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How much VRAM do you need for today's games?

post #1 of 104
Thread Starter 
GTX 470 AA scaling and VRAM analysis

















I see many of you guys struggling with the question of how many VRAM you need and how it impacts performance. That's why I thought that it was a good idea to test it out. I just did random runs in the actual games, so not the benchmark tools.

Some games that I tested were released back in 2008, but it seems that a lot of people still play these games and found it interesting to see how many VRAM these games require.

Also, the maximum and average memory usage were recorded and registered using MSI Afterburner. The Framerates were recorded using Fraps. The maximum memory usage that I found could be lower than the actual maximum usage as I obviously can't test every possible frame in the games. The maximums should be accurate within 50MB of VRAM resources.

For people using 512MB or cards with lower VRAM, I'd suggest lowering the texture quality as that also greatly lowers the memory usage in case you didn't know.

Ultimately, I hope that you find this information helpfull in any sense.

Enjoy !!!





---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



System specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Q9550 @ 3,7GHz
  • RAM: 2x 2GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800MHz
  • GPU: Point of View GTX 470 @ 736/1472/1700
  • Motherboard: XFX 780i 3-way SLI motherboard
  • PSU: Corsair TX750 (750W)


Games that I ran until now are:
  1. Metro 2033
  2. Just Cause 2
  3. Splinter Cell Conviction
  4. Dragon Age Origins
  5. Battlefield Bad Company 2
  6. Fallout 3
  7. Crysis Warhead
  8. Batman Arkham Asylum
  9. FarCry 2



Contents:

Memory Resource list

GTX 470 AA Performance/Scaling







I'm in for any suggestions, as long as I own the game



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PS:

All games were run at 1920x1200 with the latest WHQL drivers as of today 19th of July 2010 (ForceWare 257.12)







<space>

Edited by TheBlademaster01 - 8/7/10 at 10:52am
post #2 of 104
Thread Starter 
Memory resource list




Just Cause 2


JC2
1920x1200 0XAA, 16XAF, everything max. Bokeh off, GPU simulated water off.

Maximum memory usage: 440MB
Average memory usage: 410MB

JC2
1920x1200 2XMSAA, 16XAF, everything max. Bokeh off, GPU simulated water off.

Maximum memory usage:455MB
Average memory usage: 430MB

JC2
1920x1200 4XMSAA, 16XAF, everything max. Bokeh off, GPU simulated water off.

Maximum memory usage:471MB
Average memory usage: 454MB

JC2
1920x1200 8XMSAA, 16XAF, everything max. Bokeh off, GPU simulated water off.

Maximum memory usage:527MB
Average memory usage: 498MB

JC2
1920x1200 16XCSAA, 16XAF, everything max. Bokeh off, GPU simulated water off.

Maximum memory usage:627MB
Average memory usage:561MB


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Splinter Cell Conviction




SPC
1920x1200 0XAA, 16XAF, everything max. Vsync off!*

Maximum memory usage:493MB
Average memory usage: 480MB

SPC
1920x1200 2XMSAA, 16XAF, everything max. Vsync off!*

Maximum memory usage:574MB
Average memory usage: 561MB

SPC
1920x1200 4XMSAA, 16XAF, everything max. Vsync off!*

Maximum memory usage:666MB
Average memory usage: 651MB

SPC
1920x1200 8XMSAA, 16XAF, everything max. Vsync off!*

Maximum memory usage:843MB
Average memory usage: 831MB

SPC
1920x1200 16XQCSAA (true), 16XAF, everything max. Vsync off!*

Maximum memory usage:1037MB
Average memory usage: 1021MB


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Dragon Age Origins




DAO
1920x1200 0XAA, Texture quality High, Graphics detail Very High.

Maximum memory usage:618MB
Average memory usage: 601MB

DAO
1920x1200 2XMSAA, Texture quality High, Graphics detail Very High.

Maximum memory usage:625MB
Average memory usage: 612MB

DAO
1920x1200 4XMSAA, Texture quality High, Graphics detail Very High.

Maximum memory usage:650MB
Average memory usage: 644MB

DAO
1920x1200 8XMSAA, Texture quality High, Graphics detail Very High.

Maximum memory usage:734MB
Average memory usage: 726MB

DAO
1920x1200 32XCSAA, Texture quality High, Graphics detail Very High.

Maximum memory usage:861MB
Average memory usage: 853MB



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





Metro 2033



Metro 2033
1920x1080* AAA, 16xAF, Very High, Tesselation on, DoF on, Advanced PhysX on.

Maximum memory usage: 835MB
Average memory usage: 755MB

Metro 2033
1920x1080* 4xMSAA, 16xAF, Very High, Tesselation on, DoF on, Advanced PhysX on.

