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Jan
14
2014

Video Memory Usage at 4k (UHD) Resolutions

Video Memory Usage at 4k (UHD) Resolutions

With 4K on the rise, many people are wondering which video card they need in order to power such high resolution. Many argue that you need at least 6 GB of VRAM while others say that 3 GB is more than enough. We decided to test a NVIDIA GTX 780Ti and a GTX Titan to see whether or not games actually used more than 3GB of video memory.

Benchmarks

For this test, the GTX 780Ti's were over clocked with an additional 120Mhz on the base clock and the GTX Titan had an over-clock of 110MHz on the base clock.

Test Bench

Motherboard     ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition
CPU     Intel 4960X at 4.6GHz
Memory     32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum 1866MHz
Hard Drive     250GB Western Digital Velocipede
Power Supply     Corsair ATX 1200i Power Supply
Drivers     NVIDIA's 332.21 Drivers
Monitor     ASUS 32" 4K

Graphics Tests

Battlefield 4

Being one of the most popular franchises to date, Battlefield 4 is the latest addition to the series that takes full advantage of the latest hardware. For our settings, we set everything to Ultra with 4x MSAA enabled and then disabled. We tested 4k on the ASUS 32" monitor.

With anti-aliasing off, Battlefield 4's memory usage depended heavily on the amount of VRAM available on the cards. On the GTX 780Ti with 3GB of VRAM, Battlefield 4 average around 2200 MB of usage. When there was 6 GB viable on the GTX Titan, Battlefield 4 used 400 MB more.

When enabling AA, you can see that the video memory begins to be pushed to its limits on the GTX 780Ti. At 4x AA, Battlefield 4 quickly eats up the 3 GB available on the card.

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 is still one of the most demanding games currently out on the market. It's able to put any graphics card through its paces by throwing everything at it. For the settings, we cranked the graphics to Very High with 4x MSAA on and off at 4K.

Being one of the most demanding games out there, Crysis 3 easily used up all of the available memory on the GTX 780Ti with AA enabled. With AA disabled, the game hovered around 2200 MB OS usage just like Battlefield 4. With the additional memory available on the GTX Titan, Crysis 3 with AA enabled at 4K used 3.7 GB of VRAM.

Conclusion

At this moment, it seems that for 4K gaming, 4GB of VRAM is the sweet spot in terms of usage. In our next test, we are going to put the R9 290X against the GTX Titan and GTX 780Ti to see who comes out on top.

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