Video Cards For Games: 256MB vs 512MB

By seanp789
Apr 4, 2006

    Found a great article on a debate many of you will face on your next video card purchase.

    For the lazy I'll sum up my interpretation of the article.

    Keep in might he is using a 7800GT, a 7900GTX would be a more drastic difference as it would not be as limited by shader performance.

    Both current and future games using the source engine, F.E.A.R, and doom3/quake4 engine can now make use of greater than 256MB of ram

    At moderate settings the differences are negligable. your AVG FPS will remain the same and some texture swapping will occur but will likely be minimal.

    The higher resolution and AA setting you use in game the the smoother 512MB will make the game. While your AVG fps will not see much improvement except under the most extreme resolutions, your minimum fps will be much improved. This trend will only continue as newer games continue to use very high resolution textures.

    When the Agiea PPU is released in May the number of textured objects in a typcial scene will also increase, making good use of that 512MB buffer.

    I dont think anyone needs to run out and buy a 512MB card today but I do think your should weigh your options if you plan on running your new games at high resolution with the AA on. Remeber, the more shader limited the card the less memory will matter. So its only worth while if you are going for a flagship product in which case they all come with 512MB now.

    Personally I op't for the 7900GTX as opposed to 7900GT Sli. The extra memory will be great for games like oblivion, GRAW, UE3 based games, and the upcoming Quake Wars: Enemy Territory.

    Post your personal thoughts on the article.
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    personally, unless you're a hard core gamer with a bunch of money to burn, I can't justify the expense, especially with an AGP card that is already out the door in terms of technology.

    I still use my FX500 card and it works just fine for me.
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