GPU Advice - RAM vs Other Specs


I am currently working on a film in Unreal using my GTX Titan. It has 12GB RAM but it’s not RTX enabled so I need to upgrade at this point if I want to raytrace as I’m currently getting texture pool overflows and it’s slowing down my work flow with occasional crashes. I don’t care about performance, except regarding my ability to edit functionally.

My initial thought was to get an RTX 2080TI but that has 11GB of RAM or alternatively bite the bullet on an RTX Titan.

Just curious what people will see as advantages and disadvantages of these two options. It’s hard to tell as every comparison chart is in relation to gaming and not 3D animation/editing.

If I get the 2080TI will the -1 GB Ram hurt a lot or will the other specs more than account for everything else?
Will I see a massive difference with the titan that warrants an additional $1500?

Thanks for any advice!

No idea on film vs interactive, but as I have no idea overall now following this given my GTX 950, this, Ray Tracing, Your Questions Answered: Types of Ray Tracing, Performance On GeForce GPUs, and More , should more than enough do to get you to your answer.


If you’re already hitting the memory limit and it’s a problem for the work that you’re doing, then getting the RTX Titan would help since it has 24GB of memory. I wouldn’t go for the RTX Titan unless you really need that GPU memory

Thanks for the link. While i have seen this I’m not sure how this impacts memory, texture streaming and similar performance questions within Unreal. It does not address RAM.

That’s what I don’t know. Is that a 1:1 comparison? Will the improved specs of the 2080TI override the lack of 1 GB of RAM? Or is the RAM as simple as it sounds and my only real upgrade option is an RTX Titan?

The memory is really simple, everything that’s rendering is loaded into memory, so having more memory allows you to have more meshes, textures, etc. and allows you to render at higher resolution. For example there’s the HighResScreenshot option in Unreal which can render images higher than your monitor resolution, but you can crash the program if you put in something really high and the GPU runs out of memory.

So the question is, if you’re already running out of memory sometimes on the GPU, then it would be worthwhile to get something with more GPU memory. However, I would say if you are hitting 11GB-12GB of GPU memory then you’re being very inefficient with your content, since that’s quite a lot.

That’s what I suspected. Thanks for the info and yes I am experiencing crashes when I hit the HiResScreenshot or render movie at 8K+

I imagine their is some inefficiency but as I’m making a film not a game, I’m focusing on everything being max resolution, no Mip-Maps, 4096 minimum textures for all handmade models etc which is all contributing to it.

I wish there was a middle ground between -1 and +12 GB.

So, money wise your best options is to get another used titan and SLI them together.
You won’t be able to do this with a new RTX as only the same type of GFX can SLI

SLI is tricky at best. The engine should be able to support it well enough.…ing/index.html

Now, in April they are supposed to release Ray Tracing drivers for non RTX devices.
If you can wait it out, that’s probably a good idea.

If you cannot. then the best option would be to SLI two RTX cards of your choice.

Performance wise you can check stats here

RTX 2080 TI currently rates better.
If you were to pair 2 of those you would probably outperform one RTX titan (24GB of memory though).

If you were to wait or find a 24GB RTX titan in stock, you could also then eventually purchase another one and SLI that (not uncommon for a movie production).

Interesting. Thank you for this info! What if I were to SLI to 2080 Supers together? Does the VRAM stack or combine like that?

That would be 16GB of RAM (2x GB) and give me the best Raytracing options I presume and save me $1000. Would that work?

I don’t think that would beat your titan - performance wise.

Keep in mind that the inital memory buffer matters when you SLI too.
So with an inital buffer of only 8 you may experience less performance even when you SLI.

I would infact suggest attempting to match the titan’s buffer.

In other words, SLI != memory X number of cards.

It means faster computational times and the ability to split the rendering workload up to make it overall faster/more performant

Interesting interesting. Thank you so much for the info.

So it sounds like I either need to decide if I can take the 1 GB hit and get a 2080ti for the Raytracing or just get the RTX Titan. I don’t see any other middle ground options as I probably can’t wait until April to get Raytracing started outputting footage. Assuming the 2080TI doesn’t work then sticking with SLI’ing the GTX Titans would be a valid idea.

The UE4 editor does not support SLI (it’s only for built games and you have to work with Nvidia for an SLI profile), and SLI also does not combine memory, both cards load the same data. There is a DirectX12 feature where cards can combine memory but UE4 doesn’t support that either (and I don’t know of anything that does).

They’ve already released support for some non-RTX cards, which doesn’t matter since none of the non-RTX cards can do raytracing at any reasonable level.

Advice to anyone thinking about getting a GPU now: Don’t, just don’t.

Next year there’s an entire new gen of consoles. Consoles that it seems like will spec mesh shaders, raytracing, and more as standard. And more, a ton of ram, as in 24gb+. So every last GPU today is vastly underspecced for ram, and development, and playing, and etc. are all going to suffer heavily simply because no matter what GPU you get, it’s not going to have the 16gb+ that you’d almost certainly want.

So just wait a year. Nvida and AMD both have roadmaps to releasing new GPUs next year, and Intel is officially getting in on rendering GPUs so competition will be better and prices lower. To buy now is a fools errand.

That all makes sense. Thank you!

I get that feeling as well. For some reason my options feel so limited.

This thread is hilarious… Has there ever really been a good time to buy GPU, RAM or any game related hardware in the past 1,2, 3, 4, 5 years??? :stuck_out_tongue: Good value is slim in my area and has been for a while. So much so, shops started to cover up the lack of Ram by quoting the Intel-Optane amount on spec stickers to obscure the reality. WTF, who does that??? Ah yes retailers…:mad:… However, if you’re stuck with a rig that isn’t cutting it, you’ve got to do something.

One option is to buy the least overpriced gear from last year at a discount, and accept that what you’ve got isn’t future proof. Or buy something overseas on a holiday / biz trip and get tax back to help offset it… If the currency is in your favor you’ll save, and in high Sales-Tax / VAT regions you may get a quarter or more off the cost…

Its hard to find good deals in Europe especially, but Asia seems to offer better value. Historically North America has too, but maybe not right now, IDK…

Unfortunately last year’s gear won’t work as I have to have an RTX Model if I’m going to upgrade and use Raytracing. In America this Friday is “Black Friday” where almost all tech goes on sale. Ideally would be a good time to buy.

@freneticpony’s point is valid as we are on a new baseline of generations with the birth of new consoles and realtime raytracing so likely new graphics cards to come will fill in the lack of options.

Could you get by with a RTX 2070 for now, while you initially work on the film?
As more places get in new variants of 2080, it should push 2070 prices down…

No need for anything less than a 2080ti. My concern was only about the price of the RTX Titan whcih is $2500 but I can afford up to about $1200.

My GTX Titan has 12GB of RAM and the 2070 likely wouldn’t be able to run the project without memory crashing. (-4 GB RAM)

I think I may invest in trying a 2080TI and if it functions well enough and lets me raytrace then run with that. If not, I’ll just keep working with what I got until the titan price comes down or they make something consumer friendly in the middle ground.

Or… wait like 5 days for cyber monday and find a discounted titan for closer to the budget you have…

I’m thinking that’s likely to be the option. Or a Quadro RTX 5000 which is 16GB.

Might be my winner: