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VRAM a factor when choosing a card?

Associate
Joined
2 Sep 2009
Posts
283
Is there much of a performance difference between a 1Gb and a 2Gb card? Obviously the 2Gb cards cost more, but is it worth paying the extra few quid?
 
Soldato
Joined
15 Nov 2007
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Enfield
Most 2GB cards are dual GPU cards; that is, each GPU gets 1GB of memory each. That's the amount you really want to be looking at on a modern gaming card for high resolutions.

Single GPU cards with 2GB of RAM are generally a waste of cash and there are only a few games/apps that actually benefit.
 
Soldato
Joined
12 May 2005
Posts
12,634
Sometimes also the cards with more ram have lesser speeds on the ram (in other words it is clocked higher) or far loser timings.

Though this is less of an issue now and obviously not an issue with the X2 type of cards it back in the day in particular used to be a big thing.

Generally just make sure that the amount of memory makes sense, if you see a Geforce 7100 with 1GB of ram well then it is kinda pointless. :p

General rule of thumb is 512MB is bare min now, but 1GB or so is fine and dandy typically for today's needs.
 
Soldato
Joined
8 Feb 2009
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Sheffield
From what I've seen, the 4850/4870 seems to be the middle point. It seems to be that if you are going to get a 4850, you should go for the 512MB one, and if you are going to get a 4870, you should get the 1GB one. Anything above 1GB on a single card is mostly useless, especially for the price premium.

Also, bear in mind your screen resolution. Anything below 1680*1050 will be fine with 512MB. 1680*1050 should be fine with either, and I'd always recommend 1GB for 1920*1080 or larger.
 
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Man of Honour
Joined
25 Oct 2002
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Hampshire
VRAM is rarely a factor for me, I've gone for cheaper 'undersized' versions of cards in the past i.e. 64MB GF4 ti4200 (higher memory speeds than the 128MB version), 320MB 8800GTS etc. It used to the be the case that extra VRAM would only help in situations where you'd likely be limited by the memory bandwidth and/or clockspeed anyway.

It's starting to become more of a factor though as it seems over the past couple of years though with rapidly increasing bandwidth that we are seeing situations where games need a lot of VRAM (especially stuff like Oblivion and STALKER mods).

I still wouldn't pay much of a premium though, currently I have a 1GB GTX280 and I'd only pay a small amount (up to maybe 10%) for increased VRAM.
 
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