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GTX 970s can only use 3.5GB of 4GB VRAM issue - Page 4

post #31 of 2990
Quote:
Originally Posted by specopsFI View Post

Until there is even one plausible theory as to what could possibly cause something like this, I consider it to be a smear campaign. VRAM allocation doesn't tell anything about the VRAM needs and most definitely doesn't tell anything about the physical memory subsystem of a GPU. As for the 980 being smoother than 970, for that there is a very logical reason: the 980 is, you know, faster.

When something even remotely resembling evidence is brought to light, I'll reconsider.

Can't blame you for being skeptical and if I had the tools to properly measure and record logs of frametimes, GPU usage, CPU usage, and memory allocation simultaneously I'd certainly provide that evidence. Honestly, if anyone is aware of any such software tools, I'd be very glad to learn of them. Do FRAPS or Rivatuner have any equivalent?



Anyway, sudden and massive framerate dips/frametime spikes accompanied by low (specifically a massive drop in) GPU usage and/or a shift in reported memory allocation (temporary reduction by 100-200 MBs as the framebuffer flushes out data to make room for new data) is a very unique characteristic of exceeding a card's dedicated framebuffer or the given software's limit in terms of how much VRAM it can recognize and allocate to.


Hence why in all tests, it is important to establish controlled conditions with only individual variables changing between each to rule out what may not be a cause of the issue. There's no mistaking exceeding framebuffer limits for simply 15-20% extra FPS as the 980 would have in a given situation per the same clock speeds; it's a completely different phenomenon.


That's not evidence, no, but I promise you I very much know the distinction between the two and while I won't make any presumptious or premature claims of what's going on as I'm not an Nvidia engineer and can only observe information with open-source tools, I can say with absolute certainty after testing Skyrim and Far Cry 4 a bit that my 970s don't want to budge past 3.5 GBs even as I apply more AA/downsampling and therefore get more short freezes/stutters from lack of sufficient framebuffer.


They do eventually use more than ~3.5 GBs when I push hard enough (took me 5K with 8xMSAA and texture mods to crack Skyrim), but everytime I've managed to do this I get frequent and seemingly random stuttering/short pauses akin to a card that's overfilled its framebuffer a bit with low GPU usage. The 970s clearly have 4GBs of VRAM they can access, that's not being doubted. But their aversion to actually filling in the gap between 3.5 and 4 GBs with some issues when it does is happening to at least several people who actually own 970s, even in SLI where they clearly overpower a single 980.


There are several ideas as to why it might be happening though such as something to do with GM204's binning and SMM disabling process, driver issues, BIOS issues (maybe only affecting some 970 models and not all), etc.; however GPU microarchitectures are obviously far too complex and secretive for consumers to accurately or even remotely answer. That's what I'm hoping for Nvidia to clear up.
Edited by Serandur - 1/12/15 at 5:04pm
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post #32 of 2990
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serandur View Post

Anyway, sudden and massive framerate dips/frametime spikes accompanied by low (specifically a massive drop in) GPU usage and/or a shift in reported memory allocation (temporary reduction by 100-200 MBs as the framebuffer flushes out data to make room for new data) is a very unique characteristic of exceeding a card's dedicated framebuffer or the given software's limit in terms of how much VRAM it can recognize and allocate to.

That's not evidence, no, but I promise you I very much know the distinction between the two and while I won't make any presumptious or premature claims of what's going on as I'm not an Nvidia engineer and can only observe information with open-source tools, I can say with absolute certainty after testing Skyrim and Far Cry 4 a bit that my 970s don't want to budge past 3.5 GBs even as I apply more AA/downsampling and therefore get more short freezes/stutters from lack of sufficient framebuffer.


They do eventually use more than ~3.5 GBs (...) but everytime I've managed to do this I get frequent and seemingly random stuttering/short pauses akin to a card that's overfilled its framebuffer a bit with low GPU usage. The 970s clearly have 4GBs of VRAM they can access, that's not being doubted. But their aversion to actually filling in the gap between 3.5 and 4 GBs with some issues when it does is happening to at least several people who actually own 970s, even in SLI where they clearly overpower a single 980.

^This! All this, so much this....

