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Does GIMP use Graphics card memory

May 11, 2014, 06:49
Post: #1
Does GIMP use Graphics card memory
If a Gimp image uses lots of layers, lots of masks etc., are they stored in the graphics card memory or the computer memory? Does GIMP use much of the graphics card memory or swap in and out with the main computer memory?

I am having to change my card and have a limited choice which come down to a choice of a 2GB or 4GB card. The latter is much more expensive but apart from more memory has features that I do not need. Logic says buy the 4GB card for the memory but why waste money on features I do not need.
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May 11, 2014, 08:06 (This post was last modified: May 11, 2014 08:36 by rich2005.)
Post: #2
RE: Does GIMP use Graphics card memory
Quote:... Logic says buy the 4GB card for the memory but why waste money on features I do not need...
..but you might need it in the future ..

AFAIK Gimp does not use GPU memory. There is a bit about memory set up here
http://www.gimp.org/unix/howtos/tile_cache.html

You will find the settings in Edit -> Preferences -> Environment

There are settings for number of cpu cores and tile-cache but Gimp during setup sets maximums anyway.

When Gimp uses up available physical memory it will use virtual memory ie. your hdd and that slows things down but generally Gimp does not need intensive video rendering. Some applications such as 3D rendering will use the GPU.

I only once used up all physical memory when I was not paying attention and tried to open a monster image. Could see the memory fill up, then the swap partition fill up, then the computer locked up, but that was a very modest machine.

Edit:
As a demo, a 7200x3500 pix xcf (80 MB) takes up about 260 MB loaded. Add a couple of layers bumps it to 681 MB.
Things to avoid are lots of un-do stages, they consume memory.
[Image: hZh9n5A.jpg]

** https://www.gimp-forum.net/ now answering questions**
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May 11, 2014, 09:50
Post: #3
RE: Does GIMP use Graphics card memory
Quote:..but you might need it in the future ..
I very much doubt it.

Thank you for the helpful reply though rich2005. I have read the info in the link you sent and, from that, it seems to me that computer memory rather than card memory is the important thing as far as GIMP is concerned. That said, I note it talks about other software running '... at the same time'. That is a very material consideration as my usual way of working is to have my browser, Firefox, with upwards of 15 tabs open as well as possibly LibreCad, a 2D drawing program, Scribus and the usual Libre Office Write and Calc programs open.

So I have decided to bite the bullet and go for the expensive, 4GB option.

Cheers
Alan
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