My first PC (I don’t think I ever named it – my father uses it now and has named it ‘ubunturedindian’) has an on-board graphics card – S3 ProSavage DDR. I allocated 32 MB from the system’s physical memory for it. My second PC, ‘mark2’, also had an on-board graphics card – first NVIDIA, then ATI – and I gave it 128 MB.

My Dell Inspiron laptop, ‘raiden’, has (see, a pattern!) an on-board graphics card – Intel GMA X3100 – and till now, I was furious that it had only 8 MB allocated to it; and that there was no way to increase this share. Wanting to get to the bottom of this, I finally came across this helpful tip that revealed the true picture.

The 8 MB shown in the BIOS is “just a framebuffer preallocated by the BIOS to have VESA 3.0 BIOS support“. Actual video memory is dynamically allocated.

rohit@raiden:~$ cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep VideoRam
(==) intel(0): VideoRam: 262144 KB

That, my gentle readers, is 256 MB of video memory.

I am happy!