Tech Guide

Does VRAM affect FPS? (Explained for Beginners!)

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FPS (Framerates Per Second) is such a critical factor for gamers, and graphics is the most crucial factor for getting stable framerates.

Besides graphics, other components also determine FPS, but people ask a common question about whether VRAM (Video RAM) impacts the FPS or not?

I did some research about Video RAM and its effects on FPS, and after doing a complete analysis, I am writing this article to inform you of everything regarding this.

So, Does VRAM affect FPS?

Yes! VRAM’s quality sometimes improves overall graphics performance, including the framerates, but increasing VRAM doesn’t constantly improve fps, and in some instances, your framerate can drop. 

I know that the short answer doesn’t satisfy you; therefore, I have explained all the things regarding VRAM and its impact on framerates in the below section. So, keep reading this article till the end.

VRAM & FPS: Here’s the Connection

VRAM, for Video RAM, is a dual-ported variant of dynamic RAM that was once commonly used to store the frame buffer in a graphics adapter. The purpose of VRAM is to ensure the even and smooth execution of graphics display.

On the other hand, FPS (Framerates Per Second) is the frequency of capturing or displaying consecutive images.

The amount of VRAM depends on many things, like the games you play and the resolution you play them at, and the most contributing factor is graphics because VRAM is built directly onto the graphics.

The largest contributing factor to the game’s framerate is the graphics card and processor for the FPS.

You can notice that the graphics directly or indirectly manages video RAM & framerates.

Therefore, the VRAM’s quality sometimes affects the overall performance, including framerates. 

This is how the VRAM and FPS are closely related; however, the fact is also true that sometimes VRAM has nothing to do with FPS.

Does Increasing VRAM increase FPS?

No! increasing VRAM doesn’t always mean better performance or fps; in some instances, increasing VRAM will severely decrease your frame rate. 

Suppose if your card has 4GB of VRAM and you are playing a game that only uses 2GB, then upgrading to an 8Gb card isn’t do anything noticeable. So, this is not a “more is a better” thing.

You should know that the only type of VRAM that can be increased is assigned to an integrated GPU because, with dedicated or discrete GPU cards, the amount of VRAM is built-in and cannot be upgraded. You have to replace the card instead.

You also need to know that the VRAM of integrated graphics is not VRAM. It is just the same system RAM that the CPU uses.

However, the integrated graphics are slow enough that giving it more VRAM is a waste of your RAM since the GPU can’t handle many resources like massive textures.

Finally, it has to be said that whether increasing VRAM improves fps or not depends on the game, graphics, and whether or not the current allocated VRAM can store enough resources to keep the GPU busy.

Also Read: Does a 4K Monitor affect FPS?

Will Overclocking VRAM increase FPS?

As howtogeek explained, overclocking is increasing a component’s clock rate, running it at a higher speed than it was designed to run. You can overclock different components such as CPU, GPU, RAM, VRAM, etc.

Overclocking VRAM generally allows for faster data transfer between itself and GPU, which leads to higher-quality images being processed.

Overclocked VRAM increases your memory bandwidth, improving overall graphics performance. As a result, you will get a noticeable performance increase, giving you a few more fps. 

However, overclocking the VRAM speed can give you better performance even if you are not using the total capacity of VRAM. Here, you are increasing the memory bandwidth, which allows the GPU to access the VRAM more quicker.

Another thing you need to remember is that VRAM’s size and speed are entirely different things. Suppose you are using 8GB and 4GB cards; then you will get different situations on both these cards.

If you overclock VRAM on an 8GB card, then you will get higher performance, but on a 4GB card, you will face a different situation because you have to deal with the timing straps.

Overall, it can be said that increasing VRAM improves fps depending on a lot of things, including VRAM’s size, speed, and the game you are playing.

Does VRAM Usage affect FPS?

In general, the VRAM usage doesn’t affect the fps, and it’s 100% fine to play games with maximum VRAM usage. If the VRAM of your GPU exceeds, then GPU will use your primary RAM. So, it’s absolutely fine that your VRAM surpasses high usage.

VRAM is just like RAM or storage, so pushing to the ultimate limit will not cause any damage to your PC or GPU.

But many gamers also said that it can spoil your gaming experience if there is ever even a small rise in VRAM requirement because, let’s say the game is loading a new level or something, your game will have horrible fps dips and feel stutter-y because the VRAM is unavailable and the GPU will have to use the system RAM which has more latency or worse, needs to use SSD/ HDD to load textures.

Therefore many gamers recommend leaving at least a bit of VRAM free for the occasional bumps in the VRAM requirement of games.

Also Read: Can Thermal Paste affect FPS?

Low VRAM Usage but Low FPS: Here’s why?

Many people are suffering from this issue; they are getting very low fps even when they use low VRAM (around 15% to 20%), and their RAM and CPU usage is also low.

There can be various reasons behind this, and here I have stated some of those reasons why you are facing this issue-

  • BIOS & Drivers are outdated
  • Power management settings
  • PCI-E power management enables

Let’s discuss these issues in detail-

BIOS and Drivers are Outdated

This first reason indicates that if your BIOS and drivers are outdated, you can face this issue; just make sure that your drivers are entirely up to date and check if you downloaded the software for your GPU or not? Because the manufacturer has some software to help you out when it comes to monitoring usage and tweaking the settings.

Power Management Settings

The power management settings indicate that the CPU was set on power to save and never gave GPU the power it needed; it can cause the same issue.

To fix this, try to check those settings in power management, set them to max power, and see whether this helps.

PCI-E Power Management Enabled

Sometimes, your PCI-E power management can possibly cause the same issue, and to fix this, turn off power management settings.

Go to Device manager- PCI-E- Turn off the power management setting and see if that helps.

How much VRAM is needed for better FPS?

The answer to this question depends on many things, including the graphics you are using, the games you are playing, and the monitor you are using.

Expert gamers don’t recommend going with a GPU with 4GB of graphics memory.

If you want to get a stunning framerate, then 8GB of graphics memory is recommended; however, many gamers also suggest that at least 6GB of graphics memory is sufficient for high quality and reasonable framerates around (40 to 50 fps). 

Also Read: Does DirectX 12 improve FPS?

VRAM FPS drops issue

Graphics is the most crucial factor when it comes to VRAM and when a GPU runs out of VRAM, it will use RAM as part of its memory, which is much slower and causes stuttering.

Therefore, increasing the VRAM doesn’t impact the framerates in a few instances, and in some cases, your fps drops due to wrong settings.

Final Thoughts

After looking at all the facts and examples, it is understood that VRAM mainly depends on graphics, and in a few instances, increasing the VRAM improves overall graphics performance. As a result, you will get a higher framerate, but in some cases, it doesn’t impact your performance.

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