What does the graphics card memory do

From Full HD to UHD: That's how much graphics memory you need

Friedrich Stiemer

The graphics memory or video RAM (VRAM) is one of the most important technical specifications of a graphics card. However, similar to the GPU clock or the shader units, it is often not clear what the information actually means.

EnlargeFrom Full HD to UHD: That's how much graphics memory you need

In fact, the functionality of the VRAM does not differ fundamentally from the main memory (RAM, Random Access Memory) of a computer. The VRAM is integrated directly into the graphics card, stores relevant data and makes them available to the GPU. Much faster RAM types are used than with PC-RAM - for example GDDR6, GDDR5 (X) or HBM2. However, not every graphics setting also requires a lot of VRAM. However, the following features are particularly memory-hungry: the selected resolution, the texture quality, the LOD distance (level of detail) and certain anti-aliasing techniques such as TXAA or MSAA.

EnlargeThe graphics memory (highlighted in green in the picture) of a graphics card is of great importance in order to be able to play modern PC games smoothly.

The resolution is one of the most important factors: If you play in HD (1280 x 720 pixels), you only need two gigabytes of VRAM. With Full-HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) you need at least four gigabytes. If you want to play in WQHD, you should buy a model with six to eight gigabytes. And in the supreme discipline, gaming in Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), eight to twelve gigabytes of VRAM are recommended. The information relates to new games and maximum details. In fact, most games can be played with four gigabytes of memory, but this size is no longer really future-proof. If you want to buy a graphics card now, ideally you should choose a model with at least six gigabytes of VRAM and memory types GDDR5 or HBM. With eight gigabytes, you are on the safe side even longer.

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