When you get a shiny new video card, there are a lot of fun things you can do with it: boot up an old favorite to see how it shreds the system requirements, or install a new game just to see the glory of max settings. But if you’re a software engineer like Twitter user Strife, you can do something truly wild, like installing a famously-demanding game like Crysis 3 entirely onto the card’s VRAM.
I installed Crysis 3 on my graphics card!
I used some VRAMdrive software called GPU Ram Drive, made a 15GB NTFS partition on the GPU, then installed Crysis 3 on it
At 4K very high settings get good fps and the game loads very fast – GPU-Z reports total VRAM use 20434MB pic.twitter.com/lLcQsD5JYM
— Strife, la fillette révolutionnaire (@Strife212) October 4, 2020
This is possible due to the 24 GB VRAM of the Nvidia RTX 3090, which is the company’s latest and greatest flagship card. (By comparison, the RTX 3080 only has 10 GB of VRAM, though a 20 GB version is rumored to be in the works.) According to Strife’s tweet, they used unofficial software to create a 15 GB partition on the GPU and installed Crysis 3 on it. Though the game runs well, Crysis 3 appears to be frame-limited without a workaround, capping out at 75 FPS.
Strife also noted that the game’s load times were about the same as an NVME drive, speculating that the game would have to be re-coded to take advantage of the setup. “Was hoping it would be faster but there is probably some weird bottleneck like this instead of doing it the ‘proper’ storage API way,” Strife wrote on Reddit.
If you’re hoping to snag a RTX 3090 to perform this bizarre digital alchemy yourself, you might have to wait a bit. As every PC enthusiast under the sun knows at this point, Nvidia’s 30-series is experiencing shortages due to the combination of high demand and COVID-19, and the situation is expected to continue until at least 2021. Nvidia has apologized multiple times for this state of affairs.
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