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So whats up with BF3 needing 1.5gb's of vram? Does it not use physical memory?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have been hearing all the out cry of people always complaining that Battlefield 3 needs 1.5GB or more vram to run everything maxed out on Ultra @ 1920x1080. meaning people like me who have two GTX460's in SLi, which happen to be very capable cards will NOT be able to enjoy it maxed out. All because we have only 1GB of vram. confused.gif

So my question is, why is it such a big deal? When the graphics card runs out of memory does the game not load off the rest of its data onto our Physical memory(ram)? we usually have quite a lot of ram.

And what exactly qualifies as a "reasonably good" smooth playable FPS. I dont see why you would complain if say you get a constant 40FPS+ ?

redface.gif
post #2 of 14
People have different preferences, the higher the graphics count and the higher the AA the more is stored in the VRAM. The higher the quality of the graphics, the more it needs to stay in the frame buffer, and the more aa you apply, the more stays on there.

460s are quite capable, but for bf3, it isn't enough for the high res graphics basically the quality of graphics it has. It can't offload onto the physical ram you have.

also preferences with the 60fps deal. Some people think 40fps is way to low, it depends on your eyes really.

See your gpus can process the game, but it can't handle the "picture" itself, atleast not in ultra.

This game and tw2 is one of the very reasons I upgraded to 6970 crossfire, from my own 460 sli.
     
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post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBirdman74 View Post

So my question is, why is it such a big deal? When the graphics card runs out of memory does the game not load off the rest of its data onto our Physical memory(ram)? we usually have quite a lot of ram.
And what exactly qualifies as a "reasonably good" smooth playable FPS. I dont see why you would complain if say you get a constant 40FPS+ ?
redface.gif

The GPU can access onboard memory much much faster than system memory.

You do NOT want your GPU trying to access system memory because it will hurt performance.
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post #4 of 14
The only thing I know about the vram issue is that it won't dump to regular ram. Stuff like AA is all very taxing on the vram.

Also, I have 2 6970's and still use medium settings. But only to get the maximum fps and to stay competitive. Besides, I'm not playing mp to look at the scenery.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

So my question is, why is it such a big deal? When the graphics card runs out of memory does the game not load off the rest of its data onto our Physical memory(ram)? we usually have quite a lot of ram.
And what exactly qualifies as a "reasonably good" smooth playable FPS. I dont see why you would complain if say you get a constant 40FPS+ ?
redface.gif

The GPU can access onboard memory much much faster than system memory.

You do NOT want your GPU trying to access system memory because it will hurt performance.[/quote]


When you say "onboard memory", you mean GPU memory? Is it that much faster than RAM?
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spykerv View Post

People have different preferences, the higher the graphics count and the higher the AA the more is stored in the VRAM. The higher the quality of the graphics, the more it needs to stay in the frame buffer, and the more aa you apply, the more stays on there.
460s are quite capable, but for bf3, it isn't enough for the high res graphics basically the quality of graphics it has. It can't offload onto the physical ram you have.
also preferences with the 60fps deal. Some people think 40fps is way to low, it depends on your eyes really.
See your gpus can process the game, but it can't handle the "picture" itself, atleast not in ultra.
This game and tw2 is one of the very reasons I upgraded to 6970 crossfire, from my own 460 sli.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SohcSTI View Post

The only thing I know about the vram issue is that it won't dump to regular ram. Stuff like AA is all very taxing on the vram.
Also, I have 2 6970's and still use medium settings. But only to get the maximum fps and to stay competitive. Besides, I'm not playing mp to look at the scenery.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

The GPU can access onboard memory much much faster than system memory.
You do NOT want your GPU trying to access system memory because it will hurt performance.



Thanks everyone, quite a few valid points there Spykerv. + reps thumb.gif



@DuckieHo - Yes, I know that. But why exactly can't it dump the rest on to the system ram? I dont really see how it can hurt if the game was to use my system memory? since I have about 12gb of ram and the processor is clocked near 4GHz. confused.gif


@SohcSTI - I am not talking about multi player munch everything up as fast as you can. I rarely do mp and purely play games to enjoy the campaign and to look at the scenery. biggrin.gif Kdding..but I'm seriously not a mp guy. So what exactly is a turn off about a constant 40FPS vs 60FPS? I mean everything is smooth as it can be with no lags or drops right, so what gives? and I was pretty sure your eyes dont notice past 30FPS and most DVD's seem to stay around that?

smile.gif
Edited by TheBirdman74 - 12/7/11 at 11:55pm
post #7 of 14
@TheBirdman74

Can't use your system RAM because the latency would just be too high for the amount of power the card is pushing. There's just no way some DDR3 way over on the mobo can compete with some super fast GDDR5 right on the board. If it were using the system memory, it would spend more time waiting for the data from the ram than processing!

