Last month, AMD posted a blog which detailed the performance benefits of increased VRAM in their graphics cards, specifically the RX 5500 XT GPU. Whilst it was definitely a marketing asset - trying to convince consumers to purchase higher variants of the same card they already own - it did show some interesting results. Comparing between the 8GB and 4GB variants of the 5500 XT, AMD saw up to a 24% increase in performance across 5 different AAA titles.
This may be quite obvious to some, as more graphics memory means more space to store assets, and to play at higher resolutions or even to enable the latest graphical effects. However, the whole blog post suggests that AMD wants to step things up, as the age of 4GB VRAM might be over, and they may even offer higher VRAM capacities as the baseline standard in the future. Though that is just a guess and I could be wrong. Check out the results from AMD’s tests below:
As you can see in the chart above, the lowest performance increase was with Borderlands 3, and even then it got a 12% increase in performance just by increasing the graphics memory available. I would say that’s a pretty substantial jump when considering what the standard baseline VRAM sold should be.
At most you’re going to see around a 10% increase in price for the next variant increase of graphics memory, so making sure that the standard entry-level card has a substantial amount of VRAM is most desired. And as we all know, rarely ever can you sell a graphics card at exactly the same price you bought it for, so it’s not just a 10% increase in price to upgrade to a higher amount. So a better standard of graphics memory would be ideal to customers.
AMD also noted that insufficient levels of VRAM, even at 1080p screen resolution, can lead to error messages and warning limits (like we saw with DOOM Eternal), lower frame rates, and gameplay stutter or texture pop-in issues.
Of course, the minimum standard for VRAM increases, then that does mean if you’re trying to game on a budget - in those moments where you just want to save an extra $20 on all your components - you might just have to downgrade your GPU rather than being able to get a lower variant of VRAM for a slightly cheaper price.
So what do you think? Should AMD up their baseline standard for maximum VRAM? Or do the lower variants help those who are on a budget? And what do you think is the optimal amount of graphics memory required for modern gaming? Let us know!