As the much-anticipated Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 launch approaches, AMD is taking the offensive by criticizing its competitor’s VRAM allocation. AMD has published a blog post comparing the performance of 12GB and 16GB VRAM GPUs when gaming at 4K. The company’s findings unsurprisingly favor their own 16GB RX 6800 XT GPU over Nvidia’s 12GB RTX 3070 Ti. The RTX 4070 is also expected to have 12GB of graphics memory, making AMD’s critique particularly timely.
AMD’s data highlights the increased VRAM usage when enabling ray tracing, a feature traditionally considered a strength for Nvidia. However, the higher VRAM usage can actually lead to AMD GPUs outperforming their Nvidia counterparts when ray tracing is enabled. AMD further emphasizes this point by comparing its new 20GB RX 7900 XT to the rumored 12GB RTX 4070 Ti.
The wild card in this battle is upscaling, which can reduce VRAM usage by running at lower resolutions. Nvidia’s DLSS scaling technology may prove critical for the RTX 4070, as well as the rumored 8GB RTX 4060 and RTX 4060 Ti. If limited VRAM becomes an issue for Nvidia, bus width limitations could be the root cause. The company’s aggressive bus width strategy for the RTX 40-series GPUs has resulted in memory allocation restrictions.
It remains to be seen whether limited VRAM will pose a significant problem for Nvidia and how much of an impact VRAM sizes will have on this generation of GPUs. Nevertheless, it seems likely that the VRAM battle will be a key factor in the competition between Nvidia and AMD.