Originally Posted by brettjv
You might not 'like it' and think it's 'naive', but I challenge you to find benchmarks showing an actual benefit to 4GB vram vs. 2GB vram on a 680/770. They're actually harder to find than you might think.
Not all cards are the same in terms of whether they'd benefit from 2x the amount of vram. Depends on the chip, the amount of vram you're talking about, etc. A pair of 560ti's with 1GB vram is a lot more 'handicapped' by vram than a 770 with 2GB is. This is not apples to apples here.
The 770 is roughly a 680, and I don't recall many people actually provably having an 'issue' with 2GB of vram with a single card setup, with the sole exception being Skyrim with a ton of (hi-res texture) mods.
Basically I'd say that if the extra money is not a huge deal, you might as well get the 4GB version (even if you plan to only run single card for the life of your system ... obviously if you SLi, it would have much greater value in terms of longevity).
BUT ... if the extra $ IS a big deal, and you're stuck on a single card for other reasons anyway (like your case), then you'll need to judge whether or not that extra $ is worth it to you when pretty much the only 'known' benefit is being able to run Skyrim with the largest possible texture sizes .. and esp. consider that Skyrim is well over 2 years old ... and you've probably played the heck out of it already. I've never seen it proven that 4GB > 2GB on a single 680/770 (at 1080p) in any other scenario besides modded Skyrim ...
You are exactly right. I completely agree with you.
My issue is simply this...
Why force yourself to upgrade down the road before you have to? Everyone talks about benchmarks/games as of right now, however most people don't look to upgrade their video card every year or even every 18 mos. Most like to have some longevity to it.
While you won't have any problems, other than Skyrim, with stuff now (just as you said) what about the end of this year, or even into next year? That 2gb of vram has a much higher potential to limit your ability to perform at a high level in comparison to the 4gb model.
I would much rather have a card limited by GPU than by vram. Just my personal opinion.
I hope this doesn't come across as rude or anything, as it isn't meant to be.
I do agree with what you stated, I just always look back and have regrets on skimping a few dollars when that little bit extra would have made a much larger difference later on.
We don't know for sure how much vram future games will demand, but the trend of the past years has that it goes up as the years go by.
Taking that into account, I just feel that it is a wise move to purchase the 4gb over the 2gb. Not trying to say "future proof" as I don't believe you can. Just get the most out of everything you can.