GTX 970 3.5GB Vram Issue
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The GTX 970 is unable to use more than 3.5GB ingame without serious performance issues occurring. A 980 uses 4GB at the same setting/resolution in FC4/Mordor etc.....while the 970 languishes at 3.5. This is not an issue of how much memory....I know the card has 4GB, the problem lies in the fact that something (drivers/hardware?) is preventing the GTX 970 from utilizing its 4GB vram. Even when GPU usage is not maxed out, perhaps only at 60%, this case occurs. If I open my modded Skyrim, I can keep GPU usage low, but load up the textures in vram. I have fine performance up until it tries to go over 3.5GB....then it tanks.
The GTX 970 is unable to use more than 3.5GB ingame without serious performance issues occurring.

A 980 uses 4GB at the same setting/resolution in FC4/Mordor etc.....while the 970 languishes at 3.5.

This is not an issue of how much memory....I know the card has 4GB, the problem lies in the fact that something (drivers/hardware?) is preventing the GTX 970 from utilizing its 4GB vram.

Even when GPU usage is not maxed out, perhaps only at 60%, this case occurs.

If I open my modded Skyrim, I can keep GPU usage low, but load up the textures in vram. I have fine performance up until it tries to go over 3.5GB....then it tanks.

#1
Posted 01/13/2015 12:18 AM   
Skyrim is a poor example as it has a physical limitation of 3.5Gb (3.1Gb after system allocation) or crash/freezing occurs. I've spent months researching this with insane texture mods (including some of my own @ 4k). The game just cannot go above 3.5Gb....
Skyrim is a poor example as it has a physical limitation of 3.5Gb (3.1Gb after system allocation) or crash/freezing occurs. I've spent months researching this with insane texture mods (including some of my own @ 4k). The game just cannot go above 3.5Gb....

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#2
Posted 01/13/2015 12:25 AM   
this so called issue has been going around long enough and it's just not true. there are some programs that use the 4gb of vram on the GTX 970 and GTX 980. try using google and you will see whom and which programs show that all 4gb can and will be used when needed. I have tested it myself but I'm tired of going on forums and typing out the explination on this subject. every graphics card ever made does the same shit, if all the vrm is needed then it will be used, IF it's not needed then it won't be used. same as a computers system memory.
this so called issue has been going around long enough and it's just not true.
there are some programs that use the 4gb of vram on the GTX 970 and GTX 980.
try using google and you will see whom and which programs show that all 4gb can and will be used when needed.
I have tested it myself but I'm tired of going on forums and typing out the explination on this subject.
every graphics card ever made does the same shit, if all the vrm is needed then it will be used, IF it's not needed then it won't be used. same as a computers system memory.

#3
Posted 01/13/2015 12:55 AM   
[quote="BERRRR"]this so called issue has been going around long enough and it's just not true. there are some programs that use the 4gb of vram on the GTX 970 and GTX 980. try using google and you will see whom and which programs show that all 4gb can and will be used when needed. I have tested it myself but I'm tired of going on forums and typing out the explination on this subject. every graphics card ever made does the same shit, if all the vrm is needed then it will be used, IF it's not needed then it won't be used. same as a computers system memory.[/quote]I sadly have to dissagree. There is proof that the GTX 980 uses 4GB of Vram in Shadow of Mordor but the GTX 970 only uses 3,5BG and when it passes 3,7GB it begins to lag pretty heavily. Even in MSI Kombuster I can't get all of my 4GB Vram since my Computer freezes when it's trying to utilize 3,7/3,8GB. There might be cards that use all of it, but some do not and it's proven.
BERRRR said:this so called issue has been going around long enough and it's just not true.
there are some programs that use the 4gb of vram on the GTX 970 and GTX 980.
try using google and you will see whom and which programs show that all 4gb can and will be used when needed.
I have tested it myself but I'm tired of going on forums and typing out the explination on this subject.
every graphics card ever made does the same shit, if all the vrm is needed then it will be used, IF it's not needed then it won't be used. same as a computers system memory.
I sadly have to dissagree. There is proof that the GTX 980 uses 4GB of Vram in Shadow of Mordor but the GTX 970 only uses 3,5BG and when it passes 3,7GB it begins to lag pretty heavily. Even in MSI Kombuster I can't get all of my 4GB Vram since my Computer freezes when it's trying to utilize 3,7/3,8GB. There might be cards that use all of it, but some do not and it's proven.

