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  1. #1
    Member Cheezewhiz's Avatar
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    GTX 580 3GB, VRAM in BF3 is 1.9GB

    Hi guys,

    I have been seeing a lot of talk about VRAM usage lately and how it shouldn't come too much into play at 1080p or with current games. I thought I would share my experience. This started in the Kepler Thread.

    At 1080p with BF3 almost maxed out, I have 1.9GB+ usage of VRAM. I used both MSI AfterBurner and GPU-Z. They both report right around the same usage. Very minor discrepancy. Please see attached pics.

    This game all maxed out I would say would use 1.9-2.0 GB VRAM at 1080p.
    Larger outdoor maps with lots of destruction use more VRAM. Gulf of Oman 64MP is the heaviest hitter for me. Insane FPS drops!

    This was gaming for about an hour various maps of vanilla and Karkand.

    If someone disagrees please let me know.
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  2. #2
    Member Neuromancer's Avatar
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    Name:  VRAM1.png
Views: 657
Size:  1.95 MB

    Name:  VRAM2.png
Views: 656
Size:  1.50 MB

    (Links posted are his screenshots in readable size )

    Interesting I haven't played it at 1920x1200 res yet, but that does seem REALLY high for 1080p no problems with a 1.5GB card playing it at 1680x1050...

    Just checked, single player end game ultra settings 1920x1200 4x AA 90 FOV, 1169MB. I am guessing multiplayer will up that even more.
    Last edited by Neuromancer; 03-16-12 at 02:36 AM.
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  3. #3
    Member Rattle's Avatar
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    BF3 will use what vram you have, if i play BF3 on my 1.5gb 580 it uses less ram than you if I play it on my 7970 it uses more ram than you.
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  4. Thanks!

    Neuromancer (03-16-12)

  5. #4
    Member Cheezewhiz's Avatar
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    Neauromance thanks for the links. Was having trouble with that also!

    Anyway, can someone shed some light on VRAM. I have a good understanding but I want a better one.

    VRAM = Like Memory Ram so temporary memory for applications. But VRAM for graphics.

    So once Battlefield is loaded up with the map, its graphical properties are stored up in VRAM and some application controls/processes onto RAM.

    So when a GPU has only 1GB VRAM, when BF3 requires more it starts to read from Hard Disks correct? Which in general can cause issues?

    So is the game optimized to only load up certain amounts of texture and perform certain amounts of AA regardless if you have it all maxed out?

    Or will it just read from Disk drives which can cause FPS drops?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattle View Post
    BF3 will use what vram you have, if i play BF3 on my 1.5gb 580 it uses less ram than you if I play it on my 7970 it uses more ram than you.
    Well that explains my 1.2GB results on my gtx580 1.5GB...but doesnt explain why those with less have problems. You would figure if it scales up, it should scale down.

    SOmething doesnt seem right there.

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  7. #6
    Member Neuromancer's Avatar
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    I would think it loads from system memory and then from hard drisk when you run out of VRAM.

    But I also would not mind reading an accurate description of the process So will stay tuned
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    I am guessing multiplayer will up that even more.
    Why? Is there something in MP that would need vram? Larger maps or something?

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  9. #8
    Member Cheezewhiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuromancer View Post
    I would think it loads from system memory and then from hard drisk when you run out of VRAM.

    But I also would not mind reading an accurate description of the process So will stay tuned
    From what I have been finding is pretty much what you just explained.

    Deficit in VRAM leads to gathering from system memory which would need to load up from HDD first.
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  10. #9
    Member Cheezewhiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EarthDog View Post
    Why? Is there something in MP that would need vram? Larger maps or something?
    I haven't played Single Player lol...but I am assuming larger maps, more destruction, more vehicles, more action. Plus you have actual players instead of programmed bots. So events are unpredicted.
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    Destruction on CPU... vehicles are part of larger maps..

    ok makes sense.

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  12. #11
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    I'm guessing player models take a fair bit of texture memory (as well as more vertices), as well as the z-buffer being larger.
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  13. #12
    Member drka0tic's Avatar
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    So if a low vram GPU offloads to the system virtual memory when necessary, an SSD could theoretically improve gaming performance?
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  14. #13
    Member Rattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EarthDog View Post
    Well that explains my 1.2GB results on my gtx580 1.5GB...but doesnt explain why those with less have problems. You would figure if it scales up, it should scale down.

    SOmething doesnt seem right there.
    1280mb like on 570 are bare min once you start to add real AA and better than high settings your.screwed. I could play all.high with fxaa high on 1gb 460 sli and used all of it..
    Any higher and lag. I don't think it scales in your favor with less than 1.28 ram and better than high settings using real AA lol
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  15. #14
    Member Neuromancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drka0tic View Post
    So if a low vram GPU offloads to the system virtual memory when necessary, an SSD could theoretically improve gaming performance?
    Of course but not anything noticeable.

    figure you are moving from a 192 GBps vRAM bandwidth to at best about .5 GBps SSD? Even offloading to physical system memory is going to slow it down.
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  16. #15
    Member drka0tic's Avatar
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    Makes perfect sense. Thx

  17. #16
    Member Cheezewhiz's Avatar
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    Glad I got 3gb. Shoot next BF comes out im going to need 4gb.

  18. #17
    Member drka0tic's Avatar
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    I can't comprehend why the GTX680 will only have 2GB VRAM, yet it will supposedly be capable of single-card 3Dsurround gaming
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  19. #18
    Badbonji's Avatar
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    No doubt with a 2GB version a 4GB will follow soon after... Also they are using new techniques for AA which are a lot less expensive.
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  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by drka0tic View Post
    I can't comprehend why the GTX680 will only have 2GB VRAM, yet it will supposedly be capable of single-card 3Dsurround gaming
    Most games are not like BF3. Im curious to see how much ram 3D surround actually uses...

    2GB does sound like it would be cutting it awfully close though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neuromancer View Post
    Of course but not anything noticeable.

    figure you are moving from a 192 GBps vRAM bandwidth to at best about .5 GBps SSD? Even offloading to physical system memory is going to slow it down.
    Yeah but, the comparison isnt between .5GBps SSD and ram/vram, its between a HDD @ .1GBps with 12ms access time and an SSD @ .5GBps and .01 access time. HUGE difference there in getting the data through. I would have to imagine it would make a difference.

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  21. #20
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    This is a question i need answering as i'm looking at getting a new GPU soon, i know what i want but there available in 1Gig or 2Gig, 1Gig is £125 and the 2Gig £160, that's a fair chunk more and i still don't know if i need the 2Gig one.

    That card should run half the settings on Ultra but i don't know if 1Gig is enough memory for that...

    I have 1Gig on my current card, with it i'm running all high 1920 x 1080.

    Its using about 900MB of that Vram and my system memory is just about maxed out (4GB)

    Yet i have seen people say 1Gig is fine with high + Ultra @ 1080P, the recommended Vram is 1Gig..... i just don't know what to do, £160 is not going to be easy for me and what i don't want is to find that the £125 1Gig card isn't enough to advance the settings from where i have them now...

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