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Mid Range Cards with 1GB of Memory?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 28, 2008 5:12:21 AM

If someone could shed some light.

My understanding is that most of these mid range to mid-low range cards don't have the memory bus to really take advantage of 1GB of memory. I have not seen the benchmarks but many claim that the difference is pretty minimal between the 1GB 8800GT and the 512MB GT.

So what gives? Why does it seem to be getting more common for these cards to be equipped with 1GB of memory. The two that I know of are the 8800GT and the 3850.

It sounds like we could have a real winner if a high end card would get 1GB of memory with a decent memory bus (lets forget about the 2900XT).

So what are your thoughts?
March 28, 2008 5:45:58 AM

Well a 1Gb card is twice as good as a 512Mb card.

Isnt it????

I dont think 1Gb is needed at this time. Maybe running 25x16 rez it will help, but by that stage ur fps will be so low anyway.

I think some companies throw these cards out there just to test consumer reactions.
March 28, 2008 7:20:40 AM

The only real card that would benifit would be the 8800GTS which I personaly think is held back by the 512 and the 9800GX2 (1gb per core) as it is based on the 8800GTS the rest of the cards its really a marketing gimmick with only minimal gains in performance
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March 28, 2008 8:02:13 AM

Ananan said:
They actually make a 2600xt with 1 GB of memory.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Yeah I saw that, but I believe thats a dual GPU.

I tried to see if I could dig up a few benchmarks but no luck.

But I've heard that even at high resolution the 1GB memory is handicapped by its low memory bus. Also the GTS is practically an overclocked GT. The 8800GT is available with 1GB, which again I've heard that its been handicapped by its 256bit memory interface.

I guess my argument is; if thats the case then why even do it in the first place? I know marketing probably has alot to do with it. I just know some poor sap is going to pay extra for one of these cards thinking a 3850 1GB is going to out perform a GTX or something to along those lines. :ouch: 

So I dunno...
a b U Graphics card
March 28, 2008 8:24:59 AM

Thats a sell isnt it? As long as it sells, and everyone gets a little action along the way as theyre overpriced, non performing oddities. On a faster card, thats a different story. I think we'll find out if the 256 bus is hindering a faster card if they come out with the 9800GTX with 1 Gig of memory
March 28, 2008 9:05:14 AM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Thats a sell isnt it? As long as it sells, and everyone gets a little action along the way as theyre overpriced, non performing oddities. On a faster card, thats a different story. I think we'll find out if the 256 bus is hindering a faster card if they come out with the 9800GTX with 1 Gig of memory


Well, I think the 9800GTX is pretty close to the GTS and the GTS is pretty close the GT. So I think the 1GB 8800GT probably serves as a pretty good forcast for us. But I guess we wont know until we see it, just like the weather eh? :lol: 
a b U Graphics card
March 28, 2008 9:29:25 AM

Damn that global warming is messing everything up....
a b U Graphics card
a b } Memory
March 28, 2008 11:40:46 AM

The majority of people firmly believe that is 512meg is good, 1Gb is twice as good.
Ask anyone who is not an enthusiast what their PC needs to run faster.

The answer is always "more memory, I think I only have a 80 gig memory chip in it"
Yes, only 80 gig. Most people don't even friggin know what the memory is.

I remember paying as much as $40 a meg. We only installed or bought a system with the bare minimum we needed. Now that it is cheap, everyone thinks WOW! I can put tons of memory into my PC and make it scream. How many posts have you seen like this around here:
"XP not using 4GB" or "Vista 32 and 4Gb" or the latest one I read for a good laugh, "Vista 32 and SP1" where the poster ranted, raved and proudly proclaimed the after the SP1 update, his 32 bit Vista is indeed now able to use all 4 gig of his memory installed on-board. I am not knocking the guy, a lot of people just don't know any better.

Anyway, yeah it's a marketing ploy, and one I am sure will sell many overpriced GPU's.


To jaydeejohn, there are reviews out stating that the 256 bit memory buss is already bottlenecking even 512meg of memory.

