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#31 Besidilo

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:30 AM

95% of the time you'd be limited by the raw power of the GPU anyway. Unless you have an uber rig with 2 or 3 high-end Nvidia/AMD cards, I wouldn't worry all that much about VRAM. That is, until you decide to pair your weak PC with a high resolution monitor... Maxing out the potential of Skyrim results in crashes regardless of your VRAM buffer. The engine is not capable of handling 4K-8K resolution textures or loading up large areas at once.
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#32 DoYouEvenModBro

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:32 AM


I'm struggling to find games that would make an efficient use of my Radeon 7970's 3GB VRAM at 2560x1440.

Honestly, Skyrim is the only one that comes close to the limit with the right choice of textures.

1.5 GB on my old GTX 580 was another story. It becomes a limiting factor in quite a few games.

I highly doubt we'll see use of console video games using excessive amounts of VRAM. After all, they're be all limited to 1920x1080 anyway.

In any case, Falcon's guide is fairly decent if you live in the US. Although I wouldn't completely rely on it for building a gaming system, since it's usually better to allocate 25-40% of your budget towards the best graphics card you can get. Radeon 7950 3GB is the best value for money card that can overclock to similar levels that most 7970s do and is even better than an overclocked GTX 770 (or GTX 680 for the well-informed individuals) in some games.

PC Part Picker has a good rundown of the best prices for specific components, which may save you $'000s if used right.

Honestly, don't bother future-proofing your rig, because it will be dated in a year or two no matter what you do. Just make the most efficient use of your budget and buy a good all-around system. If you ever need to upgrade, the graphics card is the most likely component to be replaced and these have struggled with providing any improvements in the past few years.

Yea, open world games will require the most VRAM since they have to load huge open areas with tons of textures. Any linear game (so basically like 90% of all games) will most likely not require even close to 3 GB of vram. Even crysis 3 which was supposed to be THE best looking game (not sure if I believe that) used under 2 gb  I think. Same with Metro Last Light. 


95% of the time you'd be limited by the raw power of the GPU anyway.

Unless you have an uber rig with 2 or 3 high-end Nvidia/AMD cards, I wouldn't worry all that much about VRAM. That is, until you decide to pair your weak PC with a high resolution monitor...

I'd say 2 GB of VRAM is probably fine for most games out there. When you start getting into Skyrim and modding, 3 GB would be better. Anything over 3 I think is unnecessary unless you go into resolutions higher than 1080p or multi-monitors, etc. 
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#33 Besidilo

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:40 AM

I still don't understand that argument. Unless you go REALLY HIGH resolution with multiple monitors and high levels of AA, 3GB VRAM doesn't become a limiting factor. Just look at the reviews of GTX 780 vs the Titan, one card has 3GB VRAM, the other 6GB. VRAM is not an issue in almost any case, and they test the cards at resolutions way higher than any single monitor can output. The VRAM argument has been overplayed for as long as dedicated graphics card units are a thing. I've been a PC gamer for close to 20 years and it's always the same tune.
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#34 DoYouEvenModBro

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:45 AM




I'm struggling to find games that would make an efficient use of my Radeon 7970's 3GB VRAM at 2560x1440.

Honestly, Skyrim is the only one that comes close to the limit with the right choice of textures.

1.5 GB on my old GTX 580 was another story. It becomes a limiting factor in quite a few games.

I highly doubt we'll see use of console video games using excessive amounts of VRAM. After all, they're be all limited to 1920x1080 anyway.

In any case, Falcon's guide is fairly decent if you live in the US. Although I wouldn't completely rely on it for building a gaming system, since it's usually better to allocate 25-40% of your budget towards the best graphics card you can get. Radeon 7950 3GB is the best value for money card that can overclock to similar levels that most 7970s do and is even better than an overclocked GTX 770 (or GTX 680 for the well-informed individuals) in some games.

PC Part Picker has a good rundown of the best prices for specific components, which may save you $'000s if used right.

Honestly, don't bother future-proofing your rig, because it will be dated in a year or two no matter what you do. Just make the most efficient use of your budget and buy a good all-around system. If you ever need to upgrade, the graphics card is the most likely component to be replaced and these have struggled with providing any improvements in the past few years.

Yea, open world games will require the most VRAM since they have to load huge open areas with tons of textures. Any linear game (so basically like 90% of all games) will most likely not require even close to 3 GB of vram. Even crysis 3 which was supposed to be THE best looking game (not sure if I believe that) used under 2 gb  I think. Same with Metro Last Light. 


95% of the time you'd be limited by the raw power of the GPU anyway.

Unless you have an uber rig with 2 or 3 high-end Nvidia/AMD cards, I wouldn't worry all that much about VRAM. That is, until you decide to pair your weak PC with a high resolution monitor...

I'd say 2 GB of VRAM is probably fine for most games out there. When you start getting into Skyrim and modding, 3 GB would be better. Anything over 3 I think is unnecessary unless you go into resolutions higher than 1080p or multi-monitors, etc. 


