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How to know if you have enough video RAM

Here is a quick lesson on video ram. What it does and does not do for you.


A graphics card actually requires relatively little memory to function as a simple frame buffer (2D graphics) device:

For example - the frame buffer requirements for 4K LCD (4096x2160) in 32 bit color would be:

· 4096 x 2160 = 8847360 pixels

· 8847360 x 32 = 283115520 bits

· 283115520 / 8 = 35389440 bytes

· 35389440 / 1024 = 34560 kilobytes

· 34560 / 1024 = 33.75 megabytes

So even at that high resolution an 1GB card would be able to display an image.

You can double, or even triple that amount if you are using double or triple buffering (display one image while rendering another then switch to that new image while you render a third, etc). or adding in a second display. Just add the total pixel from all displays rendering your image and use the math above.

All the rest of the memory is used when the card is working with 3D graphics to store internal copies (and transformed copies) of textures for rendering. The more memory you have the more and higher resolution textures the card can hold internally, so it won't need to be repeatedly sent the same textures over and over again by the gaming engine.

So basically the more memory you have the better it will be for 3D gaming.

So lets do this for you, if you have a 17.3 at FHD (1920X1080)

For example - the frame buffer requirements for 1920x1080 in 32 bit color would be:

· 1920 x 1080 = 2073600 pixels

· 2073600 x 32 = 66355200 bits

· 66355200 / 8 = 8294400 bytes

· 8294400 / 1024 = 8100 kilobytes

· 8100 / 1024 = 7.91015625 megabytes

· 8MB plus 34MB equals a total VRAM allotment of 42MB, so once again, 1GB would suffice for non gaming needs.