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#1 2016-01-28 01:39:19

jcairus
Member
Registered: 2016-01-28
Posts: 4

[SOLVED] OS detects less vRam than what the VGA card has built in

Hello awesome forum!

First let me appologize for any mistakes made on my writing, as spanish is acctualy my first language. And offcourse, if this has being previously asked, but i wasnt able to find related information, probably I am looking at it the wrong way.I
Well without more futherly doo lets get to it, I recently installed Arch Linux in all its glory (first installation ever, I come from Windows and on linux I only experimented with Ubuntu and Mint), on a recently purchased DELL Laptop. to be more specific the Inspiron 5545. Which, after a day of wiki searching I got it running with every peace of its hardware just fine (keyboard baklight, media controls, usb3, bluethooth, wifi, and so on, to name a few things that usually dont work at the go). And I am currently fixing the little things (to call them in some way), like failures in the boot process and such, on which I am almost done hahaha

And was in that process that I realized that only 256Mb of the total 1Gb of the available vRam of the graphic card was being recognized/detected on the system.
So I executed the following on the terminal:

lspci -v -s `lspci | awk '/VGA/{print $1}'` | sed -n '/Memory.*, prefetchable/s/.*\[size=\([^]]\+\)\]/\1/p'

which returns to me:

256M
8M

I am using the opensource driver for the card, it is an APU processor with the graphic card built in it, the model is AMD A10-7300 with the Radeon R6.
This card was with 1Gb of memory on Windows (thats also the memory that AMD says it has built in).
I also did like a double check installing hardinfo and lunching the GUID, and there as well says that I have 256Mb of video memory and not 1Gb.
This is, I am sure, the cause of some performance problems I am facing with the 3D effects of gnome3 and such.

Sorry again, for the long post, the bad english, and probably a bad presented question. Please feel free to tell me how can I get more information about a possible solution for the issue, or what more you need to know to help me out.

Thanks in advance! I know someone somewhere is going to guide me in the right path.

Last edited by jcairus (2016-01-30 19:09:11)

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#2 2016-01-28 05:39:54

g2g591
Member
Registered: 2007-12-24
Posts: 36

Re: [SOLVED] OS detects less vRam than what the VGA card has built in

try checking in Xorg.log. This gave me my actual amount of vRam while lspci for me as you used it as well listed some other amount of memory (lspci for me said 16+32+256 for my nvidia card, while Xorg.log correctly says 4194304 kBytes)

grep -i --color memory /var/log/Xorg.0.log

EDIT: apparently X's log may also be in  ~/.local/share/xorg/ so check there if it isn't in /var/log.

Last edited by g2g591 (2016-01-28 06:41:38)

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#3 2016-01-28 10:05:21

Lone_Wolf
Member
From: Netherlands, Europe
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 6,869

Re: [SOLVED] OS detects less vRam than what the VGA card has built in

If that grep command doesn't help, look for a line like this :

[   282.930] (II) RADEON(0): VRAM usage limit set to 923374K

Multi-init booting with apg Openrc and systemd coexisting
Automounting : not needed, i prefer pmount
Aur helpers : makepkg + my own local repo === rarely need them

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#4 2016-01-28 13:55:47

R00KIE
Forum Moderator
From: Between a computer and a chair
Registered: 2008-09-14
Posts: 4,734

Re: [SOLVED] OS detects less vRam than what the VGA card has built in

If you can't find anything on Xorg.0.log you can try 'dmesg | grep VRAM', it should say how much it "detects". I've added the quotes to detects because your gpu does not have dedicated vram since it is integrated with the cpu.

Look in the bios/uefi and check if there is any option to configure how much ram will be dedicated to the gpu, maybe you can change it there.


