What is VRAM?

This type of memory helps run your graphics card

VRAM or video random-access memory is the memory a GPU (graphics card) uses to store information. That information is used to render images on screen. All graphics cards contain a certain amount of VRAM with the amount affecting the performance of the GPU.

What Is VRAM on a Graphics Card?

VRAM is a specific type of RAM or random-access memory as it is solely dedicated to assisting your graphics card. It's not possible to use VRAM with the rest of the computer. Instead, it focuses on helping the GPU work better.

While regular RAM reads and stores data for the CPU, VRAM completes the same job for your GPU. Generally, the more VRAM a system has, the faster it performs because it doesn't need to rely on the computer's RAM or processor as much. 

Essentially, it's a buffer between the CPU and your display. It can affect frame rates in games or when video editing. 

For a gaming PC, it's vital to have a graphics card with as much VRAM as you can afford. However, it's also important to check the age of the memory. Like with regular RAM, VRAM has seen numerous upgrades. Pay attention to the number in the memory type; for example, GDDR5 is newer and faster than GDDR4 and below.

Is VRAM Better Than RAM?

Neither VRAM or RAM are better than the other. It all depends on what you plan on doing with your computer. 

Someone who solely plans on using their device to type documents and browse online doesn't need to worry about having a lot of VRAM, however an avid gamer or someone who edits a lot of videos will need more VRAM to get the most from their experience.

For power users, it's important to have a sufficient amount of VRAM as well as RAM. That way, you won't have any risks with bottlenecks such as if your CPU is limited by a low amount of RAM or your GPU is limited by not much VRAM. It's important to have a well-balanced system.

Is 4GB of VRAM Enough?

4GB of VRAM can be enough, depending on your needs, but it's considered relatively low for gamers or video editors. 

Typically, 4GB of VRAM makes it possible to play games at 1080p resolution, but it's likely to limit your ability to play at higher resolutions. For video-editing purposes, it's too low to easily edit files at 720p or 1080p resolution. 

While it will still be possible to play games or edit videos with 4GB of VRAM, expect to see a drop in performance or quality levels which may impact your experience. That will be particularly noticeable if the 4GB of VRAM is an ageing type of VRAM such as GDDR4 or below.

Is 8GB of VRAM Enough?

8GB of VRAM should be sufficient to play games at 1440p or even at 4K resolutions. However, it's advisable to aim for 12GB of VRAM if you can afford it.

For video editors, 8GB will be enough to easily edit 720p to 1080p videos; however, you'll need more to quickly tweak 4K files. 

Can You Upgrade VRAM?

The easiest way to increase your VRAM is to buy a new and better graphics card. In particular, if you have an integrated graphics card and plan on playing games or editing videos, you need a dedicated solution.

It is also possible to increase the VRAM via the BIOS settings. Here, you can adjust the amount of memory you want to allocate to the GPU but it doesn't actually increase VRAM. Instead, it fools the computer into thinking there is more. 

  • How do I check my VRAM?

    You can see how much VRAM you have in Windows settings. Right-click an empty area on your desktop and select Display settings. Then, go to Advanced display settings > Display adapter properties > Adapter tab. The VRAM will appear next to Dedicated Video Memory.

  • Why is my VRAM so low?

    Two things might cause your VRAM to seem low: Either an application or process is taking up a lot of it, or your graphics card doesn't have enough. You can close down graphics-intensive processes in Task Manager. Otherwise, you may need to upgrade your hardware.

Was this page helpful?