Hot!Misleading memory amount for EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB FTW ACX edition?

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jrista
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2013/09/08 19:04:55 (permalink)
I just dropped over $600 on a pair of 760 4GB FTW ACX edition video cards on amazon. I purchased these cards in particular because of the advertised video memory of 4GB. I particularly purchased these cards because to run Skyrim with a very advanced ENB along with some very heavy 2k/4k high res texture packs installed, I need at least 3.5Gb of vram. I installed the cards a few days ago, and have been running them in SLI with several games, including Skyrim, Metro 2033, BF:BC2 & BF3, and a couple others. All games are run at the maximum settings possible, with the single exception being Skyrim (instead of 2560x1600, it runs at 1920x1200 with the ENB, and it is the most taxing of all). 
 
Before actually playing any games, I ran some tests using 3dMark 2011. First thing I noticed with 3dMark was that it only seemed to recognize 3Gb of video memory. All of my test results online show 3Gb of VRAM, not 4Gb. I immediately checked the driver, which faithfully shows the 4Gb of memory for both cards. I figured 3DMark was just incorrect, however I have experienced a number of other things, statistics with monitors as well as regular Skyrim CTDs (which only occur with the advanced texture pack installed, indicating it is a memory load problem). 
 
When using the monitors from EVGA Precision X 4.2.1 as well as nVidia Inspector, neither EVER show memory usage over 3072Gb. Not with any game, even the heavy duty ones listed above. EVGA Precision X usually shows all monitor graph lines with a cyan blue color, however whenever Skryim crashes to the desktop, a short stretch of the monitor graph line is 3073, and it is shown in yellow. 
 
Did I somehow get a couple of video cards that do not actually have 4GB of video memory in them? I've searched around the net, and I've seen nVidia Inspector monitor screenshots that show other 4GB cards with memory usage at 4001Gb when running Skyrim with texture packs and either an ENB, or lots of AA. I put a lot of money into these two cards, expecting they wold behave as advertised, however the 3072Gb memory usage cap has me extremely suspicious that I've just been had by someone.
 
Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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    HeavyHemi
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    Re:Misleading memory amount for EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB FTW ACX edition? 2013/09/08 19:10:08 (permalink)
    jrista

    I just dropped over $600 on a pair of 760 4GB FTW ACX edition video cards on amazon. I purchased these cards in particular because of the advertised video memory of 4GB. I particularly purchased these cards because to run Skyrim with a very advanced ENB along with some very heavy 2k/4k high res texture packs installed, I need at least 3.5Gb of vram. I installed the cards a few days ago, and have been running them in SLI with several games, including Skyrim, Metro 2033, BF:BC2 & BF3, and a couple others. All games are run at the maximum settings possible, with the single exception being Skyrim (instead of 2560x1600, it runs at 1920x1200 with the ENB, and it is the most taxing of all). 

    Before actually playing any games, I ran some tests using 3dMark 2011. First thing I noticed with 3dMark was that it only seemed to recognize 3Gb of video memory. All of my test results online show 3Gb of VRAM, not 4Gb. I immediately checked the driver, which faithfully shows the 4Gb of memory for both cards. I figured 3DMark was just incorrect, however I have experienced a number of other things, statistics with monitors as well as regular Skyrim CTDs (which only occur with the advanced texture pack installed, indicating it is a memory load problem). 

    When using the monitors from EVGA Precision X 4.2.1 as well as nVidia Inspector, neither EVER show memory usage over 3072Gb. Not with any game, even the heavy duty ones listed above. EVGA Precision X usually shows all monitor graph lines with a cyan blue color, however whenever Skryim crashes to the desktop, a short stretch of the monitor graph line is 3073, and it is shown in yellow. 

