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Article: Just How Important is GPU Memory Bandwidth?

cdawall

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This shouldn't surprise anyone. 128bit GDDR3 had this exact same issues with midrange cards of the past. The midrange has been memory bandwidth limited for a while...
 
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Talking about bandwidth with low end cards is pointless waste of time. We all know bandwidth matters at high resolutions and high FSAA levels. Meaning none of mid and low end cards can even do it at usable framerates. Only place when discussion about it even makes sense is high and enthusiast level of cards. Those that will actualyl run high res, high settings games at usable framerate. Meaning R9-290X/390X and GTX 980 and above.
 

cdawall

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Talking about bandwidth with low end cards is pointless waste of time. We all know bandwidth matters at high resolutions and high FSAA levels. Meaning none of mid and low end cards can even do it at usable framerates. Only place when discussion about it even makes sense is high and enthusiast level of cards. Those that will actualyl run high res, high settings games at usable framerate. Meaning R9-290X/390X and GTX 980 and above.
Even the 280X (7950) can run high res at high settings, especially in crossfire/SLi. Those cards if you will notice still have 384bit memory busses, GPU wise the GTX960 competes with the 7950, yet in high resolution environments the 7950 takes the lead. That is why threads like this exist, it is showing how the memory bandwidth cripples an otherwise good GPU.
 
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Talking about bandwidth with low end cards is pointless waste of time. We all know bandwidth matters at high resolutions and high FSAA levels. Meaning none of mid and low end cards can even do it at usable framerates. Only place when discussion about it even makes sense is high and enthusiast level of cards. Those that will actualyl run high res, high settings games at usable framerate. Meaning R9-290X/390X and GTX 980 and above.
Wait, whut?!

Bandwidth matters on every single GPU. Back in the Kepler days there were several versions of the GTX 660 with different memory subsystems. Going lower down the price tiers, you have similar named cards with 64 bit and 128 bit DDR3 and GDDR5 versions. Tell me again bandwidth doesn't matter. Especially on the lower end of the spectrum you can get totally raped if you don't investigate carefully what you buy. In comparison, all high end cards perform far more similarly and are generally very well balanced. The only outlier here is the AMOUNT of memory, where 'bigger is better' is still a very popular marketing strategy.

Talking about lower end hardware may be pointless to you, or us, but especially when you are trying to maximize the benefit of that lower end hardware, memory bandwidth is an essential piece of the puzzle.
 
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Overclock VRAM and you'll get a tiny fps bump. Overclock GPU and the fps with jump like crazy. VRAM only really makes difference in very specific conditions. GPU makes difference in every situation.
 
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A 280x to a 290? I wouldn't make that small jump, no. 290x, or Fury, or GTX 980/980Ti. Make the jump worth it from a performance standpoint. ;)
 

cdawall

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You mean 7950 to 7970 doesn't make sense to you :p
 
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Overclock VRAM and you'll get a tiny fps bump. Overclock GPU and the fps with jump like crazy. VRAM only really makes difference in very specific conditions. GPU makes difference in every situation.
Doesn't that entirely depend on the bottleneck. For instance, isn't the 960 severely bottlenecked by its 128-bit vram?
 
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Overclock VRAM and you'll get a tiny fps bump. Overclock GPU and the fps with jump like crazy. VRAM only really makes difference in very specific conditions. GPU makes difference in every situation.
There are exceptions (typically in the low end). I can (near-)double the FPS I get out of my work PC's GeForce 8400 GS by overclocking VRAM alone. Overclocking GPU actually nets almost nothing at all.

Now, the obvious reply here is "Who cares about FPS on lower end cards" and I would agree. Still, from a purely academic perspective, it is possible.

Edit:
Stock
upload_2015-10-28_12-45-19.png


Mem-only OC
upload_2015-10-28_12-47-26.png


Mem+GPU OC (Edit: Shader clock was lower than mem-only, revised)
upload_2015-10-28_13-12-46.png
 

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Ram and ram bandwidth only matter when theres not enough, and then they matter ALOT. When there is enough, then going higher / more does nothing.
 
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