Does Star Citizen EAT VRAM?

“How much VRAM does Star Citizen use at 1080p, 1440p and 4K! I took my 4080 and its 16GB of VRAM out in Star Citizen to find out!”

In the discussion around Star Citizen and VRAM usage, in past tests, it has been observed that a lack of VRAM can negatively impact game performance. Comparing the 4GB and 8GB variants of the RX 5500, the 4GB version performed worse in several scenarios. An 8GB 1070 Nvidia card was compared to a 1660 Ti Nvidia card (which has 6GB of VRAM), showing certain points where the game’s performance drops, suggesting a VRAM deficiency. Consequently, for optimal gaming, sufficient VRAM is advised.

Tests were carried out in various in-game locations using a 3080 with 16GB RAM at different resolution settings to understand VRAM usage. In most locations, at 4K use, VRAM usage approached 9GB; however, at resolutions of 1080P and 1440p, VRAM usage was comfortably under 8GB. Interestingly, an outskirts setting and open space recorded significantly lower VRAM usage at all tested resolutions.

One could conclude that around 8GB of VRAM provides sufficient headroom at 1080P and 1440p, with at least 10GB recommended for 4K gaming. However, it’s notable that a 3080 card with 10GB of VRAM seemed to struggle at certain points during the game at 4K. Therefore, it seems that unless you’re running the game in 4K, your VRAM will most likely be sufficient.

CIG explained that future updates would give players more management over memory, allowing those with less RAM to adjust settings accordingly. Additionally, support will continue for gamers with 4-6GBs of VRAM. Some potential future additions, like a high-resolution texture pack and ray tracing, could potentially increase VRAM usage. However, any implementation of such features would require careful consideration of game balance.

In conclusion, for the best Star Citizen gaming experience, a considerable amount of VRAM (most likely 16GB and above) is advisable, especially at ultra-high resolutions like 4K. However, for lower-resolution gaming, 8GB should be adequate. It’s an interesting balance because while having a card with higher VRAM is beneficial, the overall performance of the card is also important. As Star Citizen continues to develop and evolve, so too will its VRAM requirements.