Video game graphics have gotten better drastically in the last 5 years. All thanks to the relentless video game developers, passionate artists and ever-changing technology.
But this has also changed the standard of graphics cards as well. If you don’t have a good GPU, you simply won’t be able to play futuristic games, rendering or video editing.
So, what is the ultimate gpu vram guide for beginners and power users?
In 2022, 2GB, 3GB & 4GB GPU VRAMs are not enough for power users. These GPU VRAM can’t achieve good results in 1080p games and video editing. A 6GB GPU is a good choice for both 1080p and editing projects. Lastly, the 8GB GPU VRAM is the best option for 2160p gaming, photo, and video editing.
That was just a brief answer to the topic. It only gives you a preview of the entire debate. To understand better, you’ll need to know more about VRAM.
Without wasting any more of your time, let’s get started-
What is GPU VRAM & How is It Different Than System RAM?
If you’re new to graphics cards, hearing RAM can make you confused. But in reality, the mechanics behind both of them are similar. Except for one crucial difference.
The system RAM works for the CPU while the VRAM works for the GPU. A system RAM stores information for the CPU to work faster.
Because of that, a PC with higher RAM is drastically faster and better.
So, how does GPU VRAM work?
The GPU VRAM stores important data for the GPU to compute faster. These are texture and coloration data of video games. Technically, if a game has too much data to compute, it’ll cause a collapse. That’s why having sufficient VRAM is mandatory to play video games.
GPU VRAM Showdown: Primary Attributes
Comparing different GPU VRAMs can be really confusing. That’s why knowing some key information is super helpful.
For example, it’s significantly easier to compare AIO against Air coolers with some prior knowledge.
We chose to exclude 16GB and 24GB GPU VRAMs because they’re always sufficient. And they’re the most VRAM in a GPU.
Anyways, here’s a brief summary of the entire comparison-
|Factors||2GB GPU||3GB GPU||4GB GPU||6GB GPU||8GB GPU|
|1080p Gaming||Insufficient||Insufficient||Barely Sufficient||Sufficient||Overkill|
|1440p (2K) Gaming||Insufficient||Insufficient||Insufficient||Barely Sufficient||Sufficient|
|2160p (4K) Gaming||Insufficient||Insufficient||Insufficient||Insufficient||Sufficient|
|Video & Photo Editing||Insufficient||Insufficient||Insufficient||Sufficient||Best Choice|
|Ray Tracing||1080p: ☒|
|Texture Quality||Very Low||Low||Medium||High||Ultra|
|Shadow Quality||Very Low||Low||Medium||High||Ultra|
|Price||Under $150||Under $300||Under $250||Under $350||$450 or higher|
|Get Them Now||Buy from Amazon||Buy from Amazon||Buy from Amazon||Buy from Amazon||Buy from Amazon|
After going through the table, which one do you like the most?
GPU VRAM Showdown: Detailed Comparison
If you still haven’t made a decision, that’s totally alright. Here, we’re going to compare all these cards based on the purpose of use in detail to help you even further.
Throughout this article, I’ll be mentioning some of the GPU’s FPS scores.
I’ve run 4 games to check how these cards perform. The games are Far Cry 6 (DX12), Forza Horizon 5 (DX12), Red Dead Redemption 2 (Vulkan), and Watch Dogs Legion (DX12).
Without wasting any more time, let’s get started-
1080p (FHD) Gaming
If you’re a gamer under budget, this category is the most important for you. That’s why we’ve put this category before everything else.
Video gaming in 1080p is the standard and the most common. To play efficiently in 1080p, you’ll need at least 4GB of GPU VRAM. Otherwise, there’ll be different GPU VRAM issues including VRAM overflow.
This makes 2GB & 3GB of GPU VRAM outright insufficient for 1080p gaming. But some old games may run well in 1080p due to having fewer textures.
4GB GPU VRAM has been the standard for 1080p gaming. Remember NVIDIA’s GTX 970? That Maxwell monster from 2014 still runs games quite efficiently even to this day.
