SSD / Virtual Memory / VRAM
Written by: penoys - 20:24 Oct-07-2017

So ever since I've added an SSD to my rig, I've noticed that two games which have had issues with my 2gb VRAM GPU previously no longer have stuttering issues even when setting textures to High. Specifically, the games are ROTTR and Shadow of Mordor.

Now I can't say for sure whether an ROTTR patch helped 2gb cards out, but Shadow of Mordor is a 4 year old game so it probably hasn't been patched for a long time.

Anyway, a couple of things I'd like to get everyone's thoughts on:

a.) Would I be correct in saying that adding the SSD is what solved the VRAM issue with these games? If yes, are people aware of this? And is this due to the SSD being used as virtual memory?

b.) Is letting Windows manage virtual memory and allowing it to use SSDs as virtual memory (which I think it does as default) really bad for your SSD? Do you manually turn this feature off and/or make sure SSDs are not used for virtual memory?

c.) Would having more RAM also allow these games to run great while using 2gb cards? I would like to say that yes, it would, and it should be better given how much faster RAM is. If yes, again, are people aware of this? Because if you are for example undecided between the 3gb or 6gb versions of the 1060 and you have 16gb or more RAM (for whatever reason), getting the 3gb card becomes that much more appealing.

Cheers :)


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The SSD surely speeds up textures swapping. I can attest to that with my GTX 1060 3GB and 240 GB SSD. When I first installed Shadow of Mordor, I only had 8GB of RAM (1x8GB 2133 MHz). The HD textures pack was installed by default in Steam since I got GOTY Edition, and I didn't have enough space on my SSD so I installed it on to my 720rpm WD Blue HDD. My first hour was on Ultra preset. It ran well for -40 minutes then a huge stutter would kick in, making Talion un-controllable for 1-2 sec. Lowering settings to HIGH made it happen less frequently…

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..so I thought it was VRAM issue because of ultra textures. But then I saw videos and posts online of people with 3GB cards (GTX 1060 3GB, HD 7970, GTX 780/Ti) play on 1080p with ultra textures and no problem, only they had 16GB of RAM. So I upgraded my RAM (found a good deal, 2x8GB 1866 MHz DDR3 for $60) So I put in new RAM, setup correct timings and everything, a bit better but the sluggishness was still there when I enter large camps or new area. Decided to removed some programs and games to make space for the game on SSD, been playing smoothly since.

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Like I told Hation (see below), I should have mentioned that neither of the games were intalled on the ssd, I still have them on my hdd. I found it very odd that just having an ssd fixed my problem.

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D) The ssd solves most stuttering because of the faster read and write speeds. Than that of the hdd.(texture swapping is smoother.)

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I should have mentioned that neither of the games were installed on the ssd. Still have them on my hdd

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That is interesting, I do not use my ssd for page filing. So, have you struck gold with your findings.
How is the ssd setup on your system??(your configuration for your setup with the ssd)

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Can you be more specific? I don't think I customized any windows settings for the ssd. I might have at first, but I had issues with Windows and had to reinstall it yet again; then I was too lazy to "optimize" my ssd settings the second time around.

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Reason I shared this is just out of curiosity. If someone had asked me before whether an ssd can make up for a lack of vram, I'm pretty certain I would have said "hell no!". But as it is now, I cant possibly ignore what I am actually seeing.

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By default windows would use the drive for virtual memory. It probably uses that to swap.

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I'm also one of the few people who is adamant that vram is overmarketed and overpriced, even though I've personally experienced stuttering due to high res textures. If we can prove that RAM or even an ssd can hold texture information effectively, this is all the more reason not to pay unnecessary premium for extra vram

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Yes I definitely have that set to auto. I just didnt think virtual memory from an ssd is near fast enough to help for gaming. Plus games sometimes wont even fully saturate RAM when there isnt enough VRAM

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That's why amd's hbm/hbm2 with their own optimizations make more than 8gb unnecessary for just gaming(currently) and you can exceed vram amount with no stuttering or very little.(cost is a bit high though)

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