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Thread: Is it possible to add RAM to graphics card?

  1. #11
    Paradox Sausage DaveW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to add RAM to graphics card?

    Quote Originally Posted by lastweek
    Not only will it probably catch fire to your house, it will probably shoot peices out of your case and kill your cat. make sure you video tape your expierment.
    ROFL!

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  2. #12
    Fresh Paint
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    Default Re: Is it possible to add RAM to graphics card?

    I know this is a dead thread, but i can't let this misinformation continue!
    YOU CAN ADD RAM TO A GRAPHICS CARD!
    I"m sure everyone has seen two versions of the same graphics card before. one with more ram than the other, but otherwise identical.
    if this is the case for your card, and you have the lower ram card, you can add more ram. study the two cards carefully, make sure you have the new ram installed properly as the smallest mistake will fry your card if not your computer.
    usual, the two cards use the same driver, if this is the case for you it's easy sailing, just uninstall, then reinstall the card after modifying. some cards may require you to softmod the card before it will recognize the new ram.
    if your card uses a different driver than the higher ram card, things can be a little harder, as you must softmod your card to emulate the higher ram card before installing the new drivers.

  3. #13
    Measure once, curse twice nevermind1534's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to add RAM to graphics card?

    Quote Originally Posted by lastweek View Post
    What your doing in layman terms is overclocking a card x2 of its original settings.
    Not overclocking, just adding the memory.
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  4. #14
    Spam Sniper SgtM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to add RAM to graphics card?

    Quote Originally Posted by jing KOB View Post
    I know this is a dead thread, but i can't let this misinformation continue!
    YOU CAN ADD RAM TO A GRAPHICS CARD!
    I"m sure everyone has seen two versions of the same graphics card before. one with more ram than the other, but otherwise identical.
    if this is the case for your card, and you have the lower ram card, you can add more ram. study the two cards carefully, make sure you have the new ram installed properly as the smallest mistake will fry your card if not your computer.
    usual, the two cards use the same driver, if this is the case for you it's easy sailing, just uninstall, then reinstall the card after modifying. some cards may require you to softmod the card before it will recognize the new ram.
    if your card uses a different driver than the higher ram card, things can be a little harder, as you must softmod your card to emulate the higher ram card before installing the new drivers.
    Got a tutorial or something you can link to? I find it hard to believe that your average joe could unsolder the old ram and solder new ram in it's place. I for one, wouldn't want to attempt it. IMO, it's easier just to buy the better card.

  5. #15
    Measure once, curse twice nevermind1534's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to add RAM to graphics card?

    There used to be a very good guide at http://warmcat.com/milksop/soldering.html but it's gone now. I got the link from here, and they describe, to some extent, how to solder chips there, but nowhere near as good as that guide. The robots.txt file disallowed indexing of the website, so archive.org doesn't have it.
    Help my mini city
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    Quote Originally Posted by progbuddy View Post
    It's probably the extreme radiation from the nuclear core in your phone. Push the control rod all the way in.
    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanLegend_NY View Post
    I'm not selling it in hell I'm selling it on eBay.

  6. #16
    100% Recycled Pixels. Twigsoffury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to add RAM to graphics card?

    It's possible I've replaced Ram on a old burnt out S3 Savage dual head at work.

    When you order the new module and get it. Heat the old board up and use a solder sucker to clear out the holes since they've been terminated for non use.

    use a depth gauge to check the holes clip n' trim your contacts to make it sit flush and drop it on with some flux on the contactors. i like tippin the ends in the flux itself.

    then go bout some micro solderin should work just like before as long as its the exact sku.

    its no n00b task.

  7. #17
    Fresh Paint
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    Default Re: Is it possible to add RAM to graphics card?

    This thread is not quite dead yet. I'm an electronics engineer and was recently wondering myself whether this would work. ie. Would the firmware recognize the added ram chips ?
    I don't know enough about the firmware to answer that, but I do know that removing ram chips from one card and soldering them to another is certainly possible. It requires some experience to master, but if you experiment on some old unwanted circuit board first, you'll be ready to go.
    There's an important matter to be aware of though. Some of these empty ram positions on the circuit board, have no support components. These are usually chip capacitors. Each ram chip position will have it's share of capacitors close by. If the empty positions don't have the same as the populated ram positions, then forget it.
    Anyway, here's a tutorial page on SMD (Surface mount device) soldering: https://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/category/2
    You'll need a hot air tool designed for electronics work to remove the chips and if you're going to solder the chip's pins by hand, you'll need extremely fine solder wire and a really fine soldering iron tip.
    So, perhaps in another five years someone will post here again with a success story. Cheers

  8. #18
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to add RAM to graphics card?

    It is possible to hand-solder RAM (or RAM sockets) onto PCBs, especially if you have access to proper tools and advanced techniques (I have Metcal gear and years of draw-soldering tricks, always good results). Hot-air SMT rework methods are sometimes easier for one-off jobs, sometimes not ... it depends a lot on how the PCB was etched and surfaced and which solder grades were used. Today's RoHS crap is really substandard in terms of rework robustness, those so-called copper traces evaporate and peel far too easily.

    But simply populating the PCB with RAM will not necessarily mean it can be addressed, or indeed is even connected to active traces or pins anywhere on the circuit. The required memory controller chips might also be absent, or be replaced with parts that have lower costs and capabilities. An entire family of video cards will often use the same PCB, but rarely will any of the specific submodels ever use 100% of the available circuit mounts and solder points. The board could be a revision, already using the maximum RAM the video chip can address, just with newer and denser RAM sticks. It could be designed to accept different RAM architectures, again already addressing the maximum possible. It could use a processor/chipset part which was binned to lower spec for failing to address maximum possible RAM during factory diagnostics.

    Or it could just need more RAM and updated firmware, as suggested. Best to ensure sufficient secondary parts (mostly caps and glue logic) are all in place to ensure stability.

    The best way to be certain is to do the research. Manufacturer's specs, part number specs, trace out the circuit connections, do the math. Data bandwidth limits on and off the video card might limit maximum addressable memory. Then there's thermal issues. There's no point in soldering in RAM which isn't even compatible unless you just want soldering practice or are looking for a challenge greater than simply hacking the firmware - it might actually be easier to salvage the core components for a new card designed from scratch.

    Incidentally, the relevant firmware itself may be codelocked, encrypted, or use a custom ASICs which would require a lot of circuit surgery and JTAG headscratching to figure out. There are quite likely multiple ROMs on board, multiple firmwares which might need to be modded (in the video processor part, chipset part, memory controller part, GPIO bus parts, RAMDAC parts, SPD ratings in each RAM bank, etc). And it could require low-level driver reprogramming or special APIs as well on the software side because exact timing is critical in getting video to work properly. Modern video cards tend to pack as much on-board processing as they can (to avoid PCI/AGP/PCIe bottlenecks), they are highly-engineered high-performance "low"-cost complex machine clusters with very little fault tolerance - every component works absolutely perfectly or the entire card fails.

    Not saying it's impossible, just that it's likely far more involved than blowing some hot air. I've modded plenty of PC mobos at the component level, video cards can't be a lot different (although detailed technical documentation for them is much harder to access). An EE should already know all these things.
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