What is The Difference Between RAM and VRAM [Definitive Guide]

Written By Farhan Max

Finally, decided to go for the PC you build in your cart for enhancing your Gaming experience or video rendering on a ‘Build your PC’ section of your preferred website? But still have got some confusions about which RAM and VRAM to buy?

Well, we all have been there for… I don’t know, indefinite times!

It doesn’t matter whether the components and stuff are well known to you or not. We often face it when we decide to go for our dream PC.

But there are too many doubts regarding this topic. Besides, it’s totally fine if you don’t know about the difference between RAM and VRAM.

Do read till the end to clear your head, wash away all of your doubt, and find out which one to buy for you and you only.

So, What is the difference between RAM and VRAM?

The difference between RAM and VRAM is where RAM is the memory of your processor stores data, whereas VRAM is considered to store data of a graphics processor. RAM is what your CPU uses, VRAM is what your GPU uses.


But RAM performs the graphics duty where a PC doesn’t contain a graphics card.

So, by this little far, you’re sure that there is definitely a fine line between RAM (Random Access Memory) and VRAM (Video Random Access Memory). But to find out how different they are in terms of performing, how much RAM or VRAM you need to get your preferred result, stick to the last of this article.


Both RAM and VRAM do their specific jobs. Yet, they have some similarities.

So, to understand their tasks and differentiate the work that RAM and VRAM do, first do know what RAM and VRAM are.

Though Random Access Memory includes SDRAM and VRAM, it is indicated as SDRAM by which our PC loads its operating system and runs programs.


For example, when you launch your Google Chrome, all pages, content, and the data on which your browser runs, are stored in RAM.

Video Random Access Memory is close to RAM but dedicatedly used to store all of your graphics data.

So, increasing RAM and VRAM will give you quick access to your files and run the operations more smoothly.

But how much RAM and VRAM do you need to get your job done? Without skimming through, read the article with concentration and clearly understand RAM and VRAM.

How much RAM do I need?

As RAM is considered a computer’s workbench, if you have too little of it on your PC, it’ll take more time to process your computer’s data, which directly affects your computer’s performance. But if you have enough of it, your PC can easily store data, keep it, run it until you shut down your PC.

Before buying RAM, first, check its speed/frequency and latency of it. There is a thin line between them. While speed refers to the rate of both taking and giving commands, latency is the time delay between a command enters and data being available.


So, obviously, the more speed and less latency a RAM has, the more programs it can run at one time.

If you are a primary user, do little stuff like typing, watching movies, etc., you don’t need more than 4GB RAM, I believe. But if you do heavy stuff like gaming, designing, video render, installing 4GB RAM will decrease your productivity. You will get poor performances in every aspect of working, and it’ll reduce your productivity, and you won’t be able to get your job done within time.

So, if the purpose of your PC is to perform smoothly while gaming, or video rendering, at least 8GB, 16GB of RAM is a must, but I will recommend you to insert 32 GB RAM with more than 2.2 MHz speed if you want a fully optimized performance.

Also, check out our expert’s recommended Best DDR5 RAM You Can Buy in 2023.

How much VRAM do I need?

VRAM is basically located on the computer’s video card. If you don’t find yours, don’t worry. It’s because it may be located next to the video processor. But wherever the VRAM is located, it’s work is the same; load and store graphics data that the computer displays.  

So, the more you have it, the more 2D and 3D images it can display at once. If you are a gamer, video editor, or architect, you must carefully choose your VRAM.


Video memory stores data on textures and lighting effects while you play, edit, or render your videos. Therefore, if you are not a gamer or do simple tasks on your computer, you do not need more than 2 GB of VRAM.

Today, 4 GB of VRAM is enough for 1080p gaming. But if you want 1440p gaming, you need 6 GB to 8 GB, while you need 8 GB to 12 GB of VRAM while gaming at 2160p, or 4K.

For video rendering, you need 8 GB for 720p to 1080 files, 16 GB for 4K files, 32 GB for editing all kinds of files, and 64 GB of VRAM for professional users who want to edit 8k files. So, people use HBM, GDDR5, or GDDR5X nowadays.

Therefore, one thing is definite that how much VRAM you should get depends on what you’re planning to do with your PC.

You may be wondering what HBM, GDDR5, or GDDR5X is, the differences among them, and the connection of VRAM with them.

