Does your NVIDIA graphics card have its days numbered?
One price-cutting trick by graphics card makers is to use cheaper components, one of which is installing smaller-capacity memory chips. Which ends up affecting, under certain levels of visual quality, the performance of the games and not for the better. Well, if there’s something we can call planned obsolescence at NVIDIA, It is precisely this limitation.
For the average user, who usually has a screen with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, the important thing is that the game can reach that average speed in games, however, there are titles that deceptively do so on many graphics cards. The reason? Although they reach this rate of frames per second, certain frames are not generated in 16.67 milliseconds, but take much longer. Guilty? At NVIDIA this is due to one of the artificial limitations placed by the company on its models and that will make them have a shorter lifespan than the competition.
The planned obsolescence of NVIDIA graphics cards
One of the most typical problems with a graphics card is when the frame rate drops due to lack of available memory, as this forces the GPU to pull its DMA unit to access system RAM through the port. PCI Express. Let’s remember that, contrary to what happens with the CPU, the main memory is far from the dedicated graphics hardware and the VRAM is its local memory and, therefore, the closest.
Well, when all games change their graphic quality to the highest settings, they end up requiring a greater amount of video memory. This is where we find planned obsolescence at NVIDIA. That is, if we compare in terms of GPU or graphics chip, the green brand has better designs than its rival AMD. The problem comes when we talk about memory configurations, especially in high-end cards. And it’s all due to the use, in many models, of GDDR6 and GDDR6X chips with 1 GB capacity per chip, while the RX 6000 and RX 7000 have always opted for 2 GB configurations.
Things get complicated in the new RTX 40, where NVIDIA has decided to cut the memory bus, although it has not lost bandwidth, the number of chips has been cut. Luckily, they have decided to use 2 GB chips like AMD this time, so the problem is in the RTX 30, where the 8 GB configurations, facing certain resolutions and graphic qualities, have said problem,
How does it affect gaming performance?
We have to start from the fact that as time goes by, games become more visually complex and require a better graphics card, another thing is the lack of optimization on PC, but that’s another story. We usually look at the average frame rate per second in games, however, there are times when under certain graphics settings the amount of minimum FPS that certain games reach is lower than that reached by lower models within the same generation, but with more video RAM.
Remember that the frame time is not the same for all the frames and some are fast to execute by CPU and GPU, while others are slower. When we talk about, for example, 60 FPS, we don’t have 60 frames counted in a second, since we’re talking about speed. This is the same as going by car, where going 100 km/h does not ensure that you will reach a distance of 100 km from the starting point, because you will encounter things like traffic jams, curvy roads, detours , traffic lights, etc.
The fact is that if a graphics card does not have enough VRAM, the minimum frame rate per second drops and with this the average FPS is cut. Due to the fact that due to the lack of video memory the GPU has to look for it from somewhere. It is unheard of when you have a model capable of running certain games at maximum graphic quality due to its technical specifications and that are hindered in performance by the memory installed on the card.