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#5 2016-01-28 22:16:13

jcairus
Member
Registered: 2016-01-28
Posts: 4

Re: [SOLVED] OS detects less vRam than what the VGA card has built in

Hello everyone! Thanks for the replies, this is what I have come accross with your answers:

First G2G591: thanks for the reply wink i ran the command as was descripted above in my first post because in that way lspci sums for me the different memories an it does not show me the info as you said it showed for you hahaha
Then, i ran the grep command tath you shared with me, and it seems that nothing happens, the command runs, but no output is opened automaticaly, so I opened myself and looked fot the line that Lone_Wolf (thanks for your reply) told me and I found the following:

[   48.551] (II) RADEON(0): VRAM usage limit set to 925603K

Thats almost like 1Gb Am I right? But I still think that the system is using 256Mb, because of the overall performance of it, I beleive it should be more smooth or idk hahaha

So finally I ran the command suggested by Rookie (thanks to you too) and got the following:

[javier@192 ~]$ sudo dmesg|grep VRAM
[   17.771775] radeon 0000:00:01.0: VRAM: 1024M 0x0000000000000000 - 0x000000003FFFFFFF (1024M used)
[   17.771785] [drm] Detected VRAM RAM=1024M, BAR=256M
[   17.771947] [drm] radeon: 1024M of VRAM memory ready

Could you help me to better understand what is being displayed there? I see the 1Gb and the 256Mb memories being mentioned, but which would be the difference between RAM and BAR?

Thanks again (like for the fifth time hahah)

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#6 2016-01-28 23:52:52

R00KIE
Forum Moderator
From: Between a computer and a chair
Registered: 2008-09-14
Posts: 4,734

Re: [SOLVED] OS detects less vRam than what the VGA card has built in

BAR - maximum amount of gpu memory that the cpu can access directly [1]
VRAM - how much VRAM was detectred
GART - How much system memory your card can access directly

[1] http://www.phoronix.com/forums/forum/li … post104251


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#7 2016-01-29 00:03:31

jcairus
Member
Registered: 2016-01-28
Posts: 4

Re: [SOLVED] OS detects less vRam than what the VGA card has built in

It seems that is working fine then, I have done some more digging and reading on this matter, and found that there is no a clear way with AMD graphics for the apps to access or to know the real and total available memory for the GPU, so some apps will get only those 256Mb and other will find a way to obtain 1Gb, I was not planning on playing much on Arch but I would like to have that 1Gb accesible for the system (I hope thats the case hahaha), I mean, it should work like that Am I wrong?

Maybe I will be selling this laptop and buying one with a Nvidia GPU hahaha

What you guys think on swiching the driver? to the propetary one? I think I have the process really understood, but idk how to proceed correctly to unistall the current driver, and the Arch wiki page on this toppic doesnt clarify hot to uninstall it correctly to then install the catalyst pkg, any good wikis or guides that you may know?

Also I think I have to place this topic as RESOLVED, if you guys think this doesnt have much to be added on it.

Thanks awesome people!

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#8 2016-01-29 23:05:58

R00KIE
Forum Moderator
From: Between a computer and a chair
Registered: 2008-09-14
Posts: 4,734

Re: [SOLVED] OS detects less vRam than what the VGA card has built in

The only thing I can say about the free driver is that you can most probably just follow the install steps in reverse. Uninstalling catalyst should be mostly following the install steps in reverse too, and deleting any files created manually or by some catalyst utility.

I don't remember anything else to add right now, if you have solved your problem then go ahead and edit your first post and add [Solved] to the title.

As a final note, I didn't find much information about what the BAR really is and how it works, the post I linked to is from someone involved (or was involved) with the graphics stack on linux so I take it that it is correct.


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#9 2016-01-30 19:07:29

jcairus
Member
Registered: 2016-01-28
Posts: 4

Re: [SOLVED] OS detects less vRam than what the VGA card has built in

Thanks again ROOKIE,

If anyone is interested, and as "a solution" what I did is this:

After checking that acctually 1Gb is the graphic memory that I have installed and recongnized by the OS, with:

dmesg | grep VRAM

and trough the Xorg log as well.

I went and checked the Wiki for the opensource driver and follow various of the stpes described below to tweak the VGA and gain some performance. The steps were very usefull and I think that with lots of the new graphics cards (R series, integrated or dedicated) they are needed, so just be carefull to install the xf86-video-amdgpu and not the xf86-video-ati packages.

Till the next time, and thanks for all.

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