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How long will 2GB GPUs continue to be a viable choice for a decent gaming rig?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 18, 2013 10:02:49 AM

Hi guys,

I'm going to be building my first PC in the near future. While researching good graphics cards for a gaming rig I came across some healthy debate over 2GB cards. I'm still confused, so thought I'd ask you guys as to your opinion.

Basically, I've settled on a GTX 770, and after reading a squillion reviews etc feel MSI's offerings are right for me. However, they produce 3 excellent GPUs based on the 770 - the 2GB Twin Frozr Gaming, the 4GB TF Gaming and the 2GB Lightning. I really like the additional features on the latter that enable it to reach a slightly higher level of performance, however it costs the same as the 4GB TF.

Now I read that 4GB cards are, currently, unnecessary as no game uses more than around 1.5GB. So I figured the Lightning was the best option. Then I read that the next generation of consoles have around 8GB, and that for future games 4GB will definitely be required. So I figure the 4GB should be the card I buy. THEN someone comments that by the time 2GB of VRAM is outdated the entire card itself would need upgrading. I believe the argument centred around the memory bus, but unfortunately I can't find the thread now.

I am planning to spend a fair amount of money on the rig, with the hopes that it'll be able to play the latest games at 1080p for a couple of years at least. At that point I was hoping to buy another card and run them in SLI. So I guess what I'm asking is will the 2GB provide ample performance for some time to come, or are they already on their way to becoming obsolete?

I realise none of you have amazing crystal balls (or do you?!) but I figure you've been around the PC gaming scene long enough to spot the patterns etc.

Thanks in advance to anyone who cares to share their wisdom!
September 18, 2013 10:05:40 AM

Battlefield 4 recommends 3 GB of Vram so i think you should stick too 3Gb of vram or higher atm there are diffirent models of the GTX 7xx Cards some with higher vram get on of those.
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September 18, 2013 10:13:14 AM

Thanks for the heads-up! I wasn't expecting 2GB cards to be 'out-of-date' so quickly. But that makes the choice easier. As you said, there are a few versions of the 770 available with 4GB, so I guess I'll be getting one of those! Oddly the majority are 2GB though, you'd think they'd be phasing them out if they are below the recommended settings of a game that'll be out very shortly...
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September 18, 2013 10:15:59 AM

Yeah i dont think 2gb cards will last very long bf4 is already setting new standards.
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a b 4 Gaming
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September 18, 2013 10:42:01 AM

the "VRAM" portion of the GPU does not imply how powerfull the card is.. ..
take this example ...like if you wanna play games @ 4k resolution then minimum 2GB is required... for 1080p 2GB is more than enough...just make sure you get a decent card (probably gtx 760,etc) you will do fine..
http://bf4central.com/battlefield-4-system-requirements...
here is the official system requirement for BF4...
the recommended GPU is series 600 (nividia) with 1GB ram..
the gaming performance depends mainly on your build and how powerful the card..
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September 18, 2013 10:46:44 AM

Minimum System Requirements: Recommended System Requirements:
CPU: AMD: Athlon X2 2.8 GHz, Intel: Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz

CPU: AMD: Six-core CPU, Intel: Quad-core CPU

RAM: 4 GB

RAM: 8 GB

VGA: AMD: AMD Radeon HD 3870, NVIDIA: Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
Graphics memory: 512 MB

VGA: AMD: AMD Radeon HD 7870, Nvidia: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
Graphics memory: 3 GB

DX: DX10

DX: DX11

OS: Windows Vista SP2 32-bit

OS: Windows 8 64-bit

http://gamesystemrequirements.com/
HDD: 30 GB

HDD: 30 GB


It says graphics memory 3 GB no way the recommended are just 1 gb
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September 18, 2013 11:26:00 AM

I've got a 2GB 6970 and I dont see any slowing down on any games, and I expect to play BF4 just fine when I get it.
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September 18, 2013 11:27:59 AM

Like ShaBaz there is more to it than just the amount of vram in the card. First the card has to be fast enough and have enough bandwidth to effectively use the the vram. The 770,760,680,670, etc. can't use it properly. The point where 4gb is useful is well beyond the cards limits to offer playable frame rates. If you want more vram get a 7900 series or a 780.
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September 18, 2013 12:30:33 PM

Well I've just spent an hour or so reading through 20+ pages about BF4's recommended specs, and I'm still none the wiser!

I cant afford the 780, it'd take me over my budget and to be honest I the increase in performance doesn't seem worth it anyway. What I am trying to wrap my head around is whether the 4GB version of the 770 would offer any real-world advantage over the 2GB one. From looking at some of the graphs it seems the VRAM usage in the BF4 beta did exceed 2GB even at 1080p. But, if the 770 is unable to take advantage of this, is there any merit at all in the 4GB version?

If not, I'd probably be better with the faster 2GB version (better OC and runs 8-9 degrees cooler) I guess?
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September 18, 2013 12:35:04 PM

What you could do is wait for HD 9xxx series, it's for release this october and it will probably have a few nice suprises!
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September 18, 2013 12:37:30 PM

SuperADJ said:
Well I've just spent an hour or so reading through 20+ pages about BF4's recommended specs, and I'm still none the wiser!

I cant afford the 780, it'd take me over my budget and to be honest I the increase in performance doesn't seem worth it anyway. What I am trying to wrap my head around is whether the 4GB version of the 770 would offer any real-world advantage over the 2GB one. From looking at some of the graphs it seems the VRAM usage in the BF4 beta did exceed 2GB even at 1080p. But, if the 770 is unable to take advantage of this, is there any merit at all in the 4GB version?