Maximum memory usage: 1132MB
Average memory usage: 1107MB


Metro 2033
1920x1200 AAA, 16XAF, Very High, Tesselation on, DoF on, Advanced PhysX on.

Maximum memory usage:1038MB
Average memory usage: 1021MB

Metro 2033
1920x1200 4xMSAA, 16XAF, Very High, Tesselation on, DoF on, Advanced PhysX on

Maximum memory usage:1274MB
Average memory usage: 1263MB





*Requested by dracotonisamond (not displayed in the AA Performance/Scaling - Metro 2033 graph).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Battlefield Bad Company 2




BF BC2
1920x1200 1XAA, 16XAF, everything max, DX 11, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:645MB
Average memory usage:617MB


BF BC2
1920x1200 2XMSAA, 16XAF, everything max, DX 11, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:678MB
Average memory usage:651MB

BF BC2
1920x1200 4XMSAA, 16XAF, everything max, DX 11, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:705MB
Average memory usage:696MB

BF BC2
1920x1200 8XQCSAA (true), 16XAF, everything max, DX 11, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:821MB
Average memory usage:808MB

BF BC2
1920x1200 16XQCSAA (true), 16XAF, everything max, DX 11, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:953MB
Average memory usage:934MB


BF BC2
1920x1200 32XCSAA, 16XAF, everything max, DX 11, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:906MB
Average memory usage:880MB

BF BC2
1920x1200 32XCSAA + 8XTSAA, 16XAF, everything max, DX 11, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:927MB
Average memory usage:904MB



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Fallout 3




FO3
1920x1200 0xAA, 15xAF, Ultra High presets, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:658MB
Average memory usage:611MB

FO3
1920x1200 2xMSAA, 15xAF, Ultra High presets, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:698MB
Average memory usage:653MB

FO3
1920x1200 4xMSAA, 15xAF, Ultra High presets, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:772MB
Average memory usage:734MB

FO3
1920x1200 8xMSAA, 15xAF, Ultra High presets, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:894MB
Average memory usage:854MB

FO3
1920x1200 16xQCSAA (true), 15xAF, Ultra High presets, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:1269MB
Average memory usage:1254MB

FO3
1920x1200 32xCSAA + 8xTSAA, 15xAF, Ultra High presets, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:1267MB
Average memory usage:1210MB



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





Crysis Warhead



CYS WH
1920x1200 0xAA, Enthusiast presets, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:961MB
Average memory usage:908MB

CYS WH
1920x1200 2xMSAA, Enthusiast presets, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:1108MB
Average memory usage:1093MB

CYS WH
1920x1200 4xMSAA, Enthusiast presets, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:1227MB
Average memory usage:1214MB

CYS WH
1920x1200 8xQCSAA (true), Enthusiast presets, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:1266MB
Average memory usage:1255MB

CYS WH
1920x1200 16xQCSAA (true), Enthusiast presets, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:1277MB!*
Average memory usage:1268MB!*



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Batman Arkham Asylum




BAA
1920x1200 0xAA, Very high, PhysX on GTX 285, Vsync off!*

Maximum memory usage:457MB
Average memory usage:430MB

BAA
1920x1200 2xMSAA, Very high, PhysX on GTX 285, Vsync off!*

Maximum memory usage:536MB
Average memory usage:513MB

BAA
1920x1200 4xMSAA, Very high, PhysX on GTX 285, Vsync off!*

Maximum memory usage:601MB
Average memory usage:590MB

BAA
1920x1200 8xQCSAA (true), Very high, PhysX on GTX 285, Vsync off!*

Maximum memory usage:803MB
Average memory usage:784MB


BAA
1920x1200 16xQCSAA (true), Very high, PhysX on GTX 285, Vsync off!*

Maximum memory usage:860MB
Average memory usage:842MB


BAA
1920x1200 32xCSAA, Very high, PhysX on GTX 285, Vsync off!*

Maximum memory usage:874MB
Average memory usage:859MB

BAA
1920x1200 32xCSAA + 8xTSAA, Very high, PhysX on GTX 285, Vsync off!*

Maximum memory usage:894MB
Average memory usage:866MB



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





FarCry 2




FC2
1920x1200 0xAA, DX10, Highest quality, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:786MB
Average memory usage:779MB

FC2
1920x1200 2xMSAA, DX10, Highest quality, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:849MB
Average memory usage:827MB

FC2
1920x1200 4xMSAA, DX10, Highest quality, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:903MB
Average memory usage:878MB

FC2
1920x1200 8xMSAA, DX10, Highest quality, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:1123MB
Average memory usage:1090MB

FC2
1920x1200 16xQCSAA (true), DX10, Highest quality, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:1078MB
Average memory usage:1050MB

FC2
1920x1200 32xCSAA + 8xTSAA, DX10, Highest quality, Vsync off!

