Whether you are an enthusiast gamer or crypto miner, this is the first question that you think about what is VRAM exactly and why do you know it. That’s why we have decided to talk about VRAMs in detail and also how can you check them on your laptop/pc.
VRAM is actually virtual RAMs apart from operating system RAM. It comes with built-in RAM for a graphics card processor. Sounds hard to understand? Don’t worry! We made it easy to understand below.
No matter, whether you use Nvidia RTX 3090 or 1650, it must come with some amount of VRAM. Do you think it is important while playing a game like Call of Duty? Well, Yes! This is the most important thing, and if you are a gamer, then we highly recommend reading this article!
What is VRAM – Virtual RAM?
VRAM or Virtual RAM is on-board RAM that comes with a graphics card itself. The story is the same as operating system RAMs, but it is specifically made for storing graphics data, and then, sends them to a graphics card processor whenever needed. The VRAM that comes with a graphics card also has storage in GBs. Remarkably, we are talking about Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. Furthermore, this VRAM comes in 4GB, 6GB, 8GB, and goes on.
Deciding which one to choose is a little tricky and also traumatic. The best suggestion that we can give is that follow the need for which you want a graphics card with high VRAM. For example, we never suggest you buy a 12GB VRAM graphics card for playing PUBGM; however, if you play some next-level graphics games, and also you do stuff with crypto mining, then buying a high amount of VRAM can help you.
Obviously, there’s not any specific amount of VRAM that comes with every GPU. But, as a gamer, you should know how much VRAM do you have. Anyways, you can see the amount of VRAM on the brands’ websites as it is always explicitly mentioned there!
The interesting thing about VRAM is that these RAMs perform way better than our traditional DDR3 or even DDR4 RAMs. One of the main reasons is that this RAM provides space for only graphics purposes whereas operating system RAMs are used for many purposes that divide RAM into virtual parts. However, this is not the case with VRAMs. That’s why VRAM is always preferred over operating system RAMs.
VRAM is also known as dedicated GPU memory because of two reasons. Firstly, it comes with GPU itself which is better to use. Secondly, the dedicated Memory only works with GPU, and it can not be used for other purposes until and unless you are a tech-savvy guy!
VRAM comes with GPUs by Nvidia or AMD. The Intel GPUs use operating system RAM as VRAM. If this sounds hard to understand, then don’t worry! We have made it easier to understand in the upcoming paragraph.
Shared Memory vs VRAM
We have talked about VRAM. Now, it’s time to tell you the difference between shared GPU Memory and VRAM. We all know that graphics cards come with some amount of VRAM. However, cheap graphics cards either don’t have them or they have a low amount of VRAM that can cause GPU buffer overflow. This can result in a GPU overheating issue ultimately making your GPU useless after sometime.
To solve this common issue, the operating system allocates some amount of RAM for graphics card data processing. One thing to ponder is that this allocation is temporary and whenever the graphics card VRAM overflow ends, the operating system makes the RAM free for you again. This smart and intelligent feature does not only provides better performance but also saves your GPU dying early!
For example, let’s suppose you are playing GTAV on your Nvidia 1650 GPU. If its built-in VRAM gets full, then the operating system will create a new partition in your RAM, and that partition will be called “Shared GPU Memory”.
Regardless of the fact that whether you have dedicated GPU memory or not, the operating system is responsible to allot some location of memory to avoid bottlenecks and save the system from overheating issues.
Then, what’s the difference?
The on-board GPU RAM or Dedicated GPU Memory works far better than the RAMs placed on the motherboard. Maybe because they are specially made for graphics cards. All in all, the operating system loves to store graphics data in dedicated GPU memory instead of RAMs. However, once the dedicated GPU memory fills up, then there is time for shared Memory to save your gameplay from crashing!
How much VRAM I should have?
The gaming world is seeking graphics with at least 8GB of VRAM, and some say 12GB of RAM. However, the fact is that one should buy a GPU by looking higher than VRAM. Of course, there are a few more things but we are talking about something else!