To make things easier here I’ve compiled some fps scores of some of the 4GB cards.
|Graphics Card||1080p Ultra||1080p Medium||Specs||Price|
|Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB||24.4% (33.5fps)||35.2% (66.9fps)||Navi 14, 1408 shaders, 1845MHz, 4GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 224GB/s, 130W||Order Now!|
|GeForce GTX 1650 Super||24.2% (33.2fps)||35.7% (67.9fps)||TU116, 1280 shaders, 1725MHz, 4GB GDDR6@12Gbps, 192GB/s, 100W||Order Now!|
|Radeon RX 6500 XT||22.2% (30.4fps)||34.4% (65.4fps)||Navi 24, 1024 shaders, 2815MHz, 4GB GDDR6@18Gbps, 144GB/s, 107W||Order Now!|
|Radeon RX 570 4GB||20.6% (28.3fps)||28.2% (53.6fps)||Polaris 20, 2048 shaders, 1244MHz, 4GB GDDR5@7Gbps, 224GB/s, 150W||Order Now!|
|GeForce GTX 1650||19.4% (26.6fps)||26.9% (51.1fps)||TU117, 896 shaders, 1665MHz, 4GB GDDR5@8Gbps, 128GB/s, 75W||Order Now!|
But 4GB isn’t enough anymore going forward. Because video game graphics have improved dramatically in the past 8-9years. And they’ll keep improving. That’s why buying a 4GB card isn’t an optimal choice in 2022.
But you can still choose to get them if you have budget issues. Also, running a low-end GPU with a high-end CPU won’t do much harm.
So, if you’re just starting to set your voyage in the gaming world then I would recommend you get one of the aforementioned 4GB graphics cards.
This is where the 6GB comes to the rescue. For 1080p gaming in high and ultra textures, 6GB is the best choice for gamers.
Speaking of 6GB VRAM GPUs, we’ve listed some of our best picks-
|ASUS GeForce RTX 2060||Add to Cart|
|MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Super||Add to Cart|
|GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti||Add to Cart|
Choose whichever you want and you’re all set!
There are also GPUs with 8GB of VRAM. Many users will openly argue that 8GB is already overkill for 1080p gaming.
But if you plan to futureproof your GPU, 8GB is a great choice.
1440p (2K) Gaming
This is the same topic as before so we’ll keep it short. 1440p gaming requires a lot more resources than 1080p.
We’ve already said 2GB & 3GB weren’t sufficient enough for 1080p gaming. So without a doubt, they’re already out of equations in this category as well.
The 4GB is somewhat great for 1080p but it’ll collapse in 1440p resolution. 1440p will easily cause a VRAM overflow and that’s game over for 4GB VRAM.
Now on to the 6GB GPU VRAM. 6GB GPUs are sufficient in 1080p but not in 1440p. But it also depends on the chipset.
If the GPU chipset is not good enough, then it’ll fail to run the game. For example, the GTX 1060 has a 6GB VRAM. But the GTX 1060 chipset itself is extremely weak to run a game at 1440p.
In today’s market, AMD & NVIDIA aims for 8GB VRAM for 1440p gaming. Because of that, you’ll need to aim for an 8GB card.
To help you with 1440p gaming, we’ve listed some great 8GB graphics cards-
|Graphics Card||1440p Ultra||4K Ultra||Specs||Price|
|GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||71.5% (82.6fps)||66.6% (46.8fps)||GA104, 6144 shaders, 1770MHz, 8GB GDDR6X@19Gbps, 608GB/s, 290W||Grab them Today|
|GeForce RTX 3070||67.2% (77.5fps)||61.4% (43.2fps)||GA104, 5888 shaders, 1725MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 220W||Grab them Today|
|GeForce RTX 2080 Super||56.3% (64.9fps)||49.1% (34.5fps)||TU104, 3072 shaders, 1815MHz, 8GB GDDR6@15.5Gbps, 496GB/s, 250W||Grab them Today|
|Radeon RX 6650 XT||49.2% (56.7fps)||Navi 23, 2048 shaders, 2635MHz, 8GB GDDR6@18Gbps, 280GB/s, 180W||Grab them Today|
|GeForce RTX 2070 Super||49.8% (57.4fps)||TU104, 2560 shaders, 1770MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 215W||Grab them Today|
|Radeon RX 6600||40.0% (46.1fps)||Navi 23, 1792 shaders, 2491MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 224GB/s, 132W||Grab them Today|
You can see the top 3 GPU can give you some workable fps in 4K ultra mode as well. So, depending on your budget you can simply pick any GPU and get started!
If you’re thinking about building a pc with the 3070 Ti then you can copy this build.
When gaming in 1440p or higher resolution, you need to check the GPU VRAM temperature. Checking the GPU temperature regularly keeps your GPU monitored and safe.
