How Much VRAM do you need When Running a Game

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One of the most common questions we get around, especially when a new graphics card launches is Halite Assert Keys because you shouldn’t ask him now. Maybe he knows more than you guys think how much graphics memory do I need well that is a very good question I mean Nvidia and AMD just launched new versions of their top to your graphics cards with eight gigs on the MD side on board. Like eggs around so who are those actually for why would one need double the amount of Vram that was previously offered will have the answer for you right after these messages Club 3ds MST up can run three monitors off one display. No daisy chaining required, now to learn more before we go any further with this topic I guess let’s start at the beginning what the Vram well it’s a specialized version of dynamic random access memory or D Ram similar to the way your normal system ram keeps the cpu. It fed with data the Vram keeps your GPU or graphics processing unit fed with the information it needs to render images to your monitors the vram holds textures the frame buffer.

On any other assets that are required to render a frame like shadow maps bump maps and lighting information because it’s much faster for the GPU to pull off of that extremely high speed memory. Right next to it then to pull from your hard drive or SSD or even from your system memory so then what factors influence the amount of Vram that’s used by your GPU well one is monitor resolution that’s because the frame buffer is used to store the image as its rendered before and during the time is being sent to the display the resolution.

 

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Impacts this directly so games are all rendered at 32-bit color depth unless you specifically set them to do something else so that’s 32 bits per pixel x 1920 x 1080 for 1080p. So a single frame would be eight point three megabytes a 4k image would be a whopping 3840 x 2160 by 32 which is about 30 3.2 megabytes quite a lot more. The second factor that affects memory usage is anti aliasing basically in order to anti-alias an image or smooth out that Jaggies more pixels need to be rendered and then smooth to reduce that staircase appearance. As you increase the sample size as you take more and more samples this can have a massive impact on memory usage, So now you know that resolution anti-aliasing are two major factors that affect the ram usage but what are the numbers tell me what I need exactly like this well a tricky thing it depends completely on your game. In every game you’re running like the Minecraft at 4k is going to have very different requirements from something like Skyrim with the high quality texture packs because the actual quality the resolution of the textures themselves within the game has a huge impact on how much Vram is going to be used. A bit of an example when the gtx 680 came out it only had two gigs of video memory and that was plenty but as games have gotten more and more detailed more Vram has become required to hold higher quality texture so games that aren’t optimized correctly. Just are able to render higher quality images are going to fill up a larger be around so that’s why something like the GTX 770 which is actually based on the same GPU as the 680 is available with a three gig frame buffer. Even though that GPU is not more powerful because the way that the games were being developed had just changed even in that short period of time now there are a couple of mini myths about the ram. We should probably address as part of this video first lots of users think that crossfire or SLI will actually scale the amount of the power to your systems.
You’ve got like a four gig good gtx 970 who happens to be exactly what I have to figure, you got a four gig gtx 970 and then you add in another four games gtx 970 so I’ve got like <operand> two </operand> gigs of the year. No wrong actually the way that multi GP workloads are handled the Vram is cloned across the card so both of them have access to exactly the same assets at the same time so even when you have four of these gpus.
In the system at a time although you can’t really do that because they’re 970 is the only running through it but don’t worry too much about that even if you had four of them you would still have effectively the same amount of the ram for gaming. As if you were running a single card and this also applies to dual GPU cards like the titans X or the R9 290 5 x2 which have 12 gigs or eight gigs of ram.

Actuality that six gigs and four gigs of usable Vram/graphics card respectively second despite what you may have read online you cannot SLI two different cards that have a different amount of Vram on board the word on the street is that they’ll just use whichever one has less they’ll each have effectively that amount of Vram. But it doesn’t work that way AMD crossfire on the other hand is a little bit more flexible and allows mixing and matching of GPUs and even video ram amounts but of course the card with more memory while that extra ram. Just gets kind of thrown out the window bird is that more video memory does not necessarily mean better performance and every time if a game uses let’s say fourteen hundred megabytes of RAM adding two more gigs won’t make a difference because you won’t be using it anyway. On the flip side not having a not be RAM will degrade performance drug magically you’ll get texture pop-in stuttering and just proportionately low performance an example of this, I was running Shadow of Mordor by accident on a 4k display with the built-in super sampling option. I was running effectively at 8k so I was running two hundred percent super sampling and instead of you know dropping in performance by a quarter it dropped in performance from like 55 FPS.

 

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Because not having enough Vram is disastrous and thing to bear in mind when you’re shopping is that GPU vendors use some common sense when they’re deciding how much memory to put on a graphics parts off high-end GPU that can run you games at Ultra settings in your high resolutions. Isn’t going to come with 512 gigs of ram on it more often than not it will have three gigs or four gigs because the GPU actually has enough horsepower to be able to render the image that would require that much Vram. If you’re buying a low-end GPU sort of the opposite is true there is no point putting three or four gifts on it because by the time you’re going to try to render that image it’s not going to have enough power to do it anyway so how much beer am do you need well basically arm the long and short of it.
I guess this is more long than short is very his no clear-cut answer games are constantly evolving graphics cards are constantly evolving some games are going to need more some will need last I mean we’ve seen games that are just highly optimized and sometimes it’s another word for not very demanding blizzard games for example we’ve seen ones that are not so by guessing games such as Watchdogs. So we can’t tell you guys exactly what amount of work that’s the other thing is morning like skyrim can use anywhere from very little to times if you throw third party mods at it with like extreme ultra definition textures and stuff like that. So basically if you want to get the most out of your budget the best thing to do is talk to people use assets like the NCIX forums or Linux tech tips for more nice people can help you decide on the specific part for your use case scenario lost pretty much it.

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