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Can someone explain how vram scaling works? - Page 3

post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin1 View Post
But the 6870 does not have as much vram. So there's that chance of running out.

If you got the cash, and you wanna spend it, a 3GB lightning xtreme was the best investment I ever made.

Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk
Yep, and minimums make the world go round. If the 6870CF drops into single digits a bunch and the 580 only hits high 20's, the winner is clear despite the CF's ability to get more max FPS in less stressful scenes.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by B!0HaZard View Post
Source?
My source is that you're about the only person I've seen say their fps drops like that whereas I've seen a lot of people say it just uses up most of their vram but doesn't exceed their max and ruin the performance. I'm not about to go looking up all of the posts from people I've seen say this in threads about Vram in BF3 on about 6 different forums.
Edited by smaudioz - 10/5/11 at 2:08pm
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post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by smaudioz View Post
My source is that you're about the only person I've seen say their fps drops like that whereas I've seen a lot of people say it just uses up most of their vram but doesn't exceed their max and ruin the performance. I'm not about to go looking up all of the posts from people I've seen say this in threads about Vram in BF3 on about 6 different forums.
Don't tell me that VRAM is just something every card has unlimited amounts of. When demand increases, you will hit the limit at some point. When that happens, what I've shown you will happen to the game. That is fact. And go anywhere that tests the amount of VRAM used and you'll see that BF3 exceeds 1 GB at high/ultra settings (this is again fact, confirmed by some users, potentially confirmed by others if they cared or knew how).
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post #24 of 32
what about a comparison between CF 6870 and a 2GB 6970 ? which is a cheaper option as well... is the extra 1GB of vram worth the lower average fps and the higher cost?
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post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by B!0HaZard View Post
Don't tell me that VRAM is just something every card has unlimited amounts of. When demand increases, you will hit the limit at some point. When that happens, what I've shown you will happen to the game. That is fact. And go anywhere that tests the amount of VRAM used and you'll see that BF3 exceeds 1 GB at high/ultra settings (this is again fact, confirmed by some users, potentially confirmed by others if they cared or knew how).
I'm not saying VRAM is unlimited, I'm saying it seems like BF3 replaces textures or whatever in the memory to make space for ones that are needed (i.e when you're viewing them in the game). I've seen users who've run tests and with 1024MB VRAM it maxes at about 1011MB and doesn't use any more. I don't think I've seen anbody reporting it used more VRAM than they actually have on their graphics card from what I've read so far. I'm not denying it happens, that's just what I've seen so far doing a lot of reading and I don't remember seeing anybody else say it used more than what they had available. Do you have any links (and I'm not saying this like "oh I don't believe you prove it", I want to know because I'm trying to make the decision between a 1.3GB and 2GB card)? Are you sure the people who said it used over 1GB VRAM didn't actually have over 1GB VRAM? If you have 3GB VRAM it will use most of that as well, I've seen at least 2 people with 3GB reporting vram usage up to 2.7GB in BF3. So if it didn't work like I think it does, people with 1GB vram would be going a long way over what they have.

Edit: here's another post I just read somewhere:

Quote:
I just checked it with GPU-Z, the V-Ram scales by the amount of V-Ram available. Running the game in windows (lower resolution) didn't get me at the max of 2gb, while scaling up the resolution, the game used about 1960MB, and no matter what gfx settings I increased at that point. I also tried it in Eyefinity, and the V-ram was still at about 1960MB.

So I guess that no matter what your V-ram amount is, the game scales down until the maximum has been reached.

Edit: There is dynamic and dedicated v-ram, what is the differance btw? Because the dynamic v-ram was at most around 400MB.

