Video RAM, or VRAM, stores graphics-based data such as images and videos during and after processing.
VRAM is present in all kinds of graphics cards, which are also known as GPUs in short. It is a Random Access Memory similar to RAM, but it is dedicated to storing images, videos, etc. That is why most video games require graphics cards with more VRAM. It also helps in GPU-intensive apps.
Hence, a significant amount of VRAM is crucial for performing the calculations and tasks during 3D modeling, animation, rendering, gaming, etc. A GPU can directly access a VRAM on your graphics card, which saves a lot of time. This article discusses “How much VRAM do you really need for Blender?”
How Much VRAM Do You Really Need For Blender?
You need at least 8 GB RAM for running Blender on your computer. But you will need higher VRAM to create high-poly 3D objects and complex scenes, realistic animated characters or movies, and perform image and video rendering. The best option is to have 10 to 16 GB of Video RAM for these purposes.
VRAM is the only computer hardware to store graphics-based data like images and videos. It does this to perform calculations on it and to display it on your display monitors. On the other hand, a simple RAM has no comparison with a VRAM. It is also slower as it is far from the graphics processor.
Blender’s graphics card utilizes something similar to a specialized memory known as VRAM to store and process all of the program’s visuals. If you’re just working on small animations or basic 3D models, you should be fine with 4GB to 6GB of VRAM.
However, to complete more difficult activities such as sculpting at a high resolution, running sophisticated simulations, or rendering enormous scenes, you will need at least 8 GB of RAM. For serious 3D artists working on enormous projects, graphics processing units (GPUs) with 16 GB or 32 GB of video memory (VRAM) are perfect.
Simply put, the more video random access memory (VRAM) you have, the smoother and quicker Blender will run while managing sophisticated 3D drawings; therefore, it is preferable to match the amount of VRAM you have with the scope of your creative goals. Here are some important points to consider while buying RAM for a Blender.
High-Poly 3D Objects
A 3D object with 1000 or more polygons is a high-poly object. Such objects have more vertices. Vertex is a point on a 3D object’s mesh where two or more lines meet, while vertex is the plural of vertex. A high poly object has more vertices, edges, and faces that create polygons to form the object.
On the other hand, 3D objects having fewer polygons are called low poly models. An 8 GB VRAM is enough for an object lying in the category of low poly object, especially when they are multiple on the scene. But you must install a graphics card with at least 16 GB VRAM for high-poly 3D objects.
Some expert 3D artists can create astonishing realistic and fictional scenes, including clouds, mountains, jungles, bushes, grassy areas, water bodies, etc. Most of these objects are high poly as they contain thousands of polygons. The number of polygons increases when such objects are placed close.
You must install a graphics card with at least 16 GB RAM for complex scenes. But for realistic scenes containing millions or billions of polygons, you must have a GPU with more Video RAM. A powerful graphics card always has more cores, making the graphics-based process incredibly fast.
Realistic Animated Characters & Movies
Realistic animated characters are always high-poly 3D objects. Their animation and animations make them more complex. For complex animations, especially using a scene, you need more VRAM. It will also support you when rendering animated short films or scenes. You can always use a video editor to combine them.
Exporting FBX of your animated characters for game development does not require as much VRAM as 3D video rendering. More video resolution and sampling will take more time. The details and sizes of the textures used for the 3D animated and non-animated objects also matter greatly and require more Video RAM.
VRAM stores the graphical data before and after rendering. It fetches it from your storage device in which your Blender project is stored. This data is handed over to the graphics processor to perform different calculations. The result from the GPU is also stored in the VRAM before the storage device.
You do not need a higher VRAM for rendering small projects having low poly 3D models. But when it comes to high poly realistic 3D rendering, you must install a powerful graphics card having 24 GB VRAM. A GPU with 16 GB VRAM will also do, but rendering will take longer.
Sculpting & High Poly Modeling
Setting your Blender project to use your GPU resources allows it to save your sculptures and models in the VRAM. It allows your RAM to be free for other applications and processes. If your VRAM is too low, such as 6 GB, your Blender project will crash repeatedly. Higher VRAM is the only solution in this case.
Is 8 GB VRAM Enough For 3D Modeling In Blender?
8 GB VRAM is enough for small projects that include low poly models, either animated or non-animated game assets. Such models have fewer polygons or verts that do not need a graphics card with a higher VRAM. You can even animate them and export them as FBX or some other format using an 8 GB VRAM.
However, rendering such a small Video RAM takes a reasonable amount of time, even when rendering small projects. But for modeling, sculpting, animating, and rendering high poly Blender projects, you must have a GPU having at least 16 GB VRAM and as many cores as possible.
VRAM alone does not make a graphics card powerful; the cores in a GPU are responsible for processing. VRAM only stores the graphical data before and after processing. Then, this data is logically divided and sent to the core that can process it. Here, we are talking about CUDA and Tensor cores.
Is 10 GB VRAM Enough For Blender?
Yes, in most Blender projects, it is enough, as Blender requires at least 8 GB VRAM to run properly. When using the latest version of Blender, 10 GB VRAM will do. The size of Video RAM mainly depends on your project. A high poly scene having high poly models requires more VRAM, especially when rendering.
You do not need a VRAM higher than 10 GB for small Blender projects in which you have low poly models and scenes. But if you have added many animations and are trying to render it, it might take hours, depending on the resolution. That is why higher VRAM is recommended for such processes.
Is 16 GB VRAM Enough For Blender?
16 GB VRAM is enough for medium-sized Blender projects that require intermediate skills for creating 3D objects or models. But for huge projects, you must use a higher Video RAM, especially when rendering short movies or clips. Ensure to close other apps that depend on your Video RAM for running properly.
A benefit of using a graphics card with 16 GB VRAM is to speed up the rendering process. With proper settings, it will render a clip in minutes that takes hours using a smaller GPU with a smaller VRAM. Several cores are also essential to consider when using your graphics card in Blender.
Is 12 GB of VRAM Enough For Rendering?
This much VRAM is enough for rendering. You can even render 4K at 60 FPS and 8K resolution using a graphics card with a graphics card having 12 GB VRAM. For this, you must set the sample rate properly; otherwise, it can take hours to render your project. More resolution also takes more rendering time.
When purchasing a graphics card for rendering purposes, compare its cores with other GPUs. More cores allow you to render faster using Blender or other rendering software. More capacity of VRAM holds more data to be rendered during processing. Hence, cores are as important as Video RAM’s size.
Older versions of Blender need only a graphics card having at least 8 GB VRAM. This much Video RAM is enough for modeling low poly 3D objects or animated and non-animated game objects. It will also allow you to export them and their animations into an FBX or another format.
You will need a GPU with higher VRAM to create high poly 3D models that contain more than 1000 polygons. It is the demand for the latest version of Blender software to have more VRAM, especially for rendering purposes. It is the only efficient hardware that stores 3D mesh-based data at the time of processing.
High-poly 3D objects, complex scenes, realistic animated characters and movies, 3D rendering, and high-poly sculpting require more VRAM for processing the graphics-based data. Putting all that burden on your CPU and simple RAMs can easily burn out during the rendering or other complex calculations.
8 GB RAM is enough for very small Blender projects. 10 GB is enough for intermediate projects. 16 GB will allow you to do high poly modeling, animation, and rendering quickly and easily. It will even allow you to render 4K and 8K videos. A GPU with a 24 GB VRAM is an overkill for all advanced Blender projects.
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