Question Low total memory reported by nvidia-smi status utility

jhsachs

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Apr 10, 2009
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You can probably answer this question better if you're very familiar with NVIDIA drivers.

I've got an NVIDIA graphics card which officially has 1024 MB of memory (I assume that means 1024 MiB). When I run NVIDIA's status utility, nvidia-smi, it says the card has 998 MiB (~1045 MB).

I've noticed this before with other NVIDIA cards. Sometimes the difference is really substantial; 842 MiB instead of the expected 1024, for example.

What gives? Is nvidia-smi just ignoring some kind of carveout? It lists a separate, lower "memory free" number, which makes that illogical; since it distinguishes between total memory and free memory, why wouldn't it include all of the memory in "total memory"?
 

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