I still don't understand that argument. Unless you go REALLY HIGH resolution with multiple monitors and high levels of AA, 3GB VRAM doesn't become a limiting factor. Just look at the reviews of GTX 780 vs the Titan, one card has 3GB VRAM, the other 6GB. VRAM is not an issue in almost any case, and they test the cards at resolutions way higher than any single monitor can output.

The VRAM argument has been overplayed for as long as dedicated graphics card units are a thing. I've been a PC gamer for close to 20 years and it's always the same tune.

No I'm saying that assuming you want the highest levels of AA, and the highest settings at 1080p, 2 GB will be fine for most games, 3 GB for games like skyrim (I hit 2.8 VRAM max with modded skyrim at 1080p). I'm saying that if you want to go multi-monitor or high-resolutions, you'll probably need 4 (for games like Skyrim). You could definitely get away with 2 or 3 if you're just playing shooters or regular games with multi monitors.
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#35 Besidilo

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:50 AM

How do you measure your VRAM usage? I don't believe you can use all 3 GB at 1920x1080 and I haven't seen anyone complaining about 2 GB being a limiting factor in this game. I suppose it really does depend if you use supersampling, but that increases the effective resolution making the argument half-valid and non-relevant to most gamers (since SuperSampling has its own fair share of issues and most people won't use it). Your argument that multi-monitor users "probably need 4 (GB VRAM)" is just a speculation. There's a simple test against that. Look up reviews of the GTX 780 3GB (Titan LE) and see how it fares against the more powerful Titan GPU 6GB when overclocked. Then look for any mentions of VRAM limitations. Here's a tip: you'll find none.
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#36 DoYouEvenModBro

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:54 AM






I'm struggling to find games that would make an efficient use of my Radeon 7970's 3GB VRAM at 2560x1440.

Honestly, Skyrim is the only one that comes close to the limit with the right choice of textures.

1.5 GB on my old GTX 580 was another story. It becomes a limiting factor in quite a few games.

I highly doubt we'll see use of console video games using excessive amounts of VRAM. After all, they're be all limited to 1920x1080 anyway.

In any case, Falcon's guide is fairly decent if you live in the US. Although I wouldn't completely rely on it for building a gaming system, since it's usually better to allocate 25-40% of your budget towards the best graphics card you can get. Radeon 7950 3GB is the best value for money card that can overclock to similar levels that most 7970s do and is even better than an overclocked GTX 770 (or GTX 680 for the well-informed individuals) in some games.

PC Part Picker has a good rundown of the best prices for specific components, which may save you $'000s if used right.

Honestly, don't bother future-proofing your rig, because it will be dated in a year or two no matter what you do. Just make the most efficient use of your budget and buy a good all-around system. If you ever need to upgrade, the graphics card is the most likely component to be replaced and these have struggled with providing any improvements in the past few years.

Yea, open world games will require the most VRAM since they have to load huge open areas with tons of textures. Any linear game (so basically like 90% of all games) will most likely not require even close to 3 GB of vram. Even crysis 3 which was supposed to be THE best looking game (not sure if I believe that) used under 2 gb  I think. Same with Metro Last Light. 


95% of the time you'd be limited by the raw power of the GPU anyway.

Unless you have an uber rig with 2 or 3 high-end Nvidia/AMD cards, I wouldn't worry all that much about VRAM. That is, until you decide to pair your weak PC with a high resolution monitor...

I'd say 2 GB of VRAM is probably fine for most games out there. When you start getting into Skyrim and modding, 3 GB would be better. Anything over 3 I think is unnecessary unless you go into resolutions higher than 1080p or multi-monitors, etc. 


I still don't understand that argument. Unless you go REALLY HIGH resolution with multiple monitors and high levels of AA, 3GB VRAM doesn't become a limiting factor. Just look at the reviews of GTX 780 vs the Titan, one card has 3GB VRAM, the other 6GB. VRAM is not an issue in almost any case, and they test the cards at resolutions way higher than any single monitor can output.

The VRAM argument has been overplayed for as long as dedicated graphics card units are a thing. I've been a PC gamer for close to 20 years and it's always the same tune.

No I'm saying that assuming you want the highest levels of AA, and the highest settings at 1080p, 2 GB will be fine for most games, 3 GB for games like skyrim (I hit 2.8 VRAM max with modded skyrim at 1080p). I'm saying that if you want to go multi-monitor or high-resolutions, you'll probably need 4. I don't see the confusion. 


How do you measure your VRAM usage? I don't believe you can use all 3 GB at 1920x1080 and I haven't seen anyone complaining about 2 GB being a limiting factor in this game. I suppose it really does depend if you use supersampling, but that increases the effective resolution making the argument half-valid and non-relevant to most gamers (since SuperSampling has its own fair share of issues and most people won't use it).

Your argument that multi-monitor users "probably need 4 (GB VRAM)" is just a speculation. There's a simple test against that. Look up reviews of the GTX 780 3GB (Titan LE) and see how it fares against the more powerful Titan GPU 6GB when overclocked. Then look for any mentions of VRAM limitations. Here's a tip: you'll find none.

