Modern video games require larger VRAMs to run smoothly.
So if your GPU doesn’t have sufficient VRAM, you might wonder whether you can share a portion of your system RAM to increase the VRAM size.
In this article, we’ll discuss whether you can use system RAM as your GPU’s VRAM.
Here’s Whether A GPU Can Use The System RAM:
Dedicated GPUs have built-in VRAMs and can’t use system RAM as VRAM. On the other hand, integrated GPUs don’t have any built-in VRAM and use system RAM as their VRAM. It is also possible to increase the allocated system RAM size for an integrated GPU using BIOS settings.
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Can A Dedicated GPU Use The System RAM?
Dedicated GPUs have their own VRAMs and don’t use system RAM as VRAM. However, some dedicated GPUs with special graphics drivers can still use system RAM when they run out of their built-in VRAM.
VRAM on a dedicated GPU has much higher bandwidth and lower latency than the system RAM. For example, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB dedicated GPU has GDDR6X VRAM with a bandwidth of 760.3 GB/s. On the other hand, DDR4-3200 system RAM has a bandwidth of 25.6 GB/s. As you can see, the bandwidth of the RTX 3080’s built-in VRAM is nearly 30 times that of the DDR4-3200 single-channel system RAM.
Because of the lower bandwidth of the system RAM, dedicated GPUs will perform significantly worse if they use the system RAM. Some GPU operations can’t also run with system RAM and need built-in VRAM. Therefore, most dedicated GPUs don’t use system RAM as VRAM.
Can An Integrated GPU Use The System RAM?
Integrated GPUs (iGPUs) are embedded inside CPUs. For example, 11th Gen Intel processors have Intel UHD Graphics iGPU inside them.
Unlike dedicated GPUs, integrated GPUs don’t have built-in VRAMs and use system RAM as their VRAM.
Can You Increase The Video Memory Of A Dedicated GPU?
You can’t increase the VRAM size of your dedicated GPU.
Dedicated GPUs have built-in soldered VRAM. So the only way you can get more VRAM is to upgrade to a GPU with a larger VRAM.
Can You Increase The Video Memory Of An Integrated GPU?
You can increase the amount of system RAM allocated to your integrated GPU using BIOS settings. Your iGPU will then have that amount allocated to it permanently as its VRAM.
However, when you allocate more system RAM as VRAM for your integrated GPU, the amount of system RAM available for your CPU will reduce.
Most integrated GPUs can also dynamically use up to half of the total system RAM if available.
Dedicated GPUs have built-in VRAM and don’t use system RAM as their VRAM.
However, some dedicated GPUs can still use system RAM as VRAM when their built-in VRAM runs out.
On the other hand, integrated GPUs don’t have built-in VRAM and use a portion of system RAM as their VRAM.
You can also increase the allocated system RAM size for your integrated GPU.