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Nvidia’s RTX 50 series might give us yet another GPU with measly 8GB of VRAM

Another 8GB GPU? Maybe? It better be cheap
Last Updated on July 8, 2024
RTX 4060 Ti graphics card testing on table
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Needless to say, we’re closer than ever to the release date of the RTX 50 series. This highly-anticipated launch will usher in the next best graphics cards on the planet, especially with AMD reportedly taking a more reserved approach to its next-gen GPUs. While Team Red has long championed higher levels of memory, Nvidia may still hold onto 8GB, despite growing dismay from consumers. The only good news is that it remains speculation for the time being.

VRAM usage in modern games has become a recurring topic for GPU enthusiasts. Some argue that high reported VRAM consumption doesn’t necessarily translate to poor performance. Technically, that’s true. You might be able to run a game with slightly less VRAM without immediate problems, but we still think Nvidia could be more generous with memory for certain SKUs.

RTX 50 series is expected to have an 8GB graphics card, but is it enough?

Expected VRAM and launch dates for RTX 50 series graphics cards, source: 3DCenter

While nothing has yet been confirmed by Nvidia, we’ve seen multiple outlets, including 3DCenter, fully expecting at least one 8GB model – or two if we see a similar story to the current 4060 series line-up.

If you go out and simply look for the GPU with the most VRAM, you’ll be paying a fortune. Not many people need to target the 24GB and up range, and that’s fine. Instead, the hotly-contested issue is the fact that 8GB VRAM is slowly but surely becoming a liability. In the 40 series, Nvidia did release a 16GB RTX 4060 Ti, but it didn’t convincingly perform better than the 8GB model as memory bandwidth and bus width remained the same.

Given the lack of perfect data, VRAM usage becomes a valuable indicator of potential bottlenecks. While it might not be a flawless measure (some games might function with slightly less VRAM), it’s a good starting point. So, what is the bottom line? 

VRAM capacity still matters. Many graphics cards currently on the market simply don’t have the capacity to handle the demands of modern and upcoming games. VRAM usage might not be a perfect metric, but it serves as a necessary indicator until more precise data becomes available. Upgrading VRAM capacity is still crucial for gamers who want to play the latest titles smoothly.

Hardware Unboxed recently covered the topic of VRAM in this video, and you’ll find in the comments that many users don’t want to deal with 8GB anymore. For us, an upgrade to 12GB or perhaps the more unusual 10GB sounds like a good baseline going forward.

Source: Hardware Unboxed

When will RTX 50 series arrive?

News from Kopite7kimi, a Twitter source known for hardware leaks, suggests a late launch for Nvidia’s next-generation consumer GPUs, codenamed “Blackwell.” While some information on these GPUs might be revealed next month, the actual consumer products likely won’t arrive until Q4 2024.

The delay seems to apply to the entire Blackwell lineup. While the high-end GB202 and GB203 chips might be announced earlier, their consumer versions are expected in Q4. Even lower-end models (GB205, GB206, and GB207) aren’t expected for mobile devices until March 2025, suggesting a staggered release throughout 2025 for the desktop market.

Tom is a tech writer with a detailed view on ensuring the best buying advice, most useful information, and latest news makes its way into PC Guide's articles.