512MB vs 1GB Too much Video Card memory

Over the years we’ve seen video card manufactures offer us more and more memory on our video cards as they become faster, there’s no denying that 1GB and 2GB of memory has its place in high resolution gaming but when you’re paying more then you need too just because you want to say you have a 1GB graphics card there’s something wrong.

This is a topic that’s been on my mind for a long time and I always try to increase awareness that some models don’t need as much memory. The HD 5570 was released today and the Sapphire version I received carried with it 1GB of memory which for this model is really too much.

Having a look at Newegg.com you can get a HD 5670 with 512MB of memory for $92.99, if you want to double that RAM you’re looking at $109.99. For an extra $17 you’re really getting virtually no extra performance as I discovered in a recent review of the HD 5670 512MB here.

Now if you’re happy to spend an extra $17 for what is essentially going to do nothing when it comes to extra performance why don’t you spend another $20 on top of that and buy a HD 5750 for $129.99. The good news is that if you really want 1GB of memory it’s only going to cost you an extra $10, and again while you won’t see a performance increase at least you can say you have 1GB of memory. The problem is if you’re going to buy a 1GB HD 5750 for $139.99 for an extra $5 you could get a HD 5770 512MB for $144.99.

Up to the HD 5770 a 512MB card is going to be best, compared to the 1GB counterpart it will be cheaper and offer almost identical performance. For only slightly more you can get a 512MB version of the next model up when compared to the 1GB version of the lower model.

I can make a 1GB model show higher numbers then a 512MB card, if I bench two mid range cards at 2560 x 1600 the 1GB model will put out a higher number, so here you say to yourself, well I see there’s a performance improvement with the 1GB version. The problem is at this resolution it doesn’t matter if the card has 4GB of memory you’re not going to be able to get a minimum FPS that represents a playable frame rate.

Too often we see companies advertise a system with a 1GB graphics card and not the model itself. The sad thing is your friend who has a bit more knowledge can buy something that’s faster for less money. There’s a place for high MB models, but it’s not in this mid range segment. Maybe I’ll get some cards together and do an article to give you a better idea of how everything looks in a graph and look at this topic more. Think twice though the next time you go and buy a mid range model, why pay for more memory then you need?

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