Someone installed Crysis 3 on a GeForce RTX 3090's VRAM

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,178   +132
Staff member
Editor's take: RAM drives were sort of popular among enthusiasts back in the days of spinning hard drives but now that we have speedy flash memory, there’s not much of a need for them.

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090 includes a massive 24GB VRAM buffer, which as Steven pointed out in his recent review of the “Titan” class card, could be highly beneficial in workstation environments. As it turns out, it also has plenty of other uses if you are willing to think outside of the box.

That is exactly what Twitter user Strife212 has done.

In a recent tweet, the self-professed software engineer claims to have used a program called GPU Ram Drive to create a 15GB RAM disk from the RTX 3090’s VRAM then installed Crysis 3 on it.

The unallocated VRAM, roughly 9GB, was plenty to support the GPU in running the game. But in terms of performance, there’s no real advantage to storing the game on the VRAM as load times were reportedly on par with what you can expect from a fast NVMe SSD.

Still, just being able to do it is pretty darn neat and leads us to wonder what else could be installed “on” an RTX 3090. How about an operating system? Windows 10 64-bit only calls for 20GB of free space, so why not? And how long will it be before someone installs Doom on it? Cause, you know, Doom can run on anything and everything.

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Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,047   +3,181
I can just imagine someone putting 2 in SLI solely to have the space to run their OS and favourite game... there's a good use of $3000 :)
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,066   +768
With 936GB/s bandwidth would that be useful for some sort of a database? Windows Index of all files for insta search?
 
With 936GB/s bandwidth would that be useful for some sort of a database? Windows Index of all files for insta search?
VRam is great in terms of bandwidth but it's also known for being horrible with latency. Reason why you can use system Ram as video ram but the opposite doesn't happen.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,877   +2,191
Staff member
VRam is great in terms of bandwidth but it's also known for being horrible with latency. Reason why you can use system Ram as video ram but the opposite doesn't happen.
That used to be the case, but it's far less of an issue these days - if it was, the likes of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S wouldn't be using GDDR6 for all their RAM requirements.

The simple reason why we don't use a GPU's local memory for general use is that the CPU must access it through the PCI Express interface: even a 16 lane 4.0 system only offers 32 GB/s of bandwidth, and that's far less than you'd get using something like dual channel DDR4-3200 (51.2 GB/s peak).
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,303   +1,813
" Windows 10 64-bit only calls for 20GB of free space, so why not?"

What about RAM for the OS?

if you use a 20GB partition that leave 4GB's left and how much of that 4GB's are still needed for gpu resources + ram of the OS.

While it would be a cool test to see if it ran utterly pointless!
 

veLa

Posts: 1,096   +703
I mean, go ahead and put an OS on it..... every time you power on the PC lol

Might be good for niche uses, but I can't think of anything practical over a decent NVMe SSD...

Very true. I figured it was more of a proof of concept thing than doing it seriously.
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,066   +768
All data would be lost once you turn the computer off.

Uptime for DBs tend to be rather big. You could always offload the data over to VRAM on each startup, which should not happen often.

However, as @spitfire14 pointed out, the latency is pretty slow (didn't know this).