the BIOS seems to have had no
effect on the performance of Ubuntu. I do not that free now reports a
total of 438 MB's of system RAM, which differs from it's previous
reports of 384 MB's with the previous BIOS setting of 128 MB's for the
video RAM.

I have yet to read the pmap man page, and ran those commands without
looking them up first. I trusted you that time, NoOp, but don't count on
it in the future. 8-) I usually look up commands I find here first to
make sure they're OK.

So... I guess it's possible that Ubuntu is allowing me to access VRAM
that exists on the onboard card that Windows apparently doesn't know
about. Very odd.

Thanks for the help!

Later, Ray Parrish

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