Is more than 2gb of VRAM a waste?

Hi all!
Spec'ing out an MSI laptop and see that for what seems to be a reasonable amount ($300) I can get an extra 750gb drive (for 1.5TB total), the DVD upgraded to a BR burner and.... the one that caught my attention the most: an upgrade from a GTX 675M with 2GB of VRAM to a 675M with 4GB. So, can HitFilm Ultimate actually make use of the extra gigs of VRAM? Any other video/photo related apps that might?
I don't do gaming at all. The burner doesn't really interest me currently, though PLAYING blu-rays comes in handy once in a while. Lastly, the extra storage space is welcome, of course, but not a big deal to add later since there's an extra drive bay, or use eSata externals, etc. So the VRAM is what has me wondering, since you gotta live with the initial choice forever.


  • To the best of my knowledge, the choice of DDR5 vs DDR3 and the GPU will have a bigger impact than going from 2GB to 4GB.
    Some photo editing software can use that VRAM when loading very big files, but I've not seen HitFilm need all that VRAM.
    I used GPU-Z (free download) to monitor my VRAM during a render, on a project with a few particle simulators, lights, big static textures, multiple cameras and quite a bit of keyframing, the most it's used is 640MB on my 1GB DDR3 card. The GPU load however, hits 99%.
    During playback in the edit on the same project, my card tops at 99% constantly (yes, I need a better one :( ) but my VRAM doesn't go above 550MB.
    I'd check and see what type of VRAM it has, but if the price between 2GB and 4GB is nominal, I'd probably go for it anyway B-)
  • edited July 2012
    Thanks for the prompt reply!
    It's 4GB of GDDR5. :-)
    After starting this thread, I read through the benchmark thread where everyone compares their rendering times for a 30s Harry Potter clip, and it seemed that even on higher end CPUs and GPUs those that broke the 2gb of VRAM barrier did comparatively better. Hard to attribute it precisely to VRAM though, I know.
    Dunno if this applies to the 675M, but elsewhere on the interwebs I just read that the 4GB GTX 680 cards have issues filling up the last gig, and are commonly outperformed by their 2gb versions. What do I make of that ??? EDIT: This was related to a third party card where the 2gb is overclocked, and the 4gb is ran at standard voltages. The complaint was that for gaming the GPU was not fast enough to fill past 3gb. So, again, I don't know if this applies to Hitfilm or any other video-related app.
    Yeah, the price "seems" good... $300 for the extra 750gb, BR burner and 2gb of vram... but if the vram doesn't contribute anything to my usage needs (or worse, detracts from it), then the other two options are just fairly priced, and although enjoyable, not exactly necessary for me.
  • As long as you have at least 1GB on the video card you're good - you really don't want any less than that. I'm not sure if HitFilm makes active use of more memory on the GPU, but it certainly can't hurt. :P The raw speed of the GPU is going to provide the most benefit, though.

  • It's 4GB of GDDR5. :-)

    Hot Damn! I'd go ahead and get it anyway, just for bragging rights B-)
  • Is VRAM the same thing as RAM?
  • Vram is Video ram.... the ram on your GPU. Ram is just the ram you install seperately into your computer.
  • Oh, thanks.
  • Well, still digging around for info and here's what else I've found so far:
    1- Gamers almost unanimously agree that more than 2gb is overkill FOR GAMING. Except for the very limited scenario of playing a certain handful of the very most demanding games, with full detail, on 3+ monitors simultaneously, and each well above 1080p resolutions. Well, that and some extreme fringe cases that play said type games on like 6 virtual machines at the same time. But again, this is just informational, I don't game.
    2- Every major NLE that I checked makes use of Nvidia's CUDA. Specifically, Premiere CS5 is reported to use up to 4gb of VRAM and as of CS5.5 can now officially use MORE than 4gb of VRAM (weird that they're up there already since I've only ever heard of one Quadro Pro workstation-class card that has 6gb, and contrary to popular belief SLI-ing doesn't double your VRAM). I don't know what type of usage would benefit from this though. I mean, is this applicable even to pocket flash-cam videos or just when editing raw footage from a RED?
    3- I have not been able to find benchmarks for the 4gb version of the GTX 675M anywhere. :-(
    So, it's clear that there is potential use for the extra VRAM elsewhere, now I'd just LOVE to know if (and if so, under which circumstances) this will help with Hitfilm though.
  • We haven't gone down the CUDA route, primarily because we want to keep HitFilm open to as many people as possible. Adobe have a very different remit with their software and increasingly they require high end or manufacturer-specific hardware to get the best results.
    While HitFilm will also perform best with good hardware, we don't want to force people to have to buy NVIDIA cards. That may change at some point in the future, as the hardware market is always shifting, but that's our stance at the moment.
    As for exactly how GPU memory affects HitFilm, I'll have to leave that to one of the more techie guys here. :)
  • i agree with Simon's previous post. HitFilm will benefit from 1GB of VRAM.
    Increasing the VRAM to 2GB will help a bit on larger projects involving 4K comps with many lights and shadows - but increasing it to 4GB will not help performance. (Unless you wish to run other GPU intensive applications at the same time as HitFilm)
    If you purchase a GPU with 2GB of VRAM then you have more than enough video memory.
  • Thank you for letting us know that. Im looking at trying to upgrade my computer to better handle Hitfilm. I have a EVGA GTX 560 ti 1 gig GPU running paired with an older QX6800 2.93 Ghz quad core processor. People have been indicating that the choke point for my hitfilm experience was hitfilm.
  • Excellent! Thanks for settling the matter. :-)
    Once I make my purchase I will definitely contribute to the "benchmark clip" thread.

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