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The Display Adapter properties displays 256 MB as Adapter RAM in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012

Consider the following scenario:
  • You have a system that is running Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012
  • The system has on-board display adapter with 8 MB or 16 MB RAM
In this scenario, if you navigate to the Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display\Screen Resolution\Advanced Settings, click [Advanced Settings]. Under the "Adapter" tab, you may notice the Adapter Type is Microsoft Basic Display Adapter and Total Available Graphics memory is 256 MB.

Note: Chip Type displays the actual Vendor information. Also, Msinfo32 shows you the correct Adapter RAM. For example: 8 MB or 16 MB.

The display adapter properties queries the information from the adapter to find out which driver is responsible for rendering. In this case, the driver rendering is Basicrender.sys. The Graphics model has changed in Windows Server 2012 and it requires the use of DirectX 9 or higher GPU.
For the computers that does not meet the criteria in Window Server 2012, there is a fall back driver called BasicRender which is implemented in the Basicrender.sys driver. BasicRender.sys uses system memory and it allocates a predefined size of 256MB.

Important: This memory value of BasicRender is by design and can change in future.
More information
Windows Hardware Certification Requirements for Client and Server Systems

Kernel Mode Display-Only Driver (KMDOD) Interface

What's new for Windows 8 display drivers (WDDM 1.2)
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Article ID: 2855505 - Last Review: 05/31/2013 12:55:00 - Revision: 1.2

  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows Server 2012 Foundation
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials
  • kbdisplay kbgraphic KB2855505
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