Maximum memory usage:1046MB
Average memory usage:1014MB















*I couldn't get Vsync to disable, even after forcing it through nVidia Control Panel.
*These memory readings may not be accurate since my GTX 470 has only 1280MB of VRAM.

Edited by TheBlademaster01 - 7/31/10 at 7:52am
post #3 of 104
Thread Starter 
GTX 470 AA Performance/Scaling





Just Cause 2





Enabling different levels of AA doesn't seem to impact performance on this card very much. As seen in the memory resource list the memory resources that are required don't seem to improve much either. You could say the textures are coded smart and efficiently.

Recommended memory: 512MB for 4xMSAA, at least 768MB if maxing out








--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





Splinter Cell Conviction





In this game the results are a little skewed. For some strange reason Vsync didn't want to disable, so the lower levels of AA should give much better performance than displayed in this graph. There was a noticeable performance hit with 16xQCSAA (true) compared to 8xMSAA and 4xMSAA.

Recommended memory: 768MB for 4xMSAA and at least 1280MB if maxing out with nVidia's exclusive 16xQCSAA






--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------








Dragon Age Origins





This game clearly doesn't seem to stress my GTX 470. With frames over or nearing the 100FPS mark, you would want to cranck the eye candy all the way up. With the new 32xCSAA you can by forcing it through the nVidia control panel (really recommended for all you GTX 400 card owners!) You'll need a minimum of a GTX 460 1GB though, seeing as it seems to crunch a decent chunk of VRAM resources (over 850MB). With my GTX 470 it was pretty playable as it never went below the 40FPS mark. The extra eyecandy is really great. There's also an option of enabling 32xCSAA along with 8xTSAA through the control panel, but I honestly don't see the extra graphical bliss beyond that point

Recommended memory: 768MB for 4xMSAA or even 8xMSAA and at least 1024MB for maxing out with GTX 400's exclusive 32xCSAA






--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------








Metro 2033




Allright, this is the part where my GTX 470 needed to meet it's maker. This game just looks marvellous with all the graphical bliss enabled. Tesselation, Depth of Field effects, Advanced PhysX. The point is that it becomes pretty much unplayable when you also enable only a bit of AA or AF. Not only does this game need a lot of compute power it also munches your VRAM, spits it out and still hungers for more. This game tops out with an outrageous 1274MB at 4xMSAA and 16xAF. Luckily there's good news for you guys, AAA is the hero in distress. Not only does it dramatically lower the memory resources (maximum of 1038MB) it also actually looks better. It's pretty simple people, don't touch MSAA unless you've got the resources to spend (at least 1.5GB is recommended). With this information in mind, the graph is pretty much self explanitory. 4xMSAA is simply unplayable nearing the 5 FPS mark , while AAA is pretty playable. I prefer to lower the Anisotropic Filtering to 4x since it looks pretty smooth at that spec. Maybe someday when I have the money to go SLI, I'll start pushing MSAA and AF some more.

Recommended memory: at least 1280MB when using an nVidia GTX 400 card with Advanced PhysX on and AAA. At least 1536MB when enabling 4xMSAA (only a GTX 480 or an OC'ed HD5970 Eyefinity 6 will do)


Update: When using a dedicated PhysX card or disabling Advanced PhysX, the performance increases dramatically!!!





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------








Battlefield Bad Company 2





This particular game seemed to be interesting to most of you guys, the results are quite surprising if you look at the memory resources list. nVidia's 32xCSAA and even 32xCSAA + 8xTSAA seemed to ask even less memory resources than 16xQCSAA. I did some 'research' in why this kept happening over and over again. It seems 32xAA consists out of 8xMSAA and 24xCSAA and this does not ask for the same amount of memory that the 16 'true' samples of 16xQCSAA seem to ask. 32xCSAA still looks better since it offers a total of 33 level of transparency and with the 8xTSAA a whopping 41 levels of transparancy (note that TSAA does not impact every aliased aspect of the frame though ). Then you probably ask yourself the question, how come that the memory resources that are required are lower, while there are more levels of transparency? Well, 32xCSAA + 8xTSAA does impact the geometry performance of the GPU so your frames will also be somewhat lower. On my GTX 470 I still had some pretty good framerates


Recommended memory: at least 768MB for enabling 4xMSAA and lower, and a full 1GB for maxing the game, even with nVidia 32xCSAA + 8xTSAA






