Shared memory issues

I just picked up a new machine that I plan to hand over to the wife once I get it running as I want, but I’ve run into a problem with it.

It is a little i3 machine (AX3950, to be precise), had 4 Gb of RAM installed but I added a couple of 4Gb Patriots I had lying around, so its at 12Gb now.

Of course the first thing I did once I fired it up was to format the hard drive and install 7 Ultimate, to get rid of all the advertising crap on it. That all seemed to go fine.

Here’s the problem: right now it is running on the on-board graphics chip, and something is missing. I went into the BIOS and raised the amount of RAM that is being shared to the graphics as much as they would let me, but that was only 128Mb. I can’t seem to find any drivers for the MB that let me dedicate more memory to the graphics, and right now it is just awful. I try to fire up a simple Solitaire game, and it gives me an error message something like “shared memory is turned off or is not available with this chipset” and the video is sticky, slow, and stuttery. Just trying to drag a card from one pile to another causes video glitches.

On the other hand, surfing the web looks just fine. I didn’t notice any visual problems at all in Firefox, no matter where I went.

So, am I missing something in 7 that I need to do to let the motherboard’s graphics chip have more memory to work with? The “Help” routines find me nothing, and searching message boards on the web only direct me to the BIOS, which I’ve already done.

The other solution, of course, is to put a dedicated graphics/video card in the machine, but the case is so damned small, it seems smaller even than Small Form Factor (which is what it claims to be) that I’m having a hard time finding a card for it. The ones I’m finding claim to be SFF, but they all have a second input hanging off the side/end of the card–usually a DVI, or maybe VGA–and those aren’t going to fit in this box, it is VERY slim. That part of the card would stick out the side of the case.

Anyway, any suggestions appreciated as always.

I don’t think the BIOS setting actually matters; the X4500 in there should be a DVMT chipset, in which case that setting is just the starting value and the OS and drivers are free to adjust it afterwards. I’m not sure where else to look though, other than maybe poking around in Device Manager.

Yeah, as I recall WinSAT and DWM handles it all for you in Vista and 7.

Sure wish I could figure out why they aren’t handling it, then. There’s nothing in the driver settings that let me do anything at all, and Windows doesn’t seem to want to intervene either :(

You didn’t do something crazy like disabling DWM.exe, did you? (shot in the dark)

Wouldn’t even know how to do that. I just did a fresh install of Win7 Ultimate, and told it to do the usual options.

Try installing the intel chipset and graphics drivers;

I had done both of those thing, but it turns out you were on the right track.

There is a separate set of graphic drivers that aren’t on the Aspire Acer website, that I had to get straight off the Intel sight, and I hadn’t realized I’d needed those as well. Something like Intel Graphics Media HD Accelerator drivers.

Finally found them this morning, installed them, and now it is humming.

Thanks, everyone.