Why don't people (Tech Reviewers) NOT understand VRAM USAGE vs VRAM ALLOCATION? - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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Why don't people (Tech Reviewers) NOT understand VRAM USAGE vs VRAM ALLOCATION?

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Why don't people (Tech Reviewers) NOT understand VRAM USAGE vs VRAM ALLOCATION?

Why is it that major Tech Reviewers, and even AMD themselves, do not understand this simple concept of VRAM allocation vs actual VRAM usage? Seeing this misconception repeated over and over by people does sometimes get a little annoying. But when major tech reviewers on YouTube are out there conveying incorrect information to hundreds of thousands of people, saying "so and so card can't run this because of VRAM limitations" and "this card can", that's where I draw the line and feel something has to be said (not as if they will see this or it will have any influence on them).

I'm honestly not trying to turn this into a RTX 2080 vs Radeon Vii thread, because we have a ton of them going on already. This argument would apply exactly the same to ANY two cards that have different amount's of VRAM buffer. I'm simply trying to point out that some out there are spewing misinformation that is casing a particular product in a negative light, and that's wrong, whether it be Nvidia or AMD or anybody else.

Look at a chart that AMD produced themselves.

https://hothardware.com/photo-galler....jpg&tag=popup

AMD quotes every one of these games as "needing" over 8GB of VRAM, yet every single one of those games, at maximum settings at 4K, run perfectly fine on an 8GB card. Now, is AMD really this stupid to not know the difference between usage vs allocation, or are they purposely misleading customers to think those games NEED more than 8GB of VRAM?

Just saw this video pop up this morning from that AdoredTV guy, Again, here's another spewing this VRAM usage nonsense in his review.


And that Kyle from Bitwit, with over 1.4 million subscribers? Yeah, he's on there spewing the same nonsense, saying GTA V NEEDS over 10GB of VRAM, RE2 using 16GB, etc.


This is just the tip of the cake. I won't bother posting more.

I'm simply asking, how long is this campaign of lies and misinformation going to continue? Why do I, a nobody, with no YouTube subscribers, no deep technical knowledge of GPU's, totally understand this, but people who are conveying information to millions of people, and even major companies like AMD, do not understand this?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 11:21 AM
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The issue is not as clear cut as you are making it out to be. You are going off on the premise that games allocate a lot more VRAM than they actually need just because and that there is no technical merit in doing so. And while sometimes it may be a worst case scenario prevention, the reality is that the relation between VRAM and system RAM in game usage is not very well understood.

TechSpot went some way recently on shedding some light on the matter. And what they found is that to get the best out of the 2080 Ti you actually need to have your system equipped with... 32 GB of RAM. Not all games tested show a difference vs. 16 GB of RAM and in those that do the difference isn't very large, but it's definitely there. That alone would warrant further inspection on the whys and hows.

https://www.techspot.com/article/177...ram-pc-gaming/

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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The problem I have is some are putting out information that isn't true. People are claiming that 8GB cards cannot play a particular game at certain settings because it does not adequate VRAM, in this case being 8GB. AMD in their own slide leads us to believe that over 8GB is REQUIRED on certain games.

And the answer to that is clear cut. It's false.

They are using this argument of "this card here uses so and so amounts of VRAM, therefore you NEED this much VRAM". That's what I have issues with.

Now, as to all the specifics of that, why's and how's, true, that isn't as clear cut.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 11:46 AM
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They're really just entertainers trying to appease their sponsors, they're not any more or less intelligent than the average Joe invested in the hobby. Not sure why this is surprising that they're wrong about a lot of stuff.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 12:02 PM
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Virtual Texturing, streaming textures from RAM to VRAM as needed, streaming only pieces you need when VRAM is the limit, etc.

The right people to ask would be people who make/develop the applications for example game engines and how their specific game engine utilizes VRAM and RAM, but oh no that would give competitors insight into their engine and they can't have that so not many developers talk about their technology, how it works, what it can or can't do, etc. and if they do it's after they have moved on to a newer engine such as IDSoft with idtech engines.

Having a lot of detailed objects will definitely eat VRAM and an easy tell tale that a game uses virtual texturing is that on a simple scene it consumes a lot of VRAM and on a complex scene it consumes same amount of VRAM... yep it has preallocated VRAM whether it uses it or not, whether it needs it or not. Games that run 1GB on a simple map yet consume 6GB when spawn 50 different cars instead of 5 with different textures... these likely don't have virtual texturing.

DX11 also has some extras that help with textures, Vulkan probably too if not even earlier as it goes with OGL/Vulkan vs DX.

With virtual texturing you can have higher detail textures for visible or at least near locations instead of allocating EVERYTHING whether it's needed or not (this is what most older games do and why they kept running out of VRAM with too many objects and high resolution textures).