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#4
Posted 01/13/2015 02:16 AM   
[quote]Let's clarify, Skyrim is a 32-bit executable, the max it can see is 4GB's, but because of system processes and hardcoded values it can only actually use 3.5GB's. [i]-Jim @ S.T.E.P.[/i][/quote] You can however, instal [url=http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/38649/?]EnBoost[/url] which will allow for more Vram usage in Skyrim (works for Witcher 2 as well) With it Skyrim will "hold" any previously loaded textures within the Vram (as well as partially within the Ram). When using EnBoost it essentially "off loads" this process into enbhost.exe which gives quite a bit more leeway when it comes to available Vram. I have not (really) tested this myself on my 4Gb cards, but users have reported up to 6Gb of usage (combined 4Gb Vram + 2Gb Ram) of texture memory. More information here: [url]http://wiki.step-project.com/ENBoost[/url] [quote]There is proof that the GTX 980 uses 4GB of Vram in Shadow of Mordor but the GTX 970 only uses 3,5BG and when it passes 3,7GB it begins to lag pretty heavily.[/quote] This however is interesting. I could see if "both" cards had issues above the 3.7Gb mark as it's pretty normal for a card to begin to struggle at upwards of 80% Vram load... but for the 980 to be @ 100% performance yet the 970 struggle is odd indeed. This, of course, if they are of the same manufacturer; as different manufacturers will use differing Vram chips. This is the reason as to why some cards have such a great cost difference. Hynix chips are prefered by most professional overclockers and enthusiasts. For example: The MSI 980-4GD5 OC does not use the higher priced Hynix Vram chips, while the MSI 980 Gaming 4G does. The EVGA reference 980, Superclocked, and 980 ACX does not; while the EVGA 980 Classified and Kingpin Edition does. [url]http://www.overclock.net/t/1514085/official-nvidia-gtx-970-owners-club/8060_20[/url] [url]http://www.overclock.net/t/1513920/official-nvidia-gtx-980-owners-club/0_20[/url] Problem is; manufacturer's don't exactly advertise (let alone note/disclose) which chips they are using and can/will switch the chip manufacturer based on manufacturing costs. Kind of off topic here; I know, but just a lil' FYI tid bit ;)
Let's clarify, Skyrim is a 32-bit executable, the max it can see is 4GB's, but because of system processes and hardcoded values it can only actually use 3.5GB's. -Jim @ S.T.E.P.

You can however, instal EnBoost which will allow for more Vram usage in Skyrim (works for Witcher 2 as well) With it Skyrim will "hold" any previously loaded textures within the Vram (as well as partially within the Ram). When using EnBoost it essentially "off loads" this process into enbhost.exe which gives quite a bit more leeway when it comes to available Vram. I have not (really) tested this myself on my 4Gb cards, but users have reported up to 6Gb of usage (combined 4Gb Vram + 2Gb Ram) of texture memory.
More information here:
http://wiki.step-project.com/ENBoost

There is proof that the GTX 980 uses 4GB of Vram in Shadow of Mordor but the GTX 970 only uses 3,5BG and when it passes 3,7GB it begins to lag pretty heavily.
This however is interesting. I could see if "both" cards had issues above the 3.7Gb mark as it's pretty normal for a card to begin to struggle at upwards of 80% Vram load... but for the 980 to be @ 100% performance yet the 970 struggle is odd indeed. This, of course, if they are of the same manufacturer; as different manufacturers will use differing Vram chips. This is the reason as to why some cards have such a great cost difference.
Hynix chips are prefered by most professional overclockers and enthusiasts.

