Originally Posted by smaudioz
People keep saying this but they said it about high end 2GB cards over 2 years ago, so the cards these days still with 2GB are much faster and I bet they can handle more than 2GB without struggling with maxing out their GPU. I think that was a fair enough argument 2 years ago but not so much now when the current 2GB cards are about 50% better in performance. I agree a 770 won't get near 4GB while still giving good framerate but surely it is fast enough to exceed 2GB without struggling a lot.
Far Cry 3
We've pushed these video cards to the max, on single display, and multi-display, in today's most demanding games to give us some hint that more RAM is advantageous to gameplay. In the end, what matters here today is that we need to answer the question as to whether the higher price of these 4GB video cards is worth it compared to the 2GB versions. Let's look back at each game first, and see where we stand.
Far Cry 3 ended up being more demanding in terms of needing a faster GPU, rather than flat out video RAM capacity, even at 5760x1200. We found that we had to lower Post FX to low on every video card combination, also including ambient occlusion down to SSAO. Only then, could we enable 2X MSAA, which didn't seem to be a problem for the 2GB video cards. However, at 4X MSAA at 5760x1200 things got more demanding. It turned out, that thanks to overclocking, we were able to have a playable experience at 4X MSAA on the ASUS GTX 670 4GB SLI combination, and it was smooth gameplay. Therefore, only when the GPU is fast enough, does more VRAM help this game.
Max Payne 3
- This game was more sensitive to GPU performance, than video RAM capacity. The FXAA and SSAA methods employed are shader based, and therefore need more powerful GPUs to push them at higher resolutions. We were not able to have a good gameplay experience at High AA on any of the video cards, even the ASUS GTX 670 4GB SLI. In order to achieve High AA, or Extreme AA, we would need much more powerful GPUs for this resolution. That means, there is no advantage to 2GB or 3GB or 4GB of VRAM.
Battlefield 3 Multiplayer
- This game is sensitive to VRAM in the sense that you can't even enable some settings unless you have enough VRAM. We could enable 4X MSAA at 5760x1200 on the ASUS GTX 670 4GB SLI and Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB CrossFire. However, the performance wasn't there to allow this setting to be playable. So while the capacity existed, the performance to back it up was lacking.
- This game was also sensitive to VRAM capacity at 4X MSAA at 5760x1200. We were able to run at that setting with the ASUS GTX 670 4GB SLI and the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB CrossFire. However, once again, the performance wasn't enough to actually allow it to be playable. It is another case of the right capacity, but not the right performance.We ended up having to back down to FXAA on ASUS GTX 670 4GB SLI in order for the performance to be there, negating the need for 4GB of VRAM.
We've given the ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB video cards plenty of opportunities to prove to us why we would need 4GB of VRAM on these. Unfortunately, these have come short of proving this. We tried pushing a single ASUS GTX 670 4GB to the max on a 30" display, at more than playable settings, and also at 1080p. We saw no advantages with a single card. Then we put two together in SLI and tried to push them to the max at 5760x1200. What we found was that higher settings were possible to enable, but the performance wasn't there to allow them to be playable. Simply, the performance of GTX 670 isn't enough to utilize the capacity of 4GB of VRAM.
My example is with 670's, but they are only ~5fps slower than 680's/770's, so the difference between playable and unplayable hasn't changed still.