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Old 09-14-2005, 06:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 512 Cards

Can someone explain to me how a 256 mb videocard can be better than a 512 mb video card. or can it?

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Old 09-14-2005, 07:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, they certainly are less expensive and provide equal performance to a 512MB card.

The 512 Cards are Marketing Fluff and from what i've read, 512MB of onboard VGA ram isn't utilized.

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Old 09-14-2005, 07:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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512 will be used in the future probaly, and good for those high resolution and textures and what not. but 256 is perfectly. fine
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Old 09-14-2005, 09:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A 256MB 7800 GTX is certainly "better" than a 512MB 6800 GT, for example. There are mnay other factors to consider when looking at a video card other than the amount of VRAM.

However: Doom 3, as well as other shader-intensive games like BF2, F.E.A.R. etc do/will use a hell of a lot of video memory... a 512MB frame buffer (or SLI/XFIRE'd 256MB - halves the workload and not equivelant to a 512MB solution, remember) will become quite necessary in the near future for craking up the eye candy.
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Old 09-15-2005, 08:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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512MB of vram can only be useful for some kind of extreme modeler.

Say, a PIXAR 3D modeler, who probably makes models with an incredible amount of polygons that would never be seen in games. The texture resolution would most likely utilize the 512MB.

So, unless you plan to use your PC for that kind of extreme use, don't bother with it. Computer games will not see past 256MB of VRAM for at least another year. I have doubts UT 2007 will even use that much.

I do believe games like FEAR will be more processor-intensive since the physics and volumetric lighting is very harsh on CPUs. Remember that CPUs are the bottlenecks in games right now and that most of these video cards are not using 100% of their power. The only reason SLI is useful at the moment is because the data gets split into two 8X channels. Once the physics add-on cards are released CPUs will have a lot less calculations and single gfx cards will end up using all 16X bandwith.

A current 512 MB card will most likely be too slow when games that use that much vram come out. I almost bought a 256MB 9800 Pro which was released quite awhile ago. The 256MB was not even utilized until games like HL2 came out and in performance tests it did maybe 1-2 fps better. I think this was stated by my favorite review site toms hardware.

Read toms hardware. They usually have extremely accurate tests for any new technology. There should be a review on video cards with extreme VRAM amounts. I recall the conclusion stating that the extra $100-200 is not worth it in any way for normal consumers that game, video edit, photoshop, etc, etc
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