Hey there! I have an Asus Vivobook m513ia laptop. It has Ryzen 7 4700u and vega 7. I recently bought extra RAM and now I have 2 x 8 ddr4 3200. The current VRAM is 512MB, however, I have enough RAM to allocate more for graphics, at least another 512. I know that the BIOS can set the UMA Buffer size parameter. However, there is no such option in my UEFI. Tell me, can you somehow allocate more memory for VRAM?
CPU: Ryzen 7 4700u
Graphics Chipset: AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
As far as I am aware AMD APUs does not have its' own VRAM, the integrated Radeon graphics shares main memory (RAM) between the rest of the system and the integrated graphics. So if you are not struggling to open an application?, then everything is likely working fine.
Edit: Maybe the OS/BIOS/Radeon Driver will automatically allocate more RAM to the "VRAM" pool when you launch applications that require more. Or are you struggling to open certain applications? Furthermore, I suppose you meant you have 2x 8GB sticks and not 8x 2GB sticks (which is the order you wrote it in)?
Hey @hitbm47! Thanks for your reply.
> Maybe the OS / BIOS / Radeon Driver will automatically allocate more RAM to the "VRAM" pool when you launch applications that require more.
It's a pity, but it's not true. As I see it, the memory size is "locked". There is more than enough RAM (16GB), but the integrated graphics gets only 512 and not more megabytes.
> Or are you struggling to open certain applications?
At the moment, I have no problem opening applications. However, video memory is now a bottleneck, which I want to expand, especially since there are all the possibilities (RAM size).
> I suppose you meant you have 2x 8GB sticks and not 8x 2GB sticks
Yes, of course; thanks for the comment! I fixed it.
It might be a pity, but it is not too say it is not true. Since this is how operating systems are programmed, they do not use all available RAM at all times.
A better way to test it, would be to launch an application (such as a game) that requires at minimum 1024MB of VRAM and to use an overlay such as MSI Afterburner to determine how much VRAM (Graphics Memory) is being allocated during the gaming session.
It won't necessarily change the value you see in Windows, since that is a default value.
If you are not familiar with MSI Afterburner, you can try using the Radeon Overlay while gaming, you do this by pressing Ctrl+Shift+O while in the game (it will not work in OpenGL games).
Let me know if you have tried it. I have read that some laptops do not allow you to change the VRAM in the BIOS, but this is not necessarily a bad thing, since it is only a default value. The XBOX One and PS4 also shares main memory between the system and APU (and that was even still only DDR3). It is possible that Windows dynamically allocates more RAM as "VRAM" while playing, but you'll only be able to see it with Overlays.
Edit: Furthermore, the 4700u is an energy efficient chip. It might be that they are limiting the capabilities of the 'u' chips, I think the 'H' chips are more relevant for gaming. For example, something like the 4800H I think is the gaming counterpart for the 4700U.
You see, it seems this is simply not how APU's operate, they work directly with the main memory (RAM pool) together with the rest of the system. The following games would not be able to launch or load textures at that pace if it was simply using 512MB of VRAM:
That 512MB VRAM is likely there to ensure their is enough VRAM for the display of images to the monitor/screen. These APU's work different from Desktop Computers. Furthermore, the compute power of that GPU would bottleneck before the speed of the RAM becomes the bottleneck.
@hitbm47 Thank you very much for helping me figure it out!
>>Let me know if you have tried it.
So, I started Civ6 with Ultra settings and using DX12. A deliberately bad idea, because the minimum requirement is a video card: 1 GB DirectX 11 Video Card (Recommended 2 GB). Additionally launched AMD overlay
Oddly enough, the game started. The performance test showed 12 FPS (by the way, on the Medium settings you can play comfortably at 40FPS). The overlay showed the following values:
Ram util 33% (11.8Gb)
Vram util 99% (488 Mb)
It can be seen that the Vram level will not rise above 512 Mb.
I made 2 conclusions
1. Despite the discrepancy between the minimum settings, the application successfully started
2. Still, the level of allocation of RAM for video is locked at around 512 Mb
Ok so here is where I think the misunderstanding is coming in, you are expecting the VRAM to increase, but that 512MB is only for basic thing on the APU, like displaying frames to the monitor:
- Your RAM utilization is higher than it likely would've been on my Desktop system, since your Vega graphics is doing it's graphics computing from the data in the main memory (RAM).
- Your Integrated Graphics Chip itself (not the RAM) cannot do calculations fast enough on Ultra which is why you are getting 12FPS, not because of a VRAM bottleneck. If you look at the "GPU Usage" field in the AMD Overlay you would see it is running at 99-100% which means the Integrated Graphics is bottlenecking.
- Furthermore, you would not have been able to open Civilization 6 if the Integrated Radeon Graphics were not in fact primarily using the main memory (RAM).
Hope this answers your concern, you are in fact not VRAM bottlenecked, because APU's (Intel & AMD) are designed to work from main memory and not the VRAM.
Some games such as Hunt Showdown even show you have much memory it has available for graphics in the Settings, you might see something like 16384MB in that case.
I know it is very disheartening to buy an expensive laptop and expect higher FPS; your CPU is a beast by the way; but you need a laptop with a dedicated video card to get decent gaming and they are paired with the 'H' versions of the Ryzen CPUs.
With APUs you have the option of adding more vRAM to the Integrated Graphics via BIOS Settings.
But in laptops it depends on your manufacturer if the vRAM is locked or not. If you don't see any BIOS Settings to change the vRAM from 512MB to generally the maximum of 2GB then that indicates that the manufacturer has locked the vRAM to 512MB and can't be changed.
In Desktop APUs you have that option in BIOS Settings but in laptop it depends on the manufacturer or Model you have.
vRAM is using System RAM. So what it does it removes the amount of vRAM from your System RAM Memory. So if you have 16GB of System Ram and you configure your vRAM in BIOS to use 2GBs then you now only have 14GB of System Ram for your laptop.
If your laptop has a Discrete GPU card then in Windows Settings -Graphics you should be able to configure the laptop to use the Discrete GPU card instead of the APU Integrated Graphics for specific programs or software.
Like @LeoZed mentioned in his post/comments it is not an option in his BIOS.
I agree with what you are saying and think it is correct. But I think other people are having a wrong idea of how it works, since I am quite certain one is simply forcing more RAM to be held aside for the Radeon Integrated Graphics as "VRAM" (which is not technically VRAM, it is still going to be as fast as the DDR4).
Furthermore, it would actually have a negative impact say your system only had 4GB of DDR4 for example, then you would force 2GB for the Vega and only leave 2GB for the game itself which would not even open.
The point is APUs whether it is Intel/AMD share main memory with the Integrated Graphics and CPU, and would use the VRAM for the basic necessary things, therefore it doesn't make sense to force extra VRAM for the APU.
This is how consoles since PS4 and XBOX One operate as well, the drivers split RAM as necessary during the gaming session.
@LeoZed This IT Professional explains it fairly well about the same concerns you have from this old Dell thread: https://www.dell.com/community/Inspiron/Dedicated-Video-Memory-from-System-Memory-on-Motherboard/td-...
vRAM is RAM exclusively used by the APU but even though you only have 512MB, the APU via Windows will share the System Memory to be able to run any program that requires more then 512MB of vRAM as needed.
The APU will probably run Graphics more efficiently with more dedicated vRAM but in your case you are locked at 512MB. Plus if you don't have a discrete laptop GPU card with 2GB or larger vRAM and just your integrated graphics some programs won't run or work correctly since you don't have the minimum amount of vRAM. But most programs aren't restricted by the amount of vRAM installed.