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theoretical question

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Ok, I'm asking this b/c I am trying to grasp the difference between regular system memory and video memory.

We will use Battlefield 2 as the test subject I guess. Remember how everyone stated that game took AWHOLE lot of memory and that you would need at least 1 gig of system memory to perform well and preferably two gigs.

Well heres my question (and in order for me to understand we have to pretend as if the 7800 GTX with 256mb of memory and 8800 GTX with 756mb of memory run at the exact same speeds)

When I run BF2 with a 7800 GTX with 256 mb of video memory and with one gig of system memory it runs flawlessly.

Now since modern day video cards have so much video memory would it (assuming the 8800 GTX is the same as the 7800 GTX except for the amount of memory) run the exact same as say a 8800 GTX with 756 mb of video memory but only 512 mb of system memory.

I ask this b/c if you think about it, your total memory would add up to be about the same. I know in the end it would probably be different so thats why I ask. Was wondering what "exactly" is the difference.

sorry if this is to long and hard to understand its 6 am and I am tired haha
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post #2 of 3
I would say the situation with more video RAM and less system RAM runs probably slower, but that's just an educated guess. The main point is that video RAM and system RAM are not used for the same processes, and not even by the same memory controller. Thus, when a game needs system RAM, it's the memory controller of the system that adresses the RAM. However, if video RAM is needed, it's the controller on the VGA card that adresses the video RAM. Those two cannot access each other's RAM, so you can't 'use' extra video RAM as system RAM.

For most modern games, the boost from 512MB system RAM to 1GB system RAM is quite dramatic. Many games won't even play nice on only 512MB; heck, some games even like 2GB!

Games are not *that* demanding for video RAM. Video RAM comes more into play with high resolutions and stuff...

Well, this is all I can come up with while just waking up....
    
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
So if that is the case isnt it kind of dramatic for Nvidia and AMD to start throwing so much more memory on their cards this causing them to cost so much?
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