Is 4GB Graphics Card/VRAM Enough?

The amount of VRAM you have is an important factor as it influences how your graphics card performs. The VRAM is responsible for handling graphical data such as terrain, geometric, and texture data so it can be processed by the graphics card core when needed. There are negative consequences to not having enough VRAM.

Your VRAM is also important for video editing, and any other application that utilizes the power of your graphics card. As you can imagine, the amount of VRAM you require for video editing increases with the resolution you video edit at, this is pretty much the same as how games handle the VRAM.

Answer: Yes, 4GB of VRAM is enough for gaming, it will suffice in resolutions such as 1080P, 2GB of VRAM is in fact the bare minimum for 1080P. For video editing, 4GB of VRAM will suffice with resolutions up to 4K, but 6-8GB VRAM can help. The VRAM consumption is pretty much application dependent, some games will use more or less.

What Is VRAM & Why Is It Important?

So you’re wondering what’s so important about VRAM, as the name implies, VRAM stands for video RAM, and just like with the CPU, the RAM is extremely important. The VRAM acts as a buffer between the GPU and the CPU and it’s responsible for handling image data. More VRAM will make your GPU cores work easier and more effectively.

As for why it’s important, for gaming, the VRAM plays a huge role in dictating what resolution you can play at effectively. Also, it has an influence on what graphical settings you can play at. Higher resolutions and higher graphical settings mean larger graphical data being handled by the VRAM, so at 4K, you will definitely need a good amount.

As for video editing, the VRAMs role isn’t as straightforward, this is because there are so many factors to consider. If your video editing software isn’t graphically intensive, then the VRAM and the graphics card are essentially out of the picture. If you’re using software such as DaVinci Pro, and Adobe After Effects, then the VRAM influences the rendered resolution, video bitrate, and any effects that increase the complexity of the video’s timeline.

How To Check How Much VRAM I have:

Before you attempt to fiddle with your VRAM, you should know how much VRAM you actually have in the first place. The best way to check your VRAM capacity is through the display settings. This is for Windows 10 only.

  1. Type in “Display Settings” in the Windows 10 search bar.
  2. Scroll down and find “Advanced Display Settings”.
  3. Click on “Display Adapter Properties”.
  4. The adapter settings should show the capacity for the dedicated video RAM.

Can You Increase VRAM Capacity, If So How?

The thought of increasing the VRAM is an interesting one as it’s completely possible to increase your RAM capacity. But with VRAM, it comes soldered to your graphics card mainboard, so increasing the VRAM is completely impossible. Dedicated GPUs will always come with a fixed amount of VRAM, there’s no increasing it.

With integrated graphics, it’s slightly different as integrated GPUs are made to share resources with the CPU. This means the integrated GPU will share RAM, and this is called “shared Graphics Memory. Nowadays, your CPU is extremely effective at allocating and deallocating the right amount of resources to your integrated graphics, but you can set a fixed amount within the BIOS.

Shared GPU memory isn’t just exclusive to the iGPU(Integrated Graphics), your dedicated graphics card will have some shared GPU memory allocated to it as well. You’re probably wondering why in the world a dedicated GPU needs shared GPU memory, well your graphics card will use it as something to fall back on. The shared GPU memory acts as virtual memory for your graphics card, and it’s mainly used when you exceed your VRAM buffer, this helps keep applications running.

So if you have a dedicated graphics card with 4GB of VRAM, and you happen to exceed this VRAM buffer, your graphics card will attempt to use the normal system memory(RAM) as something to fall back on. Shared graphics memory isn’t something you want to fall back on as it’s far slower than VRAM, and it’ll cause stuttering, but it’s necessary to keep your applications running.

So How Much VRAM Do I Need For Gaming?

For gaming, VRAM should never be overlooked, many will take it into consideration when gaming at high resolutions. With graphically advanced games such as Assassins Creed, Battlefield, and many open-world simulations, your VRAM will be heavily utilized, so choose carefully. If you’re playing light/casual video games, then the VRAM capacity is less important.

Before we find out how much VRAM you need, we first need to understand what has an impact on the VRAM. The resolution you play at dictates how many pixels are being rendered on screen, so the more pixels being rendered, the more your VRAM will be utilized. If you don’t have enough VRAM for your resolution, you’ll run into stuttering, you can always lower the resolution.

In-game graphical settings will also consume a lot of VRAM, but the most impactful setting will have to be Anti Aliasing. Depending on the AA setting, you can end up using a lot of VRAM, for example, MSAA will use a lot. If you run into issues with 4GB of VRAM, you can try lowering the AA setting to FXAA which is the lowest quality.

So What’s The Recommended VRAM Capacity?

VRAM at 1080P Gaming – At 1080P, you can get away with between 2-4GB of VRAM, this is because 1080P uses very little VRAM. 1080P is pretty easy to run nowadays as most graphics cards will come with 4GB VRAM at least. Since the resolution is pretty low, you may need to activate Anti Aliasing(AA) to smoothen jagged lines. This will increase VRAM consumption.

VRAM at 1440P Gaming – At 1440P, you will require 6GB to game comfortably, you can do with more for future-proofing as games get more graphically intensive. 1440P is the sweet spot of gaming, you can get away with a mid-end graphics card with at least 6GB of VRAM.

VRAM at 4K Gaming – At 4K, you will need at least 8GB of VRAM, more is definitely better. 4K uses enormous amounts of VRAM, and you will need a high-end graphics card to run demanding games such as Battlefield V at a good framerate.

ResolutionRecommended VRAM
1080P2-4GB
1440P4-6GB
4K+8GB+

Verdict

So in conclusion, 4GB of VRAM should suffice even to this day, but you will need to be conservative with what graphical settings you use, and the resolution you run your games at. WIth gaming 4GB should be enough for 1080P and maybe even 1440P, with video editing, 4GB should be the bare minimum for 4K video editing.