In case of NV and AMD vs VRAM size, it's marketing nothing more, it's in their interest to sell that product so they will say what ever they want, true or false in practical usage.

4GB cards do tend to suffer from low VRAM size nowadays and performance can plummet but it all depends on application, resolution of textures and render space.

There is a similar issue with how CPU/GPU utilization is reported as well, that some may take as a hard truth that 100% utilization oh no it's bottlenecked but in fact the CPU may only be sitting idle waiting for some other resource to be available...
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 12:54 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by JackCY View Post
Virtual Texturing, streaming textures from RAM to VRAM as needed, streaming only pieces you need when VRAM is the limit, etc.

The right people to ask would be people who make/develop the applications for example game engines and how their specific game engine utilizes VRAM and RAM, but oh no that would give competitors insight into their engine and they can't have that so not many developers talk about their technology, how it works, what it can or can't do, etc. and if they do it's after they have moved on to a newer engine such as IDSoft with idtech engines.

Having a lot of detailed objects will definitely eat VRAM and an easy tell tale that a game uses virtual texturing is that on a simple scene it consumes a lot of VRAM and on a complex scene it consumes same amount of VRAM... yep it has preallocated VRAM whether it uses it or not, whether it needs it or not. Games that run 1GB on a simple map yet consume 6GB when spawn 50 different cars instead of 5 with different textures... these likely don't have virtual texturing.

DX11 also has some extras that help with textures, Vulkan probably too if not even earlier as it goes with OGL/Vulkan vs DX.

With virtual texturing you can have higher detail textures for visible or at least near locations instead of allocating EVERYTHING whether it's needed or not (this is what most older games do and why they kept running out of VRAM with too many objects and high resolution textures).

In case of NV and AMD vs VRAM size, it's marketing nothing more, it's in their interest to sell that product so they will say what ever they want, true or false in practical usage.

4GB cards do tend to suffer from low VRAM size nowadays and performance can plummet but it all depends on application, resolution of textures and render space.

There is a similar issue with how CPU/GPU utilization is reported as well, that some may take as a hard truth that 100% utilization oh no it's bottlenecked but in fact the CPU may only be sitting idle waiting for some other resource to be available...
Exactly, how VRAM is used depends entirely on how the game was made.
In the "good old days" it was a simple mater of either you had enough vram or you did not. Not enough VRAM and the game would crash have 3 times as much as needed would make no difference.

Now days developers are constantly trying out different and innovative tricks in order to get the most out of the hardware while also building their games robustly as possible so that the games will smartly manage the VRAM and not crash.

Much of that is streaming and swapping or to speak plainly adding and removing data form the VRAM for the best possible result.

So for example there could be a game that is perfectly playable with a 2GB card but will have a lot less dips and stutters running with a 8GB card or perhaps the game has build in automation that adjusts draw distance based on the available memory at any given time.

There are many, many things that can be done and often its not just about the card but also what other hardware it is paired with.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 01:22 PM
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Any claim that more VRAM is the defining factor in performance should be backed up by examples of IQ (texture/asset pop-in) or performance issues (load times, hitching, poor low-end frame rates, etc) on the part with less memory that aren't explained by any other differences. This can sometimes be tricky, but there are usually ways to isolate VRAM use as the primary factor.

Quote: Originally Posted by Bit_reaper View Post
In the "good old days" it was a simple mater of either you had enough vram or you did not. Not enough VRAM and the game would crash have 3 times as much as needed would make no difference.
These days were the DOS and Windows 9x days. OSes, drivers and APIs have generally been able to allocate more VRAM than locally available on a video card for a very long time, though there are certainly exceptions.

I recall using ShaderMark back in 2004 to test AGP performance using settings that would need more memory than most of my cards of the time had VRAM. It's how I ended up using AGP 4x @ 100MHz rather than 8x at 67MHz, when trying to make ultra textures in Doom 3 playable on a 256MiB card, because the former actually benched better and my Geforce 6800 GT could handle it.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 02:04 PM
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Just out of curiosity if a video card had a massive amount of VRAM (say like the 24 GiB Titan RTX or the 16 GiB Radeon VII) would that mean all gaming texture storage would be on the card's VRAM itself rather than system RAM? Would it even be possible to store all compressed gaming texture data for a given game into a 24 GiB footprint?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 01:40 PM
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Maybe because there's no VRAM allocation bar graph in resource monitor.


It's harder to separate what's being used as "shader cache" (as opposed to on disk) vs actually used by the GPU.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 07:47 AM
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I believe we are only seeing games that push vram now and not like before . AMD is only saying what amount of vram this game can eat at will as it's like reading a good book and the bigger memory the bigger the story as texture packs and scaling 100% is where vram is eating in RD 2 on my RX 580 8Gb as in the end it's pulling over 6Gb from the card just in 1080p .


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