How much VRAM is required by the Graphics Card has been a debatable topic for years, and there are no hard and fast rules here. The VRAM requirement is based on primarily two things:
- The Game and its requirements
- The Monitor Resolution.
Typically the Quad-HD and 4K resolution require more VRAM than 720p or 1080p resolutions, and higher the game settings, more VRAM is utilized by the GPU.
In this article, we will explore the VRAM requirements at different resolutions and see how much VRAM is ideal for your Graphics card.
Understanding VRAM is as easy as RAM. There are many similarities between these two.
The RAM fetches the data fastly and makes it available to you in the CPU unit, and stores it temporarily - hence called Random Access Memory.
VRAM does the same but with a difference in data type. Here, it renders the graphics. You can say it is a buffer between a Graphics processor and what is to be displayed on your screen.
It keeps the frames in store as the processor renders them in real-time onto the display.
How much VRAM is required?
Most of the games can run smoothly and will not see a VRAM bottleneck with 6 or 8 GB VRAM.
And all the AAA games will play smoothly on any GPU with 8GB graphics memory and ultra-high settings for 2K (1440p) and 4K resolutions.
If you are searching for a GPU for 1080p or 720p resolution gaming, you are fine with 4 GB or 6GB of VRAM.
Below is the Graph that shows that how a 3 GB VRAM GTX 1060 compares to the 6 GB VRAM 1060 and an RTX 2060 with 6 GB of VRAM.
A 6 GB Ram GTX 1060 will not offer the same performance as the RTX 2060.
The RTX 2060 comes with a faster Graphics processor with more Cuda Cores and more power in comaprison to the GTX 1060.
So VRAM is not the deciding factor when it comes to performacne but can have a slight impact on the performance in case you are having very low VRAM than what is required by the game at that particular resolution.
Note in the below graph the GTX 1060 (3 GB VRAM) is slower by few frames in most of the games than the GTX 1060 with 6 GB VRAM. So if you are buying a similar card with, say, 6 GB or 8 GB VRAM, the difference is not going to be much.
However, the difference will be huge if you buy an RTX 3080 with 10 gigs of Ram and an RTX 2060 with 6 Gigs of VRAM. The gaming performance difference is not going to be due to the VRAM but due to the graphics processor.
Gaming Benchmarks - 3 GB VRAM Vs 6 GB VRAM
VRAM Usage at Different Resolution
How Much VRAM is RequiredThere are several other factors apart from the VRAM that impacts the FPS and performance, such as -Cuda cores, the manufacturing process, Memory interfaces, VRAM Type (GDDR5 or GDDR6), GPU architecture, Memory bandwidth, and cooling solution.
The old GPUs have GDDR4 VRAM, whereas the latest ones come with GDDR5 and GDDR6. The memory clock speeds are much higher on these new modules and are capable of pushing much more data than the old gen VRAM's.
How Much VRAM is Suitable for Each Resolution
- For 720p - 2 to 3 GB VRAM
- For 1080P - 3 to 6 GB VRAM
- For 2K (2880*1440) - 6 to 8 GB VRAM
- For 4K (3840*1440) - 8 GB or More VRAM
There is no hard and fast rule; a lot of games can work on 4K resolution without any performance issues, even with the 6 GB VRAM cards. However, I have recommended the above based on worst-case scenarios, so you don't run into trouble when running the modern titles.
Graphics Cards that You can Purchase for Different Resolutions:
For 1080P Gaming
You can opt for GTX 1050Ti, GTX 1650 Super, GTX 1060, GTX 1660Ti or the RTX 2060 or even the new RTX 3060Ti. AMD RX 5500 or the RX 5700.
For 2K or Quad-HD Gaming
You can opt for the RTX 2070, 2080, or the latest RTX 3060 ti, 3070 graphics card. AMD buyers can opt for the RX 6700.
For 4k Gaming
The Nvidia RTX 2080, RTX 2080 Ti, or the latest RTX 3070, RTX 3080, or the RTX 3090 are the ideal choices. Also, if you are getting the AMD cards can buy the RX 6800 or 6800 XT.
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