Edited by smaudioz - 10/5/11 at 2:34pm
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post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jadenx2 View Post
what about a comparison between CF 6870 and a 2GB 6970 ? which is a cheaper option as well... is the extra 1GB of vram worth the lower average fps and the higher cost?
Let me turn that question around on you, is the higher cost and possibly lower minimum fps worth it? 6870 is certainly not a bad card, its very fast in CF as we can see that it beats out 580's, 6970's and even the 5970 dual GPU card. I would have to have some hard data on the minimum frame rates to make that decision which I can't find very fast from work here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smaudioz View Post
I'm not saying VRAM is unilmited, I'm saying it seems like BF3 replaces textures or whatever in the memory to make space for ones that are needed (i.e when you're viewing them in the game). I've seen many users who've run tests and with 1024MB VRAM it maxes at about 1011MB and doesn't use any more. I don't think I've seen anbody reporting it used more VRAM than they actually have on their graphics card from what I've read so far. I'm not denying it happens, that's just what I've seen so far doing a lot of reading and I don't remember seeing anybody else say it used more than what they had available. Do you have any links?
Don't forget the various means of checking Vram useage are mainly just estimates. The only real way to tell is push it until the performance tanks.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jadenx2 View Post
what about a comparison between CF 6870 and a 2GB 6970 ? which is a cheaper option as well... is the extra 1GB of vram worth the lower average fps and the higher cost?
At that point, I'd feel that it's not enough of an upgrade to be worth it. An HD 6970 will only be about 20-30% better than your current card. It's also not nearly as fast as HD 6870 CF and thus doesn't need the extra VRAM as much.
If you go here and check the Warhead 2560x1600 minimum framerate, you'll see that it can be a huge advantage, but you're not quite in GTX 580 territory where it has enough processing power to use graphics settings that demand more than 1 GB VRAM. Even with all my talk about not having enough VRAM for BF3 Ultra, it isn't actually relevant to me because my card is too slow for those settings (low 20s to low 40s isn't enough for FPS games) and an HD 6970 would probably lie right on that edge, needing it in a couple of games and not needing it in others. A GTX 580 or HD 6870 CF however, would definitely be up in the performance range where it's needed for the settings the cards can use.


Quote:
Originally Posted by smaudioz View Post
I'm not saying VRAM is unilmited, I'm saying it seems like BF3 replaces textures or whatever in the memory to make space for ones that are needed (i.e when you're viewing them in the game). I've seen many users who've run tests and with 1024MB VRAM it maxes at about 1011MB and doesn't use any more. I don't think I've seen anbody reporting it used more VRAM than they actually have on their graphics card from what I've read so far. I'm not denying it happens, that's just what I've seen so far doing a lot of reading and I don't remember seeing anybody else say it used more than what they had available. Do you have any links? Are you sure the people who said it used over 1GB VRAM didn't actualy have over 1GB VRAM? If you have 3GB VRAM it will use most of that as well, I've seen at least 2 people with 3GB reporting vram usage up to 2.7GB in BF3.
I'm fairly sure that what you're saying is a myth. It's because they don't look at everything. Remember that I mentioned shared VRAM? That's system RAM used as VRAM. If you're using 1011 MB dedicated VRAM, you'll definitely also be using shared VRAM (it isn't actually possible to fill all 1024 MB, there'll be a tiny amount left that seems to go unused). On my system, this provides up to 400 MB extra RAM for the card. If they're not paying attention to this number too, they don't get the actual VRAM use, thus making it look like the game is managing the VRAM load.

My sources actually do have more VRAM. One I remember seeing post about it had 1.25 GB (I think) and he mentioned that it filled his VRAM. But it's irrelevant because the VRAM usage will always be the same when using identical settings.

No, a game should not use significantly more VRAM than needed. If I set BF3 to low settings, my VRAM usage will be lower (EDIT: 783 MB dedicated, 256 MB shared, as opposed to 1010 MB dedicated, 390 shared for ultra). See the first part I wrote for the explanation why this is what people think. I'm fairly interested in those people getting 2.7 GB VRAM usage though. Are you sure that it's not with multiple monitors? Better graphics settings than the ultra preset? How much shared RAM is being used? Still, this DOESN'T invalidate what I've said, because I have proof that my VRAM usage is topping out and my graphics card is failing very noticeably because of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpion49 View Post
Don't forget the various means of checking Vram useage are mainly just estimates. The only real way to tell is push it until the performance tanks.
I believe GPU-Z is pretty accurate.
Edited by B!0HaZard - 10/5/11 at 2:49pm
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post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by B!0HaZard View Post
I'm fairly sure that what you're saying is a myth. It's because they don't look at everything. Remember that I mentioned shared VRAM? That's system RAM used as VRAM. If you're using 1011 MB dedicated VRAM, you'll definitely also be using shared VRAM (it isn't actually possible to fill all 1024 MB, there'll be a tiny amount left that seems to go unused). On my system, this provides up to 400 MB extra RAM for the card. If they're not paying attention to this number too, they don't get the actual VRAM use, thus making it look like the game is managing the VRAM load.
Well if that's the case they didn't see any performance hit from overflowing into the system memory, some people on this forum have said that would be the case, I think up to 512MB.

Quote:
My sources actually do have more VRAM. One I remember seeing post about it had 1.25 GB (I think) and he mentioned that it filled his VRAM. But it's irrelevant because the VRAM usage will always be the same when using identical settings.
It hasn't been though, different people have used the same settings with different amounts of VRAM and have seen different amounts of usage.

