What is Shared GPU Memory?

Regardless of the fact that whether you have a discrete GPU or not, the system will use half of your RAM as shared GPU memory. So, the question is still there, What is Shared GPU Memory? Why operating system needs this? How it can improve laptop/pc performance? Don’t worry, We are here to answer all of your questions in this article.

Having a powerful GPU is like a blessing for gamers. However, if you do not understand how GPU works? How many VRAMs are suitable? Then, you may choose the wrong GPU while buying it. Therefore, we highly recommend you to get to know about these terms as they will be used in this article.

Shared GPU Memory:

Shared GPU Memory is a kind of virtual memory allotted for graphics cards in RAM. This phenomenon is done by the operating system itself to minimize the GPU bottleneck by providing half amount of RAM from the operating system. Instead of SSD or HDD, RAM is preferred because it is way better than the speed of HDD or even SSD. However, the latest graphics card comes with a great amount of RAM. The interesting point is that this built-in GPU RAM is far better than the operating system DDR4 RAM. That’s why we mentioned above to prefer GPU RAM instead of operating system RAM itself.

Generally, the operating system does not prefer its RAM until the VRAM is full. Once, the VRAM is full, then the operating system smoothly starts storing data in RAM. That’s why shared GPU memory is also a good thing to save GPU life. For example, if you are playing GTAV, and your GPU buffer overflows, then here shared GPU comes in to save you from your enemies.

One thing that you may be thinking is that dividing RAM into two parts will create a bottleneck while doing RAM eating tasks like surfing Chrome or maybe using Photoshop. However, this is not the case. As soon as the space becomes free, the operating system will smoothly clean the RAM and free it for you.

Things are a little different when it comes to integrated GPU. In integrated GPUs, it is a must that this type of integrated GPU will take a chunk of your RAM. However, this chunk may vary as per performance and brand. Commonly, AMD and Intel will take half of your RAM to save data once the GPU memory is filled up.

That’s how shared GPU memory works, and you do not feel lag while playing games that eat your GPU as well as RAM. The difference is that discrete GPUs have their own memory whereas integrated GPUs do not have them. In terms of performance, dedicated GPUs are far better than integrated GPUs. Nevertheless, it also depends upon the work that you want to do.

Shared GPU Memory vs Dedicated GPU Memory:

Another most asked question is which one is better: Shared GPU Memory vs Dedicated GPU Memory. There is not any one-word answer in this case.

Shared GPU Memory is as simple as allotting RAM to GPU for some time (Mainly until the GPU buffer won’t empty). In the case of Integrated GPU, having shared GPU Memory is a must; however, when it comes to gaming it does not have its own processor. This is where dedicated GPU comes in. Dedicated GPU is more powerful than Integrated GPU, and it also comes with some amount of VRAM.

So, which one is better?

Indeed, dedicated GPU is better in almost every case whether it is about gaming, mining, or cracking. Integrated GPU will always use RAM whereas Dedicated GPU will only take RAM when its VRAM is full.

Nevertheless, it never means that integrated GPUs are the worst GPU. You can play some high graphics even in an integrated GPU. That’s why choosing a single-word answer for this question is very tricky.

All in all, it totally depends upon the situation. For example, if one is new to gaming, then starting with Nvidia RTX 3090 is something that we do not recommend. However, if you are a pro gamer, then you should go for a GPU like that.

Should one increase or decrease shared GPU Memory?

If you have an integrated graphics card, then there is not that need of increasing shared GPU memory. When the operating system defines shared GPU memory, then it is based on some backend calculations. Changing it does not provide you with better performance. However, you need to go through BIOS settings and change registries to increase shared GPU. It can also create other windows related problems.

If you have a dedicated graphics card, then the answer is pretty the same. Firstly, the dedicated graphics card comes with some amount of VRAM which is enough. Nevertheless, if this VRAM fills up, then the operating system will intelligently create virtual memory for saving graphics. Therefore, in both cases changing the shared GPU memory does not create any positive effect; instead, you can face a “some files are missing” error after tweaking registries.

Final Words:

Shared GPU Memory is a feature of some graphics cards that allow for the sharing of memory between the integrated graphics processor and the discrete graphics processor. This can be used to improve performance in games or other graphic-intensive tasks by allowing the two processors to work together.

Shared GPU Memory is not available on all graphics cards, so you will need to check your specific card’s specifications before purchasing it. Even if your card does have Shared GPU Memory, not all software will be able to take advantage of it. You may need to install specific drivers or update your software in order to use this feature. Otherwise, you may not see any benefits or may even experience reduced performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is shared GPU memory good for gaming?

Shared GPU is used when the GPU gets bottleneck situation. Therefore, having shared memory is good, but if you have a powerful graphics card. Then, having shared GPU memory does not worth it for gaming. Indeed, this shared memory is better than overheating GPU until you have a powerful Nvidia GPU that can handle the situation itself.

Does shared GPU memory increase performance?

As we mentioned earlier that GPU memory is all about allotting extra memory to the current GPU. At the end of the day, the space is RAM. Firstly, increasing that memory does not provide better performance. Second thing is that it will also reserve space for RAM which is also necessary during gaming.

Is shared GPU memory slow?

Shared GPU memory does provide some efficiency to your GPU and works a little faster than GPU memory; however, it only uses some amount of RAM for generating graphics which causes garbage in shared GPU. Despite this, it can be used with system memory to improve overall system performance. Whenever your GPU VRAM gets full, this shared memory will be there to help you.

How do I dedicate more memory to my graphics card?

Dedicating more memory to the graphics cards is easy; however, we do not recommend doing this if you already have a powerful GPU. Otherwise, you can simply do it from the Graphics settings of your laptop/pc. If you aren’t able to find this option, so you can also do it with the help of the boot menu.

Does lowering graphics reduce RAM usage?

If we talk about overall RAM usage, then Yes! Lowering graphics cards reduces overall RAM usage. Because, while playing games like GTAV, the graphics load into shared memory. Similarly, if you reduce graphics usage, then the shared memory can be empty. Otherwise, it will show some GPU usage.

Nazim Naqvi
Nazim Naqvi founded GetTechFit with the goal of providing objective reviews and comparisons on various technology products. He is an engineer by profession and has a deep interest in tech gadgets such as laptops, smartphones, tablets etc. Nazim also likes to keep up to date with the latest innovations happening in the world of technology.