So, what’s the difference between VRAM and GDDR RAM?

There is no difference in them as GDDR RAM is also a part of VRAM, which has finally surfaced in the past couple of years.

A graphics card needs both a GPU and VRAM to function accurately. VRAM takes and stores the data that gives GPU to process and output images on your monitor. HBM (High Bandwidth Memory), GDDR5 (SGRAM Double Data Rate Type 5), or GDDR5X are new forms of VRAM we have these days.

Do I need more RAM or VRAM?

I believe you already have got an idea about RAM and VRAM. Both DDR RAM and GDDR VRAM are optimized for the distinct tasks they are designed to execute.

If you notice that your computer is too slow to work properly while its hard drive light is constantly blinking, your RAM is full. Whereas playing a game, or rendering a video, if you notice the frame rate dropping, believe me, it’s only for the insufficient amount of VRAM you have. So, you need additional RAM and VRAM.


But which one do you need more?

There is belief, “The more you add, the more you get.” So, you may be thinking if I add more RAM or VRAM, I’m overcoming the problem.

Trust me; It’s not like that.

First, you have to understand what your PC suffers from and what it needs. When you are sure of it, you can add whatever it needs. But make sure of the balance of both your RAM and VRAM. An imbalance between your RAM and VRAM will complete failure to perform the required task.

If you are confused about which RAM slot and channel you should use, check out other posts on which RAM slots and which RAM channels to use.

Can I use RAM instead of VRAM?

Suppose you notice your rendering drops some frame per 10 seconds, or your game does the same. You wish to replace your VRAM, i.e., graphics card, with many RAM sticks. What do you think will happen?

It’s definitely not a good idea to solve a VRAM problem by using some more RAM. You’ve to remember, they both have their individual tasks. You can’t use 16 GB or 32 GB of RAM and get 4k gaming without a GPU.


Because 16 GB or 32 GB of RAM can be excellent for processing data, loading softwares, but it can’t render graphics. Similarly, with a 6 GB graphics card, you can’t remove your system’s RAM as it will be nothing to have this much graphics card without enough RAM.

While RAM works with short data sets and VRAM works with big data sets, it’s nonsense to talk about replacing one another. Remember, your CPU won’t turn on without RAM.

Does gaming use RAM or VRAM?

The question may seem nonsensical to you, but believe me or not, it is one of the FAQs people ask over the internet. So, which one do you think really matters the most?

Well, to answer this, I’ve to make an example. Suppose you have zillion dollars in your bank accounts, you go here and there, and so on, but you don’t maintain your health, don’t have time for yourself, don’t have any idea what to do with the money. What will happen next? What do you think?

I’m telling you what’ll happen next. Thinking of everything nonstop, not planning on your health, your body, i.e., you will collapse in a brief period. So, you need balance. Have some time to spare? Check out our latest post to Enable Aura Sync Control for Corsair RGB Memory.


Since you are interested in gaming, there is a lot to consider along with RAM and VRAM.

The more your PC has RAM, the smoother the game will run. Consider having a minimum of 16 GB to 32 GB of RAM to enjoy playing a high-end game.

But when you’re planning to get this much RAM, it’s obvious that you won’t play that high-end game with 2 GB of the graphics card. Your PC will need at least 6 GB of the graphics card to operate flawlessly.

When you’re able to connect the RAM and VRAM mentioned, you’ll see that your computer collapses. Why so?

Because when you are planning to have that set up of RAM and VRAM, you need to make sure the base of your system, i.e., processor, is up to compatible with your RAM and graphics card. There are also a lot of components that should be considered as they also add value to get better performances.

So, gaming uses or depends on three factors mainly; CPU, RAM, GPU (VRAM).


How much RAM or VRAM you should need depends on what you want to do with your machine. When RAM is used to store temporary system files on which our computer runs, VRAM stores all the image data we use playing games or rendering videos.

I tried to simplify conceptions as well as misconceptions as possible. But don’t hesitate to go to your nearest hospital if everything goes above your head.

About The Author
Farhan Max is a tech geek with a particular interest in computer hardware. He's been fascinated by gaming since childhood and is now completing his undergraduate studies while researching and testing the latest tech innovations. Alongside his love for all things geeky, Farhan is also a skilled photographer.

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