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post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMallory;13931795 
I'd like to use a second 1080p monitor as a GPU/CPU temp monitor for when I'm gaming...does that require significantly more VRAM to accomplish?

I doubt it. Using my 1440p desktop right now w/my browser and a bazillion tabs open is only using 250MB VRAM.
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMallory;13931795 
I'd like to use a second 1080p monitor as a GPU/CPU temp monitor for when I'm gaming...does that require significantly more VRAM to accomplish?

No, it uses almost nothing.

GTX460 SLI will beat a single GTX580.
GTX560 Ti SLI will rival or beat a GTX590 (depends on cards used)
GTX570 SLI will also rival or beat a GTX590 (depends on cards used)
GTX 580 SLI is the best thing out there, and will handily beat a GTX590

And honestly, at 1080p, for MOST games, 1GB of VRAM is enough. I've only seen a few games use almost all of my 1.5GB on the GTX580. Crysis, Metro2033, and GTA IV. Honestly, if its a fast 1GB card, then it'll be just fine.
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post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneerisloud;13931847 
No, it uses almost nothing.

GTX460 SLI will beat a single GTX580.
GTX560 Ti SLI will rival or beat a GTX590 (depends on cards used)
GTX570 SLI will also rival or beat a GTX590 (depends on cards used)
GTX 580 SLI is the best thing out there, and will handily beat a GTX590

And honestly, at 1080p, for MOST games, 1GB of VRAM is enough. I've only seen a few games use almost all of my 1.5GB on the GTX580. Crysis, Metro2033, and GTA IV. Honestly, if its a fast 1GB card, then it'll be just fine.
My main concerns are BF3/Skyrim. I'm hoping for 1080p 60fps with the settings as high as possible.

What problems arise when a game tries to go over the 1GB limit? Does the game crash? Stutter? Small framerate drop? I've never had it fully explained to me.

Thanks for the info btw!
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMallory;13931889 
My main concerns are BF3/Skyrim. I'm hoping for 1080p 60fps with the settings as high as possible.

What problems arise when a game tries to go over the 1GB limit? Does the game crash? Stutter? Small framerate drop? I've never had it fully explained to me.

Thanks for the info btw!

Well, comparing a GTX560 Ti 1GB vs. the 2GB models, I think there was a few FPS difference at insane resolutions. The game won't crash, it'll just pull stuff out of the VRAM that's not needed, and put the new information in there (just really quickly).

If the GPU is fast enough, it almost doesn't matter. 1GB of VRAM is "enough" for a good GPU to keep playable framerates by today's standards. I certainly wouldn't buy a 2GB GTX 560 over the 1GB models, they're too over expensive for what you're getting.
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post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMallory;13931889 
My main concerns are BF3/Skyrim. I'm hoping for 1080p 60fps with the settings as high as possible.

What problems arise when a game tries to go over the 1GB limit? Does the game crash? Stutter? Small framerate drop? I've never had it fully explained to me.

Thanks for the info btw!

Your system will begin swapping textures/data from the hard drive instead of your VRAM, which will tank your performance. IE you may be running 60fps one moment, and drop down to the single digits the next.

That said, I don't think you'll have a huge problem with that at 1080p. You might have to avoid using modded texture packs, but very few games break 1GB usage at 1080p atm.
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booty Warrior;13931980 
Your system will begin swapping textures/data from the hard drive instead of your VRAM, which will tank your performance. IE you may be running 60fps one moment, and drop down to the single digits the next.

That said, I don't think you'll have a huge problem with that at 1080p. You might have to avoid using modded texture packs, but very few games break 1GB at 1080p atm.

Are you sure that particular problem wasn't limited by one specific game or another issue for you?

GTA IV: Maxed out using modded shortcut on a 1GB HD4890. Played fine. Claimed to be using 12xx MB of VRAM. Framerates were playable, dropped to about 25 FPS or so in the city though (the card wasn't powerful enough).

Maxed out using completely vanilla game on a 1.25GB GTX470 and 1.5GB GTX580, game claims to use 12xx MB of VRAM, GPUz confirms. Framerates are higher than HD4890, but that's obvious and to be expected.

Crysis: Maxed out using High res textures, high res grass, explosion pack, high res water effects....I mean a ton of mods.

