PC Components

What Is a Video Ram (VRAM)?

Video Ram

If this is your first time hearing video RAM, then you must be curious, and the one question in your mind now is what is video RAM? It is worth noting that every computer has video RAM, no matter how little it might be. 

Quick Answer

In simple terms, video RAM, often called VRAM, is a type of RAM responsible for handling the video and image processes of the computer. The video RAM is located inside the GPU, where image and video processing occurs. 

Your computer can have integrated or dedicated graphics, each with video RAM. Computers that come with integrated often suffer from poor performance when handling demanding graphics processes. In contrast, computers with dedicated graphics have exceptional performance when handling demanding graphics processes.

Keep reading as we elaborate on VRAM on PCs in this article. 

How To Check VRAM on Your PC

Video RAM is a buffer between your display and processor, and sometimes it is called the frame buffer. As far as gaming is concerned, VRAM is vital to performance, such as image quality and loading time. It would help if you had more VRAM in other to render high-resolution images and textures

When you try to render with insufficient VRAM, it overloads the VRAM, and this causes the GPU to flood the data onto the RAM, which degrades performance. As such, when you are trying to run an application, knowing your VRAM will give you an idea if your computer meets the demand of the application. Below we elaborate on how you can check the VRAM on Windows and Mac computers. 

Method #1: On Windows 

For this first method, we will be looking at how you can check the VRAM you have on a Windows OS computer. It does not matter what version of Windows you have on your computer; you can go to settings to see how much VRAM is on the computer. However, you can use these steps to know the size of the VRAM you have on other versions of Windows with minor differences in its step. But for the sake of this guide, we will be using Windows 10

Here’s how to check the VRAM you have on a Windows PC.

  1. Press the Windows key on your PC or move the cursor to the Windows icon at the bottom-left corner of your screen and click it. 
  2. Click Settings from the list of options that is on your screen. 
  3. Open the “System” tab and click “Display”
  4. At the bottom of the display menu, tap the “Advanced Display Settings” option. 
  5. Scroll down again and tap the option “Display” adapter properties 
  6. In the adapter’s tab, the option “Total Available Graphics Memory” in “MB” is the amount of VRAM you have on the computer. 

Method #2: On Mac

Mac computers also use VRAM, and there is an option you can use to tell the amount of VRAM they have. The steps to check the VRAM size on a Mac computer are similar to those on a Windows computer. You can use the steps we will show you below to check the VRAM on any version of Mac OS. 

Here’s how to check the VRAM you have on a Mac PC.

  1. Click the Apple logo at the top-left corner of your screen. 
  2. In the drop-down option, tap “About This Mac”
  3. A window that displays detailed information about your Mac will pop up; tap the “System Report” button. 
  4. When the panel opens, look for the option “Graphics/Display”; the option VRAM in “MB” is the amount of VRAM you have on the computer. 
More Info

There are four main types of VRAM: Window RAM, Synchronous Graphics RAM, Rambus DRAM, and Multibank DRAM.

Conclusion 

After reading this guide, you should know what video RAM is and can easily tell how much of it you have on your computer. Note that two computers of the same model may have different VRAM on them. The amount of VRAM on a computer is determined by the manufacturer. So, if the amount of VRAM on a computer is essential, then ensure you check with the manufacturer before buying it. 

Frequently Asked Question 

Is it possible to increase how much VRAM you have on a computer? 

Yes, it is possible to increase how much VRAM you have on a computer. However, not all computers support this feature. Increasing the VRAM on your computer depends on the type of motherboard you have on your computer. If the motherboard on your computer supports increasing the VRAM, you can increase it with the BIOS setting or using the registry editor. 

Is VRAM and graphics card the same thing? 

While both terms are related and sometimes used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing. VRAM is a type of RAM your computer uses, whereas the graphics card is a processing unit. Essentially, VRAM is a memory found inside the graphics card.   

Can you use a 128 MB video RAM for gaming? 

Unfortunately, if the amount of VRAM that comes with your computer is only 128 MB, you may not be able to use it to play modern games. Using 128 MB of VRAM to play modern games will only overload the graphics processing unit, causing your computer to lag. 

Most modern games are very demanding and require a dedicated graphics card with up to 2 GB or more VRAM. You can increase how much VRAM is on your computers, but not all computers support this feature. 

Does increasing VRAM improve FPS on games? 

Yes, increasing how much VRAM you have on a PC can help improve the FPS of games. This is because your PC will be able to handle more graphics processes to meet up with the FPS of the game. 

But note that you can’t change the preset value of your VRAM on most PCs. 

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