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Graphics Cards

Journeyman III

Can AMD graphics cards use system memory?

Can AMD graphics cards use system memory to store maps and data, more specifically to render images in software like AMD Render Pro or Blender Eevee?

Thanks in advance for any replies!

Gilles Charbonneau

6 Replies

No. And on the flip side your system's central processor cannot store regular access items in video memory.

While the software and applications that use AMD GPUs to render objects in real time have access to physical system RAM, the graphics card cannot directly store information in system memory. This could be different with some APU architecture but I'd have to get that confirmed by someone with more know how than myself.

Hello, and thanks for the reply, the software I am most interested in is Blender's Eevee, a real-time engine that uses OpenGL, I was told that AMD's graphics cards, at least some of them, can use system ram to store maps, for example, so I was wondering if this was true or not!


I don't believe that the card itself would be using physical ram but the rendering software itself, as a man in the middle, might be--but this is well beyond my knowledge so I can't give you a definitive answer. Hopefully a hardware engineer can chime in.

Adept II

Well, I'm not sure if this is really answering your question, but Vega cards can use RAM instead of VRAM, while VRAM on the card itself serves for caching, over their HBCC tech. I'm using it a lot myself, since its benefiting some games.

Its a shame that AMD itself doesn't advertise this tech a lot. In fact, Raja Koduri himself, even though at Intel now, shared my friends videos on his Twitter page, showcasing Unreal Engine assets with HBCC On and Off:

UE4 Level Experiment - VEGA FE [HBCC Off] - YouTube

UE4 Level Experiment - VEGA FE [HBCC On] - YouTube

Is that all Vega cards, or just Frontier? I feel like using system memory instead of the 16GB of HBM on the card itself would decrease performance, no?

News to me, thanks for the insight.


Its for all Vega cards. Here's my own at Titanfall 2 at 4k and Insane textures: