BF4 and the 3GB VRAM myth

Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2013 - 02:20 PM |
Tagged: battlefield 4, win 8.1

One of the more interesting results from [H]ard|OCP's testing with Battlefield 4 was the RAM usage they observed, cards with 3GB or more of VRAM used 2.25GB of RAM at most points, cards with less topped out at 1.75GB of usage.  This proved that some of the performance anomalies they saw from NVIDIA cards was not necessarily a VRAM issue.  The R9 290X took top spot but even the 270X and GTX760 could manage Ultra settings at 1080p so almost anyone with a modern card should be able to enjoy all of the eye candy in BF4.  Check out the exact results in their full review.

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"Battlefield 4 is this holiday season's blockbuster from the Battlefield series. It features the brand new Frostbite 3 game engine which provides a higher level of realism in the game. We strap 8 video cards to the test bench to see what kind of gameplay experience is delivered under Windows 8.1."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP
November 18, 2013 | 03:23 PM - Posted by gamerk2 (not verified)

Is it me, or is AA getting less important? Its getting really hard to see the jaggies during gameplay. I mean, in BF2, they were obvious and everywhere. But I had to stop and LOOK for them in the photo's above (edge of knife is the only obvious spot).

Come one MSFT, less new flashy effects please; give us a physics API within DirectX!

November 18, 2013 | 07:50 PM - Posted by razor512

AA is still needed as even with a perfect sphere, if the DPI is not high enough on the display, it will show the jaggedness.

High mesh counts help to minimize the lack of AA, but they do not completely get rid of it, it just reduces the amount needed.

eg an older game may need 8X or better AA but a newer game with better models can get away with 4x or so, and if on a high DPI display, then you may be able to get away with 2X for a completely smooth display.

November 19, 2013 | 07:09 AM - Posted by Gumby

Gota wonder was this Myth created by AMD and Dice to sell more video cards primarily the ones that come bundled with the game.

November 19, 2013 | 07:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm playing it fine with 1x reference GTX680 2GB VRAM
Never goes over 1.9GB on Ultra without AA.

November 25, 2013 | 06:03 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Without AA and 1.9GB are the key words there. LOL

January 29, 2014 | 05:59 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That my friend is bottleneck :)) How can you play whn it uses 1.9 GB and that is withou AA

January 10, 2014 | 05:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

1.9 gb without AA could be true but who's to say it isn't just wasting vram and would run fine with 1.5gb vram?

January 14, 2014 | 04:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I play ultra without AA in 2x 5850's OC 1012/1225. AA I get lag spikes, guessing 1GB isn't enough, but ultra everything else plays smooth at 1080p on windows 8.1. I could not play even on low on windows 7, Lag spike heaven. Switched to Windows 8.1 and everything in BF4 just plays smoother at 60 - 80FPS.

OS: Windows 8.1 x64 (gets around 60 - 80FPS ultra)
OS: Windows 7 x64 (gets around 119fps with drops in the teens on low)
CPU: FX8320 4.9ghz 2600mhz CPU-NB/HT Corsair H100
RAM: 16GB DDR3 Corsair Vengeance 1600mhz
MOBO: ASRock 990FX Fatality Professional
VIDEO: 2x HD5850's 1012mhz core 1225mhz mem (Both OS's 13.12 driver)
PSU: Corsair GS700

Also With my old Phenom 2 x6 1100T, the game would lag ever now and again even on windows 8.1. But with the FX it fixed all that on windows 8 with 40 - 50% CPU usage. Windows 7 my CPU usage was in the 80s 90s at 4.9ghz. That game eats cores on windows 7.

April 13, 2014 | 12:02 PM - Posted by Tgirgis (not verified)

The 3GB cap out is not a myth, it's for 4k UHD (3840x2160) resolutions, the reason this is important is because you wouldn't buy a Geforce GTX 780 ti (3gb vram) or an R9 290x (4gb vram) to run an ordinary 1080p display, you would buy them for 1600p or above, generally, two of them would be required in SLI/Crossfire to run a 2160p display, but even with two 3GB 780 ti's in SLI, you only get 3GB of usable vram (the vram in both cards does not stack) thus you run the risk of capping out, and, of course, in several 4k resolution benchmarks of Battlefield 4, the game capped out at well over 3GB vram.

April 17, 2014 | 04:57 AM - Posted by Tann (not verified)

I have i5 2500K 4GB ram and R9 280x, and bf4 useing all my vram (3gb) and i have some freezes becose that, anyone know why it uses so much vram ? my friend have GTX770 and bf4 useing only 1.6gb vram

April 19, 2014 | 11:00 AM - Posted by WorriorWolf (not verified)

after searching, it was important to me that the fact of 3GB VRAM is so important

then, i saw different links about the performance

so, i concluded the 770 2GB is very enough for a lot of games :)

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