What is Shared GPU Memory in Windows 11 & How Does It Work?

Increasing shared memory can cause a performance bottleneck

by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
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Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
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  • Shared GPU memory is a virtual memory used when your GPU runs out of its dedicated video memory.
  • It can be quite harmful to increase the Shared GPU memory in Windows 11 as it can cause system instability.
  • Instead of tweaking the shared GPU, you can boost VRAM through BIOS or the Registry method.
shared gpu memory windows 11
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You may be wondering what shared GPU memory Windows 11 means. If you do not know, System reserves half of your RAM for the video card(s). You can read further into this article to understand all about this matter.

What is Shared GPU memory in Windows 11?

Shared GPU memory in Windows 11 is the total virtual memory that will be used if dedicated video memory runs out. This normally amounts to 50% of the available RAM.

PCs with integrated graphics often employ shared GPU memory. This means that the motherboard houses the display circuits rather than using an expensive graphics card.

How does Shared GPU memory work in Windows 11? 

Having gathered from users’ experience on Shared GPU memory, we have outlined the following as how Shared GPU memory works:

  • Reduces the amount of available storage – When you share the main memory with the display function in Windows 11, it reduces the amount of memory available to applications.
  • It provides temporary expansion for your PC – When your RAM runs low, your system will call upon the paging file to handle some of the extra data.
  • It can be quite harmful to increase the shared GPU memory – Increasing your paging file will cause system instability when you least expect it.

Should I decrease or increase shared GPU memory?

Well, it truly depends on your system configuration. However, leaving things the way they originally were would probably be better if you had a dedicated graphics card.

Shared GPU memory might not even be used at all, depending on your particular graphics card and its VRAM capacity.

Tweaking shared GPU memory settings should be strictly avoided. Especially if you have an integrated GPU rather than a discrete one.

Shared memory is essentially RAM. If a GPU has to use the system’s RAM for its computations, it’ll take a performance hit. To prevent these issues and run resource-intensive applications smoothly on your PC, you’ll need a graphics card and RAM that meet their specifications.

To this end, there’s no need for you to adjust anything manually. Although if you feel like adjusting your GPU, you can do so by adjusting video memory settings in your BIOS.

If you have an Intel or AMD APU, you can make the desired changes in the Windows Registry Editor.

Shared GPU memory vs dedicated memory

We explained what shared GPU memory is and how it works, but how is it different from dedicated memory?

It’s simple. The dedicated memory is the VRAM of the graphics card if your computer has one installed. If it has a GPU installed directly on your motherboard, then it will only be able to use shared memory.

And that’s it about shared GPU memory in Windows 11 and how it works. Consequently, running resource-intensive apps on your computer requires a device with enough VRAM, regardless of your GPU or increased VRAM.

You can also check our detailed guide on how to find how much VRAM you have & VRAM usage on Windows 10/11.

If you have any questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to use the comments section below.

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