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Does a Graphics card depend on system memory?

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  • Radeon
  • Graphics Cards
  • Memory
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Last response: in Graphics Cards
June 21, 2012 12:28:19 PM

Hi,

I recently purchased a Sapphire HD 7850 2GB DDR5 card.I was going thrugh the system requirements for the card and came across a minimum memory requirement of 4GB for single GPU and minimum of 8 for crossfire.I currently own a system which only has 2 GB of DDR2 -667 memory.I game on a 18.5 " monitor with 1366X768 but iam planning to upgrade to a full HD display.

Is satisfying the RAM requirement essential to get good performance out of the card?
How is the performance of a graphics card related to system memory?


Thanks,

Rahul

More about : graphics card depend system memory

June 21, 2012 12:54:18 PM

I strongly recommend you get at Least 4GB ram. It is thought as the minimum for decent PC gaming.
As for the 7850's, they have their own internal memory, which is 2B of GDDR5 so your System memory doesn't really effect the graphics cards, but i do highly recommend you upgrade to at least 4gb ram.
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June 21, 2012 1:46:35 PM

A card like that does not use the system ram for memory, But As mentioned above, I recommend you upgrade to vary least 4GB of ram, games today such as BF3 will use anywhere up to 3.5gb of ram. My system with 8GB of ram will use 2.5gb on ram just at idle after a reboot (start up programs). With BF3 and a few other things running like TS3, Steam, Fraps and Origin needs ram to run, so I will use anywhere from 4.5 to 5gb or ram. I have used 7.8gb before rendering a video.

2gb could hold your gaming back, depending on the game of course.
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June 21, 2012 1:52:33 PM

Running that card on a system with 2 GB 667 Ram is not gonna get you the optimal performance it is capable of. For your current resolution you may be fine, but on a full HD screen you'll need all the juice in that card to get a smooth framerate.

What's your full PC config?
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June 21, 2012 2:08:18 PM

sl4y3r said:
Running that card on a system with 2 GB 667 Ram is not gonna get you the optimal performance it is capable of. For your current resolution you may be fine, but on a full HD screen you'll need all the juice in that card to get a smooth framerate.

What's your full PC config?


What your saying is actually the opposite of what will happen. At lower resolutions the card is not taxed as much so it held up by the speed at which it is fed data from the cpu/main memory. At higher resolutions the card receives the same amount of data but must render more pixels and can not keep up. As long as the graphics card isnt waiting for data, a faster cpu and more memory will have little to no effect on performance. At resolution increases performance depends more on the graphics card.
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June 21, 2012 2:47:13 PM

ewood said:
What your saying is actually the opposite of what will happen. At lower resolutions the card is not taxed as much so it held up by the speed at which it is fed data from the cpu/main memory. At higher resolutions the card receives the same amount of data but must render more pixels and can not keep up. As long as the graphics card isnt waiting for data, a faster cpu and more memory will have little to no effect on performance. At resolution increases performance depends more on the graphics card.



Agreed. Thats why I said once he upgrades to a Full HD screen that card will be bottlenecked.
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June 21, 2012 3:00:38 PM

sl4y3r said:
Agreed. Thats why I said once he upgrades to a Full HD screen that card will be bottlenecked.


No. When he upgrades the card will be more of a bottleneck. The performance of the ram and cpu will matter less.
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June 21, 2012 3:11:05 PM

ewood said:
No. When he upgrades the card will be more of a bottleneck. The performance of the ram and cpu will matter less.


Simple question, Do you think as of now his card is performing to its 100% Potential ? If you think so, then upgrading his ram will not make a difference. I don't, judging from the DDR 2 667 I'd assume that the card isn't performing to its fullest. So lets get that resolved before telling the guy his Graphics card that he just bought is a bottleneck

Also lets not run up to any conclucions without knowing aything more than his Ram Amount , frequency and Graphics card.
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June 21, 2012 3:26:55 PM

I agree 4 GB of RAM would be better than 2GB but I wouldn't sink money into DDR2 RAM. I would make do with what you have, and just make sure you get 4 or 8 GB if you switch to a DDR3 RAM-based system in the future (whenever that may be).
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June 21, 2012 3:28:40 PM

I agree 100% that both the speed an quantity of the ram installed is most likely a bottleneck. It is possible his CPU is also. However saying that the sub par memory will become an even more of a bottleneck after he moves up to a higher resolution monitor is completely false.

To answer rahulbond2002's question, to see the full potential of a gpu you need to match it with sufficient ram and a fast enough cpu. As you move up in resolution you need and increasingly powerful GPU. Higher resolutions do not require an increase in CPU speed and RAM amount/speed.
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June 21, 2012 3:37:59 PM

ewood said:
I agree 100% that both the speed an quantity of the ram installed is most likely a bottleneck. It is possible his CPU is also. However saying that the sub par memory will become an even more of a bottleneck after he moves up to a higher resolution monitor is completely false.

To answer rahulbond2002's question, to see the full potential of a gpu you need to match it with sufficient ram and a fast enough cpu. As you move up in resolution you need and increasingly powerful GPU. Higher resolutions do not require an increase in CPU speed and RAM amount/speed.


I meant that even though his card is underperforming , It should still be good enough to run games at 1366, But to resolve the internal bottleneck (that anyway exist even at 1366 but is less noticable) is for him to upgrade.

To draw a better conclusion I asked for the full specs.

Anyway your last statement answers his question so that what we want :) 
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a b U Graphics card
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June 21, 2012 3:52:43 PM

ewood said:
I agree 100% that both the speed an quantity of the ram installed is most likely a bottleneck. It is possible his CPU is also. However saying that the sub par memory will become an even more of a bottleneck after he moves up to a higher resolution monitor is completely false.

