Sometimes when you need advice on buying a graphics card that fits your needs like playing heavy games, the need to work with graphic software requires a good graphics card. Or when participating in forums, the Facebook group on information technology will encounter terms like Vram on the graphics card, quite strange and want to find out about it?
What is VRAM?
Video RAM (or VRAM) is a special type of RAM that works with the graphics processor of a computer or GPU. A GPU is a chip on a graphics card (or video card) of a computer that displays images on the screen. Although not technically accurate, the terms GPU and graphics card are often used interchangeably.
VRAM maintains the information the GPU needs, such as game composition and lighting effects, allowing the GPU to quickly access information and video output to the screen. Using VRAM for this job is much faster than using system RAM because VRAM is right next to the GPU in the graphics card and is built for this high-intensity purpose.
How to find information on VRAM storage on the computer
Users can easily see the number of VRAMs in Windows 10 by following these steps:
- Step 1: Open Settings by pressing the Windows +I.
- Step 2: Select System, then click on Display on the left sidebar.
- Step 3: Scroll down and click on Display adapter properties.
- Step 4: A panel will appear, select the Adapter tab and look in the Information Adapter section.
- Step 5: You will see the VRAM capacity next to Dedicated Video Memory.
In the Adapter Type, the user will see the NVIDIA name or AMD graphics card, depending on the type of device. If you see an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit or Intel HD Graphics, that means the system is using integrated graphics.
Compare VRAM and integrated graphics
Most people who install their own computer or buy a pre-built gaming machine have a video card. Some laptops even more powerful have a graphics card. But with a cheap desktop or laptop, manufacturers often do not use video cards but instead use integrated graphics.
The integrated graphics solution means that the GPU has the same speed with the CPU and shares the system RAM as a whole rather than using the dedicated VRAM. This is a cheap solution and allows laptops to output basic graphics products without a video card. However, integrated graphics do not perform other gaming and graphics tasks.
The power of integrated graphics depends on the CPU. Newer Intel CPUs with Intel’s Iris Plus graphics are far more powerful than their predecessors and are cheap, but still nothing compared to dedicated graphics.
With a computer that lasts a few years, users will have no problems watching videos, playing low-power games and working with basic image and video editing applications with integrated graphics. However, playing the latest graphics game using the integrated graphics is basically impossible.
What task need VRAM?
Before we talk about specific numbers, we’ll cover aspects of games and other graphics applications that use VRAM the most.
A big factor in the VRAM consumption is the screen resolution. VRAM stores a frame buffer, keeping an image before and during the GPU display on the screen. Better displays (such as 4K games) will take up more VRAMs because high resolution images will have more pixels.
In addition to the display, textures in a game can have a dramatic effect on VRAM. Most modern computer games allow fine-tuning settings to enhance performance or image quality. You can play a game a few years ago with Low or Medium settings on a cheaper card (or even integrated graphics). However, with the High or Ultra quality, or the custom mods that make the textures in the game even better than usual, the player will need a lot of RAM. Features like anti-aliasing (smoothing edges) also use a lot of VRAM due to the pixels.
Specific games also require different VRAMs. Games like Overwatch do not require too much graphics, but a game with more advanced lighting effects and detailed textures like Rise of the Tomb Raider needs more resources. In contrast, a cheap card with only 2GB of VRAM (or integrated graphics) is enough to play old computer games, but the return games require nearly 2GB of VRAM.
Even if you are not interested in gaming, some popular software also requires a large amount of VRAM. 3D-ready software such as AutoCAD, Photoshop, and high-quality video editing will all suffer if there is not enough VRAM.
Listed below are the VRAM capacity list:
- VRAMs range from 1GB to 2GB: These cards typically cost less than $ 100, which provides better performance than integrated graphics but can not handle most modern games with above average settings. Only buy a VRAM card like this if you want to play old games that do not work with integrated graphics, do not edit video or do 3D design work.
- VRAM is available in capacities from 3GB to 6GB: These midrange cards are suitable for game editing or video editing but can not be used for this super-slim package for Fallout 4, but can be expected to play Modern games at 1080p resolution with few problems.
- VRAM 8GB or higher: High-end cards with lots of RAM like this are for professional gamers. If you want to play the latest games at 4K resolution, you need a card with many VRAMs.
Graphics card manufacturers add appropriate VRAMs to one card depending on the GPU’s power level. Therefore, a cheap $ 75 graphics card will have low VRAM capacity, while a $ 500 graphics card will have more capacity. If a GPU is not powerful enough to render video, then using an 8GB VRAM will be a waste.
VRAM is just one of the factors that affect performance. Without a powerful enough CPU, it’s impossible to output HD video, lacking system RAM that will not run many programs at the same time, and using a mechanical hard drive will limit system performance. And some cheaper graphics cards can use slow DDR3 VRAM. The best way to find the right graphics card and VRAM is to find a professional who understands this.