4K monitors are much better than lower-resolution monitors for watching movies and videos. Larger 4K monitors can make you more productive in office work.
However, if you only have an average PC or laptop, you might wonder whether it can handle a 4K monitor.
Your computer’s RAM and VRAM are two important specifications that affect its performance. In this article, we discuss how much RAM and VRAM a computer needs to run a 4K monitor.
Here’s Whether 4K Monitors Use More RAM And VRAM:
When a computer has a dedicated GPU, 4K monitors do not require more RAM. However, they can consume more RAM in computers with integrated GPUs. 4K monitors also consume more VRAM compared to lower-resolution monitors. VRAM usage of 4K monitors depends on the applications that run on the computer.
Table of Contents
Do 4K Monitors Use More RAM And VRAM?
When a computer has a dedicated GPU, it won’t use system RAM as VRAM. In that case, 4K monitors will only cause a negligible increase in RAM usage compared to lower-resolution monitors.
Generally, the RAM usage depends on the programs you run regardless of their screen resolution. For example, a demanding CAD tool will consume a similar amount of RAM at 1080p resolution compared to 4K resolution. It is because the higher RAM usage is due to the complexity of the program and not due to its graphical requirements or resolution.
On the other hand, when a computer has an integrated GPU, it will use system RAM as VRAM. In that case, 4K monitors can consume more RAM to use as VRAM depending on the application.
When we consider VRAM usage of 4K monitors, they consume more VRAM than lower resolution monitors. The exact VRAM usage also depends on the applications.
To simply run a 4K display, you don’t need high VRAM. Most operating systems can handle 4K resolution in their graphical user interfaces with only minimum VRAM usage. Usually, you can get away with 1 GB of VRAM to simply run a 4K operating system GUI.
On the other hand, 4K gaming needs larger VRAM depending on the game and the graphics quality settings. You will need more than 6GB of VRAM for some demanding games at 4K resolution.
Does 4K Gaming Require More RAM And VRAM?
If your computer has a dedicated GPU, the RAM requirement for 4K gaming is comparable to lower resolutions. On the other hand, if your computer only has an integrated GPU, 4K gaming will consume more RAM to share as VRAM.
When we consider VRAM usage, 4K gaming requires more VRAM than gaming at lower resolutions. GPU VRAM holds the frame buffers and it requires more VRAM for higher-resolution video frames. Therefore, running a game at 4K resolution will require more VRAM than with lower resolutions like 1080p or 1440p.
VRAM requirements of a game also depend on the game engine and the graphics quality settings. Graphics settings like anti-aliasing and high-quality textures need significantly more VRAM.
Generally, you need more than 6GB of VRAM for demanding games at 4K resolution.
What Are The RAM And VRAM Requirements For Dual 4K Monitors?
When a computer has a dedicated GPU, dual 4K monitors won’t consume more RAM than a single 4K monitor. On the other hand, when the computer has an integrated GPU, dual 4K monitors can consume more RAM to use as VRAM.
When we consider VRAM usage, the GPU has to hold twice the amount of video frames to run dual 4K monitors. Therefore, having more monitors increase VRAM usage.
Generally, with dual 4K monitors, you need at least 2GB of VRAM to run an OS GUI. On the other hand, it will require more VRAM depending on different applications. For example, it requires more VRAM for gaming at 4K resolution.
The GPU should also be able to handle dual 4K monitors at the desired refresh rate. You have to check your GPU’s specifications and see how many monitors it can run and at what resolutions and refresh rates.
4K monitors will not consume more RAM when a computer has a dedicated GPU. On the other hand, they can consume more RAM to use as VRAM on computers with integrated GPUs.
4K monitors, due to their higher resolution, require more VRAM than lower-resolution monitors. Their VRAM usage depends on the applications you run on your computer.
Usually, running the OS GUI at 4K resolution only requires minimal VRAM. On the other hand, you need significantly larger VRAMs to run video games at 4K resolution.