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News hardware & software 01 April 2021, 21:07

author: Przemyslaw Dygas

Does RTX 3070 Need 16 GB VRAM? Russian Youtuber Tests Performance

A Russian youtuber decided to check how the additional VRAM in GeForce RTX 3070 will affect the stability of games. His modified version of the GPU has as much 16 GB.

Nvidia still hasn't released the official specs of GeForce RTX 3070 Ti. However, according to rumors, it will also be available in a version with 16 GB VRAM. Russian youtuber VIK-on decided to check how such an amount would affect the basic version of the card, RTX 3070. He modified it to be able to use additional memory modules. The idea is that doubling the memory would allow for more efficient rendering of high-resolution textures and better performance in terms of ray-tracing.

Tests of the card in several games were undertaken by other Russian youtubers from the PRO Hi-Tech channel. The titles were run at 1440p resolution and maximum visuals settings. In cases where it was possible, ray-tracing was also used. Test results under such conditions turned out to be quite diverse. Some games performed significantly better with the additional VRAM. In others only small differences in performance were found. In an extreme case Godfall ran worse than on the default RTX 3070 version.

When testing Watch Dogs: Legion there was a noticeable improvement in performance. There was a slight increase in the overall average frame rate. The average 1% and 0.1% of lowest FPS (1% and 0.1% low framerate) rates also changed. In the case of the basic card, the number could drop to 24, while in the version with 16 GB VRAM the lowest result was 45. Similar effects were also noticed in Far Cry 5, but mainly in the case of the 0.1% low framerate indicator. So the game ran more stable with modified hardware (no micro-stutters).

However, the situation was different for Cyberpunk 2077. The average number of frames did not change at all. Only the indicators of 1% and 0.1% low framerate turned out to be better than when using a card with 8 GB of memory. However, this difference was barely noticeable. Godfall's example is even more interesting. During exploration, we can see a significant improvement in terms of average FPS. During clashes with opponents, the modified card fared worse than a regular RTX 3070. Performance drops were more often noticeable, which did not appear on a computer with the standard GPU model.

So it seems that the amateur upgrade of the card's memory does not bring much benefit. Clear differences were visible only in some games. Most often, they also concerned only 1% and 0.1% low framerate indicators. Taking into account the costs associated with such an investment, it seems to be completely unviable. For a few hundred extra dollars we would get only a few fps more in almost every case, and when the games will start to make greater use of the larger VRAM amounts, the card will also start to lack power (even more than memory).

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