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How important is video memory?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 30, 2006 10:51:02 PM

Does having 256mb on the video card vs. 128mb really make that much of a difference?

I'm looking at buying a XFX 6600GT AGP w/ 128mb

I'm currently running a 5700 w/ 256.

More about : important video memory

March 31, 2006 4:18:53 AM

Yeah, for a 6600GT there is no difference. Only with higher end cards does it matter, cause then you can turn on all the effects that use video memory. There is a few rare cases in older games where you wouldnt be able to turn everything to max, even though the card would be capable of handling it, simply because it doesn't have enough video memory (Max Payne 2 is the example I am thinking of). But for basically any game out today, 256 mb is plenty. Future games will utilize more, but again, you will need a high end card to be able to enable enough effects to use that much memory.

That's why a 6800 512 Mb is a totally pointless card.
April 1, 2006 6:57:27 PM

Quote:
Does having 256mb on the video card vs. 128mb really make that much of a difference?

I'm looking at buying a XFX 6600GT AGP w/ 128mb

I'm currently running a 5700 w/ 256.


Vista recommends 512MB memory, so you might want to consider upgrading again someday. For now it doesn't matter though, get the 6600GT.
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April 1, 2006 7:50:26 PM

Quote:
Windows recommends 512MB SYSTEM memory, not GPU memory. That's totally irrevalent to the question right now.


Oh sorry about that. I thought that I saw an article that said that 512MB GPU memory was recommended for Vista, which I thought was kinda insane. Must have been tired or something. Just checked, they recommmend 64MB graphics memory. Sorry 'bout that! :D 
a b U Graphics card
April 1, 2006 8:23:55 PM

If you can find an X850XT with 256 mb, you'd enable higher levels of quality and be just as fast if not faster....
April 1, 2006 10:48:35 PM

This article shows the performance between 256 and 512, but as you can see.. there are more than a few new games that will fill up a 256 card and still want more. I think 128 just doesn't cut it anymore.

http://www.pureoverclock.com/article33.html
April 2, 2006 7:00:53 PM

Syzler wrote:
Quote:
This article shows the performance between 256 and 512, but as you can see.. there are more than a few new games that will fill up a 256 card and still want more. I think 128 just doesn't cut it anymore.

http://www.pureoverclock.com/article33.html


Exactly the point I was trying to make earlier. With higher end cards, ie the 7800 GT in that test, they can handle the effects, and therefore use up their video memory. HOWEVER, with lower end cards, ie, 6800, 6600 GT, especially 5700, etc., they are unable to enable enough effects to use up a lot more then 128 mb of video memory.
April 2, 2006 7:29:44 PM

Picture this..........you're standing there with a babe and she's ready.....you turn around with your 128 in your hand, she see's it, her eyes grow wide, she grins.....
Suddenly your buddy walks in with his 256 in his hand, she spies it, her eyes almost pop out of her head, and she's grinning like the Joker.
I think you should've locked the door.
April 2, 2006 7:37:45 PM

You're saying that when I race EA Nascar Sim Racing at 1600 x 1200 32 bit, 85-120 FPS, with everything ON except the opponents Pit Crew I'm only using 128 MB or a little more ?
Somehow I don't think so.........
April 2, 2006 8:45:35 PM

Astounding that no one has bothered to actually say what video memory is actually FOR. Please note: video memory is for storing textures. THAT IS ALL. (Well, not quite all, but for the purposes of this discussion we shall treat video RAM as Texture memory.)

Increasing texture memory allows you to use the higest quality settings for textures, as well as raise the resolution of your game playing. Forcing the card to swap textures into and out of memory causes the frame rate to dive, as does raising the resolution beyond what your memory can comfortably handle.

In my view, you'd be crazy to buy any video card with less than 256MB of memory today, and in fact, should buy a 512MB card if one is available without a crazy price premium.
April 3, 2006 6:23:10 AM

Quote:

Vista recommends 512MB memory, so you might want to consider upgrading again someday. For now it doesn't matter though, get the 6600GT.


512mb of system memory is the MINIMUM requirement for windows VISTA, they recommend 2Gb of Ram :p 
April 5, 2006 1:52:54 AM

Ouch. :o 
!