A blog post written by AMD staff members in June 2020 has temporarily disappeared from AMD’s community pages. KitGuru was browsing the page in question yesterday and recorded some nice before and after screenshots of the post. The 18-month-old blog post, which disappeared for a few hours, dismissed the idea that graphics cards should be released to gamers with 4GB of VRAM or less. Is it a coincidence that AMD today launches the Radeon RX 6500 XT with 4 GB of VRAM?
Given that the message came back, probably because the public knew the message was hidden, it’s always interesting to watch the change in attitude. AMD’s June 2020 blog post was titled “Game Beyond 4GB”, which made it pretty clear what idea it wanted to promote to PC gamers. At the time of writing, AMD was bragging about its line of Polaris and RDNA 1 (Radeon RX 5000 series) graphics cards that come with either 6GB or 8GB of VRAM.
AMD’s arguments against limiting it to a 4GB GPU still apply today. He listed three main areas of concern for people buying such VRAM-limited GPUs in mid-2020. Even when playing at 1080p, he said 4GB graphics cards might experience “error messages and warning limits, lower frame rates, [plus] gameplay stuttering and texture pop-in issues.”
A chart provided by AMD at the time, to direct buyers to its RX 5500 XT with 8GB over the 4GB version, and also to tout the advantages of the 8GB RX 5500 XT over Nvidia’s competing GTX 1650 Super , showed decent performance improvements with 8GB across a number of popular 2020 titles, including CoD Modern Warfare (22%), Forza Horizon 4 (18%) and MS Flight Simulator 2020 (97%). Unsurprisingly, newer AAA titles only push those VRAM requirements further with titles such as far cry 6 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Cyberpunk 2077 being quite notorious for the impacts on limited VRAM performance.
With today’s launch of AMD’s Radeon RX 6500 XT with 4GB of VRAM, we can now see the real-world performance of the new RX 6500 XT. This entry-level design officially has an MSRP of $199, with models priced from $199 to $359 at places like Newegg. Like all modern graphics cards, market forces will ultimately determine where the price will settle, a common theme in this generation.
There is hope that with its junk specs for mining, good availability could help keep the price of the AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT down. Is 4GB really enough for gaming now? Apparently, especially if you stick to medium or high settings.