Maximum amount of memory for Video Cards


What is the maximum amount of memory for my Video Card without wasting money?

Since there are a lot of new versions of cards coming out with varying amounts of memory, many of which make it more confusing for the consumer which one is the faster and better buy, I have come up with a simple guide on what is the optimal amount of RAM a particular GPU can fully utilize. This is so that buyers may become aware of products that offer tons of RAM, but in reality are not really that much faster with a similar GPU with half the RAM.


These are cards currently being sold in the market (03/12/09)
Video Cards Optimized for NO MORE THAN 256mb RAM
- 7300GT
- 7600GT
- 8500GT
- 8600GT
- 9400GT
- 9500GT
- HD 2600XT (gDDR4)
- HD 3450

Video Cards Optimized for NO MORE THAN 512mb RAM
- 8600GTS
- 9600GT
- 9600GSO (768mb)
- 8800GT
- 9800GT
- HD 3650
- HD 2900XT
- HD 3850
- HD 3870 (gDDR4)
- HD 4670
- HD 4830
- HD 4850

Video Cards Optimized for NO MORE THAN 1GB RAM
- 8800GTS (G92)
- 9800GTX/9800GTX+
- 9800GX2
- 3870X2
- HD4870
- GTS 240
- GTS 250
- GTX260
- GTX280

Video Cards Optimized for MORE THAN 1GB RAM
- HD4870 X2 1/2/4Gb Versions
- HD4850 X2 2gb
- GTX260 Core216
- GTX 285
- GTX 295


X1550Pro AGP
9500GT 256mb gDDR3 (3k)
HD4650 512mb gDDR3(3k)

HD3650 512mb DDR2 (4k) AGP
HD4670 512 (4k)
HD4830 512 (6k)
9600GT 512mb gDDR3 (4k)
9800GT 512mb gDDR3 (5k) (Formerly 8800GT) (Soon to be GTS 240)

HD3850 (6k)AGP
HD4850 512mb (7.5k)
9600GT SLI (8k)
9800GT SLI (10k)

HD4850 512mb CrossFire (15-18k)
HD4870 512mb gDDR5 (11-12k)
HD4870 1gb gDDR5 (12-13k)
HD4850X2 1/2gb (13-16k)
GTX 260 Core 216 (13.8k)
GTX 285 (17k)
GTX295 (24k)

PCI slot:

AGP slot:

PCI-E slot:

For AGP, it is getting harder and harder to find good value cards as this is soon becoming a legacy interface. Good luck in finding Geforce 8 Series or ATI HD cards for AGP. The most abundant offerings are the geforce 7s. The 7300gt ddr2 is just as fast as the 6600gt, sometimes faster, but the 7300 is cheaper. The 7600gs is just a bit slower than the older 6800gt so any of the two is fine HOWEVER, ATI seems to have captured the highend AGP market with the X1650XT and the X1950Pro. Nvidia only has the older 7800GS and the rare 7600GT to compete with it. Both of which are like needles to be found in this massive haystack market. There is an HD3850 for AGP systems... good luck finding that as well. What's more, AGP cards offer a high premium since demand is low. So you get much much less performance for your money. Better skip the AGP upgrade and save up for a PCI-E system.

If you're still using PCI interface, chances are your processor is old as well.. skip the video card upgrade for there are no good ones and buy a new processor and mobo :) some onboard videos on mobos offer decent (bare minimum) gaming performance like ATI's HD3200 chipset, Intel's GMA X4500 (offering DX10) or nVidia's Geforce 9200/9300. Avoid Intel GMA/Extreme Graphics/S3 etc if you plan to play games using onboard video. Onboard video is temporary fix only until one gets enough money to buy a more decent solution. For a temporary solution, ATI currently offers the fastest onboard graphics with its HD3200/3400 780/790 chipsets. But don't expect high quality gaming with those..

if you want to learn more about graphic cards / video cards performance, speed, ranking and benchmark, (click here)


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