    Did I somehow get a couple of video cards that do not actually have 4GB of video memory in them? I've searched around the net, and I've seen nVidia Inspector monitor screenshots that show other 4GB cards with memory usage at 4001Gb when running Skyrim with texture packs and either an ENB, or lots of AA. I put a lot of money into these two cards, expecting they wold behave as advertised, however the 3072Gb memory usage cap has me extremely suspicious that I've just been had by someone.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    Yes, EVGA Precision and MSI AfterBurner both by default display 3072MB of memory as the limit. You can change this in the monitoring tab in the Option menu to what ever limit you want. Lastly, I'm quite certain that if your GPU's did not have 4GB memory installed, there would be a firestorm all over the internet.

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    willdearborn
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    Re:Misleading memory amount for EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB FTW ACX edition? 2013/09/08 19:46:03 (permalink)
    HeavyHemi

    Yes, EVGA Precision and MSI AfterBurner both by default display 3072MB of memory as the limit. You can change this in the monitoring tab in the Option menu to what ever limit you want. Lastly, I'm quite certain that if your GPU's did not have 4GB memory installed, there would be a firestorm all over the internet.

     
    ^This
    If you have cards with more than 3GB you have to go into the settings of Afterburner/PrecisionX and change the max value of the graph as it defaults to 3072MB.
     

     
     
     

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    jrista
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    Re:Misleading memory amount for EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB FTW ACX edition? 2013/09/08 20:35:37 (permalink)
    HeavyHemi
    Yes, EVGA Precision and MSI AfterBurner both by default display 3072MB of memory as the limit. You can change this in the monitoring tab in the Option menu to what ever limit you want. 

     
    Aha! I knew there had to be something like that. I would have never guessed that a memory usage monitor would have a limit...strange. Anyway, thanks for the tip! I'll test things out, see if I am actually able to use more than 3Gb of vram.
     
    HeavyHemi 
    Lastly, I'm quite certain that if your GPU's did not have 4GB memory installed, there would be a firestorm all over the internet. 

     
    Indeed! Although, I was thinking more along the lines of someone may have ordered one of my cards, swapped it out with one with less memory, and returned it...and I in turn purchased the returned copy. (Crazy crap like that happens on Amazon all too often.) Anyway, I'll see how things work with an increased artificial memory limit. :P
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    BioHazardSperm
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    Re:Misleading memory amount for EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB FTW ACX edition? 2013/09/08 20:52:38 (permalink)
    I learned something here ,my 680FTW+ 4G .Never knew to set this .Thanks
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    jrista
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    Re:Misleading memory amount for EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB FTW ACX edition? 2013/09/09 11:03:49 (permalink)
    Well, I am not sure what the deal may be. I updated my monitor config to allow 4096mb per video card, and have run a bunch of game tests. Video memory usage never seems to go much above 3000mb most of the time before the game crashes to the desktop.
     
    If I uninstall the texture packs, memory usage never gets above 1Gb, and the game never crashes at all. I am fairly certain the issue is vram related, I just can't figure out why the game won't use more than 3Gb of the available 4Gb.
     
    Anyone know of more in-depth tools that might help me test these cards out and stress their limits? 
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    HeavyHemi
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    Re:Misleading memory amount for EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB FTW ACX edition? 2013/09/09 11:16:08 (permalink)
    jrista

    Well, I am not sure what the deal may be. I updated my monitor config to allow 4096mb per video card, and have run a bunch of game tests. Video memory usage never seems to go much above 3000mb most of the time before the game crashes to the desktop.

    If I uninstall the texture packs, memory usage never gets above 1Gb, and the game never crashes at all. I am fairly certain the issue is vram related, I just can't figure out why the game won't use more than 3Gb of the available 4Gb.

    Anyone know of more in-depth tools that might help me test these cards out and stress their limits? 

