Originally Posted by Ansau
No, that is actually a big missinformation.
- The amount of vram used is not directly correlated to the performance of a gpu. Vram can be filled with very high res textures or preload data that can occupy a lot of space, but they don't imply a big performance hit. In the past, high vram usage was related to high resolutions or mods. But gpus weren't put down for the amount of vram used, but the extra workload related like more pixels or extra shaders rendered. Nowadays, with low level APIs devs have access to the entire gpu and resources can be used properly. Vram can be better used and filled with more stuff that doesn't necessarily need to be used.
- RX 480 is more futureproof because it is an AMD card, while the 1060 it isn't as much because it is Nvidia. Both brands have different strategies. AMD tends to produce products with very long lifespan and support. Nvidia designs an architecture and optimize everything around it, but when a new iteration comes, the leave one boat and jump to the other. There are uncountable examples where you take old gpus from AMD and Nvidia that were competitors before, and now the AMDs blow away their Nvidia rivals. Polaris/Pascal aren't that different compared to previous generations to show a different path.
Sorry, but you have wrongly interpreted most of the facts that you stated. Let me explain:
1) TRUE, the amount of VRAM is not directly related to the performance of a GPU.
1) HOWEVER, the amount of VRAM rises proportionally to the rise of standard resolutions. When we had 1Gb GPUs, the most widespread gaming resolution was 1366x768. Then with the rise of 2Gb and 3Gb GPUs, 1080p was established as the standard. Now, with 4Gb, 6Gb and 8Gb options, 1440p and 4K get more and more share each day, compared to 1080p. This implies that the higher amounts of VRAM will mostly be utilized for high res support - every dev wants their game to run @4K on mid-high end hardware. Which means that no, the VRAM will NOT be filled with "more stuff that doesn't necessarily need to be used". And let's be honest, nobody that has an 8Gb GPU and a cool monitor will want to use FXAA. Supersampling and downsampling are more common than ever, and that has huge impact on both VRAM and core loads. A balance between the capabilities of VRAM and core performance defines how future-proof a GPU is. Two examples of gross impalance are 1060 3Gb, which has the core for light 4K gaming, and terribly lacks the VRAM to support it, and 480 8Gb, which has the VRAM for serious 4K gaming, but insufficient performance to pump the FPS you'd require.
Also, if the VRAM is filled with "stuff that doesn't necessarily need to be used", how would that benefit the user?
2) TRUE, there are examples of AMD cards catching up with formerly superior Nvidia cards.
2) HOWEVER, that is not a rule, it is a fortunate turn of past events. There is no guarantee whatsoever that this trend will continue. Especially since Nvidia now realize they made a mistake in strategy when they neglected Vulkan and Dx12 to optimize for Dx11. It is safe to assume they will (and they already have) reallocate their drivers team efforts to Vulkan and Dx12 optimization, which is the one aspect where AMD had the better overall performance in the initial tests. And with Nvidia's budget, I have no doubt that they will catch up pretty quickly.
3) VR. AMD have offered the superior solution for entry-level current VR tech, and that is awesome, but I bet Nvidia will use their leverage, as they have in the past, to sway support in their favor, just like how they aggressively "helped" gaming studios to use Dx11 tessellation specifically optimized for their cores, with no visual benefit for the gamer, and how they ensured GSync has the upper hand in top-end monitors in the early days of the GSync vs FreeSync battle. I suspect we will see the same thing now with virtual reality, to an extend that will nullify AMD's initial lead.
Don't get me wrong, I'm an AMD fan, and I love my cards, and I want to see them do good on the long run, and I want to see AMD do good as a company. However, putting on pink glasses and believing all is great and will keep being so does not help any of those causes.
Currently IMO 1070 8Gb, 1060 6Gb and 470 4Gb are the most balanced cards on the market. 480 could really use a 6Gb variant, however if 8Gb comes at the price at which 6Gb would have, then it's all dandy. But still, just having 2Gb VRAM more does not magically make it the most future-proof card in the universe that will hold out forever. Remember the 1Gb HD3870? 512Mb HD4870 outlived it by far.