HD4890 1GB - Got 33 FPS average, about 23 FPS minimum, and 60ish max. 97% VRAM usage in GPUz.
GTX470 1.25GB - Got 27 FPS average, about 19 FPS minimum, and 60ish max. Again, 96-97% VRAM usage in GPUz.
GTX580 1.5GB - Getting 42 FPS average, 33 minimum, and 100ish max. GPUz reports 95% VRAM usage.

Please note, these were my own personal tests done over the last few months with my last 3 GPU's I've owned. I do not have proof of these anymore...I'm citing from memory.

VRAM doesn't mean everything if the GPU isn't strong enough to fill up that much memory. Resolution also plays a huge effect on things as well. It's a lot easier for a slower GPU to fill 2GB if the resolution is insane (2560x1600, or triple screens), than it is for it to fill at say regular ole' 1080p.
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post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMallory;13931889 
My main concerns are BF3/Skyrim. I'm hoping for 1080p 60fps with the settings as high as possible.

What problems arise when a game tries to go over the 1GB limit? Does the game crash? Stutter? Small framerate drop? I've never had it fully explained to me.

Thanks for the info btw!

For info on VRAM limitations see here.
Note: this is based in a multi-monitor gaming setup.

More then 1gb of VRam is really only necessary for greater then 1080p I.e 2560x1440 or eyefinity/NVSurround...

I have 1x gainward 560ti 2gb ATM, clocked to 950 core and I have another arriving today for NVSurround. It doesn't get over about 73c during furmark with a voltage bump to 1050, with the stock fan profile which is inaudible, during heavy gaming in BC2 it is lucky to reach 66c with solid 60fps v-sync on and all settings maxed out as far as they will go...

Can't wait to see these babies in SLI, but since I'm increasing the resolution by 3x I will possibly have to back off the settings a bit to retain the high FPS...
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneerisloud;13932056 
Are you sure that particular problem wasn't limited by one specific game or another issue for you?
It's not an issue for me at all. That is the general rule of thumb however. All the processing power in the world doesn't matter if your system is stuck waiting to read from the HD before rendering each frame.

Examples of VRAM bottlenecking:
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1127/pg6/amd-radeon-hd-6990-graphics-card-review-bulletstorm.html
None of the 1-1.5GB cards can get playable fps in surround bulletstorm w/8xAA.

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1127/pg5/amd-radeon-hd-6990-graphics-card-review-aliens-vs-predator.html
570s fall behind badly in surround here, despite their relatively close performance at lower res. The 5970 (w/1GB VRAM per GPU) can't get playable fps.

An example where VRAM isn't an issue:
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1127/pg7/amd-radeon-hd-6990-graphics-card-review-crysis-2-demo.html

Like I said though, this shouldn't be an issue at 1080p.
Edited by Booty Warrior - 6/19/11 at 6:06pm
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booty Warrior;13932109 
It's not an issue for me at all. That is the general rule of thumb however. All the processing power in the world doesn't matter if your system is stuck waiting to read from the HD before rendering each frame.

Examples of VRAM bottlenecking:
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1127/pg6/amd-radeon-hd-6990-graphics-card-review-bulletstorm.html
None of the 1-1.5GB cards can get playable fps in surround bulletstorm w/8xAA.

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1127/pg5/amd-radeon-hd-6990-graphics-card-review-aliens-vs-predator.html
570s fall behind badly in surround here, despite their relatively close performance at lower res. The 5970 (w/1GB VRAM per GPU) can't get playable fps.

An example where VRAM isn't an issue:
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1127/pg7/amd-radeon-hd-6990-graphics-card-review-crysis-2-demo.html

Like I said though, this shouldn't be an issue at 1080p.

All of the above examples are extreme resolutions though. The topic at hand is for regular ole' 1080p. wink.gif
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post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hmm...sounds like I should go for a 1.3-2GB card. If I'm spending like $1k+ on a new rig I'd like to avoid any problems, while being able to use texture mods down the line for games like Skyrim.

Now the question is whether I go for the 560ti 2GB, 6950 2GB, or the GTX570 (1.3GB). I'm hoping there will be some sales down the line where these can be had for ~$250.
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