GPU Memory Question

Discussion in 'Gaming (Software and Graphics Cards)' started by Aaron1uk, Jun 25, 2012.

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  1. Aaron1uk

    Aaron1uk Notebook Enthusiast

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    My question is in regards to the numerous Graphics cards that come with varying degrees of on board memory for example the Macbook Pro has a model that includes a Nvidia 650m with 512MB GDDR5, and another with 1GB.

    I assume the memory is used in loading and storing textures? would one see a notable performance increase with the 1GB model? or would it make sense to just add more system RAM to the system if using the model with the reduced memory capacity? Still I assume this isn't as fast as the GDDR5 on board.

    If anyone has the answers to these question it would be grand!
     
  2. SunnyChrono6

    SunnyChrono6 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yeah,you're right,adding additional system memory wouldn't be as fast as the gddr5.You wouldn't notice any difference with the 512mb and 1 gb versions for the most part,unless you do ultra high-res or detail gaming,or maybe something like cad at higher resolutions.For normal usage like 1080p playback and moderate gaming,there won't be much of a difference,and even if there is,it would be barely noticeable.
     
  3. vadupleix

    vadupleix Notebook Consultant

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    As tranquilbarley said and if u really want to play a game at 1080p res, just reduce ur AA samples and that will help a lot. However it depends on games, some games(but not many, like Max Payne 3) are really demanding on vram and maybe 1G is consistently insufficient on high settings.
     
  4. Aaron1uk

    Aaron1uk Notebook Enthusiast

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    cheers for the clarification lads.
     
  5. moviemarketing

    moviemarketing Milk Drinker

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    For most recent games, you want a GPU with at least 1GB VRAM. Going from 1GB VRAM to 2GB VRAM is not going to help much, but 512MB is below the recommended specs for a lot of games.

    More system RAM is not going to improve your frame rate. Most games are 32-bit applications that cannot make use of more than around 3GB RAM, so as long as you have at least, say 6-8GB total system RAM, you're not going to see any improvement to gaming performance beyond that.

    If you're thinking about the MacPro with 2880x1800 display, you should go for the 1GB VRAM option, and even then from some of the benchmarks I've seen you will probably want to run most games a little below the native res with the 650m. I think Anandtech was reporting 16-17 fps @ 2880x1800 for Diablo 3, for example.
     
  6. nissangtr786

    nissangtr786 Notebook Deity

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    you should get the gt650m 1gb on a macbookpro fulll stop as the 512mb basically completely limits the 650m.
     
  7. octiceps

    octiceps Nimrod

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    I would recommend at least 1 GB of GDDR5 for good gaming performance in newer titles and so you have some leeway, because different games utilize VRAM differently. Battlefield 3 is one game I know that uses more than 1 GB VRAM maxed out at 1080P, although there aren't many mobile GPU's that can run that setting fluidly in the first place.

    I was running Team Fortress 2 maxed out on my G73Jh the other day. GPU-Z was reporting that I was using 900-950 MB of my VRAM. I did have 8x MSAA and 16x AF on, mind you.

    When I fired up Red Orchestra 2, a much newer and demanding title built on Unreal Engine 3, I could only run high settings with no AA to keep things playable. However, GPU-Z reported that I never exceeded 500 MB of VRAM usage in this game. This is probably due to nature of Unreal Engine 3, which utilizes texture streaming from the hard drive and system RAM. This is something which the Source engine doesn't do and probably explains why I didn't have a ton of texture data saturating my VRAM.

    So, different games and game engines utilize VRAM differently, but I would want at least 1 GB of VRAM just to be on the safe side.
     
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