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Vram and high res gaming

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January 12, 2013 12:54:00 AM

I am getting mixed reviews / advice on this subject so I came to the one place I trust..

I am currently in the market for a graphics card to support 5760x1080. The ones I have my eyes on are the Evga GTX 670 4gb or the Evga GTX 680 2gb. I have heard from many different sources that a 4gb card would be better suited for higher resolution, while at the same time from as many sources stating that the Vram wall is impossible to reach in any normal scenario (only possible with HD Graphic modifications)and that 2gb would perform just as well. I do plan on getting a second of whichever card for SLI in the near future (3-4 months). I would prefer the gtx 680 2gb because I can get it for minimal price difference and it is a much better card, whereas a 4gb 680 would cost over $100 more.

More about : vram high res gaming

a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2013 1:11:56 AM

Definitely get the 4GB version if you're going to SLI and play at 5760x1080. And no, 680 is not a much better card, it's just much more expensive. If you overclock both to same frequency, the difference in FPS is within margin of error.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/598?vs=555
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2013 1:14:08 AM

Higher resolutions require more Vram.

I would absolutely go with the 4GB model since you will be running a very large resolution.

I would hate to see you get the 2GB model and then run into a 'wall' of not enough vram to power the huge resolution, the only thing that will come from that is huge performance loss.

In short, it's a much safer bet to get the 4GB model than the 2GB for a very high resolution.
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a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2013 1:17:10 AM

Well I am not sure if a 256 bit bus can make use of 4GB VRAM?? There is very little difference between the 2GB and 4GB models for a reason!
January 12, 2013 2:26:56 AM

Quote:
Well I am not sure if a 256 bit bus can make use of 4GB VRAM??


Anyone care to elaborate or enlighten on this?
a c 86 U Graphics card
January 12, 2013 2:33:06 AM

I think that redeemer's point is that the GTX 670 and 680 may have memory bandwidth performance problems before they run out of memory capacity on the 2GB models. To an extent, it is true, but there are a few situations where the 4GB models have an advantage. Only a few. Overall, they're usually not worth the money over the 2GB models and for high resolution gaming, it's often simply better to go for an AMD card 79xx card (or cards).
a c 86 U Graphics card
January 12, 2013 2:35:31 AM

Also, do you already have a 680 2GB? Your post seems to imply that IMO and if so, then don't bother with a 4GB card because it's second 2GB will be locked in SLI if it's put in SLI with a 2GB model.
January 12, 2013 2:59:45 AM

Quote:
Overall, they're usually not worth the money over the 2GB models


So if I could buy a 4gb 670 for roughly the same price of a 2gb 680 I should go for it? And no, I currently do not own either card.
a c 86 U Graphics card
January 12, 2013 3:03:46 AM

dagodeiros said:
Quote:
Overall, they're usually not worth the money over the 2GB models


So if I could buy a 4gb 670 for roughly the same price of a 2gb 680 I should go for it? And no, I currently do not own either card.


If you find them for about the same price, then there's little reason to not go for the 4GB card. However, when I check, the prices are usually quite different, granted I haven't checked much in a while and could be out of date on GTX 670/680 4GB pricing.

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a c 216 U Graphics card
January 12, 2013 3:16:55 AM
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The reason 4GB rarely makes a difference is that at 5760x1080 resolution, the frame buffers are still only ~25mb in size. So the difference between 1080p and 5760x1080 is less than 25mb of VRAM. However, AA has a tendency to eat vram as you push it up to higher numbers. So in order for the card to need more vram than 2GB, you'd have to push high levels of AA, but at that resolution, the performance hit is too high to use AA anyways.

It isn't until you push 3/4 way SLI that it becomes possible and maintain playable FPS.
a c 119 U Graphics card
January 12, 2013 3:19:05 AM

blazorthon said:
Overall, they're usually not worth the money over the 2GB models and for high resolution gaming, it's often simply better to go for an AMD card 79xx card (or cards).


+1

By the time you can get a 670 4GB, you can get a 7970 with 3GB and a wider memory bus at stock for $50 cheaper. Also a superior multi-monitor utility integrated.
Gigabyte 670 4GB. $ 450
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gigabyte HD7970 3GB. $400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

By the time you can afford a 680 4GB, its only $30 more until you can get a 6GB 7970.
Gigabyte 680 4GB. $540
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sapphire Vapor-X 7970 6GB. $580
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Better off with AMD if your after high resolution gaming.
January 12, 2013 3:24:20 AM

I can pick up a EVGA GTX 670 4gb for $379.99. I hear it will be better in SLI than the AMD cards too.
January 12, 2013 4:42:30 AM

False, Nvidia cards have scaled worse in SLI vs CF since the 6000 series,

4GB vs 2GB doesn't mean anything, both will perform fine because as you go up in resolution the vram usage only increases by 30mb or so, the only difference is displaying images(such as AA/AF/High graphical detail) on high resolution is much much more taxing than displaying it, on say, a lower resolution, like 1600x900 or 1920x1080.

However if those two are your only choices I'd go with a 2GB model because your games and applications will turn into a laggy mess far before 4GB is used, because of the 256-bit bandwidth. I'd just reccomend a 7970GHz edition, faster than a GTX680, and much better with higher resolutions.
a c 86 U Graphics card
January 12, 2013 4:50:44 AM

darksparten said:
False, Nvidia cards have scaled worse in SLI vs CF since the 6000 series,

4GB vs 2GB doesn't mean anything, both will perform fine because as you go up in resolution the vram usage only increases by 30mb or so, the only difference is displaying images(such as AA/AF/High graphical detail) on high resolution is much much more taxing than displaying it, on say, a lower resolution, like 1600x900 or 1920x1080.

However if those two are your only choices I'd go with a 2GB model because your games and applications will turn into a laggy mess far before 4GB is used, because of the 256-bit bandwidth. I'd just reccomend a 7970GHz edition, faster than a GTX680, and much better with higher resolutions.


Of the Radeon 6000 series, only the VLIW4 GPU-based cards from the Radeon HD 6000 series usually scaled very well. That would be only the Radeon 6930, 6950, 6970, and 6990. The rest were all VLIW5 cards of various generations (Radeon 6800 was an updated versions of it, Radeon 6700 and below was a direct copy of the Radeon 5000 implementation) and did not scale well and were much more stutter-prone in dual-GPU configurations.
a c 86 U Graphics card
January 12, 2013 5:18:59 AM

bystander said:
As far as scaling goes, there isn't much difference between them:
http://www.ocaholic.ch/xoops/html/modules/smartsection/...
(that showed the 7970 cf scales slightly better in benchmarks, and the 680 sli scaled slightly better in games).


Yeah, one of the few things that I really like about Kepler is how it greatly improved Nvidia's SLI scaling compared to Fermi.
January 18, 2013 2:35:28 AM

Best answer selected by dagodeiros.
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