Calculate Amount Of Video Ram Needed

An old video card, possibly VESA Local Bus, with DIP style RAM expansion sockets.

These days most video cards come with at least 32MB (megabytes) of RAM (Random Access Memory) on-board, with some having up to 1GB (gigabyte) or greater. The extravagant amounts of RAM these days are due to the space needed for 3D gaming. But before 3D gaming, the RAM on a video card was just for what you saw on the screen, which is a 2D space. Knowing how much RAM you needed for a given resolution and color depth was an important factor in what video card you bought.


The math

1. Right click on your desktop. Select “Properties.” Select the “Settings” tab. Note the screen resolution you have set, and the color quality as well. (This will be 8 bit, 16 bit, 24 bit or 32 bit.)

2. Multiply the first number of the screen resolution with the second number. For example, a common laptop wide-screen display resolution is 1280×800, so you would multiply 1280 with 800 and then 32 (for the highest color depth), which would give us the number 32,768,000.

3. Divide the number you obtained by 8. For the example 32,768,000 / 8 = 4,096,000.

This means the video card for a laptop with a screen resolution of 1280×800 would need a minimum of 4MB of RAM to display with a 32-bit color depth.

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