Memory Specs VS Other Variations
In Memory Mean Differences In Performance
You may be
wondering, why some video cards are offered at a much lower price than other
than the same video card manufactured elsewhere. Could it be the bundled
software, special GPU cooling unit or even the nicely designed box? It’s
possible. However, there is another way to lower the cost of a video card
without the end-user even knowing it. This is achieved by implementing slower
and cheaper video memory on the video card, which does not meet the original
NVIDIA reference design of that particular video card.
are so many possible variations, you need to pay close attention to what
you are buying. Sometimes saving $5 can cut your performance in half. EVGA.com
believes that everyone should be able to know exactly what they're buying
and get exactly what they pay for. So take a look at these graphs and see
how memory variations play a huge role in video card performance.
MB GeForce FX 5200 Variations
MB GeForce FX 5200 Variations
As you can
see from these GeForce FX 5200 benchmark graphs, different memory variations
on the same video card shows drastic differences in benchmark results. In
short, BANDWIDTH COUNTS!
The 3 most important
factors to understanding your card's memory configuration are: the memory
access time, its maximum operating speed in MHz, and the memory bus width.
The Memory Access Time
When you take a close
look at the memory of a video card, you will see the memory manufacturer’s
name and the part number. The part number will look something like this:
XXXXXXXXXX-X. The number after the dash (-) normally determines the memory
access time in nanoseconds (ns). For example, take a look at the picture
“5”, after the dash, means that the memory speed is rated at
Maximum Operating Speed in MHz
determine the true Video Memory MHz, we must find out the Video Memory’s
speed. By using the example from above, we found that the memory’s
speed is rated at 5ns. We then use a simple formula that will allow us to
determine the true Video Memory MHz.
divided by the Memory Access Time = Memory Speed in MHz
By using the example above, we divide 1 by 5ns, which is the memory speed
and we get:
/ 5ns = 200MHz
the memory above is an SDR memory, then it should run at 200MHz stably.
If the memory above is DDR (Double Data Rate), then we multiply 200MHz by
2 and get 400MHz, which is the MHz speed the memory can handle up to without
The Memory Bus Width
portion of the guide is probably the most crucial element in determining
a video card’s performance. There are two ways to determine the bit
bus of a video card’s memory. One way is to use a formula to calculate
the bit bus. The second way is much simpler, by looking at the number of
the video cards out in the market have either 8 or 4 pieces of memory on
the video card.
8 pieces of
memory normally operates at 128-bit bus
4 pieces of memory normally operates at 32 or 64-bit bus.
Here is a good
example differentiating the performance of 32, 64 and 128-bit bus of memory:
say there are three highways, all perfectly parallel to each other. Imagine
Highway 1 (128-bit) as a 4 lane highway, Highway 2 (64-bit) as a 2 lane
highway and Highway 3 (32-bit) as a 1 lane highway. If all cars were driving
home from Point A to Point B, including yourself, on all three highways,
you would get home faster on Highway 1 because of the wider width of having
4 lanes. Highway 3 would have more traffic than Highway 1, due to its 1
lane and can cause you to get home slower.
So, with this
information in mind, you can safely try and determine your card's memory
configuration. Once you do, just compare it to the graphs found earlier
in this artice and you can see how your card stacks up against others in
Memory Warning: Mix-Matching Video Memory
a touchy subject, so we will be explain this very briefly. There are a few
video cards floating around in this market that have been implemented with
different brands and speeds of the memory (ns). Theoretically, this should
be able to work. However, there have been reports of computer systems crashing
and locking up with this type of video memory configuration. One way to
tell if your video card has the same memory pieces is to take a look at
the memory and make sure the Manufacturer and Part Numbers are all the same.
Also, you can do a search online and check the memory part number on the
Memory Manufacturer’s website.
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