What Is The Full Form Of VRAM?
The full form of VRAM is Video Random Access Memory.
VRAM is just like RAM. But it is a dedicated memory used by GPU for storing and accessing pixels and other graphics data (mostly images) that render on a computer monitor. It acts as a buffer between the display and the computer processor. The VRAM is expensive compared to the DRAM (Dynamic RAM), but it can read and write at the same time. Thus, VRAM is a type of DRAM that Graphic Cards use to increase their overall speed.
VRAM acts as a different technology than the other computer memories. Systems need to read it rapidly to draw the images. Some systems cannot read and write this memory using the same methods deployed for normal memory. It means that it’s not memory mapped.
History of VRAM
- D.Ling, F.Dill, and R.Matrick invented VRAM in 1980 at IBM Research.
- They patented the idea of VRAM 5 years later, i.e., in 1985.
- The first commercial use of VRAM came into play by IBM in 1986 for an RT PC system in a high-resolution graphics adapter.
Characteristics of VRAM
- The processor first reads the images that go to the display, and then it writes them to the VRAM. RAMDAC (RAM digital-to-analog converter) then converts the data from VRAM into analog signals, then sends it to the display presentation mechanism like a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube).
- All the VRAMs are dual-ported. It means that while the processor writes a new image, the display reads it from VRAM. This way, it refreshes the current display content. This Dual-Port design differentiates between VRAM and RAM.
- One can use VRAM in a dedicated graphics card. It has a large bandwidth and is extremely fast. Thus, it is ideal for all graphics devices.
- Every type of VRAM is a special arrangement of DRAM (dynamic RAM).
- This type of memory is volatile- meaning a user will lose all data stored in VRAM once they turn the computer off.
Types of VRAM
- Window RAM (WRAM) – The RAM is very high-performance, dual-ported, and has about 25% more bandwidth than any standard VRAM. It is good for very high resolution (example, 1600X1200 px) using true color.
- Synchronous Graphics RAM (SGRAM) – The RAM is comparatively low-cost and synchronizes by the clock. It means the data can be modified here by a single operation instead of a sequence of write, read, and update operations.
- Rambus Dynamic RAM (RDRAM) – Rambus designed this RAM. It incorporates a proprietary Rambus bus which speeds up data flow between the frame buffer and VRAM. RDRAM is an optimization for video streaming.
- Multibank Dynamic RAM (MDRAM) – Developed by MoSys, this RAM is a high-performance one. It divides the memory into various 32KB parts, accessed individually. It increases the efficiency of memory transfers and increases its overall performance.
Benefits of VRAM
- VRAM is significant in improvising loading time and enhancing image quality.
- It is very crucial in applications that might render polygon-based 3D structures or display complex image textures.
- VRAM has a direct impact on gaming performance. More VRAM implies that the GPU will render more complex textures and images on the graphics chip- thus resulting in faster performance.
Limitations of VRAM
- VRAM is a volatile memory. So, a user loses all data stored in VRAM once they turn the computer off.
- The applications may run slower.
- VRAM takes more time to switch between various applications.