A 256mb video ram versus 128 mb ram

By jt713 ยท 8 replies
Jul 26, 2005
  1. Ok when will the extra ram make a difference?

    I just bought a 21" CRT. I am thinking for the higher resolution for the bigger screen I will need the ram compariing it to 128mb performance on a 19' CRT? What kind of res am I looking at with a 21" CRT using a

    AGP GF 5500 w/256mb
    AGP GF 5200 w/128mb

    will the extra ram make a big difference for lets say these games:

    For SW Battlefront?
    Doom 3?
  2. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Isn't a 5500 better than a 5200? And since that is the one with more RAM, the choice is obvious. Or am I missing something?

    I know of one particular case the same question arose about RAM. And specifically they had the SAME card configured with 128 and with 256 and there was NO performace gain from more RAM.

    I don't know all the technical numbers any more but if you actually calculate how much RAM is necessary to show an image at 1600x1200x16bit color, you only need like 2 or 4mb of RAM. The rest is used to hold textures and do math and calculate and buffer etc...
    So resolutions and colors isn't a concern. Just that 256mb can cram more data in at the same time.

    Hope that is somewhat helpfull
  3. NotALlama

    NotALlama TS Rookie

    Actually a card with 256MB of ram will have a higher frame rate, at higher resolutions such as 1600x1200, than a card that has 128MB of ram.
  4. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    I'd like to see some "official" technical details on that point. I don't think ammount of RAM really has to do with speed. Unless you're talking about, because a 256mb card "holds more", then the card doesn't have to wait as long to get new data?

    I can see why an 8mb card is slower, because it has to pull all it's data from the computer. Versus 128mb which holds more and request waits less often. Versus 256mb card which can cram much and tax the system less.
  5. NotALlama

    NotALlama TS Rookie

    ok, well first off i just want to make sure that you understand im only talking about it working better at high resolutions. It does this becasue yes, the 256RAM can acess more information faster to compensate for the high resolution. I am looking up an article that i read that proved this point...ill post it up here when i find it.
  6. Panic_MD

    Panic_MD TS Rookie Posts: 39

    Hoy, May i add in another ingredient into this stew? should we be more concern with memory interface(Bit) instead of onboard ram? plez respond mates.
  7. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Sorry it took so long to get back.

    Anyhoo, this is just off the cuff, don't know if it's a good standard or not. But I'd say a video card with faster 128mb of RAM is BETTER then a card with slower 256mb of RAM.

    Any thoughts?

    What do you mean by "interface(bit)"? Instead of onboard RAM? It is WORLDS better to have a video card that doesn't use RAM off the motherboard. If that's what you mean.
    The other issue is RAM speed. Type of RAM. DDR? VRAM? DDR3? Whatever all thos RAM types are.

    Ah forget it. To much! Here's the sum-up. Faster=good. More=good. :)
  8. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495


    As for the bit interface.

    It is very important. Nowadays 128-bit is considered low end. IIRC the bit interface has somethign to do with ascessing the RAM...but i cant find any good material on it.

  9. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    that is correct, vigilante. lots of card makers will cram 256mb of ram onto a cheap fx5x00 series card, but the bandwith still holds back performance. the ram amount is simply a marketing gimmick.

    what makes a card faster is the memory bandwith/interface. the companies know they can cheaply add more ram to the cards using the older, slower buses. when you see an fx5200 with 256mb of ram, you should realize that the card is never going to effectively use most of that ram.

    so the real answer is to look at each card's memory interfaces.

    BTW > have you got any reasons for not getting a 6600 or higher card? they can be had quite cheaply these days and are far better that the models you mentioned.
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