Increase amount of 2D display memory?

TranzMatt
TranzMatt used Ask the Experts™
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I have an ATI 4650 display card in a Windows XP Pro SP3 box driving two LCD monitors at their native resolutions of 1440x900 and 1028x1024 respectively, both at 32bits.  After a while, however, I will start having issues where windows don't refresh correctly, parts of the menu disappear.  I even once had Nero 9 tell me it was unable to allocate "bitmap cache", which suggests there's something going on in the 2D display area.  Naturally rebooting fixes it, but I think killing resource hogs like Firefox helps too.  I've updated to the latest ATI driver, but the issue persists.  I've got plenty of RAM (4G with the /3G and /PAE switches).  So how do I tell Windows to set aside more memory for my 2D display?  (The video card has 1G, though I know that only counts in rendering & 3d, not in standard 2D display).  
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Commented:
Seems to be a GDI issue.

Check wich process eat much gdi objects : in the task manager, select column "gdi objects".

If some of your programs are using gdi+, check if you have the latest version.
Also check your directx version.
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
I think it may be the video driver, but you ought to try an earlier one, since the latest one has the problem.  They sometimes release a version that fixes one bug, but introdues another.
Sounds like the os is getting starved for ram, try getting rid of the 3g switch as it makes it so apps can use 3gb and limits the os to 1gb instead of the normal 2gb each.
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Commented:
agree with jamie, remove the 3g switch and the pae switch

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Commented:
I removed the /PAE switch, but /3GB is there because some of my rendering software slammed into the 2GB limit pretty easily.  I had that enabled on another box w/o problems.  I 'm looking at flob9's suggestion regarding GDI objects, which in turn lead me to "desktop heap" suggestions.  I bumped the session space up a touch, so we'll see if this fixes the problem.
Did that other box have a 1Gb video card?

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Commented:
I'll have to go check, but iirc, it was an ATI All-in-Wonder for Windows MCE.  Don't recall how much RAM that card had, though I don't think it was 1G.
With a 32-bit os the video card takes some of the 4gb that 32-bit XP can address, check system properties to verify but your os is probably only seeing 3Gb or less of the 4gb you have installed and with the 3Gb switch that's not leaving alot of ram to the os when apps start using it.

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Commented:
@jamietoner: I knew about a 32bit os setting aside space for the video memory, but I guess I didn't appreciate having a 1G card combined with the /3G switch.  I'm still concerned with my rendering software slamming into the 2G limit, so maybe I'll try some boot.ini options and see if I can get away with using /3g when I only run that software.
Another option(depending on your CPU) would be to upgrade to a 64-bit os.

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Commented:
I'm thinking about doing so once Windows 7 is released.  I'm running XP Pro now and see no reason to go to Vista.
I've been running the rc and will be getting it when its released(or a little later depending on how spendy it is).

Author

Commented:
Well, I use XP Pro because it allows me to run some non-Unicode Japanese software with their menus and dialog in the native tongue.  Unfortunately, it looks like I'd have to jump to Windows 7 Ultimate for the same support and I suspect "spendy" will be the operative word.

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