When I bought my Dell Inspiron, the video card which was promised to me was 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7300 TurboCache. Then later I had a problem with the Video Card and they replaced it. But now, if I look into the Video Card Memory in BIOS and in Windows Device Properties, it says Dedicated Memory as 128MB. No where there is written that it shares with the memory and moreover if the Video Card shares memory with RAM, then available RAM should not be shown as 2 GB. There is sure some confusion here, can anyone tell me whether that 256MB in the card would be dedicated or shared? If shared, how do I find it out it is shared or not?
TurboCache is the name NVidia use to indicate products that share system memory. ATI call it HyperMemory. Either way, I think it's false advertising as the names suggest better than average performance, when the cards will end up performing slower than one with dedicated memory.
I have a Sony Vaio laptop (VGN-FS35GP) with a 128MB NVidia GeForce Go 6400 TurboCache, which actually has 32MB of dedicated RAM, the rest being stolen from system memory. And I only discovered that it was a TurboCache card after trying to run OS X on my laptop and it reporting 32MB of video RAM rather than 128MB. The Windows driver properties made it look as if the memory was dedicated. Needless to say, I wasn't happy.
I think vendors (in New Zealand at least) should be responsible for making this point obvious when they market their products. I'm pleased to see that recent Dell TV ads have been clearly stating when the video cards use shared memory.