There are alot of discussions from gamers about how much vram is enough for todays gaming. With this article I try to explain exactly whats going on with all the hype in forums, explaining what vram is and in the simplest way monitoring and comparing the vram usage in different resolutions with different size vram memory cards.
What is Vram ?
It is a resource that saves image textures to the graphics card , giving it easier and faster access , that will be displayed on-screen to the end user. This helps out the rendering performance , sending information faster to the gpu and gives better frames per second, making games play smoothly. Video memory (Vram) of a graphics card works very similar to system memory (Ram).
Different Vram Usage with the Same Image Settings
Game developers try to use as much vram from the graphics card as possible, thats why some people see different Vram usage on the exact same resolution and image settings.
If you play on a 1920x1080p monitor resolution or lower and don’t change Antialiasing settings (AA) , Anisotropic filtering (AF) and other eye-candy for todays games, 1gb-1.5gb is enough if you dont heavily modify games with texture packs.
How to know if you have a Vram Bottleneck or Gpu Power ?
As gamers have stepped up alittle on their gaming with a common gaming resolution of 1920×1080,2560×1440,2560×1600 or even higher 5760×1080 (Surround) meaning we need not only enough vram but enough gpu power. It is preferred to have a graphics card that is somewhat new to be able to handle the graphic intensive games of today. Getting a newly released card is always a good option but not all can afford to change it every six months to a year. We have to have a graphics card that is compatible with our whole system, because something might be drawing back the maximum power available from the video card.
How to Monitor Vram
First of all you need to have a 3rd party tools like Msi Afterburner or Evga Precision. I personally use a Logitech G19 Keyboard with Evga Precision that shows the vram usage,cpu usage and frame rate on the keyboards display. Even though you might have maxed out your video ram that doesn’t mean it will bottleneck, like I said before game developers program games to use as much as possible for the image settings chosen.
Bottleneck occurs when all of a sudden frames drops very low (under 10 fps) for no apparent reason.
By using the 3rd party tools that I have mentioned above + the Task Manager for Cpu usage, we shall look further into any problem that occurs.
1. Vram Bottleneck – When Vram Usage is alot higher than what your graphic cards is and games seem to stall momenteraly.
2. Cpu Bottleneck – When your Cpu is running close to 100% (If Cpu usage is high and Gpu usage is running very low percentage wise, you are going to need a new faster cpu or need to overclock). Your cpu is holding your system down.
3. Check if your Gpu is running at nearly 100% and if then your framerates are low (the game is not playable) that means your gpu just can’t handle the game settings. Either lower the settings, add another card in Sli-Crossfire or get a faster newer gpu.
How Much Vram can I get with Sli – Crossfire?
You should know that adding another graphics card in sli or crossfire does not double your vram it is mirrored.
Meaning that it will make use only of the first cards memory.
Having 1 Gtx670 with 2gb = 2gb Vram
Having 3 Gtx670′s with 2gb = 2gb Vram not 6gb