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High VRAM usage.

Discussion in 'ACC Hardware Discussions' started by SimGuy_1, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. iCeBreaKer008

    iCeBreaKer008 Rookie

    @Minolin Come and save GTX 970 users!
  2. LeDude83

    LeDude83 Alien

    Are there any news to this topic? VRAM usage in the menu is already 3.3 GB. On track, it reaches 6 GB for me. Texture, view distance, foliage and even reducing the amount of visible cars doesn't make it an awful lot better. The lowest I could get it to (resolution scale 100 %, AA off, pretty much all settings minimum, 3 visible opponents) was 5.3 GB.

    Furthermore, the VRAM usage increases throughout the race. I started a race with 5.4 GB usage and by the end of the race, it was just below 6 GB.

    Is there something particular about how UE4 handles VRAM? Is it kind of allocating that VRAM but maybe not really using it? Is it filling up unused VRAM for some reason? I remember one guy with a 1080 Ti that used over 10 GB of its VRAM.

    @pankykapus could you answer those questions?
  3. LeDude83

    LeDude83 Alien

    Another finding:
    • VRAM usage in menu, as reported in Afterburner prior to a 5 minute test race against AI: ~3 GB.
    • VRAM usage in menu, as reported in Afterburner after this 5 minute test race against AI: ~4 GB.
    Apparently, while displaying the same scene, the reported VRAM usage is much different before and after the race.

    So I don't know what to conclude from this. There's surely something I don't understand in how the VRAM management works.
  4. LeDude83

    LeDude83 Alien

    I also checked for VRAM usage in COD WW2 and VRAM filling up during gameplay and VRAM usage being very high in the menus is obviously not an ACC exclusive thing...it seems to be normal. I'm seeing 6 GB VRAM usage in COD WW2, 1920*1080 with everything maxed out. The VRAM fills up, starting from ~5 GB and eventually is maxed out, which causes stutter. The VRAM usage in the menu is similar to what I see in ACC - 3 to 4 GB.

    So I experimented a bit to reduce usage. Here's some findings:

    - Resolution made only a small difference
    - AA made close to no difference
    - Screen space reflections and ambient occlusion make almost no difference
    - Shadows make a big difference (in ACC, there's just one single "shadow" slider)
    - Textures make a big difference, including those for surface reflection and surface structure (in ACC, there's "textures" and maybe "materials quality"?!?)
    - Anisotropic filtering makes quite a difference (in ACC, this can be overwritten in the GPU driver)

    So by tweaking those parameters, you can go down to a minimum of 2.3 GB VRAM usage in WW2. Settings can be increased, gradually and the VRAM usage also increases, gradually. In ACC this didn't seem to work. Even when turning everything to the minimum, the usage was still at over 5GB.

    Are there any UE4 .ini tweaks that could help to reduce VRAM usage? I'm not the savviest guy in terms of all this so help would be appreciated.
    Epistolarius likes this.
  5. LeDude83

    LeDude83 Alien

    First, I'd like to apologize for my monologue in here. I hope people are just silently observing with great interest :p

    I did a lengthy test session in ACC, trying to find the settings that will significantly affect VRAM. But although I found some tendencies, the Afterburner readout doesn't seem to be intuitive. For some reason I would get stuck at pretty high RAM usage and this would carry over to the next session, where I previously had less usage. Stuff like that, you know.

    Then I took a different approach: conveniently, I currently have 3 GPUs here - an RTX2060, a GTX1060 6GB and a GTX1050 Ti 4GB. Even more conveniently, the 1060 and the 1050 Ti are installed in separate PCs standing right beside each other and both run ACC :p

    I picked low settings to see how the 1050 Ti would perform and to my surprise, I could set the foliage to mid and the textures to high without exceeding the VRAM. I did a 29 AI full formation lap around Paul Ricard and the VRAM usage was as follows:

    - Starting grid: 3.5 GB
    - Green Flag: 3.8 GB

    I kept going on for one lap to see how it develops and it kept going up and down, sometimes hitting 3.9 GB. As long as the FPS stayed at VSYNC 60, the image was very smooth.

    Then, I switched to the GTX 1060 PC and did exactly the same test with exactly the same driver, driver settings and ACC graphics settings:

    - Starting grid: 5 GB
    - Green Flag: 5.1 GB

    So whatever happens here, the fact that a 6 GB GPU runs at 5.1 GB VRAM usage doesn't mean that a 4 GB GPU can't cut it. The VRAM usage, although the settings are identical, seems to depend on the available VRAM size.
  6. Epistolarius

    Epistolarius Alien

    It's because allocated memory doesn't mean all of it is utilised. The readout isn't reliable.

    Either way, 4GB VRAM (3.5+.5 really with my GTX 970) just doesn't cut it anymore, has been becoming obvious for some years and it's a 'problem' not just in ACC (though I personally don't experience serious stutter, just the odd FPS dips). I'd worry about it a lot more if ACC stuttered with filled 8/12GB VRAM. Now, I'd happily upgrade if a 'mid-tier' card that's a reasonable upgrade from mine didn't cost me like 500 Euro...
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
    LeDude83 likes this.
  7. LeDude83

    LeDude83 Alien

    Thanks @Epistolarius.

    I have finished the investigation now and I'll return the 2060 for a 2060 super with 8 GB. This isn't because 6 GB aren't enough (I think they are) but because I can still get full refund for the 2060 and the 2060 super I'm buying is only 80 Euros more.

    Anyways, smooth racing with 6 GB and large grids in 1080p is perfectly possible in ACC, the numbers reported in Afterburner really don't tell the entire truth.

    Tips to reduce VRAM usage:

    - Lower shadows. This affects night-time driving more than day-time driving so separate presets for day and night are reasonable.
    - Lower view distance. This affects mostly day-time, clear weather driving.
    - Lower foliage
    - Lower textures. This affects all driving situations.

    For my 6 GB GTX 1060,I settled with:

    - Shadows quality and distance = high
    - View distance = high
    - Foliage = mid
    - Textures = mid

    In a test run with 23 AI cars at Paul Ricard, this resulted in pretty good visuals and a VRAM usage of ~4.8 GB.

    With the 4 GB 1050 Ti, I maded another test to see when the VRAM usage reported in Afterburner causes stutter - this seems to happen when you get really close to the card's capacitance, like 100 MB below. The stutter doesn't show in the FPS, it's microstutter that can't even be seen from 3rd person view. It becomes obvious in the cockpit view. Once you have ~300 MB of headroom reported in Afterburner, it gets smooth.

    I hope this is helpful to somebody.

    See you on the track.
    Epistolarius likes this.
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