Note: There is no perfect way of measuring VRAM consumption. We've used GPU-Z to measure the VRAM consumption, but GPU-Z only reports the amount of VRAM the game has requested to use at any given time, and not the actual VRAM being used at that time. It's close, but it's not precise.
Also, the reported VRAM consumption in GPU-Z is only reporting the consumption of the first card and its VRAM - which is 4GB. So while the usage might reach the heights of 16GB, that's just the 4GB being used across the four GPUs. We have some more testing in our next article which looks at the framebuffer usage on the Titan X, where we'll get some more detailed numbers.
VRAM consumption is something I wanted to dive into, so we recorded the VRAM consumption during some of our games. We have used Battlefield 4, Shadow of Mordor, GTA V, and Tomb Raider to see how much VRAM we're using at 11,520 x 2160.
4K gaming is something that AMD says is the best on the Fury X, thanks to it being "fueled by a 4096-bit high-bandwidth memory interface for extreme performance and power efficiency." Well, with 4GB of framebuffer, that 'extreme performance' AMD talks about is thrown out the window in most 4K and beyond resolutions.
This is why this article is so important, as it points out that the Fury X is simply incapable of 4K and beyond because of its limitation of 4GB of framebuffer, which is a technological barrier of HBM1. HBM2 will pave the way for 8GB+ GPUs, which is what we're going to need.
Would you buy a Fury X in a few years' time when 8K-powered VR headsets are here? No, no you wouldn't because the 4GB framebuffer is simply not enough for anything above 4K right now, which is why we see a few of AMD's marketing pushes for the Fury X using medium detail in some games, as it greatly reduces the amount of framebuffer required.
How Much VRAM Do You Need at 11,520 x 2160?
After all of our testing, the most VRAM intensive game we found was Shadow of Mordor, which uses up to 8.7GB of VRAM. Second to that is GTA V, which was using 5.9GB while the rest of our games were using around 3GB average at 11,520 x 2160.
We haven't tested games like The Witcher 3, Far Cry 4 and others, but I think we're going to need to get into that to see just how much VRAM is being used by today's games.
A single Radeon R9 Fury X on its own at 11,520 x 2160 will consume around 380W or so while a second card bumps it up to 530W. Our 3-way Fury X setup was using 720W while the 4-way configuration was using 900W or so.
For our total peak power consumption, Tomb Raider had the best multi-GPU scaling - so we've included that at the bottom, where you can see the 4 x Fury X cards in CrossFire at 11,520 x 2160 consumed an insane 1240W of power.
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