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Graphics Card\BIOS settings

here is my question:
I have purchased a Graphics Card - 256MB Sapphire Radeon 925 AGP
My machine is running with an Intel Pentium 4 1.7Gh chip and two memory modules !Gb and 256Mb showing 127953 memory on Norton monitor
When fitting it to the AGP slot on my motherboard the only thing it suggested was ensuring that previous card or onboard graphics were disabled and setting put for this one.
In the Bios for my motherboard which is an ASUS P4S333-VM I found various setting as below which do I change or use for optimum performance.
In the advanced menu there are two further sub-menus:
in PCI configuration I found Primary VGA BIOS (PCI VGA Card) which allows me to select the primary graphics card - PCI VGA,  AGP VGA, or On-board
so I obviously chose AGP VGA Card
in Chip Configuration I have found four settings which I'm not entirely sure about, posted at the foot of this quesiton is my manual.
AGP Capability I think should be set to 4X to get max benefit from card
AGP Fast Write I'm not sure about
Onboard VGA should now be set at minimum [4MB] as card is handling main video output
Graphics aperture is confusing me.
if I set it at [4MB] then Norton says I have 1310240 Total Physical memory and 854152 free Physical memory
if I set it at [256MB] which coincides with number for card then Norton says I have 1310240 Total Physical memory and 821108 free Physical memory
So do I lose memory with this card if I set to 256 or should I set to a lower figure as aperture is not needed so high.

Thank you for your time


SDRAM RAS Precharge Time [3T]
This item controls the idle clocks after issuing a precharge command tothe SDRAM.
The SDRAM RAS Precharge Time parameter appears only when youset the SDRAM Configuration to [User Defined].
SDRAM RAS Active Time [6T]
This item allows you to select the RAS Active Time. Configuration options:[7T] [6T] [5T]
The SDRAM RAS Active Time parameter appears only when you setthe SDRAM Configuration to [User Defined].
SDRAM Command Lead-off Time [Auto]
This item allows you to select the SDRAM Head-off Time. Configurationoptions: [Auto] [2T] [1T]
The SDRAM CAS Latency parameter appears only when you set theSDRAM Configuration to [User Defined].
;,aphics Aperture Size [64MB]
This feature allows you to select the size of mapped memory for AGPgraphic data. Configuration options: [4MB] [8MB] [16MB] [32MB] [64MB][128MB] [256MB]
:-A6R Capability [4X Mode]
This motherboard supports the AGP 4X interface that transfers video dataat 1066MB/s. AGP 4X is backward-compatible, so you may keep thedefault [4X Mode] even if you are using an AGP 1 X or 2X video card.When set to [IX Mode], the AGP interface only provides a peak datathroughput of 266MB/s even if you are using an AGP 2X/4X card. Whenset to [2X Mode], the AGP interface provides a peak data trhoughput ofonly 533MB/s even if you are using an AGP 4X card.
Configuration options: [1 X Mode] [2X Mode] [4X Mode]
MiO'Fast Write Capability [Disabled]
Configuration options: [Disabled] [Enabled]
Onboard VGA Shared Memory Size [32M]
Configuration options: [4MB] [8MB] [16MB] [32MB] [64MB]
Video Memory Cache Mode [UC]
USWC (uncacheable, speculative write combining) is a new cachetechnology for the video memory of the processor. It can greatly improvethe display speed by caching the display data. You must set this to UC(uncacheable) if your display card does not support this feature, otherwisethe system may not boot. Configuration options: [UC] [USWC]MemoryHole At 15M-16M [Disabled]
This field allows you to reserve an address space for ISA expansion cards.Setting the address space to a particular setting makes that memoryspace unavailable to other system components. Expansion cards can onlyaccess memory up to 16MB. Configuration options: [Disabled] [Enabled]
PCI 2.1 Support [Enabled]
This field allows you to enable or disable the PCI 2.1 features. Keep thedefault setting [Enabled] if you installed PCI 2.1 compliant cards. Set to[Disabled] if you installed any card that is not PCI 2.1 compliant.Configuration options: [Disabled] [Enabled]
Onboard PCI IDE Enable [Both]
This field allows tou to enable either the primary IDE channel or secondaryIDE channel, or both. You can also set both channels to [Disabled].Configuration options: [Both] [Primary] [Secondary] [Disabled]

4-18Chapter4: BIOSSetupASUS P4S333-VMmotherboard user guide4-19

1 Solution
I think you're right about Onboard VGA should be set to minimum MB since its not used anymore.

AGP Fast write should be enabled, found this at

"The AGP fast write BIOS setting allows the processor to communicate directly with the graphics processor, ignoring the need to send data through the system's memory. This should be enabled to provide a performance boost. You should ensure that your video card supports fast writes before setting this option, however.

Almost all recent video cards do support AGP fast write. This setting is generally found in the 'advanced chipset features' section of the BIOS."

About AGP aperture, i found this explanation at

"AGP Aperture size

The amount of main memory that is allocated for direct memory access (DMA) of the advanced graphics port or DiME (direct memory execution). The hypothetical advantage of the AGP design is that the graphics engine can use the main memory as part of a unified memory architecture (UMA). In this case, the graphics adapter can access textures directly from the main memory (DMA) and, more importantly, process the data directly from and to the main memory, bypassing the on-board graphics memory. This feature requires a certain amount of system memory to be allocated for graphics operations. Too little will result in poor graphics performance, too much will fill up the system memory and take up space required for other operations.

With the increase of on-board graphics memory (currently up to 128 MB on the video card itself) this option has lost its relevance. Were the original recommendations to set the AGP aperture to about ½ of the total system memory, a good approximation now would be:

Total system memory / (video memory [MB] /2)

    * In other words, if you are running 128 MB system memory and have a 4 MB video card, the optimal AGP aperture would be:
      128 MB / (4/2) = 64 MB
    * For a 8 MB video card, the equation would be:
      128 MB / (8/2) = 32 MB
    * and for a 64 MB video card:
      128 MB (64/2) = 4 MB

Please note that this is only an approximation to explain the principle. In real life situation, the AGP aperture should be kept at a minimum of 16 MB. Most modern games will require a minimum of 64 MB texture space in the system memory and with upcoming games like Doom3 and UT2003, there will be even greater demand on system memory reserved as texture buffer (AGP aperture)"

If you have on-board vide and are adding an AGP card, you should disable the on-board video in the bios if possible.  If you cannot disable it then you should allow the minimum amount as suggested by Vashoo.  The memory allowance on the motherboard for video is for the on-board video only and will have no effect on the video card, which has its own memory.

Also make sure that your graphics card will is compatible with AGP 4x--newer cards run at 8x.

Caaron is right set the least amount in your bios for the aperture because the video card has the emory on it. Other wise it will just rob it from the system. I would enable the fast write and also chack to see you have the latest video drivers possible. There might be a smart gart update that will set windows to use the agp X 4 or 8 . Newer games will load all or most tecture memory into the system meory. And keep the other more direct writes in the video cards memory. But these games are getting huge with textures. Fear and Quake 4 or king kong can use 1gb of testures in a heart beat. Especially at higher resolution's 1024 + If your board is capable of AGP 8 i would look for a used 256mb agp8 card sounds like your playing some newer games. I had a radeon 256 9800 pro that was a great inexpensive card that played well on most games. Quake 4 gave it a run for it's money..!
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