For example:
The MSI 980-4GD5 OC does not use the higher priced Hynix Vram chips, while the MSI 980 Gaming 4G does.
The EVGA reference 980, Superclocked, and 980 ACX does not; while the EVGA 980 Classified and Kingpin Edition does.
http://www.overclock.net/t/1514085/official-nvidia-gtx-970-owners-club/8060_20
http://www.overclock.net/t/1513920/official-nvidia-gtx-980-owners-club/0_20

Problem is; manufacturer's don't exactly advertise (let alone note/disclose) which chips they are using and can/will switch the chip manufacturer based on manufacturing costs. Kind of off topic here; I know, but just a lil' FYI tid bit ;)

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#5
Posted 01/13/2015 03:56 AM   
[quote="MrInfinit3"][quote]Let's clarify, Skyrim is a 32-bit executable, the max it can see is 4GB's, but because of system processes and hardcoded values it can only actually use 3.5GB's.[/quote] You can however, instal [url=http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/38649/?]EnBoost[/url] which will allow for more Vram usage in Skyrim (works for Witcher 2 as well) With it Skyrim will "hold" any previously loaded textures within the Vram (as well as partially within the Ram). When using EnBoost it essentially "off loads" this process into enbhost.exe which gives quite a bit more leeway when it comes to available Vram. I have not (really) tested this myself on my 4Gb cards, but users have reported up to 6Gb of usage (combined 4Gb Vram + 2Gb Ram) of texture memory. More information here: [url]http://wiki.step-project.com/ENBoost[/url] [quote]There is proof that the GTX 980 uses 4GB of Vram in Shadow of Mordor but the GTX 970 only uses 3,5BG and when it passes 3,7GB it begins to lag pretty heavily.[/quote] This however is interesting. I could see if "both" cards had issues above the 3.7Gb mark as it's pretty normal for a card to begin to struggle at upwards of 80% Vram load... but for the 980 to be @ 100% performance yet the 970 struggle is odd indeed. This, of course, if they are of the same manufacturer; as different manufacturers will use differing Vram chips. This is the reason as to why some cards have such a great cost difference. Hynix chips are prefered by most professional overclockers and enthusiasts. [/quote] hop over to the OCN Official GTX 970 owners club and see all the 970 overclockers having a shit fit with Hynix vrm chips, they are not good this time around. my Gigabyte GTX 970 has the Samsung vrm chips and my core and memory overclocks are fantastic as are the other cards in the 970 club that have Samsung vrm follow my link and ask anyone on there about Hynix vrm chips. also if it's not a nvidia reference graphics card GPU-Z will show what brand of vrm chip is on your cards pcb, for instance Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 970 rev 1.0 has Samsung rev 1.1 has Hynix [url]http://www.overclock.net/t/1514085/official-nvidia-gtx-970-owners-club[/url]
MrInfinit3 said:
Let's clarify, Skyrim is a 32-bit executable, the max it can see is 4GB's, but because of system processes and hardcoded values it can only actually use 3.5GB's.

You can however, instal EnBoost which will allow for more Vram usage in Skyrim (works for Witcher 2 as well) With it Skyrim will "hold" any previously loaded textures within the Vram (as well as partially within the Ram). When using EnBoost it essentially "off loads" this process into enbhost.exe which gives quite a bit more leeway when it comes to available Vram. I have not (really) tested this myself on my 4Gb cards, but users have reported up to 6Gb of usage (combined 4Gb Vram + 2Gb Ram) of texture memory.
More information here:
http://wiki.step-project.com/ENBoost

