Originally Posted by szeged
Crysis 3 8x msaa at 1440p doesn't use anywhere near 3gb vram, idk why you're freaking out, Crysis 3 is more graphically demanding than pretty much anything that came out in all of 2013 and so far 2014. Idk how many times this has to be repeated.
If you want 6gb go for it for sure, but don't go around saying 3gb is dead and obsolete now without any proof at all other than scaring yourself into thinking games automatically use 3gb min now, because it's wrong. Especially at 1080p.
It's not that 3GB is dead. It's that not too far from now having only 3GB of memory is going to become a limiting factor. It's not really rocket science here. Companies (particularly nVidia, as AMD is usally a Gigabyte of memory ahead) put a specific amount of VRAM on their current generation of cards and as a consequence eventually they become a limitation to the card (even when the card still has more than enough power to play games of the current time). Not even going that far back, going to 500 series. You can see that a card like the GTX 580 is still by today's standards a pretty powerful card. Almost the equivalent of a GTX 660/660 Ti. Only problem with it, is that they originally were sold in a 1.5GB VRAM variance. At 1080p for today's games alone, that's going to become a problem because you will hit a VRAM limit very quickly. It's not that the card itself doesn't have enough power to drive 1080p resolution games. It's that trying to turn up the settings will force the card to hit a VRAM wall and then make the card suffer in performance greatly; making most games unplayable. Meaning you will have all that power but not be able to utilize it. Which is unfortunate way for a company to make more money. Constantly forcing people to continually buy a newer card. Not because their older card doesn't have enough power but because it lacks the necessary amount of memory to continue to play games.
Fast forward to 600 series from nVidia. They went to 2GB of video memory and for the most part today's games @ 1080p will be more than enough to play. However, there have been instances already where games were using more than 2GB of memory stock; Call of Duty Ghosts comes to mind and Titanfall. The games maximum extreme settings although in essence not all that crazy to drive a 600 series card. Wherein a 670 or 680 should easily be able to handle the graphics fidelity of both of those games. Unfortunately the textures weren't optimized in the game and as a result trying to used those extreme settings forced usage of more than 2GB of VRAM. Resulting in a huge loss in performance, or serious texture downsizing which simply does not look very pretty. So then people say to themselves, well all I need is a card with 3GB of VRAM and I'm set. For the most part they are correct, however how long for? When's the next video memory jump going to happen. You can usually look at AMD for a decent hint. Their last generation of flagship cards 7970 and 7950 featured 3GB of memory. Which the cards themselves still have a decent amount of power, and enough memory to still keep them chugging along today. Their current flagship cards R9 290/290X feature 4GB of memory because that's the next generation video memory jump that's going to be taking place. There's a decent amount of games coming out that like Titanfall and Ghosts are also going to be released on Consoles. As a result to keep their PC users happy, they are going to have to implement extreme high resolution textures. What I probably see happening is a repeat of these other two games. The PC optimization isn't going to be very well done. They are probably just going to throw the textures in leaving a memory hole and as a result in 2014-2015 you will see games starting to use more than 3GB of memory. Point being it seems AMD is usually ahead of the VRAM curve by one gigabyte. Where nVidia usually puts the bare minimum of what they have to put on their cards. Probably on purpose, to force the customer to purchase their next generation of cards continually every year or two. Is not even that their previous generation of cards is not enough to handle the games at that time, but their VRAM limitation is what causes performance issues and thus forcing the person to upgrade their card. It's basically a cycle. Whereas AMD usually keeps their video memory about a gigabyte ahead to allow the customer to keep the card for a longer period of time (because it's still more than applicable for gaming at the time power wise.)
For me personally when I got my 670 I didn't see that the 2GB of VRAM was going to become a limitation two years later. Had I gotten a 4GB model, this time around I would have just picked up a used cheap 4GB 670 for next to nothing and went SLI. Then would have been set for another two years. Unfortunately, I didn't get a 4GB model because I fell into the hype of not only 2GB of memory being more than enough for 1080p gaming but that the card would never be able to utilize the memory. Which is entirely untrue, especially in SLI. The 670 is still a very powerful card. It handled all AAA titles from the past couple of years just fine at more than playable FPS. I'm even averaging 80-115 FPS in BF4 with near maxed out settings aside from AA Deferred and AA post being disabled. Am I seeing texture downsizing? Sure. Does it effect the gaming experience. Not that much. But not being able to play modded Skyrim anymore is bothersome. Also, had I been a fan of Titanfall and Ghosts I probably would have been annoyed that I couldn't max out the game without having performance issues because the lack of enough video memory. This trend is probably going to follow suit as more "next-gen" titles are released on the PC. Having a card with 4GB of memory or 6GB of memory means you won't have to upgrade to another card for longer and if anything will just have to grab a second for SLI/Crossfire instead later on. Is future proofing always possible on the PC platform, not always, but there are certain steps you can take to be better equipped for the future; allowing to to save some money in the long run.Edited by BiG StroOnZ - 4/13/14 at 9:58am