so here I read a pamphlet about several laptops being sold at a nearby store.
I know I should have just checked the benchmarks of the graphics card currently being packed with the laptop before i buy it.
but will you guys translate to me in lay man's term what does having 2GB of VRAM and how does it differ from having a 1GB RAM of video card?
I find it awkward that this tech store would sell Video card A showing that it has 1GB of RAM and then compare it with Video Card B that has 2GB of VRAM.
it's like comparing an intel i5 and a 1333Mhz RAM to me. they don't seem to be comparable. so any light out there? thanks
asked Nov 29 '11 at 02:49
Well VRAM is just video RAM, the RAM that a video card is equipped with. Some products state it as VRAM and some as just RAM and it can be a little confusing as to which is which. Even more confusing is if the video card shares VRAM with the RAM of the computer itself. This is common on lower end laptops but sometimes it can be a little tricky finding out if they mean the one or the other.
But if they compare it point to point they probably just forgot to write VRAM instead of RAM.
answered Nov 29 '11 at 08:22
They are generally used interchangeably just do your 100% best to avoid a videocard that relies on shared memory or the worst euphemism ever "turbo cache". If a videocard attempts to use system memory, GPU performance takes a major hit, along with issues with memory intensive applications.
Some companies use shared memory to cut down on the production cost of the videocards. it offers the illusion of having a card that can allocate 1GB+ to textures, when in reality it can only truly allocate 128MB-256MB at a reasonable performance level and the rest would be wasted as the bandwidth will not be high enough.
Keep in mind that system RAM generally runs at 7-8GB/s while the memory on a modern videocard will easily do 100-200+ GB/s
Due to the way videocards runs, they need very fast memory to handle large textures. The only content that can be streamed from system memory with little to no performance impact, is computationally intensive tasks such as CUDA or physx processing. (though the programs that use them to their fullest, eg adobe premiere pro cs 5.5, will still store content into video memory in order to save system memory for other things)
answered Nov 29 '11 at 11:54
I have seen in some of the literature as well where they mention using the main memory of the computer as (shared Ram) in brackets or single and/or Double quotes Which really irks me when they do that. Preferably I would rather have a video card having its own dedicated memory than have something it needs to be shared with the motherboard main memory.
answered Nov 29 '11 at 16:21
thanks guys, and If you may, I would like to ask another question related to this:
Will there be an instance /are there video cards sold at a lower amount of RAM (say 512mb) and yet perform better than another card with a higher memory (say 1GB)?
or is it really safe to define a video card's performance by their RAM content?
I mean should I only rely on the Benchmarks IF THE VIDEO CARDS I AM COMPARING ARE OF THE SAME MEMORY?
answered Nov 30 '11 at 05:20