KDE's use of video memory?

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at acm.org
Sun Sep 28 19:28:00 BST 2003

Steve Snyder wrote:
> Hello.
> Does the amount of video memory installed on a system affect KDE's 
> performance and/or capabilities?

It affects the performance of X, which has only a small effect on KDE's 

> I have a new notebook system that has no dedicated video memory but 
> instead uses a portion of system memory.  The amount of system memory 
> reserved for video use is configurable in the BIOS and currently set to 
> 64MB.  I'm trying to get some sense of how much "video memory" I really 
> need and how much is going unused.

First, you need to know how much memory is needed for the screen.  The rule 
of thumb is the screen width x 4.  Use 4 rather than 3 because some cards 
have limitations on how they can access video memory.
> The only reason I can think of to have lots of video memory is to contain 
> the textures for 3D games.  As the 3D performance of this hardware 
> (Radeon IGP 340M, with no DRM support) is so poor, though, I won't be 
> running anything like that.

Yes to some extent.

> I'm thinking of reducing my "video memory" from it's current 64MB to 32MB, 
> or maybe even 16MB.  This would provide more memory to the overall 
> system, which I know would be used, even if only for disk caching.  
> However, I don't want to starve KDE of resources that it really will use.
> My desktop is running at 1024x768x32bpp.
> So... how much video memory will KDE v3.1 (with XFree86 v4.3.0) really use 
> when running in a 2D mode?  Is there any way to measure it?

So, IMO if you are using only office type applications you could get by 
with 4MB of video (that is all I have till I get a better video card) but 
8MB might give you better performance.  Anything more than that is a waste 
for 2D applications.

You can try 3MB or 6MB, but that would be experimental.


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