Graphics card video memory has become a really big topic in recent weeks (we’ve also dedicated a separate article to it). More and more games make relatively high demands on it, and it is starting to be said that many of the cards released simply do not have enough capacity anymore. YouTube channel Moore’s Law is Dead in the latest episode podcast Broken Silicon invited a developer working on Unreal Engine 5 as a guest and appeared here partially anonymously only as Dave. The talk wasn’t just about AI or ray tracing, but also about VRAM.
The interview is very interesting and I recommend you listen to it in its entirety. However, I would point out that according to Dave, the increased VRAM requirements are not caused by bad optimization, it is said that creating a game for an 8GB graphics card is so time consuming (not only) today that it is not even worth doing, because the studio doesn’t have that many resources and needs to focus on other aspects of development. The resulting situation is supposed to be the result of more advanced textures or geometry, but also other new technologies that occupy a part of the video memory, for example lighting with Lumen.
The developer claims that the requirements will definitely not decrease, on the contrary, they will increase. He listed cards with 12GB of VRAM as the minimum for new games, and 16GB would be ideal. After all, current consoles also have 16 GB of memory (although common, it works as both RAM and VRAM), and we are talking about a device on which the game can be optimized directly, which is not possible on PC for due to the large number of possible combinations of components.
– VRAM usage will increase dramatically.
– Keeping within an 8GB buffer is now very difficult.
– More VRAM enables significantly better looking games that don’t have to rely on tiled textures.
– Developers have to waste so much time optimizing the computer for low-end hardware.
— Hardware Unboxed (@HardwareUnboxed) April 4, 2023