"Where Did My Memory Go?
We feel that the use of 512MB of RAM and its more narrow bus per GPU on the GeForce 9800 GX2 is a bottleneck, especially when running Quad SLI. Four of these GPUs are very powerful, with an incredible amount of shader power. The shader performance exists here to push pixels at extremely high resolutions and in-game settings and AA settings. However, the storage space isn’t there to support the high resolutions and AA settings that four GPUs are capable of pushing. That combined with the narrow 256-bit memory bus means the GPU shader performance is way out of balance with the storage and memory bandwidth supporting each GPU. This was proven with GeForce 8800 GTX SLI (2 GPUs, but backed by 768MB of RAM and 384-bit memory bus) allowing higher settings than Quad SLI, and smoother more consistent performance."

Link to full article here: http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTQ3OCw4...
March 28, 2008 11:55:19 AM

about the memory on the graphics system.the buswidth is the first factor and the amount of proccessing power from the gpu is another factor.

THIS APPLY TO LOW TO MID RANGE GRAPHICS CARD
if the gpu cant render enough frame to fill up the 1gb memory so its abit point less buy a 1gb graphics card when the gpu isnt capable.

THIS APPLY TO HIGH END GRAPHICS CARD
if your gpu is very power full and luckily its got 1gb memory for caching but only got a small bandwidth to allow the information to go through,than its pointless again to get a 1gb model compare to a 768 or 512 model.

about the 1gb mid range card,i guess it does help the frame rate only at high resolution where memory is the limit.i have read a review somewhere when they compare the 9600GT 1GB to a 8800GT 512.Both have 256bit bandwidth the only difference is the amount of stream processor inside the GPU.at resolution under 1920 the 8800gt wins the 9600gt.but when it was tested in 1920 and 2560 with and without aa+af the 9600GT with 1gb memory took the lead.

But if the same senario but with a 8600GTS 1GB instead of the 9600GT the 8800GT will always win no matter at what resolution.Because the 8600GTS only has 64 Stream processor and 128bit system bandwidth.so the 8600GTS was never able to fully ultilise the 1GB onboard memory that its got.

So only get 1GB graphics card is when it is coupled with a high end GPU!
March 28, 2008 1:00:49 PM

It is just a marketing gimmick when lower-mid range cards have that much vram. In the past, they did it with cheaper ram modules too. So you could get a 9600 Pro from ATI with fast 128 MB ram or you could get a 9600 Pro from sapphire with 256 ram. What they didn't tell you was the ram was a lot slower. And even if the memory bus could have supported that much ram (which it couldn't efficently) it was slower overall because of the cheaper slower ram. But, guess what they did...? They put on the box, in big crazy lettering "256 Ram" and make some false claim about how much better it was to have all that ram.

I think there is less of that going on now, but it still happens. I think a 3850 with a gig of ram would be an example, though.
March 28, 2008 2:54:49 PM

just get a 512mb video it will be enough.
March 28, 2008 8:04:36 PM

iluvgillgill said:
just get a 512mb video it will be enough.


Did you read my post? I was just trying to make a point. :hello: 

I already have an 8800GTS G92. :pt1cable: 

I just wasn't sure if I was missing something because it just wasn't adding up.
a b U Graphics card
March 28, 2008 9:17:36 PM

From [H] : The GeForce 9800 GX2 GPUs have a higher core frequency, shader frequency, and memory frequency than a GeForce 8800 GTX. However, the GeForce 8800 GTX has more RAM (768MB) and a wider memory bus (384-bit.) Those are the only two major performance differences between the GPUs. This evaluation has proven that those GTX memory features will equate to a better gaming experience in Call of Duty 4 and Jericho by allowing smoother and more consistent framerates at high resolutions. The GX2’s GPUs have more shader horsepower, but in these newer games like Jericho and COD 4, that doesn’t matter when you start bringing up the resolution and factor in AA.


Crysis was the only game where Quad SLI showed a gameplay advantage thanks to its tremendous amount of shader horsepower. However, even with that, Quad SLI downright choked in Crysis when we tried to apply even 2X AA. Quite simply, 512MB of RAM and the narrowed memory bus are prime suspects for bottlenecking the GeForce 9800 GX2 Quad
First, they start out saying that the only two major differences are the bus and the ram, but the paragraph before that they show that the clocks are higher across the board, memory, core and shader. HUH? Then they go on saying that the bus AND the memory are suspects, but until theres a 1 gig memory unit out, we wont know if thats simply limited to lack of memlory or memory and the bus. I didnt like [H]s conclusion, as its somewhat contradictory
March 29, 2008 12:16:13 AM

mrmez said:
I think some companies throw these cards out there just to test consumer reactions.


