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How To Bypass GTA IV Memory Restrictions


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#1 Chris

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 04:49 PM

Thought I'd make a pinned topic about this because the way Rockstar stops people from frying their GPU's is by limiting the graphics settings based on your graphics card's memory. Now this may sound like a good idea, however it only takes into account dedicated video RAM the graphics card has.

For example, at the time of writing I have a nVidia GeForce 8800GTS with 320MB of RAM. This card can also make used of shared RAM (memory taken from your system's RAM, of which I currently have a total of 4GB). I'm not sure how much it is possible to use, but DxDiag reports me as having 2GB of graphics memory, pretty awesome, that means it's taken 1.7GB from my system RAM, meaning I've got 2.3GB left, plenty to play GTA IV.
So, naturally I want to play on as higher settings as possible for my computer. But because the game only recognises 320MB of that video RAM, I'm severely limited. Here's what to do to get around those limits:

Retail version instructions

  • Create a shortcut on your desktop to the LaunchGTAIV.exe - by default this will be in C:\Program Files\Rockstar Games\Grand Theft Auto IV
  • Right click the shortcut and click Properties
  • Make sure the Shortcut tab is selected. You should see a field called "Target", edit this to say the following, making sure the path is correct, I'm just using the default here:

    "C:\Program Files\Rockstar Games\Grand Theft Auto IV\LaunchGTAIV.exe" -norestrictions -nomemrestrict


    That includes the quote marks and the options coming after the link to the path
  • Click Apply
  • Double click the shortcut to launch the game.

Steam version instructions


  • In steam, right click the game right click the game in Steam and go to Properties > Launch Options
  • Add the command: -norestrictions -nomemrestrict
  • Launch the game

Screenshot
To prove it works, here's what I ended up with.


What happens if I'm a dumbass and turn up all the settings too high?
Like I showed in the above screenshot? Well, this is what happened to me. There's simply not enough memory available to load up all the textures. Upon leaving the safehouse I was greeted by the following:


However, the player models looked amazing! tongue.gif


NOTE: Remember to be sensible with the settings. If you've got a shitty card then there's really no point turning everything up high, it'll be way too laggy to play. Play around with the settings until you reach a compromise between nice quality, and good framerate.



#2 Spider-Vice

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 04:53 PM

Nice, I'll try this when I get GTAIV :D

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#3 TM™

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 05:29 PM

Holy shit, the textures on Niko look fucking nice. :) Considering I'm on a 9500GT 512mb card, I may not max out everything (Well no one can really), but at medium or low possibly. I may take into account of buying this game.
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#4 Noru

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 05:34 PM

The player textures do look nice, I may get this game for the PC someday. Even a few friends or mine are telling me to get it.
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#5 Chris

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 12:37 AM

Just wanna say, the game looks fucking awesome on medium, so much better than the console versions. I think low is the equivalent of the console version, at a resolution near 720p, we'll say 1280x800 as that's the nearest res in 16:10.

#6 Nissan_Skyline_GTR_R34

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 12:50 AM

Nice. But it doesnt work on mine, BTW i have vista
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#7 Mehhh

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 02:39 PM

Those missing textures is what I was experiencing and logically I figured I'm outta video ram but when I was playing, it was doing it w/ exceeded settings ( I dint configure any override - it jus seemt glitchy & would roll to the highest settings), then once I lowered the settings I still had missing roads and everything..

I can play it pretty well on medium w/ other somewhat mid settings.. It still doesnt look anything spectacular as it should.. It still seems like a limit in vid ram, altho I wondered of system ram still .. I've been able to play missions still w/ out the hiccups & missing textrs as b4. I wonder if you can run the game & run DxDiag for a display of updated vid ram info.
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#8 Joelzaar

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 04:14 AM

How does the game look on the lowest settings? will it look the same as the console versions or worse?
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#9 rappo

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 08:59 AM

Also instead of creating a shortcut and adding those parameters to the end of the target, you can just make a file called "commandline.txt" to your root Grand Theft Auto IV directory and put the "-norestrictions -nomemrestrict" and whatever else you use in there. That will make it so that you can still launch GTA IV however you want (through the shortcut, through Social Club, etc)

and joelzaar, the best way to explain the low textures is... creamy :P Everything else looks really clear, though, because render quality doesn't take much of a toll on your graphics card. It's the textures that are the hogs.

Edited by rappo, 13 December 2008 - 09:00 AM.