2160p (4K) Gaming
All that’s left is to talk about the ultimate gaming resolution. 2160p or 4K has been hyped by both industry and the consumers. You can consider getting one of these if you are thinking about going for a high-end gaming experience.
2GB, 3GB, 4GB & 6GB are all not enough for games in 2160p. If the 6GB GPU’s chipset is really strong, then 2160p can be playable. But it’s highly unlikely.
That’s why for 4K gaming, 8GB or higher is the best option. Also, at this price range, you don’t really care about VRAM anymore. Because you can also choose a 10GB RTX 3080 or a 16GB RX 6800 XT.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, 8GB cards are the best. They won’t be super future-proofed for 4K gaming in high or ultra resolution. But they’ll give you a great experience in the present time.
Also, you can do some GPU VRAM stress tests using your GPU’s software. You can also use third-party software like 3DMark. Moreover, you can also do GPU VRAM overclock to achieve better results.
It’ll show how your GPU performs while being under the heavy load of 4K gaming.
Here are some of the great GPUs for 4K gaming-
|GeForce RTX 3070||Budget Pick||GA104, 6144 shaders, 1770MHz, 8GB GDDR6X@19Gbps, 608GB/s, 290W||Check Price|
|GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||Budget Pick||GA104, 5888 shaders, 1725MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 220W||Check Price|
|GeForce RTX 3080||Flagship||GA102, 8704 shaders, 1710MHz, 10GB GDDR6X@19Gbps, 760GB/s, 320W||Check Price|
|Radeon RX 6950 XT||Enthusiast||Navi 21, 5120 shaders, 2310MHz, 16GB GDDR6@18Gbps, 576GB/s, 335W||Check Price|
All of these GPUs are great for 4K gaming and the best you can get!
Photo & Video Editing
Not all of us want graphics cards for video games. Photo and Video editing require VRAM primarily for rendering. That’s why VRAM is a great deal for photo and video editors.
Having more VRAM allows a GPU to render an image faster. The same applies to video editing as well. Rendering causes your GPU VRAM usage to go high.
It also helps you edit 4K and 8K images and videos easily. For video editing at 4K or high resolution, you’ll need at least 6GB VRAM.
But the best choice is the 8GB GPU VRAM. More VRAM means a faster process so that’s a plus point. On top of that, it’s better to have some extra space just in case.
NVIDIA’s RTX 3080 is one such GPU to buy if you want a better result. RTX 3080 is also a great futureproof GPU for gaming, video editing or 3D modeling.
Here are some great GPUs for photo and video editing-
If you want to do 3D modeling or some game development then 3090 will be the perfect one. Check out this setup to get inspired, it’s absolutely mesmerizing.
If you still haven’t picked a choice yet, that’s totally okay. We’re going to give our thoughts to further help you choose a conclusion.
The bottom line is that 2GB and 3GB graphics cards are now obsolete. And 4GB VRAM barely can serve you, which is not ideal at all at least for 1080p gaming, photo, and video editing.
Video games, photos and video editing now require a lot of resources.
That’s why 6GB GPU VRAM is the safest option to pick. If you are not a professional gamer and do some video editing here and there, it’s the best option.
But the 8GB GPU VRAM is something most gamers would like to buy. Because after all, getting a GPU is an investment. They cost a lot of money and you want them to last for a while.
Does increasing VRAM increase FPS?
No VRAM in GPU does not increase FPS in video games. The VRAM in a GPU allows a certain amount of texture to be used. If it increases, it causes an overflow. But they still need to be processed and rendered. That’s why a GPU with a lot of VRAM but a bad chipset will perform worse.
What GPU has the most VRAM?
NVIDIA RTX 3090 has the most VRAM ever in a graphics card. This graphics card with Ampere technology has 24GB of GPU VRAM. It also uses the faster GDDR6X bandwidth, making it the fastest GPU in the world. The RTX 3090 Founder’s Edition also has a monstrous price tag of $1499.99.
Is 12GB VRAM overkill?
No, 12GB VRAM is not an overkill anymore going forward in the future. Even 5 years ago, 12GB VRAM was considered a waste of money. But today, video games and work projects require a lot of resources. In 2022, 12GB is now a norm in the GPU market. It’s also a great choice for future-proofing.
That was everything we could talk about in the GPU VRAM guide. Hopefully, it has helped you realize what VRAM you require for your needs.
You can also lookup different benchmarks on Youtube to see results. That way you can be further assured about the GPU you’re going to buy.
Finally, have a nice day!