I revised my last post before you replied. I meant you'd need 4 GB if you're playing a modded Skyrim with multi monitors and/or high-resolutions. I mean like I said, my modded Skyrim uses around 2.5-2.6 GB of VRAM on average in outside areas. SOMETIMES it gets up to 2.8 and once I saw it hit 3.0. It's been explained on here multiple times that a fully modded skyrim can easily fill up 3 gb of VRAM. 
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#37 Besidilo

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:56 AM

It's also been proven that you'll often run into crashes before you even reach said wall. My initial question still stands, how do you measure the effective VRAM usage in Skyrim? I haven't seen many people doing it any reliable way. S4BN has explained it a number of times. EDIT: let's remove these quotes because the thread is getting ridiculous with replies 10x longer than the actual content.
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#38 DoYouEvenModBro

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:59 AM

It's also been proven that you'll often run into crashes before you even reach said wall.

My initial question still stands, how do you measure the effective VRAM usage in Skyrim? I haven't seen many people doing it any reliable way. S4BN has explained it a number of times.

Oh woops, sorry. Looked over that. I've been using Skyrim Performance Monitor. You can get it on the Nexus. I've also confirmed this with MSI Afterburner. Also, yes, sometimes you crash when you use a lot of VRAM since it's mirrored to some extent (i dont really understand it) in system RAM, however even with a ton of texture reductions and a stable game, my VRAM is still at least like 2.3 or 2.4 so my original point still stands. 
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#39 Besidilo

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:05 AM

But the problem with measuring VRAM is that it doesn't distinguish between what's being paged, buffered or actually used by the game. It also won't tell you how much VRAM is REQUIRED by the game, since you can have two exactly the same systems, one with 1GB VRAM card (say an HD 7870) and one with 2GB VRAM at a relatively low resolution, like 1600x900, or something along these lines, and on exactly two identically Skyrim setups you will see different VRAM usage? Why? Because one card has more VRAM to do the buffering. In no way does it mean the lower card will struggle performance-wise because it's close to its limit. It's when you actually do hit the limit when the symptoms become too obvious to ignore. Whilst I agree that being on the safe side is always better in the long term, it doesn't necessarily mean that we should fully engage in recommending ridiculously expensive cards with excessive video memory because of some presumptions. I hope that makes my position clearer on the issue. And please, edit out those quotes.
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#40 Aiyen

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:46 AM

There is some fuzzy limit in required VRAM. However as Besidilo mentions then it is almost impossible to figure out due to the nature of how R/W is done to VRAM. A card with only 1Gb of VRAM will not be able to run with as many 2k textures as one with 2Gb+. I have tested this with the difference between my old 768Mb card and my current 2Gb one. However the result from not having enough VRAM is normally excessive stuttering. Which in turn causes the game engine to lag out due to an extreme bottleneck, which then cause CTD´s when scripts fail. At least that is my explaination for it. Other then that then I agree with the notion that getting the most expensive cards is a waste of money. Unless you got so much of it that you can also get a silly large monitor and use full 4k resolutions or something equally bizzare.

#41 DoYouEvenModBro

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:48 AM

Well all I know is I used to have a 2gb crossfire system and I would hit my VRAM cap, and as Aiyen said, it would cause excessive stuttering almost to the point of where it was unplayable. After upgrading to a 3 gb card, the stuttering was entirely gone so I have to say that a 2gb card is indeed to small to run extreme step at 1080p (single monitor).
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#42 WilliamImm

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:57 AM

You know what, I'm actually considering upgrading to a 660 GTX soon myself (thanks to Aiyen for the recommendation). Specifiaclly, a EVGA model that has 3 GB VRAM. The only thing I'm debaiting myself is if I should get that or get the Nexus 7 (or similiar), which is simillary priced. Any opinions on the matter?

#43 Besidilo

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:15 AM

You know what I'm actually considering upgrading to a 660 GTX soon myself (thanks to Aiyen for the recommendation). Specifiaclly, a EVGA model that has 3 GB VRAM. The only thing I'm debaiting myself is if I should get that or get the Nexus 7 (or similiar), which is simillary priced. Any opinions on the matter?

Nexus 7 is painfully slow for a gaming device and quite small as a media device. Ebook readers are better for reading books and smartphones are more portable and universal.

I've got a Nexus 7 and a Nexus 4, and the only use my Nexus 7 gets these days is if I'm travelling somewhere or want to browse web/do some light news reading.

On top of that, you can get a far superior Radeon 7870 XT 2GB for €209 whereas the cheapest GTX 660 3GB is €219 (IIRC, you're from Germany).

https://www.guru3d.c...r_review,1.html
https://www.pckoloji...2gb-gddr5-uefi/
https://www.pureover...0-myst-edition/
https://www.tweaktow...view/index.html
https://www.techpowe...ds/ATI/HD-7870/


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#44 WilliamImm

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:36 AM

*laughs* The Nexus 7 wasn't for gaming, it was more for reading books. Of course, I could just actually read physical books - which gives more reason to get the graphics card. And if I want my fix of Android - I could just use my phone.

#45 MontyMM

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:37 AM

:P
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