Video Memory drops when using HDMI

#1 Edited by ecto (15 posts) -

I searched all over online, and through these forums, but I still haven't found an answer, or even anyone with a similar problem.

I've got an Alienware x51 with

i7 3.4 ghz

6 gig RAM (1 gig devoted video)

Which runs Max Payne 3 at pretty much full specs at a solid 60 with no slowdown.

Last night, I take this rig over to my buddy's place to play a little, hook it up to his TV via HDMI, and my available video memory in the settings is around 500, less than half of what I am normally allotted. Needless to say, it ran like shit, and I had to turn everything down to the point that it looked worse than on a 360 and was barely playable with how choppy it was, pretty much negating the reason I brought it over in the first place. The resolution of the TV was higher than my monitor back home, yes, but I was still running it in 1680 like usual. We ended up just playing Driver San Fran, but even then, I had to drop the resolution down to around 1440 and turn off a lot of stuff, even then, very swimmy response time.

Back home now, I have all the video memory that I should and I have no idea what causes this kindof drop in performance, and what to do next time.

Thanks in advance if you have any ideas.

#2 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

Are you taking into account the refresh rate of the tv?

#3 Posted by ecto (15 posts) -

I'm pretty sure he was at 60hz, but even if it WAS 120, would that change my available video ram on the PC's end?

#4 Posted by LiquidPrince (15842 posts) -

@ecto said:

I'm pretty sure he was at 60hz, but even if it WAS 120, would that change my available video ram on the PC's end?

It shouldn't. The two are unrelated. What's you graphics card?

#5 Posted by AlexW00d (6182 posts) -

@ecto said:

I'm pretty sure he was at 60hz, but even if it WAS 120, would that change my available video ram on the PC's end?

It would make literally zero difference.

#6 Posted by ecto (15 posts) -

Exactly. I didn't think it had any correlation. My video card is a GT545.

#7 Posted by Amtiskaw (59 posts) -

Maybe your PC is now using its integrated graphics instead of the GPU?

#8 Posted by AlexW00d (6182 posts) -

@Amtiskaw said:

Maybe your PC is now using its integrated graphics instead of the GPU?

I think it would show like, 1500mb or something higher due to shared memory for integrated. But @ecto: just to be sure, you are plugging the hdmi into the hdmi out on the card, not the Mobo back panel?

#9 Posted by ecto (15 posts) -

I just looked, and it has a mini-HDMI out on the card, but I was using the one higher north. Is that the culprit?

#10 Edited by believer258 (11629 posts) -

@AlexW00d said:

@Amtiskaw said:

Maybe your PC is now using its integrated graphics instead of the GPU?

I think it would show like, 1500mb or something higher due to shared memory for integrated. But @ecto: just to be sure, you are plugging the hdmi into the hdmi out on the card, not the Mobo back panel?

The shared memory of integrated graphics only goes up as needed up to a certain point - it isn't stuck at 1500MB, that's just a roof. So...

@ecto said:

I just looked, and it has a mini-HDMI out on the card, but I was using the one higher north. Is that the culprit?

...yes, I'd bet that's the culprit, though I'll make no guarantee. I think you plugged it into the integrated slot and Max Payne said "Yo, I need at least 512MB of VRAM" and the integrated GPU (not the graphics card) gave it only that and no more.

Also, the quality of the GPU matters a bit more than the amount of video memory, so that's another good hint that it was plugged into integrated graphics and not the graphics card.

#11 Edited by Devildoll (877 posts) -

a GT545?

thats not a rig , thats a freaking laptop.

im surprised it ran well on 1680x1050.

nontheless, video memory shouldnt alter depending on the output interface.

i'd suggest updating drivers and whatnot.

#12 Posted by ecto (15 posts) -

Well, I ain't foolin'. It both runs and looks immaculately, even with DX11. Very happy with this set up, and I mean, it's no problem for me, now that I'm back home, I'm just thinking for future reference, or just the root of it to begin with.

#13 Edited by VACkillers (1059 posts) -

This may seem a really stupid thing to ask, but, when you were round your friends house, did you have the laptop plugged into the mains? If you didn't, its running on a power saving mode which turns off the graphics card and uses the onboard one instead....

Also, make sure that the laptop wasn't running in battery mode even if it was plugged in, i believe by default for alienware you can check this by hitting the FN key + F2... and make sure that you didn't accidently hit the stealth mode touch key at the top right hand corner of the laptop when you were moving it around, you did this, you essentially turned off your graphics card aswell.... To check this you just need to open up your alienware monitor software and it will tell you if your running in stealth mode or not...

One last thing, sometimes Alienware gets kinda stuck on battery mode, where you cant get it out of it, even after hitting FN+F2, if its still in battery mode after a restart, turn the laptop off / take the battery out of the back / hold down the powerbutton for 10 secs, and put the battery back in and load it up, it should be reset and back out of battery mode. Personally had quite a lot of issues with my Alienware laptop, when it runs, its fucking amazing, but when it messes up, usually messes up really badly lol...

Hope this helps next time you go somewhere with it........

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