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Why does Windows take RAM from you to use it on the graphics card?

computer ram graphics card

You may have noticed, if you look in the task manager of Windows 10, that the operating system is taking part of the RAM to give more VRAM to the graphics card, even if it is dedicated and has its own memory. Why is this happening and how can you avoid it?

When you do not have a dedicated graphics card on your computer with its own VRAM memory, it is normal for the system to allocate part of the RAM to the graphics, as it is necessary for it to work. However, when you have a dedicated graph with its own memory, why does Windows keep allocating part of the computer’s RAM?

To see what we are telling you, you just have to open the Windows Task Manager, access the “Performance” tab and select GPU on the left side.

If you look at the bottom area, where the graphics card information appears, “Dedicated GPU memory” appears, which is, effectively and taking this example, the VRAM of the graphics card, 8 GB. But just below appears « Shared GPU memory «, where it appears that 300 MB of allocated 16 GB are being used, and in fact just to the left is the term «GPU memory», where you can see that 4 24 GB, which is nothing more than the physical 8 GB of the graphics card added to the additional 16 GB allocated by Windows.

This means that Windows is using part of the computer’s RAM to allocate it to the graphics card, but why is it doing this?

To start we will tell you to worry, it is not that Windows is “stealing” RAM at all – well, actually yes, but very little. The reality is that this shared graphics memory is used by Windows for the processor’s iGPU because we don’t have the graphics disabled in the BIOS – so if you want this to stop happening you just have to go to the BIOS and disable the iGPU, although We recommend it just in case.

In any case, disabling the iGPU is not something we recommend because if the dedicated graphics fails at any given time, we will be quite defenseless because we will not be able to use the integrated one in the meantime and we will necessarily need another dedicated graphics.

If you want to do it anyway, you must enter the BIOS and go to the advanced settings section. From here it depends on the manufacturer of the motherboard, but normally we will have to enter the chipset configuration where we will find something related to “Internal Graphics”, where we can disable it.

This small portion of RAM that Windows “steals” from us is actually a few MB, not the 16 GB that it has “allocated” because they are not allocated as such, it simply has them available but not consumed to allocate to the graph in the case that it was necessary. And, a curious fact, if in the BIOS we selected the iGPU as primary graphics but having a dedicated one connected, Windows would use the VRAM of the dedicated graphics for the iGPU.