There is proof that the GTX 980 uses 4GB of Vram in Shadow of Mordor but the GTX 970 only uses 3,5BG and when it passes 3,7GB it begins to lag pretty heavily.
This however is interesting. I could see if "both" cards had issues above the 3.7Gb mark as it's pretty normal for a card to begin to struggle at upwards of 80% Vram load... but for the 980 to be @ 100% performance yet the 970 struggle is odd indeed. This, of course, if they are of the same manufacturer; as different manufacturers will use differing Vram chips. This is the reason as to why some cards have such a great cost difference.
Hynix chips are prefered by most professional overclockers and enthusiasts.


hop over to the OCN Official GTX 970 owners club and see all the 970 overclockers having a shit fit with Hynix vrm chips, they are not good this time around. my Gigabyte GTX 970 has the Samsung vrm chips and my core and memory overclocks are fantastic as are the other cards in the 970 club that have Samsung vrm
follow my link and ask anyone on there about Hynix vrm chips. also if it's not a nvidia reference graphics card GPU-Z will show what brand of vrm chip is on your cards pcb, for instance Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 970 rev 1.0 has Samsung rev 1.1 has Hynix
http://www.overclock.net/t/1514085/official-nvidia-gtx-970-owners-club

#6
Posted 01/13/2015 04:14 AM   
[quote="BERRRR"][quote="MrInfinit3"][quote] hop over to the OCN Official GTX 970 owners club and see all the 970 overclockers having a shit fit with Hynix vrm chips, they are not good this time around. my Gigabyte GTX 970 has the Samsung vrm chips and my core and memory overclocks are fantastic as are the other cards in the 970 club that have Samsung vrm follow my link and ask anyone on there about Hynix vrm chips. [url]http://www.overclock.net/t/1514085/official-nvidia-gtx-970-owners-club[/url][/quote] Different issue, this topic was created to highlight that 1 game with the same resolution and setting will produce different vram results. Example Farcry 4 @1080 maxed out will show 4GB usage on a 980, but never go above 3.5 on a 970. Why is the final 512mb not being utilised? This example also stands for shadow of mordor, watchdogs, hitman absolution and unity. There is something holding the 970 back from filling 4GB in games.....even when it is needed. I know my card has 4GB, that is not an issue, I tested it with Kombustor mem burn app. What is interesting is that it is not even reaching the limits of the gpu, as this occurs when the GPU is only at 60% usage. So, what is preventing the final 512mb from being used?
BERRRR said:
MrInfinit3 said:

hop over to the OCN Official GTX 970 owners club and see all the 970 overclockers having a shit fit with Hynix vrm chips, they are not good this time around. my Gigabyte GTX 970 has the Samsung vrm chips and my core and memory overclocks are fantastic as are the other cards in the 970 club that have Samsung vrm
follow my link and ask anyone on there about Hynix vrm chips.
http://www.overclock.net/t/1514085/official-nvidia-gtx-970-owners-club


Different issue, this topic was created to highlight that 1 game with the same resolution and setting will produce different vram results.

Example Farcry 4 @1080 maxed out will show 4GB usage on a 980, but never go above 3.5 on a 970.

Why is the final 512mb not being utilised?

This example also stands for shadow of mordor, watchdogs, hitman absolution and unity.

There is something holding the 970 back from filling 4GB in games.....even when it is needed.

I know my card has 4GB, that is not an issue, I tested it with Kombustor mem burn app.

What is interesting is that it is not even reaching the limits of the gpu, as this occurs when the GPU is only at 60% usage. So, what is preventing the final 512mb from being used?
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#7
Posted 01/13/2015 04:34 AM   
I apologize, I was just giving my input on the off topic (as infinit3 said) information on brands of prefered vrm chips that infinite3 posted
I apologize, I was just giving my input on the off topic (as infinit3 said) information on brands of prefered vrm chips that infinite3 posted

