Limited VRAM on last-generation high-end hardware is a major bottleneck in current and upcoming AAA game titles. Nvidia’s last generation of high-end graphics cards like the GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 are already causing a major bottleneck in games due to limited VRAM.
Paulo Gomes a tech YouTube channel might have a solution by modding the graphics card memory. Currently, Paulo Gomes and his friends are testing and have increased the memory on the last generation GeForce RTX 3070 from 8GB to 16 GB.
Memory mods on graphics cards should not be considered something new. Modders have been doing so for a long time. While replacing the memory on faulty cards is a common practice to bring new life into dying hardware. Though moding and replacing the memory with the same chip are not the same thing.
There is a workaround for tricking the GPU hardware to support different memory configurations. It’s done by grounding some resistors on the PCB of the graphics cards making it expect memory that is twice in capacity.
However, every mod has its downside but there is a workaround for increasing the VRAM on a graphics card. Modding the VRAM on a graphics card can cause errors in the form of flickering or black screens. Users can get around this by going into Nvidia 3D settings and selecting high-performance 3D mode.
Paulo Gomes have tested a few AAA games on the modded GeForce RTX 3070 16GB. Among which is the recently released Resident Evil 4 Remake. The game due to high VRAM requirements runs poorly on old hardware with 8GB or less VRAM.
With the upgraded 16GB memory, the GeForce RTX 3070 is no longer struggling at high textures settings. The game can now go past the 8GB VRAM limit of the GeForce RTX 3070 improving both the 1% and 0.1% lows.
The average FPS has gone from 65 to 75 FPS, although the most interesting of all is the minimum FPS went from 20 FPS to 65 FPS with RTX 3070 16GB.
We won’t consider this a proper review just based on one game but mods like these do show what last-generation hardware can do with the right amount of memory.
An engineering sample of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti was also leaked last year. This new variant of GeForce RTX 3070 Ti came equipped with 16GB of memory instead of the 8 GB found on vanilla cards. Both the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 are good examples of 4k capable graphics cards that are held by its limited VRAM.
The VRAM requirements of current games have increased quite a bit. The Last of Us Part 1 which was recently ported to PC, can demand up to 16GB of memory on ultra-texture settings. The only Nvidia cards that would support such requirements are the new GeForce RTX 4080, which comes at a premium, or the last generation GeForce RTX 3090 and RTX 3090 TI.
The new GeForce RTX 4070 from Nvidia is currently the cheapest RTX 40 series card that comes with 12GB of VRAM. But if the trend of increasing VRAM requirements continues we might see Nvidia offer the same cards with more memory in the future.
What are your thoughts on the GeForce RTX 3070 mod, would you be willing to go with a mod instead of upgrading the graphics card?
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