I have a 4k Screen and a SLI 970's and whenever i play some more demanding games, this happens to me... SoM @ 4K all maxed out (even tried different texture qualities, didn't seem to change much) is all fine and dandy running at a comfortable ~55 fps's until the cards reach around 3.6 GB VRAM, when they get to that point i start getting MASSIVE usage drops...mad.gif I bought the SLI 970's to game at 4k and in theory they should suffice, but these drops make some (the only bg graphics games i have are SoM and FC4, but the last one has known issues) games completely unplayable..
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post #33 of 2990
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serandur View Post

Can't blame you for being skeptical and if I had the tools to properly measure and record logs of frametimes, GPU usage, CPU usage, and memory allocation simultaneously I'd certainly provide that evidence. Honestly, if anyone is aware of any such software tools, I'd be very glad to learn of them. Do FRAPS or Rivatuner have any equivalent?



Anyway, sudden and massive framerate dips/frametime spikes accompanied by low (specifically a massive drop in) GPU usage and/or a shift in reported memory allocation (temporary reduction by 100-200 MBs as the framebuffer flushes out data to make room for new data) is a very unique characteristic of exceeding a card's dedicated framebuffer or the given software's limit in terms of how much VRAM it can recognize and allocate to.


Hence why in all tests, it is important to establish controlled conditions with only individual variables changing between each to rule out what may not be a cause of the issue. There's no mistaking exceeding framebuffer limits for simply 15-20% extra FPS as the 980 would have in a given situation per the same clock speeds; it's a completely different phenomenon.


That's not evidence, no, but I promise you I very much know the distinction between the two and while I won't make any presumptious or premature claims of what's going on as I'm not an Nvidia engineer and can only observe information with open-source tools, I can say with absolute certainty after testing Skyrim and Far Cry 4 a bit that my 970s don't want to budge past 3.5 GBs even as I apply more AA/downsampling and therefore get more short freezes/stutters from lack of sufficient framebuffer.


They do eventually use more than ~3.5 GBs when I push hard enough (took me 5K with 8xMSAA and texture mods to crack Skyrim), but everytime I've managed to do this I get frequent and seemingly random stuttering/short pauses akin to a card that's overfilled its framebuffer a bit with low GPU usage. The 970s clearly have 4GBs of VRAM they can access, that's not being doubted. But their aversion to actually filling in the gap between 3.5 and 4 GBs with some issues when it does is happening to at least several people who actually own 970s, even in SLI where they clearly overpower a single 980.


There are several ideas as to why it might be happening though such as something to do with GM204's binning and SMM disabling process, driver issues, BIOS issues (maybe only affecting some 970 models and not all), etc.; however GPU microarchitectures are obviously far too complex and secretive for consumers to accurately or even remotely answer. That's what I'm hoping for Nvidia to clear up.

Thanks for all of your research into this, this is quite interesting.

I'm going to take a look at this myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aka13 View Post

Love how on 1200 pages of the 970 owners thread this is not an issue, but in a thread with 3 fearmongerers suddenly all hope is lost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XanderTheGoober View Post

Isn't it funny how that works?
Although you have to question how many of those users are actually getting close to using 4gb of vram as it has to be assumed that a good portion of them were coming from 2gb cards, as did i.

That's because whenever it was brought up it was rubbished almost instantly without anybody being given a chance or looking properly into it.

Typically if a GPU doesn't need the VRAM it will not use all of what it has available. but from what others have been reporting is that even when they try their hardest to come closer to 4GB they are having troubles doing so, even if they have the horsepower to do it.
post #34 of 2990
Quote:
Originally Posted by TopicClocker View Post

Thanks for all of your research into this, this is quite interesting.

I'm going to take a look at this myself.

That's because whenever it was brought up it was rubbished almost instantly without anybody being given a chance or looking properly into it.

Typically if a GPU doesn't need the VRAM it will not use all of what it has available. but from what others have been reporting is that even when they try their hardest to come closer to 4GB they are having troubles doing so, even if they have the horsepower to do it.

This is the fourth or fifth thread about it on OCN. If they want to keep pushing this, at least put it in one thread!
Edited by GrimDoctor - 1/12/15 at 9:29pm
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post #35 of 2990
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimDoctor View Post

This is the fourth or fifth thread about it on OCN. If they want to keep pushing this, at least put it in one thread!


I 2nd this.
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post #36 of 2990
I've got some bad news.

I was only able to use 4041-4071MB in Shadow of Mordor at 4K with Ultra textures.

So I basically used 4GB.



I'm going to play another game.

If a GPU doesn't need the VRAM it will not use all of what it has available.

