VRAM stands for Random Video Access Memory and simply does the same thing as regular RAM for a graphics card. This means that it stores the information necessary to display various types of content on the screen. In the field of VRAM, we see a lot of diversity and its capacity also plays an important role in the performance of the graphics card.
How Rome works
As we said, VRAM is very similar to regular RAM in general, so it is better to first look at how the RAM in the system works. We can talk about this in detail, but in simple terms, RAM is a memory that provides the information needed by the processor to perform the necessary processing. The reason why the processor does not receive this data directly from the hard drive or SSD memory is due to its low speed. Therefore, the necessary data is first transferred to RAM and then to the processor.
The higher the RAM capacity of the system, the less the CPU relies on internal memory. When the capacity of the RAM is low, part of the hard drive or SSD memory should take over the RAM, and this will slow down the system. Therefore, if the RAM capacity is sufficient, the processor can perform at its best in all conditions.
VRAM vs. RAM
Just as RAM is important to the processor, so is VRAM to the GPU. Some sources refer to VRAM as “texture memory”, which refers to data from 3D models. But modern graphics are much more complex and are no longer just simple textures and patterns. Basically, if the GPU or GPU needs data to capture the final image on the screen, that data is in VRAM.
VRAM is not necessarily a specific type of physical memory, and any regular RAM can serve as a VRAM. For example, in many systems, the computer’s RAM also serves as VRAM. On the other hand, if your system only has an integrated GPU, the GPU will not use dedicated RAM, and the system RAM will be used for this purpose.
However, CPU and GPU requirements are slightly different in terms of bandwidth, latency, and speed. That’s why graphics cards use RAMs based on standards like GDDR5 or GDDR6. There are many differences between conventional and GDDR standard RAMs, but the most important difference between them is that GDDR RAMs can transfer more data at the same time. This feature is very important to GPUs because they have to process large amounts of data in parallel.
It should be noted that some consoles, smartphones and Macs based on Apple’s proprietary chips have integrated memory. This means that instead of using dedicated memory for the GPU, the GPU and GPU share this memory as needed. Thanks to this approach, if the CPU and GPU require the same data, there is no need to use two different versions of this data. In some game consoles, such as the PlayStation 5, all integrated memory is GDDR, which means that even the processor must use GPU-specific memory.
How much VRAM do you need?
If you are a gamer, you can see how much VRAM is used by changing the game settings. Software such as GeForce Experience also displays the amount of VRAM used simultaneously. If the VRAM is low, like normal RAM, the capacity of the hard drive or SSD memory should be used, and this will significantly reduce performance. Overall, we can not specify a number in this regard, and VRAM capacity is directly related to how you use the system.
How to know the VRAM capacity in the system?
There are several ways you can do this if you want to know the VRAM capacity of the system.
- By checking your system graphics card box, you will be informed about the VRAM capacity.
- You can check its specifications on the website of the graphics card manufacturer.
- In the game settings you can see the VRAM capacity of the system.
- In Windows 10 or 11, you can go to Settings> System> Display> Advanced Display> Display Adapter Properties and look at the Dedicated Video Memory section.
Of course, the easiest way is to use the TechPowerUp GPU-Z program, because with this program, apart from the VRAM capacity, you can see a lot of details about your system graphics card.
How to increase VRAM capacity
If you are using a graphics card for your system, the only way to increase the VRAM capacity is to replace the graphics card. But if you use a laptop with a dedicated GPU, you usually have no choice but to buy a new laptop because you can not actually upgrade the VRAM capacity for the laptop.
If you use a desktop or laptop system with an integrated GPU, you will usually be able to increase the dedicated VRAM capacity through BIOS settings. Of course, this means reducing the RAM capacity provided for the whole system, but upgrading the RAM memory for both desktop and laptop systems is easily possible. Some laptops with Thunderbolt 3 ports also support external GPUs, but only a handful of users use these expensive GPUs.
Source: How To Geek