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#10 RaverJeroen1992

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 03:11 PM

Statistics
Average FPS: 28.70
Duration: 37.28 sec
CPU Usage: 77%
System memory usage: 77%
Video memory usage: 100%

Graphics Settings
Video Mode: 1280 x 1024 (60 Hz)
Texture Quality: High
Render Quality: High
View Distance: 32
Detail Distance: 70

Hardware
Microsoft® Windows Vista" Ultimate
Service Pack 1
Video Adapter: NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
Video Driver version: 180.84
Audio Adapter: Speakers (High Definition Audio Device)
Intel® Core™2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz

File ID: benchmark.cli

And Its working great!, Im using 839mb of videomemory for this:P , Although, I oc-ed my GFXcard a little, its a great improvement thoiugh!

#11 invinsible94

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 05:13 AM

hi all
im a noob wen it comes to this stuff so can you please explain step by step how to up the resolution and/or texture quality. wat do you mean by "create a commandline text?" cuz i did that and nothing. how do u work this whole commandline thing that everyone keeps talking about?

#12 a242j

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 06:40 PM

Nice. But it doesnt work on mine, BTW i have vista


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#13 davesta

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 01:50 AM

hi all
im a noob wen it comes to this stuff so can you please explain step by step how to up the resolution and/or texture quality. wat do you mean by "create a commandline text?" cuz i did that and nothing. how do u work this whole commandline thing that everyone keeps talking about?

To create a commandline to change the resolution, create a new notepad file. Type in '-width (whatever your monitor's width is, in pixels) -height (your monitor's height)'. For example, my monitor is 20" and the resolution is 1600x1200, so I would type '-width 1600 -height 1200'. Save it as 'commandline.txt', then place it in the folder that GTA IV is installed in (default C:\program files\rockstar games\Grand Theft Auto IV). Don't expect it to run great if you only have a 256mb graphics card, though.

Alternatively, you could just type in -nomemrestrict (or whatever it is, it's explained in one of the sticky topics) and change the settings for yourself in the game.

Have fun.

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#14 invinsible94

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 03:17 AM

thanks a lot. it works now!!

#15 HeReTiC5463

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 10:04 AM

hi all
im a noob wen it comes to this stuff so can you please explain step by step how to up the resolution and/or texture quality. wat do you mean by "create a commandline text?" cuz i did that and nothing. how do u work this whole commandline thing that everyone keeps talking about?

To create a commandline to change the resolution, create a new notepad file. Type in '-width (whatever your monitor's width is, in pixels) -height (your monitor's height)'. For example, my monitor is 20" and the resolution is 1600x1200, so I would type '-width 1600 -height 1200'. Save it as 'commandline.txt', then place it in the folder that GTA IV is installed in (default C:\program files\rockstar games\Grand Theft Auto IV). Don't expect it to run great if you only have a 256mb graphics card, though.

Alternatively, you could just type in -nomemrestrict (or whatever it is, it's explained in one of the sticky topics) and change the settings for yourself in the game.

Have fun.


Well I have a Q8400 2.66 GHz overclocked to 3.6 Ghz and OCZ Reaper Memory Overclocked to 5-5-5-10 at 1048 MHz, with a HD 4830 overclocked to 650 MHz GPU and ram at 1000 MHz. And I can play this game full blown with 1600x1200 everything either high, very high, or highest lol. View Distance 100, Detail Distance 100, Vehicle Density 100, and Shadow Density 16. With no lag and almost no texture problems. But hell when you build a system that can compare to the new I7 stuff :D! But hey this guide really helped.

#16 _Ray

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 03:35 AM

Lol I have 896MB VRAM, and by using the bypass I can set EVERYTHING to On/MAX (1600MB VRAM Needed) and nothing locked up or blurrs, and I get steady 30-50 FPS. :clapping:
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#17 _Ray

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 07:25 PM

Important Update:



* After the latest patch for the game released on November 10th (1.0.0.4), this method of bypassing the memory restrictions will no longer work. *


Edited by Raybob, 22 November 2009 - 07:27 PM.

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#18 Dimitri Rascalov

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 12:26 AM

My GTA worked fine and pretty smooth untill i had to update to the lastest version 1.0.0.4, now its kinda laggy sometimes

#19 amazingdude

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 12:29 PM

Have tested with my 9 series Nvidia thanks chris

#20 novalife

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 12:21 PM

i can run GTA IV on highest settings without any lagg.
i even can listen to itunes while playing gta on highest settings.




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