Radeon RX 480 4GB & 8GB Compared: Is 4GB Really Enough for Gaming?

Part 1: Introduction

We used to settle for 2GB or 4GB of grpahics memory with the 1080P resolution, but the game titles have started utilizing new engines in the recent years and supporting more high-definition texture mapping. As the 2K and 4K displays get more and more popular, and immersive devices swarm into people’s lives, the improvement of graphics memory size is just becoming vital.

Today we’re testing a Radeon RX 480 4GB and RX 480 8GB to figure out how much of graphics memory size would be serviceable enough. 

What is “graphics memory”?

Graphics memory is memory located on the graphics card, that is used for temporarily storing sorts of data for the GPU. Large-size graphics memory could help us store more data and enhance the gaming experience while all gaming effects are on along with a high resolution.

However, it’s worth mentioning that the performance of a graphics card is jointly determined by GPU, graphics memory and memory bandwidth. If the GPU is weak, even the GT610 4GB memory is meaningless, as the GPU would fail to render the texture data. The high memory bandwidth could enable the memory to transfer data over to GPU for computing in a quicker manner. That is to say, only if the GPU performance and memory bandwidth are both adequate, it makes sense to discuss about a bigger graphics memory.

Why do we need a much bigger graphics memory size now?

1.More complicated game scenes;

2.More delicate mapping;

3.More advanced visual effects. 

Both AMD and NVIDIA are striving to improve the compress rate of texture data without having to hurt it so as to lower the requirement for memory bandwidth. Even they manage to do this, the game titles’ occupation of graphics memory is around 1.5GB. If you want top visual effects, you’ll need a more expensive graphics card with bigger memory size and better performance.

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