    You're going to have to be more specific in what games, what resolutions and other settings you're using.  You can force AA settings if you're really intent on using more vram....http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=357956

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    jrista
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    Re:Misleading memory amount for EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB FTW ACX edition? 2013/09/09 13:09:43 (permalink)
    This is still all with Skyrim. I have it heavily modded, but the bulk of the issues come into play when using a high end, high resolution texture package (2048 and 4096 resolution, with some textures as large as 8192x4096). I've upped the screen resolution to 2560x1600, and to my surprise the frame rate hit was only a few fps (I dropped from 48-60fps to around 45-55fps). My vram usage still rarely seems to go above 2997mb, with periodic spikes up to 3072mb. 
     
    I'll see what AA does. AA with Skyrim+ENB is a real tricky thing, especially when running SLI. It may also just be a bug with the ENB renderer itself, but that's a rat's nest of endless configurable settings I've been trying to avoid...
     
    Anyway, thanks a lot for the tip regarding the EVGA monitor settings, very helpful!
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    willdearborn
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    Re:Misleading memory amount for EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB FTW ACX edition? 2013/09/09 16:24:33 (permalink)
    It's gonna be hard to use that much VRAM unless you have a surround setup. My setup is 7680x1600 and in a heavily modded Skyrim with 2K textures and a bunch of other graphical mods I only barely get to around 4GB. When I had my Titans I crossed over into ~4500MB territory and that's probably only because I had 6GB available so it was using more than absolutely necessary. I haven't really noticed my cards using 3GB or more on a single 2560x1600 screen on any game. Not that I use single screen much.
     
    But I would suggest trying Crysis 3. It seems to use the most VRAM out of any game I have personally seen. When I had 3 way Titans @ 8100x1600 every setting all the way up I was able to approach and sometimes surpass even 6GB. The highest I saw was about ~6100MB. But like I said on a single screen, even a 30" one you are going to have a hard time using that much VRAM. These cards with the extra RAM really are the most useful to surround setups.

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    jrista
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    Re:Misleading memory amount for EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB FTW ACX edition? 2013/09/09 19:11:09 (permalink)
    Thanks willdearborn. I haven't yet played Crysis 3, I'll have to give it a try. I bet BF4 will probably push things pretty hard too. 
     
    It seems the bulk of the issues revolved around the ENB config. I spent the entire time since my last post researching and tweaking settings. VRam usage has been up to as high as 3.2Gb under longer play times (something that wasn't possible before due to the ENB settings). The latest 0.214/0.215 ENB wrappers are far better than previous versions, and have a configurable memory manager. Once I got that configured properly, the game ran very smoothly, albeit with a drop in framerate to around 30-35fps @ 2560x1600 + ENB EdgeAA.
     
    I am glad to see that I was able to get more than 3072Gb vram usage, however...was worried for a while that there was something wrong. I was constantly running into the 1.2Gb vram limit of my 570, and even ran into the 2Gb limit of a 660 (which ended up frying, as it turned out my PSU was only supplying 19 amps on the 12v rails, while the card drew 24 amps vis a single power connector.) I'll find a copy of Crysis 3 and give it a whirl, see how things go (although I don't suspect I'll be running 3-screen surround or 4k any time soon. :P)
     
    I will say, I haven't SLIed in a long time (since back in the four-digit days of nVidia card models)...it is amazing how much power you get out of multiple GPUs, and how beautiful these games can look when you have the power to drive them at maximum settings with a good frame rate!
    post edited by jrista - 2013/09/09 19:13:14
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    jrista
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    Re:Misleading memory amount for EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB FTW ACX edition? 2013/09/13 19:09:47 (permalink)
    Just thought I'd post an update. With further tweaks to improve quality, add AA (usually SMAA of some kind), and a few other things, I've seen all 4Gb of my video memory in use after around 30-60 minutes of Skyrim. Overclocking the PCI-E bus speed, and tightening timings on my system memory, have helped alleviate relatively rare and short bottlenecks as information moves to and from the video cards (i.e. changing zones in Skyrim). 
     
    Definitely 4Gb video cards! :) Now, I think I just need more shader performance.....
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