--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------







Fallout 3





This one of the older games, but still a very popular RPG. It still looks great and I'm looking forward to it's sequel, "New Vegas". I thought the game wouldn't be that taxing anymore for my GTX 470, but man I was wrong. Until 8xMSAA everything goes fine, but as I started messing around in the nVidia Control Panel, things started to work out very differently from what I expected. I started by enabling 16xQCSAA and that did it, it looked much better than 8xMSAA in this game, but I saw tops of 1269MB memory usage which is very close to my maximum of 1280MB. When the game neared that limit, the frame rate would fall all the way back to the 10FPS mark and then in the safe zone of 30-50FPS again. This is is a typical example of how average FPS don't mean a thing (which was around 42FPS btw ). 32xCSAA + 8xTSAA was very playable and again offered the best eyecandy in this game, but as soon as it hit 1267MB, the frame rate would fall back to 11 FPS. The game looks a lot better with these overdoses of AA though


Recommended memory: At least 896MB for maxing out at 4xMSAA with Ultra High presets. 1GB of VRAM for non-GTX 400 series cards by maxing out the ingame settings of 8xMSAA. And at least 1536MB for experimenting with 32xCSAA + 8xTSAA in the nVidia Control Panel (completely at own risk )






--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------







Crysis Warhead




Can my <insert graphics card here> max Crysis? Well, I don't have the original Crysis installed on my PC, but Crysis Warhead is about as taxing as the original. When you're gaming without AA on the game already eats almost all your VRAM. Luckily when you apply AA (if you even got extra resources to spend ) it won't take that much more memory for each level you you increase it. I don't know if that reading at 16xQCSAA up above is accurate, since I don't know if the application can actually exceed your VRAM capacity or if it simply won't apply it. In any case the result was a minimum frame rate of 3FPS. Yeah that hurt since it practically makes the game unplayable with those spikes now and then. Once again, A GTX 480 or HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 won't hurt in these kind of situations.

Recommended memory: At least 1GB if you plan to play at Enthusiast settings and at least 1280MB of memory if you plan to apply any level of Anti-Aliasing at Enthusiast presets. Also 1536MB or above may come in handy if you wat to apply 16xQCSAA or higher although I don't see any extra graphical bliss beyond 4xMSAA





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------







Batman Arkham Asylum






Results again are a little skewed although Vsync was 'disabled' you can see that something was off here. The framerate did get as high as 64FPS and not any higher, but it obviously would if nothing held it back. Anyways, this game doesn't seem that stressfull nor does it seem to ask for much memory resources. I didn't see it rise above 900MB even with 32xCSAA and 8xTSAA. In PhysX intensive levels like the Scarecrow battle you would want a dedicated PhysX card though

Recommended memory: 768MB for 4xMSAA or lower and 896MB (preferably a full 1GB) for maxing out the game even with GTX 400 exclusive 32xCSAA + 8xTSAA




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------








FarCry 2






I actually never liked this game from the start. The storyline was hard to get at the beginning of the game. I did like the graphics of this game though, it was a very realistic looking game for 2008 and also very playable unlike Crysis. The AA scaling in this game isn't very surprising, it scales pretty much lineair as far as MSAA goes. Then of course we have nVidia's 'Quality' CSAA that saves you some memory resources, but does impact the geometry performance just like 32xCSAA + 8xTSAA. This makes the last two modes very taxing on your GPU. I have to say that 32xCSAA + 8xTSAA really gives a crisp clear picture on any frame. The maximum memory usage I've seen was 1123MB @ 8xMSAA and that wasn't a very shocking result. The game was still very playable.

Recommended memory: 1GB for maxing out the game till 4xMSAA and at least 1280MB when using 8xMSAA or higher
















<space>

Edited by TheBlademaster01 - 7/31/10 at 8:20am
post #4 of 104
This should be interesting, i wanna see that bfbc2 result
post #5 of 104
GTA IV will gobble up your vram for breakfast, lunch and dinner
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post #6 of 104
Add STALKER Call of Pripyat
 
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post #7 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by .:hybrid:. View Post
GTA IV will gobble up your vram for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Yeah, alas there are no AA options in that game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shemer77 View Post
This should be interesting, i wanna see that bfbc2 result
That one will be ready later today or in worst case tomorrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8ight View Post
Add STALKER Call of Pripyat
I'm sorry, I don't own that game
post #8 of 104
Try Metro 2033 and compare the results from AAA and MSAA 4x, should be interesting
    
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post #9 of 104
TF2? I'm sure someone has a gift pass for ya!
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post #10 of 104
In!
Can't wait for results, this should be interesting.
/Cory.
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