If you work with Adobe Premiere or Adobe Photoshop for professional purposes, then a good GPU is a must. Along with a good GPU, you should also look for a good VRAM. In this case, 4GB to 8GB of VRAM is more than enough to run the latest version of Adobe programs. In addition to it, if you are a programmer and code a website, then 4GB of VRAM is more than enough for you as you do not have to do any GPU-hungry tasks!
Let’s take one more example, let’s say you play games, and most of the time your games do not have that high-end graphics like COD, then buying a GPU with 12GB RAM is not something we can ever suggest to you.
However, if you deal with games like GTAV, COD, Assassin’s Creed, and high-graphics games, then we highly recommend you buy a 12GB VRAM graphics card. If this is your scenario, then you can go for higher VRAM options.
In addition to it, if you are a crypto miner, then no amount of VRAM is enough for you or you can say no VRAM is overkill. In this case, you should go for as higher VRAM as you can because high VRAM will lead to better GPU performance – more money too!
Concluding the above points, it totally depends upon the tasks that you want to do using your GPU. Buying a high VRAM GPU is not a brilliant idea if you play Chess only. On the other hand, buying only 4GB of VRAM is not good if you are dealing with crypto mining or next-level gaming.
How to check how much VRAM do I have?
The process for checking VRAM in windows is very simple. You just have to follow the below steps to get GPU details as well as the VRAM amount. However, follow each step carefully, so you won’t stuck:
- For the very first step, you have to go to Display settings. You can access it by typing it on windows search or manually locate from Settings.
- Windows OS does not give you GPU details directly, so you have to go to “Advanced Display Settings”. You can easily reach there by scrolling down the “Display” Tab.
- Then, you have to decide your display. This can be an issue if you have multiple displays. However, you can simply click on “Display Adapter Properties” if you have only one display.
- Then, a window will pop up. In this window, you can easily see your GPU name along with the model. You can also check its chip number and other hardware details from here. You can also see “Shared GPU Memory” in this tab. Along with Shared GPU Memory, you can check dedicated GPU Memory and Available GPU Memory.
- If you have more than one GPU, then this can be an issue. Don’t worry! Go to Run and type the following command: “dxdiag”. You can easily navigate to Run by pressing Windows + R.
- If it gives your prompt of connecting to the Internet, then do allow it to connect to the Internet by clicking “Yes”.
- When new windows open “DirectX Diagnostic Tool”, then you can easily move to the “Display 2” tab. Finally, you can find your second graphics card details from this tab. This detail also contains card names and other hardware information along with VRAM and shared GPU Memory.
- If this method does not work, then probably, you are not using Windows 10 or earlier versions. Make sure to follow each step carefully.
Understanding VRAMs is as important as playing games. You can buy the wrong GPU if you do not know about it! We hope that this article helps you understand what is VRAM and how can you check it.
Frequently Asked Questions
We can not say that any specific amount of RAM is enough or not until and unless we don’t know about your purpose to use VRAM. For example, if you are playing games like PUBGM, then 4GB of VRAM is more than enough; however, if you are playing Resident Evil, then 4GB of VRAM may not work properly. In easier words, it totally depends upon the task that you’re doing.
As we mentioned above that it totally depends upon the task that you want to do, so giving a single answer is tough. In the case of 4GB of VRAM, you can not play games like Assassin’s Creed; however, if you have 8GB of VRAM, then you can somehow play these games in 1080p to 4K. All in all, we highly recommend using 8GB of VRAM or more than it.
RAM works with the main processor; however, VRAM works with a graphics card processor only. In simpler terms, RAM stores data and send it to the processor whenever you need it. On the other hand, the VRAM stores data related to graphics only sends it to the graphics card processor. However, if there is shared GPU memory, then the case is different which we talked about in this article.
An overkill pc means that it is extra efficient and it easily handles your subject task. However, saying that 12GB VRAM is overkill does not justify itself. You can fill up that 12GB of VRAM if you are doing some heavy task. But, till now, 12GB of VRAM is considered more than enough to handle the upcoming 2023 games.