If not, I'd probably be better with the faster 2GB version (better OC and runs 8-9 degrees cooler) I guess?


just get a 2GB powerfull card and you will be fine..! read what i wrote above..! and that is 100% true...no myth..!
if you can get the 2GB GTX 770..it will be more then enough....ppl having 2 GB gtx 760 with a good build will easily max out BF4..
the requiremnt for BF4 are not that high like you will be needing a 10GB TITAN(hypothetically)..get a good 2GB gtx 770 and it will run BF$ easily @ 1080p..
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September 18, 2013 12:38:45 PM

Haha well that is around the time I'll be buying and building...so maybe! But then again, it's taking over my life trying to understand what I'm dealing with, and so far I've limited my search to Intel and Nvidia products (well, CPUs and GPUs, anyway). AMD just scare me!
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September 18, 2013 12:41:07 PM

SuperADJ said:
Haha well that is around the time I'll be buying and building...so maybe! But then again, it's taking over my life trying to understand what I'm dealing with, and so far I've limited my search to Intel and Nvidia products (well, CPUs and GPUs, anyway). AMD just scare me!


done underestimate AMD mate :p  AMD also makes some good hardware..
i am no fan boy..but AMD is a gift for budget conscious customers :D 
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September 18, 2013 12:49:27 PM

Great, thanks.

Looks like it'll be the Lightning 2GB then. Which is nice, as it matches the mobo I picked out (MSI Z87 MPOWER) too! I'm sure AMD are just as good, but trying to select components from one company is hard enough (3570k or 4670k...2GB 770 vs 4GB 770 etc!) without trying to relate their performance to something else entirely! FWIW, I'm going for a 4670k with Corsair H100i WC, 16GB ram (undecided on brand/speed yet) in a Corsair Carbide 500R case. Hopefully it'll play games on at least high settings at 1080p for a while to come...

Thanks again for the help, guys! One more choice made, and one step closer to finalising the build.

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September 18, 2013 12:51:22 PM

SuperADJ said:
Great, thanks.

Looks like it'll be the Lightning 2GB then. Which is nice, as it matches the mobo I picked out (MSI Z87 MPOWER) too! I'm sure AMD are just as good, but trying to select components from one company is hard enough (3570k or 4670k...2GB 770 vs 4GB 770 etc!) without trying to relate their performance to something else entirely! FWIW, I'm going for a 4670k with Corsair H100i WC, 16GB ram (undecided on brand/speed yet) in a Corsair Carbide 500R case. Hopefully it'll play games on at least high settings at 1080p for a while to come...

Thanks again for the help, guys! One more choice made, and one step closer to finalising the build.



you can get 8GB of 1600 MHZ as it is enough for gaming..unless you do recording and stuff..
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September 18, 2013 12:52:15 PM

AMD makes good stuff. Some seem to think they have a bad rep for drivers and failures...which was over 6 years ago.
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September 18, 2013 12:55:35 PM

TeodoI7 said:
Minimum System Requirements: Recommended System Requirements:
CPU: AMD: Athlon X2 2.8 GHz, Intel: Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz

CPU: AMD: Six-core CPU, Intel: Quad-core CPU

RAM: 4 GB

RAM: 8 GB

VGA: AMD: AMD Radeon HD 3870, NVIDIA: Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
Graphics memory: 512 MB

VGA: AMD: AMD Radeon HD 7870, Nvidia: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
Graphics memory: 3 GB

DX: DX10

DX: DX11

OS: Windows Vista SP2 32-bit

OS: Windows 8 64-bit

http://gamesystemrequirements.com/
HDD: 30 GB

HDD: 30 GB


It says graphics memory 3 GB no way the recommended are just 1 gb

Uhh hate to burst your bubble but there reccomending a 7870 and they do not make a 7870 with more then 2 gb of vram i smell misprint here and id put my money that a gtx 580 will max out bf 4 and that only has 1.5 gb of vram.I think you panic to much dude.
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September 18, 2013 12:55:43 PM

TeodoI7 said:
Minimum System Requirements: Recommended System Requirements:
CPU: AMD: Athlon X2 2.8 GHz, Intel: Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz

CPU: AMD: Six-core CPU, Intel: Quad-core CPU

RAM: 4 GB

RAM: 8 GB

VGA: AMD: AMD Radeon HD 3870, NVIDIA: Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
Graphics memory: 512 MB

VGA: AMD: AMD Radeon HD 7870, Nvidia: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
Graphics memory: 3 GB

DX: DX10

DX: DX11

OS: Windows Vista SP2 32-bit

OS: Windows 8 64-bit

http://gamesystemrequirements.com/
HDD: 30 GB

HDD: 30 GB


It says graphics memory 3 GB no way the recommended are just 1 gb


I seriously doubt that.

http://bf4central.com/battlefield-4-system-requirements...

Battlefield 4 system requirements
The minimum PC system requirements for Battlefield 4 are expected to be:
Dual core CPU (Intel Core i5 or AMD “Bulldozer”).
At least 2 GB main system memory
Graphics card with at least 256 MB of VRAM and support for DirectX 10
20+ GB of harddrive space
Windows Vista

Recommended system requirements
The recommended PC system requirements for optimal visual quality and frame rates:
Quad core CPU (Intel Core i5 or i7) at 3 Ghz
4 GB memory (8 GB for 64-bit operating systems)
A modern DX11 graphics card with 1 GB of video memory, GeForce 600 series or Radeon 7000 series
Windows 7 64-bit operating system (Windows 8 is supported as well)
20+ GB of free harddrive space

Firstly, the games not that much different from BF3 and that runs just fine on low end machines.

Secondly, it's published by EA, and if there's one thing EA can do well, it's milk as many people as possible for their cash. They will make damn sure they optimise it for as many people as possible for that cash grab.
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