Where games are becoming more hardware intensive, you might be wondering if a 4GB graphics card would be enough to satisfy your gaming hunger. Well, it depends upon the type of games that you’ll play and at what resolution you would play them.
In many cases, a 4GB graphics card is enough to run most games at 1080p medium-high settings. However, for some demanding games that require more VRAM, a 4GB graphics card might not be a good option.
Keep in mind that video memory alone cannot decide the fate of your gaming performance. There are other factors also that contribute to boosting your graphics card frame rates like memory bandwidth, memory type, clock speed, memory interface, CUDA/Stream cores, etc.
Therefore, every 4GB graphics card that you come across is designed differently, leading to different gaming experiences with different games.
For example, the Nvidia GTX 1660 4GB easily outperforms the AMD Radeon Radeon RX 550 4 GB as it’s built on a newer architecture, has the latest GDDR6 memory, and has more CUDA cores on it.
Can You Easily Game on a 4GB Graphics Card?
As I’ve said earlier, every 4GB GPU is designed differently, so gaming performance will vary. However, many games on the market still require a 4GB graphics card to render graphics.
So, it will depend upon the game engine or the type of game that you are willing to play on your 4GB graphics card.
Many entry-level eSports games still require less than 4GB of video memory. At the same time, some serious eSports game titles need you to push over 8GB of video memory for a better gaming experience.
Moving on, when it comes to playing AAA games like CyberPunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, Resident Evil: Village, The Last of Us, and Metro: Exodus, then a 4GB memory may fall short if you scale you scale up those graphics.
More video memory is required to successfully render images at higher resolution. So if you plan to play AAA games at 1080p, 1440p, or 4K settings, then you have to step up from your 4GB graphics card.
And there’s no sense in playing AAA at lower settings because you’ll lose the image quality.
Here are the minimum video requirements of some of the most popular games.
|The Last of Us
|AMD Radeon 470 (4 GB), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 (4 GB), NVIDIA GeForce 1050 Ti (4 GB)
|The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
|Nvidia RTX 3060 / AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (8 GB)
|Nvidia GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870 (2GB)
|Red Dead Redemption 2
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 2GB / AMD Radeon R9 280 3GB
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 470
|Forza Horizon 5
|NVidia GTX 970 OR AMD Radeon RX 470, 4 GB VRAM
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti or AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 / AMD Radeon™ HD 6870 (1GB VRAM)
Which Games Can Smoothly Run on A 4GB Graphics Card?
Although upcoming games are thrashing the barrier of 4GB VRAM to run smoothly, still there are many games that are playable with a 4GB video card at high settings. Some of them are listed below:
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
- GTA V
- Battlefield 3
- Crysis 3
- Just Cause 2
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Mafia II & III
- Fary Cry 4
- Assassin’s Creed: 1,2,3, 4
- Fifa 20, Fifa 21, Fifa 22
- Half-Life 2
Can You Run AAA Games on A 4GB Graphics Card?
As far as the AAA games are concerned, yes these are playable with a 4GB graphics card. As AAA games involve a lot of shadows, texture details, etc, you’ll have to limit the in-game settings to medium-high to get smoother frame rates.
This is the point where other factors of a graphics card apart from the VRAM come into play. If your 4GB graphics card has higher memory bandwidth, clock speed, and more cores, then this will give you an uplift in performance while playing AAA games.
However, when it comes to higher resolution, something above 1080p would limit your gaming performance on a 4GB graphics card. Recent AAA games require you to have at least 6GB or 8GB of VRAM if you want to play them at high settings or resolution.
Things to Consider Before Buying A Graphics Card for Gaming
Users who are graphic design and gaming buffs may always look at graphic cards, which are an expensive computer component. Here we will share what else you need to consider before buying GPU.
As per the pricing factor, no one would install the expensive card in a low-quality computer or, you can say, a budgeted processor. PC World recommends spending at least 30% of their budget on GPU, and with 30% of the allocated budget, you would be able to buy a GPU.
Graphics cards produce lots of heat, and this heat is displayed as a TDP value, which is enough to decide whether you need to go for this graphics card.
If the TDP value is high, your PC requires more fans to distribute heat, and obviously, fans require additional space and power, which makes a difference.
Smaller computer towers need a graphics card with low TDP values. Large computer towers provide more flexibility.
If you consider TDP value for space reasons, you need to consider the power supply, which is enough 8-pin or 6-pin connectors for the graphics card.
If you are running a 400-watt power supply with an overlocked 95-watt CPU and want to add a card with 250-watt TDP, you need a PSU upgrade. Make sure you have bought a decent power supply of at least 8- plus bronze.
Graphics cards always come from 2 and 12 gigabytes of RAM. There is so much which we need to decide for the optimum computer performance.
It’s essential to consider the memory space while buying a graphics card. If your PC has 8 GB system memory, your computer requires at least a 4GB graphics card for the best performance.
Video card memory holds anti-aliasing operations. Video memory is important in image quality because it gives you an opportunity to play games at higher resolutions.
Bandwidth is a significant amount of memory to access at any given time. GPU has more bandwidth and data gets fed at a faster rate.
You will have the highest quality video graphics to run games. You need to understand the bandwidth first about how it works.
It is determined when memory speed and bus width are combined. Clock speed is measured in MHz. Standard GPU can read 64 bits of information at a time.
Some monitors support HDMI, others use DisplayPort, and a few support USB type-C routing DisplayPort signals. Users planning to buy with connectors need a monitor and don’t have to buy an adapter. You should know the HDMI vs Display port.
Why You Need More VRAM on A Graphics Card?
Here are some of the pros to look at:
Increased System Performance
Graphics cards perform graphics-related tasks. Graphic cards increase the overall performance of the PC. It helps to take off the load from the CPU because dedicated graphics card. It will free up the RAM from graphics data because the graphics card has its own video memory which is much faster than RAM.
Improved Graphics performance
A graphics card offers the best performance in graphics applications and software. It provides better performance, and you can watch movies in better quality with the best graphics card.
It will also help editing-based software such as video editing software and Photoshop with greater accuracy. You should go for a dedicated graphics card because it will not ruin the movie-watching experience. It’s a great time to enjoy the movie theater experience.
Better Gaming Experience
Users who want to play the latest games should have graphic cards because they cannot do so without them. With integrated graphics you can’t play the latest games and if you either play the games then unable to get the desired frame. If you have a decent graphics card within the mid-range, you can play high-quality games.
Better driver support
Graphics cards give better driver support and are compatible with integrated graphics. It comes with a newer operating system when you want to run a specific graphics application or any software over the computer.
A 4GB graphics card is enough for the gaming experience but makes sure you look at the rest of the configuration of your PC as well.
To be honest, the sweet spot these days is having a 6GB graphics card on your PC, especially if you want to play games at a higher resolution.
Users who have a lower budget would get an entry-level graphics card, but if they can afford it, we suggest you get the highest quality graphics card to enjoy the latest games at 1080p.
As mentioned above, you can make your own choices that help finalize your favorite card as per the resolution and gaming experience.
Hi, this is Masab, the Founder of PC Building Lab. I’m a PC enthusiast who loves to share the prior knowledge and experience that I have with computers. Well, troubleshooting computers is in my DNA, what else I could say….