I see some people claiming (see links) they have a memory splitting of gpu_mem=8, but I always thought 16/496 is the minimum split?

I tried setting it to gpu_mem=8 on my Pi, it boots just fine, but running

vcgencmd get_mem arm
vcgencmd get_mem gpu

still gives


So on any value below 16 the Pi seems to default to 16. Is there any benefit/drawback when using gpu_mem=8 or is there a way to really get to 8/504?

  • 2
    I wonder if its just a kernel restriction? You need some memory for HDMI frame buffers. Can you confirm these guys got it set to 8mb? or maybe it was just a typo or misunderstanding. Maybe you can turn HDMI off and set 0/512mb. That would be nice for me, I never use HDMI.
    – Piotr Kula
    May 8, 2014 at 16:20
  • is this (504/496=1.016) 1.6% improvement really worth thinking about?
    – lenik
    May 8, 2014 at 16:37
  • 2
    @lenik No for real problems, but yes for learning and understanding details.
    – Foo Bar
    May 8, 2014 at 17:19
  • @ppumkin I can't confirm that their devices really run on 8/504, they only posted their config and I wondered why they set it to 8 if 16 is the minimum.
    – Foo Bar
    May 8, 2014 at 17:20
  • 1
    Perhaps gpu_mem=8 is the minimum for 256mb RAM, while gpu_mem=16 is the minimum for 512mb RAM. When you only have 256mb of RAM, 8mb is a lot. May 9, 2014 at 23:03

1 Answer 1


The minimum amount of RAM allocated to the GPU has a recommended lower limit of 16MB. This is due to the build of the Raspberry Pi itself.

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