Hey guys, I decided to evaluate my current standings with my setup consisting my EVGA GTX 570 SC pushing my 22 inch @ 1920x1080. I ran up a few of my games with different settings to see if you guys can help me deduce this discussion any further, and enable an outcome with a much better understanding of what to expect.
I first started with Resident Evil 5 with the following settings:
While running the 'Fixed Benchmark' my VRAM usage peaked at 668MB and was hovering around there throughout the entire bench.
Next, I booted up Crysis warhead, as I knew this would do some damage, and well, read on for the following.
All settings were as below:
I first started with maxxing it out with AA set at 16xQ
I loaded up a save and went to the exact same spot to compare the different settings of 16xQ, 8x, 4x and no AA in the following screenshots. VRAM soared up to 1251MB - 1262MB on this setting and the game was intermittently choppy although FPS showed okay. I didn't play it very long at this setting, because I was eager to find out the differences in the VRAM with the other AA settings.
Next I tried up 8x
Each time I changed any AA settings, I quit the game, and went back to the desktop and checked the VRAM usage in Afterburner, and surely it drops to 100+mb used. I did this each time just as a double checking measure to ensure the vram was 'flushed' before changing AA settings.
With 8x AA, going back to the same spot, the VRAM was at 1023MB. I stayed there for a while, about 30 seconds, pretty much the same I did with 16xQ earlier, and no major fluctuations (perhaps maybe went up to 1026MB but I ensured if it did go higher, I'd have taken another screenshot).
A couple of nice screens
Couldn't help myself testing the motion blur too hehe
This was a little further in the game and it peaked about here @ 1121MB. With 1280MB of VRAM on my GTX 570, means I have about ~150MB of vram to spare at 8x I guess.
Next was 4x
I then switched OFF AA entirely and did the same thing once again
Simple conclusion: Big changes in the VRAM are seen at different AA settings in Warhead. I only assume Crysis One is worse (more challenging
I then started up Lost Planet 2 to run the benchmark at everything maxed out with CSAA32X
I peaked out with ~1010MB during the whole benchmark.
With AA OFF..
About ~750MB. Then again benchmarks aren't so accurate in depicting gaming scenarios, but still good as some sort of an example.
I then booted up Mafia II with the following settings:
In the game I used up only 562MB VRAM.
During the benchmark, I hit about 600+ MB VRAM usage
Lastly, to take the cake, I booted up Metro 2033. At the title menu, I was using up 1095MB of VRAM!!!!
With AAA enabled and everything else maxed out, I loaded up a save and funny enough, I was still at 1095MB usage.
When I turned on MSAA4X, it shot up to 1143MB, and the game was choppy as hell and would only be smooth while standing still - like how crysis warhead was at 16xQ. When I jerked/swiftly looked around in the game with the mouse, thats when it got choppy, thus deemed unplayable.
I guess its nearly 100% conclusive it hit the saturation point with 4xMSAA.
Considering 1920x1080 is about ~2.1 Megapixels, and 2560x1600 is about 4.1Mp, i think I am quite concerned with the amount of VRAM I would need just to run it at those resolutions even with low or without any AA if its any card with 1.5GB or less.
Only Metro 2033 and Warhead seem to be a problem here, but there's a whole lot of games I'm left to play with and looking forward to BF3 and a few more, I'm afraid that stepping up to 2560x1600 without getting at least 2GB of VRAM is gonna take a toll on my performance. I mean, ideally, I'd like to just add another GTX 570 along with my monitor, but I'd hate to have a GTX 570 SLi setup (i mean come on, it's only 1 tier down from the 580!) and have to be conservative with my settings. What would be worse still is having to dial down the resolution because of the memory capacity, and not because of having two awesomely powerful GPUs (dialing down the res would just render a purchase of such a monitor utterly pointless).
When I planned my Sandy Bridge purchase along with the GTX570, I wasn't aware of vram being any sort of an issue with games and AA at the time, and thought it had more to do with graphics processing power than anything.
I already planned for a 30 incher after my SB bare system and to use my 1080p for now and soak up the unrestricted experience at 1080p (which i am really enjoying now I must say) before STEPPING UP to a 1600p 30", and I ensured I had a good enough mobo to support SLi so I could easily add another GTX 570.
I hope that plan does not strictly have to take a detour.
Mafia2020, RagingCaine, Vega, or anyone else for that matter, if you could please offer your advice, post some screenshots of 1600p, or anything at all, anyone, I'd really appreciate it. Special mention goes out to the three of them for their contributions earlier