#8
Posted 01/13/2015 05:11 AM   
page 2 post 16 on OCN proof of a GTX 970 using 4009mb of vrm in Skyrim [url]http://www.overclock.net/t/1535502/gtx-970s-can-only-use-3-5gb-of-4gb-vram-issue/10[/url]
page 2 post 16 on OCN proof of a GTX 970 using 4009mb of vrm in Skyrim

http://www.overclock.net/t/1535502/gtx-970s-can-only-use-3-5gb-of-4gb-vram-issue/10

#9
Posted 01/13/2015 05:20 AM   
Here is a forum topic at Guru3D full of screenshots and examples of the gtx 970 using only 3500 and throttling horribly when pushed over its 3.5GB ceiling. Also contains many comparisons with 980 where the identical settings show the 980 with 4GB load and 970 at 3.5GB [url]http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=396064[/url]
Here is a forum topic at Guru3D full of screenshots and examples of the gtx 970 using only 3500 and throttling horribly when pushed over its 3.5GB ceiling.

Also contains many comparisons with 980 where the identical settings show the 980 with 4GB load and 970 at 3.5GB

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=396064

#10
Posted 01/13/2015 06:07 AM   
Hi guis there is realy something odd goin on with the 970's vRAM.I can't get it to use all of it's vRAM in any game no matter what settings ans res I use.The only way to fill the vRAM is via MSI Kombuster and even then my PC freezes at the loading screen half of the times I try this but sometimes it loads 99% vRAM,so honestly I don't know what to think.Anyway here is picture of MSI Kombuster using 3900MB of vRAM. [url]http://i61.tinypic.com/2h6gl08.jpg[/url]
Hi guis there is realy something odd goin on with the 970's vRAM.I can't get it to use all of it's vRAM in any game no matter what settings ans res I use.The only way to fill the vRAM is via MSI Kombuster and even then my PC freezes at the loading screen half of the times I try this but sometimes it loads 99% vRAM,so honestly I don't know what to think.Anyway here is picture of MSI Kombuster using 3900MB of vRAM.
http://i61.tinypic.com/2h6gl08.jpg

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#11
Posted 01/13/2015 10:24 AM   
What's up with these forums? Does no-one from NVIDIA even bother to respond to any technical queries on here? I see Nvidia representatives on other forums being active...but not here. Either a comment acknowledging the issue or denying its existence would be appreciated...and I can then either wait for a solution or stop hoping for one. With no company feedback given on their official forums, users are left in a state of limbo.
What's up with these forums?

Does no-one from NVIDIA even bother to respond to any technical queries on here?

I see Nvidia representatives on other forums being active...but not here.

Either a comment acknowledging the issue or denying its existence would be appreciated...and I can then either wait for a solution or stop hoping for one.

With no company feedback given on their official forums, users are left in a state of limbo.

#12
Posted 01/13/2015 03:59 PM   
[quote="BERRRR"]page 2 post 16 on OCN proof of a GTX 970 using 4009mb of vrm in Skyrim [url]http://www.overclock.net/t/1535502/gtx-970s-can-only-use-3-5gb-of-4gb-vram-issue/10[/url][/quote]As I said before, not every GTX 970 has Vram Issues.... I can't use all of my Vram since I tried the MSI Kombuster was trying to use all of my 4gb and then my PC froze at 3,7GB of Vram. I tried this test 3 times and it froze 3 times at 3,7/3,8GB. This happened to many people.
BERRRR said:page 2 post 16 on OCN proof of a GTX 970 using 4009mb of vrm in Skyrim

http://www.overclock.net/t/1535502/gtx-970s-can-only-use-3-5gb-of-4gb-vram-issue/10
As I said before, not every GTX 970 has Vram Issues.... I can't use all of my Vram since I tried the MSI Kombuster was trying to use all of my 4gb and then my PC froze at 3,7GB of Vram. I tried this test 3 times and it froze 3 times at 3,7/3,8GB. This happened to many people.

