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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Registered: 06/15/02
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Laptop question
    #3321063 - 11/04/04 07:52 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I have a Hewlett-Packard laptop that has a 2.8 Ghz Pentium 4 and 512
meg of ram.

Here's the thing--my video card takes up 128 meg of that ram
(it is an integrated video card). So, I actually only have
384 meg of ram for programs to use. I take it that any program
that advertises it needs more than 384 meg of ram is out of the
question for me...even though I officially have 512 meg of ram.

Here's my question: Does the video card always take up that 128 meg
of ram? For example, if I am doing nothing visually spectacular
(writing a letter for example) will it still be taking up that
128 meg? Customer support for HP of course is staffed by Indians
who cannot understand English well...so the guy had no clue what
I was trying to ask him.


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Offlinedebianlinux
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Re: Laptop question [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3321775 - 11/04/04 10:11 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

sometimes the amount of shared memory can be adjusted via BIOS settings. usually not, tho. and yes, the memory space is reserved for video regardless of what the gpu happens to be doing.


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Laptop question [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3323232 - 11/05/04 05:53 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

> I have a Hewlett-Packard laptop

What is the six digit product number on the bottom of the laptop? I have access to all of HP's technical support documentation and can look up anything you want to know in the service manual. On most HP laptops that have shared video memory, the memory usage can be set in BIOS anywhere from 16M up to 256M. If you send me the long string of characters above the serial number and product number, I can tell how much more memory you can add to the machine (if any).

Don't forget, most modern operating systems support virtual memory. Just because you are limited to 384 of physical memory does not mean that you cannot run a program that requires more...


--------------------
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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Laptop question [Re: Seuss]
    #3323648 - 11/05/04 10:23 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

It is a HP Pavilion zv5000. The graphics card is a ATI 9000 IGP
(Mobility Radeon).

I guess 384 meg of ram is ok for me. Supposedly there are two 256
meg cards in there(instead of one 512). I guess one day I maybe
will want to upgrade the ram.

It just seems like kind of a ripoff to see a laptop advertised as
"512 meg of ram!!!!", and the fucking video card takes 128 meg
of it.


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Laptop question [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3323686 - 11/05/04 10:38 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

It just seems like kind of a ripoff to see a laptop advertised as
"512 meg of ram!!!!", and the fucking video card takes 128 meg
of it.




Yeah, I hear that a lot from people, and tend to agree... but HP is not alone as most other vendors are now doing the same thing. Anymore, you have to be very careful and read all of the fine print.


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Offlinedebianlinux
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Re: Laptop question [Re: Seuss]
    #3323701 - 11/05/04 10:44 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I agree that it can be misleading but any educated buyer is going to want to know how much video memory is in the rig and i have never seen a shared video memory spec that didn't have "(shared)" next to it.

What the large print giveth the fine print taketh away.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Laptop question [Re: debianlinux]
    #3323728 - 11/05/04 10:53 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)


I agree that it can be misleading but any educated buyer is going to
want to know how much video memory is in the rig and i have never
seen a shared video memory spec that didn't have "(shared)" next to
it.

I am looking at my receipt right now and it mentions nothing
about "shared" anything. I assumed that the video card had
onboard memory. I guess I was wrong.

Although, 384 meg of ram is enough for me. And when 512 meg chips
get cheap, I will throw two of those in there so I will have
1024 and 896 of that will be available Ram.


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Laptop question [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3323785 - 11/05/04 11:12 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

> I agree that it can be misleading

Thats nothing... try explaining to somebody why their 40GB hard drive only reports 38.1GB when formated...

Engineers use base 10, so 40GB is 40*1000*1000 bytes to an engineer.
Computers use base 2, so 40GB is 40*1024*1024 bytes to a computer.

Thus 40*1000*1000/(1024*1024)=38.1 GB reported by the computer. However, marketing likes bigger numbers for less dollars, so they use the engineers interpretation of 40GB rather than the computers 38.1GB interpretation.

There is even a class action lawsuit going on over this. Some bonehead is sueing the entire computer industry because he can't understand the above... or he does understand and just wants to make a quick buck.


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Offlinepolice
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Re: Laptop question [Re: Seuss]
    #3326672 - 11/06/04 04:01 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

geekazoids


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Offlinedebianlinux
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Re: Laptop question [Re: Seuss]
    #3337215 - 11/09/04 02:42 PM (12 years, 29 days ago)

Quote:

Seuss said:
Engineers use base 10, so 40GB is 40*1000*1000 bytes to an engineer.





Being an EE I take offense. 40^10 = 40,000,000,000 = 40 Billion which has nothing to do with computer bytes. Any engineer with the exception of a "Marketing Engineer" knows that a Kilobyte = 1024 bytes = 2^10 bytes as opposed to a base 10 interpretaion of 1000 which makes it, inherently, not a byte at all.

As i understand it there was some legislation passed that basically said they had to use the non-capitalised versions of Kilo/Mega/Giga when using the Marketing Engineer speak. The capitalised versions specifically denote the computer base 2 system.


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InvisibleMobiusStripper
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Re: Laptop question [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3347320 - 11/11/04 05:01 PM (12 years, 26 days ago)

You should give us the model number of the laptop you have.
Are you sure you are not confusing it with the 128 megs of memory on the graphics adapter? If it is specifying you ahve a graphics card that has 128 megs of memory that means it has it built onto it, not that it has to use that much from the 2 256 meg chips of RAM.


--------------------


Edited by MobiusStripper (11/11/04 05:03 PM)


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Laptop question [Re: MobiusStripper]
    #3348034 - 11/11/04 07:38 PM (12 years, 26 days ago)

I just replied in your laptop thread in OTD.

Nope...this card is taking 128 meg of my ram. It has no onboard
Ram. So I have "512 megs of ram", but I actually only have 384 megs
to use on programs.

Sucks...


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Laptop question [Re: debianlinux]
    #3350460 - 11/12/04 09:12 AM (12 years, 26 days ago)

> Being an EE I take offense.

Then I probably was not clear. I am not saying that an engineer is not smart enough to know that in computer speak, a kilo is 1024 rather than 1000. What I am saying, is that the engineers use base 10 when they design, because that is how engineering is taught and how people think. If I tell an engineer that I need a beam that can hold a kilogram, she knows that I mean 1000g and not 1024g. In the same respect, when I tell an engineer that I need a disk that can hold 40 gigabytes, I should expect to get a disk that can hold 40E9 bytes... and this is indeed the case.

The computer programmer that has changed the definition of kilo, giga, etc to suit their own needs. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as the changed definitions are only used within the computer industry. When these changed definitions are used in other industries, they no longer make sense.

The confusion occurs when a marketing yoyo gets the engineering specs, saying 40 GB meaning 40E9 bytes, and the comp sci specs saying 38.x GB meaning 40*1000*1000/(1024*1024) bytes (which is less than 40E9 bytes). Of course, 40GB sounds better than 38GB so the marketing yoyo goes with the 40GB. Technically correct, but very misleading in the context of computers instead of the context of engineering (or anything else not computer related).

The engineers are correct saying that 40GB is 40E9 bytes, and the comp scis are correct saying that 40GB is 40*1000*1000/(1024*1024) bytes and the marketing yoyo's should be shot for confusing the matter to trick consumers out of an extra few bucks.

(I am starting to see GiB instead of GB used more and more to differentiate between the comp sci use and the engineers use of the term...)


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