Hi, I've noticed that there are a lot of gamers on this site. I'd like to know if there are games out there or expected to be that use above 512MB VRAM? Also what is the No. 1 benefit of ATI? Never hurts to ask...
A majority of new games will utilize more than 512mb of RAM, when all the "bells and whistles" are enabled in the graphics settings. (High Resolutions, Anti-Aliasing, Ansiotropic Filtering, Shadowing Effects, Motion Blur, etc etc...)
Alot of newer games show a benefit in having more than 512MB of RAM, especially when you raise the resolution and AA along with AF. The earliest game I remember noticeably favoring more than 512MB is GRID.
It's true that 512mb vRAM is the minimum for most of today's games, but using 1680 x 1050 and higher resolutions with AA/AF/etc on, you'll need 1GB of vRAM. 2GB is wayyy overkill unless you do game at 2500x1600 resolution and even then, there isn't a big difference with the 1GB.
Here is an article from Tom's comparing the 512mb, 1GB, and 2GB versions of the ATI 4870, just click here.
Edit: ATI's #1 benefit is that you get the best performance for what you are paying. With equal performance to Nvidia cards, ATI cards will cost just slightly less, as you get into the higher-end cards, you'll see a big gap in price when you compare an ATI and Nvidia card.
Not a fact, but people say: ATI GPU seems to do best with an Intel CPU and a Nvidia GPU seems to do best with an AMD CPU.