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#13
Posted 01/13/2015 05:40 PM   
I ran the MSI Kombuster GPU Memory Burner test at 1GB, 2GB and "3GB" levels (in quotes because it used 3.9GB) at 1680x1050. The 3GB test certainly killed the frame rate: 1GB test was 137FPS, 2GB test was 111 FPS, 3GB test was 37FPS I'm a relatively new owner of the GTX 970 (Gigabyte Gaming G1 GTX 970, bought end of last month) but I'm getting mildly concerned about it after reading about this issue and some of the others on the Nvidia forum. I would expect that filling the vRAM would cut the frame rate like that. @Venox - there was a noticeable pause for me when I did the 3GB test but then it carried on fine. Its unfortunate there isn't finer grained control available for testing.
I ran the MSI Kombuster GPU Memory Burner test at 1GB, 2GB and "3GB" levels (in quotes because it used 3.9GB) at 1680x1050. The 3GB test certainly killed the frame rate:

1GB test was 137FPS,
2GB test was 111 FPS,
3GB test was 37FPS

I'm a relatively new owner of the GTX 970 (Gigabyte Gaming G1 GTX 970, bought end of last month) but I'm getting mildly concerned about it after reading about this issue and some of the others on the Nvidia forum.

I would expect that filling the vRAM would cut the frame rate like that.

@Venox - there was a noticeable pause for me when I did the 3GB test but then it carried on fine. Its unfortunate there isn't finer grained control available for testing.

#14
Posted 01/13/2015 08:39 PM   
[quote="tarasis"]I ran the MSI Kombuster GPU Memory Burner test at 1GB, 2GB and "3GB" levels (in quotes because it used 3.9GB) at 1680x1050. The 3GB test certainly killed the frame rate: 1GB test was 137FPS, 2GB test was 111 FPS, 3GB test was 37FPS I'm a relatively new owner of the GTX 970 (Gigabyte Gaming G1 GTX 970, bought end of last month) but I'm getting mildly concerned about it after reading about this issue and some of the others on the Nvidia forum. I would expect that filling the vRAM would cut the frame rate like that. @Venox - there was a noticeable pause for me when I did the 3GB test but then it carried on fine. Its unfortunate there isn't finer grained control available for testing.[/quote]There might be a pause for you but I repeat myself now the second time.... The Pc freezes for me. I can't do anything.... Alt+Tab, Task Manager or whatever I try is not working and I'm not the only one. Many people experienced this issue and I don't know what's causing it.
tarasis said:I ran the MSI Kombuster GPU Memory Burner test at 1GB, 2GB and "3GB" levels (in quotes because it used 3.9GB) at 1680x1050. The 3GB test certainly killed the frame rate:

1GB test was 137FPS,
2GB test was 111 FPS,
3GB test was 37FPS

I'm a relatively new owner of the GTX 970 (Gigabyte Gaming G1 GTX 970, bought end of last month) but I'm getting mildly concerned about it after reading about this issue and some of the others on the Nvidia forum.

I would expect that filling the vRAM would cut the frame rate like that.

@Venox - there was a noticeable pause for me when I did the 3GB test but then it carried on fine. Its unfortunate there isn't finer grained control available for testing.
There might be a pause for you but I repeat myself now the second time.... The Pc freezes for me. I can't do anything.... Alt+Tab, Task Manager or whatever I try is not working and I'm not the only one. Many people experienced this issue and I don't know what's causing it.

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700k
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 TI Gaming G1 stock WHQL 368.81
RAM: 16GB G.Skill RipJaws VRB schwarz DDR4-3200
SSD: 250GB Crucial MX200
Festplatte: 2000GB WD Black WD2003FZEX
Mainboard: MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION
Monitor: BenQ XL2430T + Acer X243HQ
PSU: 750 Watt be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 Modular 80+ Platinum
Soundkarte: Asus Strix Raid DLX
Kopfhörer: Fostex T50RP-Mk3
Verstärker: Lake People G109-A PhoneAmp LimitedEdition
Operating System: Win7 Ultimate 64bit

#15
Posted 01/14/2015 12:17 AM   
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