Make A Computer Use Less Video Memory

Windows personalization options

Computer video memory is used to display the images seen on a computer’s monitor. Some items take more video memory than others, with 3D graphics rendering at the top of the list. Older computer systems can really struggle with the lack of video memory when trying to display large pictures and 3D graphics. In many cases, older video cards may not even support the rendering of 3D images. So what can you do? One thing that any computer user can do is minimize the use of video memory by tweaking several items controlled by the operating system.


1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop, being sure to avoid any icons that you have there. This will bring up an options menu. From this menu you will want to select “customize” or “personalize,” depending upon the Windows operating system that you are using. Other operating systems will use similar wording. This will open up a window allowing you to adjust several different types of settings.

2. Edit the desktop background settings to eliminate any pictures from showing on the background. This is one of the biggest tweaks that you can do. In some operating systems you can select to have no background image and a customized background color will be a default. Other operating systems force you to pick a color. In this case any color is OK, since it represents a easier option for the graphics card to display than an image.

3. Return to the Personalization menu and select Windows Color and Appearance icon. This will bring up the Appearance Settings dialog box with the color scheme selection. Modern Windows systems such as XP, Vista and Windows 7 allow for the use of transparent window edges, fancy transition graphics and other options that really use a lot of the video memory. The best option to use less video memory here is to select the Windows Classic option. This option uses the least amount of video memory out of all the options available.

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4. Select Display Settings from the Personalization menu. This option will bring up a dialog box that will allow you to change the size of the resolution of your computer screen. This will, in turn, change how big things appear on the screen. Initially you might think that the smaller, the better. However, this is not the case, as it uses more video memory to squeeze more items onto the screen. In today’s computer world, a resolution of 1024×768 (or greater) is fairly common. However, on older systems straining for the use of video memory, the older standard of 800×600 should be an option for consideration. Try each one out and see which one you feel comfortable with visually.

5. Adjust the overall performance of your computer system to allow for the best performance possible instead of the best graphics possible. To do this, click on the Start Menu in the lower left-hand corner of the computer screen and select the Control Panel option. Next, select the system icon to display the system settings, and click “Advanced system settings” from the task list. This will open the Performance Options dialog box with the Visual Effects tab selected. Finally, to optimize the system to use less video memory, select the option to “adjust for best performance.” This is the final step to ensuring that your system is making the best use out of video memory possible.