Is it possible to see memory over 3GB on 32-bit FreeBSD?

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Thu Feb 18 00:52:02 UTC 2010


On Feb 17, 2010, at 3:59 PM, Yuri wrote:
> Erik Trulsson wrote:
>> It very much depends on what hardware you have in the system.  Just
>> about every expansion card or I/O device will reserve some of the
>> address space for its own use.  Some devices will need a lot of space - a graphics card with 256MB of RAM on it will use (at least) 256MB of the address space for example.
> This doesn't seem like a good idea that video memory is always mapped to system memory. What if one day graphics card gets 4GB RAM? Then we won't even be able to have 32-bit OS working with such card and in 64-bit OS 4GB of memory would be grossly wasted.

At one point, there was a considerable advantage to have video card memory fully mapped into untranslated address space so that various things could read or write as they pleased (cf "VESA linear framebuffer"); generally they gained speed advantages from this.

With AGP's GART, the amount of memory available for textures, bump-maps, etc, could reside in video card memory, local RAM, or a combination.  Modern video cards do not have keep their entire memory space mapped into address space; for example, a nVidia 275 card with 1792 MB of RAM doesn't seem to want more than 256MB of address space under 32-bit Windows platforms.


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