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fabman_uk

Intentionally limit GPU RAM?

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Does anyone know if it is possible and what tools you can use to intentionally limit the amount of RAM your GPU uses?

 

My reasoning is that I believe some graphics cards are sold with more RAM than they actually need in most cases, I know why people would need more RAM on a graphics card but I think they should be more of the unique cards rather than mainstream.

 

Just having a debate on another website about the 7950 that has 3 GB of RAM, I think it would perform pretty well using only 2 GB of RAM. It wouldn't perfom as well of course, but almost as well. I just would like a benchmark that could prove or disprove my theory.

 

I think gamers with a 1920 x 1080 or 1920 x 1200 screen would be better off with a faster card than more RAM if they wanted better FPS on their games.

 

Thanks!

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if the program only uses 1g of vram at 1080p with no aa or af like most console ports then you would see no performance difference between 1gb and 3gb of vram

upping the res\aa\af using texture mods or tweaking view distance increases memory usage

new games not made for current consoles will use much more vram if they are built for 64bit

if you exceed the amount of vram the card has by a large enough amount the fps can plummet from 120fps to completely unplayable but limiting the amount available will have no effect

 

the only situation where extra vram is slower is when the manufacture puts a larger quantity of slower memory on the card this is all to common with budget cards which should be using gddr5 like on the 1g version but instead they use ddr3

Edited by Dasa

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Thanks Dasa, unfortunately for my pride, I've been proven a fool on the other website.

 

The 384-bit memory bus dictates the amount of RAM, even though their is room for debating the ideal amount of RAM you could use, with a 384-bit bus you can only pick the amount of actual RAM based on that. Even if it turned out for most games it was 2 GB of RAM, the card couldn't support it.

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fabman, I honestly think this change is necessary anyway, it might not be apparant right away, but with the next gen consoles using more ram, we should start seeing high resolution textures, higher poly models etc. etc. which all take up more GPU memory. We currently receive console ports from consoles that use up to 256mb vram, the next gen ones may possibly be able to use 10x that amount.

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Thanks Dasa, unfortunately for my pride, I've been proven a fool on the other website.

 

The 384-bit memory bus dictates the amount of RAM, even though their is room for debating the ideal amount of RAM you could use, with a 384-bit bus you can only pick the amount of actual RAM based on that. Even if it turned out for most games it was 2 GB of RAM, the card couldn't support it.

yeah with 384 bit bus we have 1.5g 3g 6g

on 128\256\512bit we have 1g 2g 4g

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fabman, I honestly think this change is necessary anyway, it might not be apparant right away, but with the next gen consoles using more ram, we should start seeing high resolution textures, higher poly models etc. etc. which all take up more GPU memory. We currently receive console ports from consoles that use up to 256mb vram, the next gen ones may possibly be able to use 10x that amount.

While I agree with those that can afford it, I was thinking a 7950 with 2 GB of RAM could give 95% of the performance in most instances as one with 3 GB of RAM for a good price drop. People who use one monitor and say a 1080 screen could max out nearly every game, so they wouldn't want more.

 

But since it isn't possible, then my thoughts aren't relevant really, just idle chatter.

Edited by fabman_uk

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vram is cheap as chips at best 2g vs 3g might make $30 difference

id say the little bit extra is well worth if for a bit of future proofing or for those that want to run mods in there games

 

but then you get what you want with the 7870 le\joker\myst it is a cut down 7950 for $215 with 2g ram a few parts in the core disabled and a cheaper hsf\pcb

it is 256bit so less traces to run on the pcb less memory chips required and those parts of the core are left unused

Edited by Dasa

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Considering AMD are handling the GPUs for the PS4 and XB1, I think its safe to say that they would have had that in mind when coming out with the specs of the 79xx series, 384 bit bus so that 3gb is possible, as well as guaranteeing that little bit of extra speed. As Dasa said, it wouldn't drop the price of the cards all that much anyway. Another thing I was thinking, is that AMD are planning on focusing on their 7xxx cards for the foreseeable future and as such, 3gb may become a necessity while the 79xx series are still their flagship cards.

 

I'm pretty sure even nvidia are running a 384bit memory bus on their GTX780 cards, which indicates to me, that they have the same thinking as AMD and as far as I'm concerned, if Nvidia and AMD are doing the same thing, it must be the right thing :P

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vram is cheap as chips at best 2g vs 3g might make $30 difference

id say the little bit extra is well worth if for a bit of future proofing or for those that want to run mods in there games

 

but then you get what you want with the 7870 le\joker\myst it is a cut down 7950 for $215 with 2g ram a few parts in the core disabled and a cheaper hsf\pcb

it is 256bit so less traces to run on the pcb less memory chips required and those parts of the core are left unused

I'm only basing my thoughts off of my 6950 1 GB model vs the 2 GB and the 6970 2 GB, which of course doesn't mean it is anything like the 7950 situation.

 

My 6950 1 GB at purchase time was 23% cheaper than the 2 GB model, but performs pretty similar especially at the resolutions I use. Thanks to overclocking and being able to unlock the shaders it runs as the same speeds as a default 6970 with 1 less GB of RAM. I was most pleased with the purchase.

Edited by fabman_uk

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i thought the unlock only worked on the 2gb versions. still, the 6950 was possibly the best value card of all time.

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