Significance of memory in graphics cards.

  frybluff 21:09 PM 08 Jul 12

I note from graphic card specs, that many high performance ones have a relatively small amount of memory eg 1GB, whilst many, more basic ones, have 2 or even 3GB. Even the same cards, from different manufacturers, sport different memory.

My question is this: Does the memory of the graphics significantly effect overall performance, or is it "icing on the cake", only important to certain specific applications. If so, what applications.

Many thanks.

  ams4127 22:19 PM 08 Jul 12
  frybluff 23:08 PM 08 Jul 12


Thanks for that.

  KRONOS the First 08:07 AM 09 Jul 12

If you have, as I do, a 27" monitor (2560 x 1440 resolution) then a decent amount of VRAM is essential, accordingly I have a GTX 670 2GB which is more than enough. Should I move to a tri monitor set up (possible) I think that I would need to either SLI my GPU or get a 4GB version. Of course al;l this is dependent as well on the type of games you play.

  frybluff 09:35 AM 09 Jul 12


That's an interesting point. Whilst I want decent gaming performance, that's a concession to a younger member of familly. Personally, I am more interested in video. Apart from Quadro's (and a decent one of them is outside my budget), the only gaming nVidia cards that are "recommended" for Adobe CS6, that I want to use, are GTX570 and 580 (I don't know how critical that is).

Will I actually be struggling, with a 1GB GTX570, if I want to add a second monitor, in the future. Do I need to do some research whether two slightly lesser cards, in SLI, would be suitable. To be honest, comparing the performance of, say, two 560's in SLI, with single 570, is way beyond my skill level!

  KRONOS the First 11:22 AM 09 Jul 12

This is a pretty decent site for comparing GPU's, I also use this. But I have found if you Google say GTX 560 SLI vs GTX 570 you will find lots to look at. This will work with most combinations I have found.

  frybluff 12:06 PM 10 Jul 12

Have spotted that EVGA do a 2GB version of the GTX570, which would appear to be fine, for any monitors I'm likely to use.

EVGA have thrown up another issue, however. I was under the impression that, whilst the Z77 chipset was brought out, with IvyBridge in mind, the Z68 was also compatible with IvyBridge (1155), and it was a question of "you pays your money and takes your choice".

Whilst checking out EVGA's graphics, thought I'd also check out their mobos (had been intending to use Asus mobo with Asus GPU), and emailed them a couple of queries.

Just had email, from EVGA, saying ONLY their Z77 mobo is COMPATIBLE with IvyBridge.

Is that JUST EVGA?!? Cos if not, I'm now REALLY confused!

  KRONOS the First 12:22 PM 10 Jul 12

I believe that with a lot of Z68 motherboards it will be necessary to flash the BIOS before you can install a Ivy Bridge CPU.

I am not sure that going for a Ivy Bridge (IB) CPU is worth it as the difference between it and Sandy Bridge (SB) is only between 5-15%. Here is an interesting comparison between IB and SB.

On my recent build I went for the Asus Z68 Pro Gen3 with the i5 2500K (4.5Ghz) and a GTX670 and it will handle any game on ultra on my Dell U2711. I looked at IB but did not feel that it offered much over SB.

  frybluff 15:35 PM 10 Jul 12

As of yet, apart from going with AN i7, for video (I have seen arguements for hex-core, but that is OTT, as I'm not planning a remake of Star Wars), and probably going with that 2GB EVGA GTX570 (unless someone suggests not to), I've not got anything written in stone.

Between IV and IS, and between Z68 and Z77, I've yet to decide. There don't seem to be more than marginal differences, in either case. If Sandybridge, there's also the choice between 2600 and 2700. I do tend to think, if all other things equal, "latest" can be best, for no other reason than that it may be SLIGHTLY more "future proof", for the next big thing that comes along (wish I had a crystal ball).

I shall do a bit more research, and post my "proposal" here. Then everyone can poke holes in it, but it's the best way to avoid a total c* up.

  grahamk89 22:07 PM 10 Jul 12

The simplest answer to this question is YES. RAM on a Graphics Card is important because the presence of dedicated graphics memory takes away strain from system memory that would otherwise be used by the graphics in the absence of dedicated memory.

  frybluff 16:51 PM 15 Jul 12

I note I did, originally, read the standard GTX570 memory wrong. It is 1.25GB, rather than 1GB. I would appreciate some advice whether that will run two 1920 monitors. At the rate I'm going, I would be able to afford anything special. I will probably get something like a Dell U2312, for now, and, if anything, get another, slightly larger/better, at later date.

The other possible option is to "bite the bullet", and get GTX670, which will solve all issues, but it's a bit OTT, for what I really need. I'll have to try and convince myself it's "future proof", to justify the expense. I suppose it's better VALUE than the 570.


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