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 Post subject: Video card questions.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:36 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:39 am
Posts: 17
Location: Milwaukee,WI
Hey I'm looking to understand video cards a little bit better since I'm new to this. The are a few things like the CUDA cores, what part does this play in the card? DDR,3,4,5 and memory.

I've heard and read several different things but if someone could put it into lamens terms for me it would help.


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 Post subject: Re: Video card questions.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:22 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5304
I'm going to narrow down the basics that do matter, hopefully. The rest is just nitpicking.

  • Like comparing Intel's processors with AMD's, you cannot compare an NVIDIA GPU to an AMD GPU based on specs alone. In particular, before the GeForce 600 series, NVIDIA has much fewer shaders than AMD, but they got away with it by clocking them at double the speed of the "main" GPU. It might be a little bit more apples to apples with how NVIDIA organized the GeForce 600 series (lots of shaders running at 1:1 speed), but it's still safe to say: you can't compare the two directly.
  • CUDA is a proprietary shader language for NVIDIA GPUs only. This only matters if you're trying to use the GPU as a compute hardware. On a side note, if you care about hardware accelerated PhysX though, you will need an NVIDIA card.
  • RAM type only affects how fast it can operate. There are some smaller features (GDDR3 being based on DDR2 and GDDR4/5 being based on DDR3) but this is basically the crux of it.
  • RAM size today affects mostly how high quality of textures you can hold and I believe how well FSAA features work. But since traditional FSAA is being thrown out the window in favor of shader model based AA techniques, I don't know how much RAM size matters anymore.

Basically... just go find a review with a benchmark. That's about the only way you can understand what the GPU is capable of.


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 Post subject: Re: Video card questions.
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 6:26 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 6:04 pm
Posts: 1
Is Radeon 1gb 5450 realy ok for HD gaming?? I tried a game red alert3 and tried to set the video settings to highest and its performance got slow. I even have 3 gb of memory, but I can't set it to the highset graphics :x its says in the box upto 2.8gb hyper memory... how can I tweak this to work upto 2.8gb??


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 Post subject: Re: Video card questions.
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:25 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5304
Most video game settings are GPU performance dependent and it has nothing to do with how much RAM is available to the part.

If you want a crash course...
Spoiler: show
Contrary to what a lot of people think, RAM does not improve performance in the an obvious sense. RAM is simply faster memory that your processor (any one) goes to when it needs something. This can improve performance and response, but there's a stopping point to where this doesn't work.

For instance, if you are running programs on a system with 128MB of RAM, and the programs take up all 128MB with say 128MB in the swap file (a section on the HDD that, to the rest of the system, looks like RAM), performance is slow and response time is high because programs need to access the swap file, on much slower memory, quite often. In other words, programs are stuck because they need to wait for data.

If you add 64MB to the system, then the system response and performance improves as it has to look at this swap file less.

Add another 64MB, and again, it improves, but it may not be as much (Say 64MB of stuff in the swap file wasn't as needed as often). Adding any more RAM will do nothing, because everything the programs need is already in RAM.


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