See how much VRAM you need when buying a new graphics card. Compare 1080p, 2K, and 4K requirements.
info As an Amazon Associate, I get commissions for purchases made for products that I recommend through links on this page.
How much VRAM you need will largely depend on two factors.
What resolution your monitor is
What games you plan on playing
Once you’ve determined those two items, you’ll have a good idea of how much VRAM you’ll need for gaming. This is pretty much the same rule for figuring out what graphics card you’ll need.
VRAM in a nutshell
VRAM is designed specifically for your graphics card. Its job is to store image and graphics data that will ultimately be displayed on your computer monitor. VRAM is heavily optimized to be very efficient at that task. As video games get more intensive, the VRAM requirement goes up. This is even more true with higher resolution displays.
Unlike regular RAM, VRAM can’t be upgraded. It’s built directly onto the graphics card. This allows it to be much faster than your typical RAM. Take for example NVIDIA’s GDDR6X which supports speeds of 19.5 Gbps on the GeForce RTX 3090. That’s fast!
What is a good amount of VRAM?
A good amount of VRAM is relative, but in 2022 you should have at least 4GB of VRAM for 1080p gaming. This is pretty much the bare minimum nowadays. Some games, like Halo Infinite, require a NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti which has 4GB. You’ll be hard-pressed to find many games nowadays that require less VRAM than that.
To check how much VRAM you currently have, check out our how to check your PC specs article. It’ll walk you through two easy ways to check your PC specs, including information about your graphics card.
How much VRAM do I need for 4K gaming?
For 4K gaming you should aim for at least 8GB of VRAM. This is as low as you’d want to go. Ideally you’ll even want more, especially if you’re trying to future-proof your PC for a few years.
If you want to push past 60 FPS, which isn’t easy with 4K, you should even consider getting a graphics card with 12GB or more of VRAM. Consider the fact that the NVIDIA RTX 3090 has 24GB of VRAM, and you can see where the future of VRAM requirements is going.
How much VRAM do I need for 2K gaming?
For 2K gaming you should aim for at least 6GB of VRAM. Ideally you’ll even want more, especially if you want your graphics card to last a few years.
To get yourself into the 144Hz territory, you should even consider getting a graphics card with 8GB or more of VRAM. A card like the NVIDIA RTX 3080 with 10GB of VRAM would be great for 2K gaming. Even the NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti with 8GB would be really good.
How much VRAM do I need for 1080p gaming?
For 1080p gaming you should aim for at least 4GB of VRAM. A couple more GB wouldn’t hurt either, but 4GB is the bare minimum. You’ll be able to run most modern games.
For higher FPS, you should even consider getting a graphics card with 6GB or more of VRAM. Something like the NVIDIA RTX 3060, or NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti would be perfect for 1080p gaming.
Upgrade your VRAM
Since VRAM is built directly onto the graphics card, you can’t actually upgrade or increase the amount of VRAM. The only way to get more VRAM is to upgrade your graphics card.
As you can see, the amount of VRAM you need depends on the resolution you’re playing at, and how demanding your games are. You could need anywhere from 4GB of VRAM, to a whopping 16GB or more. At the very least, you’ll want no less than 4GB of VRAM in a modern gaming PC. More if you’re playing at 2K or 4K.
Keep in mind that VRAM is also only one part of the puzzle. You’ll also need to consider your RAM and CPU. These are almost just as important components in a gaming PC. One can also bottleneck the other.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask us in the comments section below.
Mike is one of the founders of FPS Cat. He has a passion for discovery and exploration, health and nutrition, and writing PC gaming content for the internet. His current favorite PC games are Overwatch and Diablo II.