Disclaimer: Not an expert here, do not take anything I've said as fact, as I'm probably wrong and should be correct. But the basic premise that your system ram is just too slow stands.
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post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBirdman74 View Post

And what exactly qualifies as a "reasonably good" smooth playable FPS. I dont see why you would complain if say you get a constant 40FPS+ ?

A reasonable FPS is a number that is far from being carved in stone. One person may be perfectly happy seeing frames around 30 whereas some other person might cringe at frames touching below 80. I, myself hate to see minimum frame rates drop below 60.

As for the VRAM wall issue with BF3, it is very much there and doesn't just cause your frames to drop into the 40's, it is very abrupt and will cause minimum frame rates of 0 (zero). It makes the game completely unplayable and a quite disappointing experience. I see occasional video memory usage into the 1900MB range while playing BF3 at 1080p. I would say average memory usage at that resolution in BF3 is around 1700MB.
 
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post #9 of 14
I run SLI 570s 1.28gb and I can vouch for running out of vram, however, it's not as bad as people make it out to be. Here is my experience, and here are my specs and game settings for reference.

i5 2500k @ 4.5ghz
SLI GTX 570s @ 800mhz @ 1080p
All Ultra
4x MSAA, Low FXAA (I hate the blur)
HBAO on
Large 64-player conquest maps

I normally run at 80fps on average, drops to 60s when over viewing the entire map, 100s when hiding behind rocks/bushes. Looking at my GPU vram usage, it's always around 1100, so pretty much maxed out, but I still get very smooth, playable performance. If I sat down for an hour to play, my game would stutter, maybe 5 times in that 1 hour. Many people would find that unacceptable, but I've come to terms with it. It only occurs when something really intense and crazy happens, ie. jets crashing, 2 tanks shooting me at the same time and 4 players on screen, so it's understandable for my vram to hit a big wall because of what's going on on-screen. My fps drops from 80 down to 30 and gets unplayable because it's all jerky and gets stuck at 30 or so fps for about a second until I look away. 5 times in 1 hour is not bad at all.

Turning down MSAA to 2x smooths it out a lot, and can hardly notice a graphical difference unless you pixel peek. MSAA is what chops the fps and vram down. If I got 80 fps on 4xAA, I would get 95 on 2xAA and reduce those vram walls from 5 down to 2-3 times an hour.

This is only in effect for large 64 player conquest maps. In 32 player or smaller team deathmatch maps, single player campaign, I leave 4xMSAA on, and I get 0 micro stutter vram walls. I can play for hours without a problem with only 1.28gb of vram. Even though BF3 eats vram and running the 570s at max, it's coded and utilizes it very well to ensure me a smooth performance, 95% of the time. I contemplated on getting 2gb 6970s CFX, but I'm sure that the Radeons will have problems too, granted it might be a little smooth when ***** starts to fly, but I know when you have 2 jets crashing, 2 tanks shooting at each other, 3 people trying to blow up tanks, all on your screen, I doubt the 6970s will handle it at buttery smooth fps at 4xMSAA too.

Depending on how future games utilize vram, I know my 1.28gbs aren't going to last me too long, and the 2gb vram will become standard very soon, but 1.28gb is fine for now. Of course, at 1920x1080, maybe 1920x1200 ONLY. Anything higher, then 1.28gb is totally not enough.
post #10 of 14
I had SLI 1.28GB 570's and sold them to get the 2.5GB 570's and I am very happy I did it. I am also playing at 1080p and with the 1.28GB 570's it wasn't, what i felt, was an acceptable gaming experience. I went with SLI 570's with the intention of playing 64 player maps with everything max'd out (AA, HBAO, etc.) at 1080p, all while keeping my frames above 60 and the 1.28GB variant of the 570 cannot do it. Like I previously mentioned you will be seeing average memory usage around 1700MB at that resolution.

The 1.28GB cards are fully capable of playing BF3, but you WILL have to turn some extra features down and even off depending on what resolution you are playing at. I have been stressing to people to spend that extra little cost for the higher memory cards, but i keep seeing people spreading lies that 1.28GB is more than enough unless you're playing in 3D or with a tri-monitor setup. If you want to play current games at 1080p with everything max'd out and not hit a VRAM wall, you need at least a 2GB card...and 2GB is not enough if you are going to play a game such as Serious Sam 3, which uses well over 2GB of memory at 1080p.
 
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