Home Tech Guides What’s The Difference Between Shared GPU Memory and Dedicated VRAM?

What’s The Difference Between Shared GPU Memory and Dedicated VRAM?


VRAM, or Video Random Access Memory, is built into graphics processors and functions similarly to RAM in a computer’s central processing unit. Visual RAM (VRAM) transfers visual data (such as images, shaders, and so on) from hard storage to the GPU, which renders the display.

Still, GPUs can only handle so much visual Memory before the CPU crashes. When this occurs, the system allocates a portion of the physical RAM (typically 50%) for use as Shared GPU Memory, a form of virtual video memory.

Why Does GPU Require Dedicated GPU Memory or Standalone VRAM?

When rendering images, a GPU must perform many graphics jobs in parallel, which is impossible for a serial device like a CPU. Multiple models, shaders, lighting components, and post-processing tools, like filters, will be required for a single image. Multiple cores operating in parallel are needed to process all these components to render the show correctly and rapidly.

The system must retrieve these components from their respective files before processing. The video random access memory serves this purpose. Modules using virtual random access memory (VRAM) can rapidly retrieve this information from the storage device and send it into the GPU via pipelines resembling buffers.


When specialized VRAM modules are unavailable, the computer must use physical RAM as virtual VRAM.

Regarding video memory (VRAM), most integrated graphics processing units (iGPUs) either have none or very little. Therefore, if your machine only has an iGPU, it will almost certainly utilize the standard GPU RAM for all graphics operations.

rendering - Not able to render with graphics card - Blender Stack Exchange

Inadequate video RAM was a common cause of Blue Screen Death (BSOD) crashes before introducing this technology.

Related: A Glut of NVIDIA GPUs May Lead to Significant Price Drops

In what ways does a GPU’s shared Memory differ from a video card’s dedicated Memory?

If you’re not using several generations of outdated GPUs, your computer’s video memory (VRAM) is the quickest component. If you need even more performance, RAMs are your next best option. In other words, the speed of a GPU with shared Memory will never match that of a GPU with specialized VRAM.

While RAMs can use the PCIe connection to transfer data to the GPU, VRAM modules are integral to the graphics engine and directly connects to the GPU components. It has additional effects on the efficiency of the GPU’s shared Memory.


Additionally, the largest RAM size reduces whenever the system uses the GPU’s shared Memory. It may cause further speed drops or even prevent the Processor or GPU from functioning at peak efficiency.

Is It necessary to Configure Graphics card Memory?


The Firmware of some devices may allow you to alter the Shared GPU Memory options. Whether or not your system has enough designated VRAM, it is still not advised that you modify this option.

The shared GPU memory avoids if there is sufficient VRAM. Also, regardless of how you use the Memory, only the amount of RAM is reserved. So there’s no reason to alter the environment.

Moreover, if your graphics card doesn’t have enough VRAM, your computer will use some of the RAM for this purpose, creating a portion of the RAM known as Shared GPU Memory. Whenever the GPU reserves a part of this Memory, it will operate as virtual VRAM; otherwise, it will function as RAM.

There’s no need to mess with this option, as the automatic allocation will strike a good equilibrium between the necessary Memory and the VRAM. If not, graphical programs may malfunction or operate slowly.

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Mabuhay Manila, Edmar Consular here! I studied Adobe Photoshop Short Courses in addition to my academic career in Automotive Technology. Here at Manila Shaker, I'm the Junior Editor in charge of writing article reviews, tech news, and video scripts.

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