If others are getting stuttering problems it could possibly be something else, whether its a driver problem or something I don't know.
Edited by TopicClocker - 1/12/15 at 9:48pm
post #37 of 2990
Quote:
Originally Posted by TopicClocker View Post

I've got some bad news.

I was only able to use 4041-4071MB in Shadow of Mordor at 4K with Ultra textures.

So I basically used 4GB.



I'm going to play another game.

If a GPU doesn't need the VRAM it will not use all of what it has available.

If others are getting stuttering problems it could possibly be something else, whether its a driver problem or something I don't know.

Just like the previous threads...
thumb.gif
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post #38 of 2990
Not mine test.Its from another forum
watch dogs 1440P 8xMSAA
GTX970-3600MB ram 24,2fps
http://abload.de/img/watch_dogs_2015_01_11w4sxz.jpg
GTX970 same scene only with cleared vram 3200MB-27,7Fps
http://abload.de/img/watch_dogs_2015_01_11mmsqt.jpg
Edited by headd - 1/12/15 at 11:56pm
post #39 of 2990
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serandur View Post

Can't blame you for being skeptical and if I had the tools to properly measure and record logs of frametimes, GPU usage, CPU usage, and memory allocation simultaneously I'd certainly provide that evidence. Honestly, if anyone is aware of any such software tools, I'd be very glad to learn of them. Do FRAPS or Rivatuner have any equivalent?



Anyway, sudden and massive framerate dips/frametime spikes accompanied by low (specifically a massive drop in) GPU usage and/or a shift in reported memory allocation (temporary reduction by 100-200 MBs as the framebuffer flushes out data to make room for new data) is a very unique characteristic of exceeding a card's dedicated framebuffer or the given software's limit in terms of how much VRAM it can recognize and allocate to.


Hence why in all tests, it is important to establish controlled conditions with only individual variables changing between each to rule out what may not be a cause of the issue. There's no mistaking exceeding framebuffer limits for simply 15-20% extra FPS as the 980 would have in a given situation per the same clock speeds; it's a completely different phenomenon.


That's not evidence, no, but I promise you I very much know the distinction between the two and while I won't make any presumptious or premature claims of what's going on as I'm not an Nvidia engineer and can only observe information with open-source tools, I can say with absolute certainty after testing Skyrim and Far Cry 4 a bit that my 970s don't want to budge past 3.5 GBs even as I apply more AA/downsampling and therefore get more short freezes/stutters from lack of sufficient framebuffer.


They do eventually use more than ~3.5 GBs when I push hard enough (took me 5K with 8xMSAA and texture mods to crack Skyrim), but everytime I've managed to do this I get frequent and seemingly random stuttering/short pauses akin to a card that's overfilled its framebuffer a bit with low GPU usage. The 970s clearly have 4GBs of VRAM they can access, that's not being doubted. But their aversion to actually filling in the gap between 3.5 and 4 GBs with some issues when it does is happening to at least several people who actually own 970s, even in SLI where they clearly overpower a single 980.


There are several ideas as to why it might be happening though such as something to do with GM204's binning and SMM disabling process, driver issues, BIOS issues (maybe only affecting some 970 models and not all), etc.; however GPU microarchitectures are obviously far too complex and secretive for consumers to accurately or even remotely answer. That's what I'm hoping for Nvidia to clear up.

Don't get me wrong, you are one of the more constructive people talking about this. There is definitely some merit to your testing, it's just far from conclusive. I've learned not to rely on VRAM allocation for any conclusions even on the software side of things, not to mention hardware characteristics. Proving a VRAM bottleneck beyond a reasonable doubt is something that AFAIK can't be done with home equipment. It's all circumstantial at this point and I need a lot more circumstantial evidence before I'm buying it. That or an actual, plausible technological explanation.
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post #40 of 2990
Can the people having this issue post the following information?

Brand
Model
BIOS Version
Driver Version

Buying or not buying the speculation at this point is moot -- some people are obviously having the problem. Help those of us who are about to upgrade avoid problematic products based on the above information. We've heard about the bait-and-switch tactic used recently in cheap motherboards. What's to say, some 970's (yes, they are cheap relative to 980's) are cutting costs, banking on a gamble that most games through their in-game settings do NOT consume more than 3.5GB of memory (not even close to it).

Let's not let NVidia get away with something like the GTX 660's again.
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