Data such as displayed frames, textures, and shadows is stored in the GPU’s memory, allowing your computer’s GPU to quickly access this information. But does it really matter how much GPU memory you have? Yeah. Here’s why.
What is VRAM?
What is VRAM used for?
Similar to system RAM, video random access memory (VRAM) stores graphics data so that the GPU can access it quickly, allowing you to view images on your computer screen. It is random access memory designed for use with your computer’s graphics processing unit, to support tasks such as displaying images, storing texture maps, and other graphics tasks.
VRAM was originally called DDR SGRAM. Over the years it has evolved into GRDDR2 RAM with a memory clock of 500MHz. Today, GDDR6 RAM can achieve transfer rates of over 144GB/s and memory clock speeds of over 1,125MHz.
For example, EVGA’s GeForce RTX 3080 Ti comes with 12GB of GDDR6X RAM and a boosted memory clock of 1800MHz. However, the question is whether a gaming computer or laptop really needs a lot of VRAM.
VRAM is recommended for apps and games
VRAM requirements for your computer vary depending on how you use it. Graphic designers, designers, engineers, and designers often use powerful software that requires more VRAM, depending on the complexity of the project.
The absolute minimum amount of VRAM required for 3D modeling, animation, video editing, and graphic design is between 4 and 6 GB of GDDR5. However, it is recommended to use the latest version of VRAM, so using up to 6GB of GDDR6 is preferred.
Depending on the complexity of the projects you’re working on, the recommended average VRAM is between 6 and 8 GB of GDDR6 and above. But if you have the budget to upgrade your graphics card, 10GB + GDDR6/6X VRAM will be more than enough to run various workloads smoothly.
VRAM also has a huge impact on gaming performance and GPU memory is often the most important. Most games running at 1080p can use a 6GB graphics card with GDDR5 or better VRAM. However, 4K gaming requires a bit more, with 8-10GB of GDDR6 VRAM recommended.
Depending on the type of games you play, adding more VRAM to your graphics card doesn’t mean it will perform better.
If you’re playing a game on a screen with a resolution of 800 x 600, 4GB of VRAM is actually too much and won’t make a difference to your computer’s performance. On the other hand, playing at 1440p or 4K with the same amount of VRAM is not appropriate; Not enough VRAM to handle the full gaming experience with such precision.
What factors affect VRAM?
Besides running games and apps, there are other factors that affect VRAM. These factors determine whether your computer needs more or less VRAM, so it’s important to understand your needs.
A PC monitor or laptop monitor uses more VRAM if it is a higher resolution. Single frame processing uses VRAM, so the more pixels in each frame, the more VRAM is needed.
A 1080p screen consumes less VRAM than a 1440p screen, but a 4K screen with a resolution of 3840×2160 will consume more VRAM than a 2560×1440 (1440p) screen. So more VRAM is needed to run games on a 4K screen.
As we know, games use VRAM. But the amount used varies depending on the type of game you are playing. If you’re a fan of Minecraft, for example, which is a less graphically intense game, you won’t need a lot of VRAM. In comparison, if you’re playing an AAA title with dense settings and detailed landscapes like Dying Light 2 or Elden Ring, you’ll need plenty of VRAM to run the game smoothly.
Likewise, the settings you play in on your computer affect how much VRAM you need. In general, higher settings require more VRAM; Each rendered frame puts more stress on your graphics card. But on top of that, you have to consider technologies like Ray Tracing and DLSS, which are also stored in VRAM.
How much VRAM do you need?
Whether you want to play games at the highest settings and a stable frame rate or work on detailed graphics projects, VRAM plays a role in your choice of the best graphics card for your PC or laptop.
Investing in a GPU that offers a bit more VRAM than you currently need is definitely worth it. Not only does it meet your needs today, but it prepares your PC for years to come, saving you from having to upgrade your graphics card soon.
Installing a graphics card with at least 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM should allow you to perform most graphics tasks and games. However, we recommend going for 8GB or 10GB if your budget allows.