Windows 10 backwards compatability with DirectX9 games and the 4GB ram limitation.

Discussion created by zankedu on Nov 25, 2015

A consequence of the latest and greatest is the effect on backward compatibility with older games. Specifically I'm talking about games running DX9 and the 4gb limit that appears to be imposed in Windows 10. While a 4gb limit for older games doesn't sound bad, Skyrim is one such example where the consequences can be maddening. This is a consequence of a community following that embraces Skyrim's open ended nature and has created massive amounts of user-made content. Not only do you have game modifying content, but you also have game supporting content that attempts to stabilize the game and improve performance. As a result, it's now feasible to run the game with 200 different game modifications that add new content and improve upon existing content. Now the seemingly high 4gb ceiling is quite low. When the 4gb ceiling is hit a frustrating phenomena known as "Crashing to Desktop" occurs. However, this CTD is also caused by a number of other phenomena such as incompatible mods or a bad load order (such as a mod_b modifying mod_a before mod_a has loaded). According to Boris "ENBSeries", creator of a popular game tweaking tool, the 4gb limitation is a result of the Windows 10 drivers and not necessarily the hardware as Windows 7 x64 has been shown to have memory higher than 4gbs. He says that "in Win7/Vista/XP some drivers-videocards combo had bigger amount of memory available as VRAM (as real or VRAM+RAM)". Rendering lag due to slower memory is frustrating, but still playable whereas CTDs and the resulting reloading times aren't. I was hoping that someone with authority would have some insight on to this limitation and converse on ways that this limitation can be overcome. Thank you.


TLDR: Windows 7 running DirectX9 doesn't have a 4gb VRAM limitation while Windows 10 appears to. A veteran programmer believes that this is due to changes in Windows 10 drivers.