To answer rahulbond2002's question, to see the full potential of a gpu you need to match it with sufficient ram and a fast enough cpu. As you move up in resolution you need and increasingly powerful GPU. Higher resolutions do not require an increase in CPU speed and RAM amount/speed.


Do you have a source for this? not saying your wrong just saying I want some proof

As for the "if gpu is running at 100% upgrading ram = no performance boost" thats not 100% correct, a game can max a video card and still be calling from the paging file, it would be dirt slow sometimes but it can happen.

(IE say a game uses 1.8g of ram to load a map, that map has to stay in cached ram space but things are still happening on screen to affect video card performance, once it goes over 2gb it needs to take it from the paging file however explosions etc are more gpu/cpu based then ram based, at that point an upgrade in ram would be an increase in performance.)

Just trying to the OP that a ram upgrade is necessary, specially with a 300 dollar video card... not like you can't afford it.
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June 21, 2012 4:52:03 PM

mouse24 said:
Do you have a source for this? not saying your wrong just saying I want some proof

As for the "if gpu is running at 100% upgrading ram = no performance boost" thats not 100% correct, a game can max a video card and still be calling from the paging file, it would be dirt slow sometimes but it can happen.

(IE say a game uses 1.8g of ram to load a map, that map has to stay in cached ram space but things are still happening on screen to affect video card performance, once it goes over 2gb it needs to take it from the paging file however explosions etc are more gpu/cpu based then ram based, at that point an upgrade in ram would be an increase in performance.)

Just trying to the OP that a ram upgrade is necessary, specially with a 300 dollar video card... not like you can't afford it.


After looking at my posts you're right, I was saying that the ram wasn't a factor. That't not what I meant to say and you're right it's not true. I was only trying to rebuke the notion that more/faster ram would be MORE important at a higher resolution. I agree a ram upgrade is necessary.
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June 22, 2012 4:47:51 AM

My current configuration is :

Athlon II X4 630 at base clock
1X2GB DDR-667
GIGABYTE M61PME motherboard
Cooler Master 460 W PSU
500 GB SATA 7200 rpm HDD
18.5 inch display running at 1366X768

Are there any components other than the RAM which might limit the performance of my graphics card in my set up?

Thanks,




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June 22, 2012 5:03:51 AM

rahulbond2002 said:
My current configuration is :

Athlon II X4 630 at base clock
1X2GB DDR-667
GIGABYTE M61PME motherboard
Cooler Master 460 W PSU
500 GB SATA 7200 rpm HDD
18.5 inch display running at 1366X768

Are there any components other than the RAM which might limit the performance of my graphics card in my set up?

Thanks,


Nah not really.
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June 22, 2012 8:29:02 AM

mouse24 said:
Nah not really.


My Phenom II x6 1055T 2.8 was a bottleneck for my 6870 and you feel an Athlon II x4 wont be for that card?

Also The AMD site says 500W or greater PSU for that card. I know there are a ton of people who run it on PSU's below 500W but still. Many would reccomend higher.

But as some 1 earlier said make do with what you have and do an overall upgrade to get the best performance outta that card ,because investing money in DDR2 etc will be pointless,
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June 22, 2012 8:50:55 AM

sl4y3r said:
My Phenom II x6 1055T 2.8 was a bottleneck for my 6870 and you feel an Athlon II x4 wont be for that card?

Also The AMD site says 500W or greater PSU for that card. I know there are a ton of people who run it on PSU's below 500W but still. Many would reccomend higher.

But as some 1 earlier said make do with what you have and do an overall upgrade to get the best performance outta that card ,because investing money in DDR2 etc will be pointless,


My athlon 2 x3 doesn't bottleneck my 6870, he would see an increase in performance between an athlon 2 x4 and an i5 but its not a bottleneck. For me in most games my gpu is still able to reach 100%

The card uses 100w max

I agree about the ram, 50 bucks is a bit much for just 4Gb but its either upgrading to a system he doesn't have a cpu and might not have the money for or upgrading to the same socket and costing more then the DDR2 ram would have cost.

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

a c 131 U Graphics card
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June 22, 2012 9:40:48 AM

Your CPU will definatly restrict the maximum frame rate of a 7850 especially at the lower resolution you are using.

Your memory configuration is also not optimal. At the very least you should put a second stick in to match what you have thus giving you dual channel memory. This will lessen any restrictions your single stick could be imposing on your CPU.

You could probably get a nice 4 GB set 2 x 2GB DDR2-800 for very close to what you would pay for an extra stick though so that's the way to go for me.

Your PSU is fine for that card so don't worry about that.

Now as for the initial question. No you do not need anything above a reasonable amount or system Ram to give a GPU optimal performance. Your specific system needs a Ram upgrade regardless of which card you choose to use in my opinion.

The upgrade to a fill HD 1080p display may well increase performance, this is because as mentioned the GPU could be resolution restricted, just to recap. It wouldn't be like a huge increase maybe single figure FPS.

At a lower resolution the GPU is coping easily with the load its being given but the CPU could well be running near to its maximum speed. Basically the GPU is saying ready ready ready ready faster than the CPU can comfortably keep up with, this can cause the GPU to drop the prepared frame and start again which then introduces a latency into the system. The whole thing is much more involved that that but im trying to keep it simple.

At higher resolutions the GPU has a little more to do and sometimes just sometimes this can be the difference the CPU needs to be running within itself.

So get a Ram upgrade for sure. Any thoughts on over clocking the CPU ? this would obviously help. Don't be afraid to go for the better monitor as it can only help not hinder.

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June 24, 2012 6:17:43 AM

Best answer selected by rahulbond2002.
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