Well, the noob's anyway.

I was once one of those noobs and bought a Geforce FX5500 with 256Mb and thought it must be good. We all know now that FX's were poor and any game that needed more than 128Mb (at the time, early 2004) would not run with decent FPS at decent settings. Hell, I remember struggling with Far Cry with that card, the way some people are struggling with Crysis with their 512Mb 8600GT's
March 29, 2008 1:11:46 AM

From what ive heard 1GB on the 8800GT/ GTS/ 9600GT Acutally cant hurt it, it just has more of its own memory to use before it starts using the RAM.

It really only hurts performance on those low-end hunk of junks 2600XT/8600GT 1GB? wtf? a 128bit-bus and 1GB = worthless
March 29, 2008 1:46:27 AM

Quality of ram is also an issue.

I remember the gts 640 not being much faster, and sometimes even slower than the gts320 as it used poor quality ram which didnt run as fast.

So that 'seems' to suggest 512 seems to be enough, its just a matter of getting some more b/w out of them.
March 29, 2008 2:01:17 AM

I feel bus and memory quantity always has a sweet spot.. for instance

256mb & 128bit
512mb & 256bit
768mb & 384bit
1024mb & 512bit

1GB 8800GTS cards would be interesting, especially for SLi.
It'd be interesting to see high resolution differences between 8800GT 512mb / 1024mb cards when in SLi... on benchmarks & Crysis / COD4 etc.
March 29, 2008 2:47:17 AM

dev1se said:
I feel bus and memory quantity always has a sweet spot.. for instance

256mb & 128bit
512mb & 256bit
768mb & 384bit
1024mb & 512bit

1GB 8800GTS cards would be interesting, especially for SLi.
It'd be interesting to see high resolution differences between 8800GT 512mb / 1024mb cards when in SLi... on benchmarks & Crysis / COD4 etc.


Not to one up you, but I think that actual best scenario is equal amounts. 256 ram & 256 bus, 512 ram & 512 bus. But, now days they seem to follow your rules :( 
a b U Graphics card
March 29, 2008 4:38:06 AM

Of course there is the 2900xt with 1 gig, which had the 512 ring bus,helped a bit, but we all know the limitations of that card, it couldnt do AA because of the crippled backend, but even so, and being much slowetr than a 9800XT, it still helped. Like I said, til someone releases a card that can actually use 1 gig, we wont really know for sure. Was the small improvements from the ram or the ring bus?
March 29, 2008 6:16:18 AM

jitpublisher said:
The majority of people firmly believe that is 512meg is good, 1Gb is twice as good.
Ask anyone who is not an enthusiast what their PC needs to run faster.

The answer is always "more memory, I think I only have a 80 gig memory chip in it"
Yes, only 80 gig. Most people don't even friggin know what the memory is.

I thought it was only me being told this by computer-owners-with-problems. Try to keep a straight face while they say it, too.

Yes, to many, some is good, therefore, more is better.
March 29, 2008 6:49:22 AM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Of course there is the 2900xt with 1 gig, which had the 512 ring bus,helped a bit, but we all know the limitations of that card, it couldnt do AA because of the crippled backend, but even so, and being much slowetr than a 9800XT, it still helped. Like I said, til someone releases a card that can actually use 1 gig, we wont really know for sure. Was the small improvements from the ram or the ring bus?


Well, as we well remember, the 2900xt is still memory beast. It was top dog in every memory hungry aplications. Pity that it was not guite what was hoped for in other aspect, but yes... 1GB of memory and 512 bit memory bus would help todays best graphick cards in higher resolutions, but allso make them much more expensive to produce (and to buy...)
2900 was aimed at +$600 price... and was forsed to sell for much less, because of architectural problems.
I still think that 512 wide bus card would cost 600-800 dollars, so there is not much market for those. Even nvidia has moved back from 384 bit bus to 256, because of better profit... and ATI has abandoned high end GPU:s totally, because it is cheaper to produce mid-range cards, and compete high end with multiple cores...
!