hello all I am looking to get a new graphics card and had a questions for the gurus out there. Like a lot of people out there, I am looking forward to playing BF3 and Skyrim on my new PC. I have a 28" monitor and hope to max out the resolution while playing games at 1920x1200. Should I get a 1gb card or a 2gb card? Will the 2gb card be worth the extra money at the higher resolution?
Honestly not too many games will make use of the extra RAM. The case may be different if you want to use eyefinity but even then 1GB is often enough. Even so I would get the 2GB cards simply because games always want more resources so it can only be beneficial in the future.
Fair warning - if its anything like other Bethesda games when you do hit the 1GB limit it doesn't just stay at more or less the same FPS - it drops into the single digits and turns into a slide show. If your CPU is strong enough to help you max all in game settings I'd buy a 2GB card (and I did).
Thank you for the quick replies. I think that I will just pick up a couple 6870s and use crossfire for them. I just wanted to make sure that 1GB will be enough for gaming at a higher resolution and it sounds like I should be okay. Just want to make sure that I will be able to play skyrim with all the bells and whistles =P
Monitor size is irrelevant. At 2560 1600, you'd benefit from 2GB, not at 1920 x 1200
Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:
Ok here i belive (im not 100% sure) that people are mistaking a few things.
On 1 side we have the Resolution, then we have the AA technology used and finally we have the Textures.
All those will define how much ram your video card needs in NON-Crossfire/SLI.
In other words, SLI/Crossfire does NOT add up the ram.
So for 1900x1200 or less, assuming you use todays AA systems (FXAA or MLAA), 1 GB is hangin in there for heavy textured games. It means its close to its limit.
HOWEVER: The games that will run slow (lets say Metro 2033, batlefield 3, skyrim, ETC) will do so before your GPu needs more speed rather than more ram.
In other words: IF an SLI configuration has a decent boost in a game, that game does not have enought textures at the current resolution to require more RAM.
A clear example of this can be found a hardwareheave.com or hardocp.com
Those sites test games in eyefinity many times and you see there what is and what is not bottlenecked by ram.
I hope this will give you a general idea.
As a final note, if you have heard some of the stuff surrounding the game RAGE from ID, that is supposed to have up to 8k independant textures, it runs really really smooth on my 560 Ti with 1900x1080, but its clear the engine is good, but weak.
@JackNaylorPE Thanks for the breakdown info. Looks like Im going 6870x2 with the 1gb cards. There are a lot of mail in rebates going on this week at newegg.com for the 6870 cards so ill jump on them while they are still good. Thanks everyone for the help!