View Full Version : 256mb videomemory needed
When will there be a significant differance when you have 256Mb in stead of 128Mb? I know that Doom 3 will run faster on a videocard that had >64Mb, but not how 'heavy' games will be in the future.
Until much larger textures become the standard, you will not 'need' 256 mb of video memory. However there are instances where you will be able to benefit from it right now. A significant difference is very subjective.
Good question. I think that by sometime in mid-2004, 256 MB video RAM will be useful, at least in certain DirectX 9 applications, when running at relatively high resolution. My reasoning (pure speculation, remember):
-Certain games/programs (such as Unreal Tournament 2003, 3DMark 2003) presently make use of video memory in excess of 64 MB.
-DirectX 9 compliant cards allow for 64-bit and 128-bit intermediate frame buffers in order to produce higher dynamic range in the output. At higher resolutions, the memory requirements for such frame buffers will be 2 and 4 times that of 32-bit intermediate framebuffers at any given resolution, respectively.
-When Doom 3 is released, a trend will be set for developers to [over-]use Dot3 bumpmapping. Normal maps can require almost as much memory as textures. Therefore, if the quality of the base textures is not sacrificed, games may be using as much as twice the texture memory that they would use if Dot3 bumpmapping were not [over-]used.
This brings up another question - will any vendors produce the "non-Ultra" version of the Geforce FX 5900 in 256 MB configurations? This is the card that I plan to purchase to replace my Geforce 4, and I plan to have 256 MB on-board RAM (but I don't feel like paying ~$500+ for a 5900 Ultra).
The necessity for 256MB of video memory is VERY close.
Doom 3 uses ~90 MB of textures in some levels or was it 110MB? In anycase that doesn't leave much of the insane amount of vertex information, the frame buffer, which keeps on getting bigger thanks to higher res. Anyways, long story short 128MB isn't going to be useless, but it's life will be far shorter than 64MB video cards.
their are a few games already out that 256 meg card would be useful because they are starting to take up around 90meg of vid ram and then if you add AA.... anything above 2x becomes unplayable on a 128meg card mattering on the rez its set to. :cry: So in my opinion there is a use for it now.
As poor as the doom 3 tests were that were done by HardOCP and places like that (a few months ago...a promotional thing, I believe) there was a reasonable difference between the 128 and 256 meg cards in performance. This was the biggest difference I'd seen in any bench to date. And while I don't put much merit into that example in terms of an ATI vs. NVidia debate, you could at least tell with the FX cards that the extra 128 megs was making a difference.
For reasons like these, I'm going to be getting a 9800 256 meg at the end of the summer when I do my computer upgrade. I'm ready to say goodbye to my gf3 ti200 :lol:
edit: I went back and checked the article on HardOCP to make sure that my memory wasn't failing me, and sadly, it was. They only tested the 256 meg 5900. However, for what it's worth, the 256 meg radeon they tested was only using 128 megs of memory because they had to rollback to previous driver revisions which didn't take advantage of the extra 128 megs of memory. Regardless, saem is right that 256 megs should provide a noticable advantage in the not too distant future for the reasons he just stated.
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