Quote:
No, a game should not use significantly more VRAM than needed. If I set BF3 to low settings, my VRAM usage will be lower (EDIT: 783 MB dedicated, 256 MB shared, as opposed to 1010 MB dedicated, 390 shared for ultra). See the first part I wrote for the explanation why this is what people think. I'm fairly interested in those people getting 2.7 GB VRAM usage though. Are you sure that it's not with multiple monitors? Better graphics settings than the ultra preset? How much shared RAM is being used? Still, this DOESN'T invalidate what I've said, because I have proof that my VRAM usage is topping out and my graphics card is failing very noticeably because of it.
As I put in the edit of my post, I just saw somebody had posted this on another forum:

Quote:
I just checked it with GPU-Z, the V-Ram scales by the amount of V-Ram available. Running the game in windows (lower resolution) didn't get me at the max of 2gb, while scaling up the resolution, the game used about 1960MB, and no matter what gfx settings I increased at that point. I also tried it in Eyefinity, and the V-ram was still at about 1960MB.

So I guess that no matter what your V-ram amount is, the game scales down until the maximum has been reached.

Edit: There is dynamic and dedicated v-ram, what is the differance btw? Because the dynamic v-ram was at most around 400MB.

Edited by smaudioz - 10/5/11 at 3:00pm
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post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by smaudioz View Post
Well if that's the case they didn't see any performance hit from overflowing into the system memory, some people on this forum have said that would be the case, I think up to 512MB.

It hasn't been though, different people have used the same settings with different amounts of VRAM and have seen different amounts of usage.

As I put in the edit of my post, I just saw somebody had posted this on another forum:
Thats why I said its not optimal to rely on a guesstimate program, although some seem to do well the only sure method is to try and run it out. The dynamic RAM he is talking about is part of the 1024MB that can be shared, sometimes more in tha case of laptops.
post #30 of 32
To elaborate further on what was said previously - windows will effectively see the two GPU's as one logical GPU with with a single frame buffer that's the same size as one of the installed video cards. Each frame is rendered one GPU at a time and works back and forth to render graphics being shown frame by frame. VRAM thus is mirrored as a single GPU but working together for faster processing of frames.

VRAM is where the active instruction reside to store information to be rendered kind of like system RAM. The larger the capacity of the VRAM the more info it can retain at a given time to retain info for the processor to read and steps through these instructions. These operations are needed to perform calculations to render complex display functions, and when all the calculations needed to display a "frame" of data are complete then the data is sent out to the display. The more instruction the VRAM can hold the quicker the CPU can help process these instructions.

Game developer utilize this area differently in their coding of a game depending on the amount of instructions needed to display at any particular frame based on many different factors of what's happening at that given time in the game. Hence why some games don't require as much VRAM as others.

BF3 has had a memory leak bug that will use up as much VRAM as possible. My 1.5GB VRAM card tells me BF3 is using 1.425 VRAM maxed settings. However another person with 2GB VRAM is showing he's maxed VRAM higher.

Resolution also must be taken into consideration. The greater the resolution that's required to fill a graphic display to be rendered will require more VRAM. Hence why on a single monitor 1920x1200 or less not as much VRAM is required as you would need when being displayed and spread across three monitors. Having extra VRAM doesn't improve performance on a single 1920x1200 resolution monitor because it's not being utilized. A bench Linus did on NCIX showed that in Crysis 2 having 1.5GB vs 3.0GB on a single 1920x1200 res monitor there was a 1 FPS difference.

Now the debate has gone back and forth how much is required for some time now. As games are becoming more demanding this debate will grow. Currently the only two games that are VRAM intensive is BF3 and Metro 2033 at highest settings.

There is also a fine line between having more VRAM on a less powerful GPU vs having less VRAM on a more powerful GPU and a balancing act depending on your resolution which will yield greater results in performance. Therefor a 2GB card might provide less FPS than a more power GPU with less VRAM.

How well GPU's scale varies between AMD and Nvidia. AMD seems to cut corners to display the graphic at the cost of higher micro-stuttering less video qaulity as Nvidia seems to address the issue a bit more at the expense of frame rates but isn't immune to micro-stutter either. Great read on Micro-Stutter and Scaling was shown to me by Brettjv CrossFire, SLI, And Micro-Stuttering on Tom's Hardware. This will give you some insight.

Also while we're touching the subject let me point you to some other threads on OCN that Brettjv started that explains quite a bit into this subject. Seems the third card for AMD or Nvidia is a charm to remove micro-stuttering found here. Very Cool SLI and Crossfire Scaling Chart.

I'm sure I went off the beaten path of the question. Learned a lot and Brettjv has a great understanding in this area. Great asset to OCN. thumb.gif
     
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