Why does Windows take away your RAM to use it on the graphics card?

You may have noticed in the Windows task manager that there is something strange. If this allocating RAM memory to act as VRAM memory of the graphics card. This not only happens, even if we have a dedicated card with its own memory, but, Why does this happen and how can you avoid it?

Dedicated graphics cards have their own VRAM, but integrated ones do not. The best example is an AMD Ryzen APU, which has integrated graphics, but without dedicated memory. what happens in this case? Well, the system assigns part of the RAM memory to the graphics card.

This is normal and logical. What doesn’t seem so coherent is that, if we have a graphics card with its VRAM, Windows gives it part of the system RAM. Well, let’s explain the reason for this.

RAM memory shared with the graphics card

What Windows does is save the possibility of ‘X’ amount of RAM being used by the graphics card. It is not “unusable” or blocked, it simply leaves this possibility in the event of any setback. Come on, it’s just in case.

You should know that the graphics card saves the data in VRAM that it needs to access the fastest. On a second step is the SSD, which is where you store decompressed textures and other data you may need. The RAM memory would remain on a third level, in a kind of standby state in case it was necessary.

You can easily see if your computer is saving RAM just in case as follows:

  1. Right button on windows bar
  2. We click on the option Task Manager
  3. Let’s go to the tab Performance
  4. We are looking for the option of Shared GPU memory usage which tells us that the RAM is reserved for the graphics

ram graphics card Windows

Does Windows “steal” part of my RAM?

Normally, this happens when the processor has integrated graphics and is active. What does it mean that it is active? Well, even if we assign the dedicated one as the main one and that it must always be used, that integrated graphics card is still operational and Windows sees it.

The only way to remove it and so Windows does not allocate part of the RAM is disabling it in BIOS. You can go and disable it if you want, but it is not recommended. If the graphics card breaks, you would have to force reset the BIOS and it is somewhat complex.

Actually, this amount of available memory we will never use it. Although we see that this “assigned” is still available for the system, it does not affect anything. In case Windows detects that it needs more RAM to move Windows, it will recover it.

It is quite rare that this shared memory is used, since the one integrated into the graphics card is sufficient. In the end, it is an additional technology similar to ReSizable Bar It has its apparent use, but it can be a problem in the long run.

We have to say that this does not harm the RAM in any way. Actually, it is a security measure in case it is necessary and there is not enough memory in the system. But, with today’s capabilities, it gives an idea that it is a very obsolete technology.

resizable bar nvidia

We do not recommend you touch anything

Although you can choose to disable the iGPU from the BIOS, it is not recommended at all. The reasons are the following:

  • It can serve as support: Above all, it is used in editing tasks as support. When using Photoshop or Premiere you can assign the iGPU for rendering
  • The graphics card is broken: If this amount of RAM is needed and this amount of RAM is not “saved”, the system could be restarted
  • In case of graphics card failure, something more normal than you can imagine. If we unlock it through BIOS we will have to go in later to turn it on. We would not be able to use the computer and would have to reset the BIOS, a tedious process.

Related Articles