5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 31, 2015 11:44 AM by tomtalk24

    Why isn't modular vram a thing?

    phly95

      With games consuming more and more vram, it's very discouraging to see high end video cards become obsolete so quickly. If we can add ram for our cpus, why can't we do the same for our graphics cards? The n64 was capable of upgrading vram (well, unified ram, but it it did improve textures) is it possible to do the same with gpus?

        • Re: Why isn't modular vram a thing?
          black_zion

          How do you mean? The same 4GB of VRAM which has been standard on high end video cards for years is still quite sufficient for modern games. Very few games use more than 4GB, and even then only at UHD and above.

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            • Re: Why isn't modular vram a thing?
              phly95

              Sure now they use 4 GBs of vram,  but that number is rising more rapidly than ever. Modular vram means one can buy a fury x now and upgrade the module 4 years later to 32 GBs to keep running for another 4 years. At that point, they may not get Uber resolution gaming, but at least they can have detailed textures or even run the game at all if the texture resolution is fixed.

                • Re: Why isn't modular vram a thing?
                  tomtalk24

                  High Bandwidth Memory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                  Now we have moved onto HBM, literally the closest memory has ever been to the core so the fastest. It would just slow things down. And these signals are moving at the speed if light, so 1mm from the core compared to around the die would be a huge change in latency. Its just that level of sensativity to distance and resistance.

                  It would be like having modualr CPU cache, and being able to upgrade that. The extended memory would be much further from the core, it would become a bottleneck. Not so much in the 80s where all memory and cache was seperate. I think it was the first ARM RISC CPUs back on the BBC Micro that put the cache on the die.

                  ARM inventor: Sophie Wilson (Part 1) - YouTube The interviewer is annoying, but discusses the CPU, same thing with the GPU and vram, and obviously things now are much smaller and much faster.

                   

                  I understand your point, it does get expensive upgrading every big leap. I always bese my GPU purchases on memory size being an importaint factor.

                  • Re: Why isn't modular vram a thing?
                    tomtalk24

                    Sorry The first ARM processor in the world with Sophie Wilson (Part 2) - YouTube  is more relevant. And again everything in them days was slower and simpler, so could easily have upgradeable memory, much like your n64. Much less dependent on speed and timeings like now.

                     

                    EDIT:

                    I hope I haven't over complicate things.The 80s bits are just an easier way to picture the process, and to scale how important timings are when working with modern hardware. My brain hurts haha.

                • Re: Why isn't modular vram a thing?
                  tomtalk24

                  It isn't that bad really. If someone makes a game they want to sell, they want it to work on 2/3GB as well. If they made the game needing a minimum of 8GB no one would buy it. Most games offer high res textures etc, but its not forced. I think GTA is probably the best representation of where the vram is being used when in graphical settings. Its still a slow pace that the size of vram has increased.

                   

                  As for upgrading, the GPU is too speed/signal quality dependent, from the HDMI timing to the card itself. Having pop in/pop out memory would cause problems with things like resistance in the socket, all existing vram would need to be moved further away from the chip to compensate for the distance the socket alone would add. Trying to match that with the constant, clean memory built in would be a mess. Everything on the card now is timed well, wires all equal length, its tidy.

                   

                  I still remember PCI GPU memory expansion cards, 32MB, oh yeah

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