VRAM: HBM2 vs GDDR5

For anyone who is thinking about buying a new graphics card in the market, you will have to know about some basic information. Sadly, more advanced information like memory type is often overlooked entirely, and people do not really pay attention to it at all. If you have been buying graphics cards for some time, and you are aware of the latest happenings in the market, then it is safe to say that you have heard about memory types such as GDDR6, as well as HBM2.

Now the thing is that these memory types can easily confuse an average consumer, and to many, they might sound unnecessary, and downright complicated. However, it is important that you know the difference between memory types. Now HBM2 is a couple of years old while the GDDR6 was recently released. Still, we are looking to see just how the HBM2 is going to evolve, and how it compares to the mainstream memory, GDDR6?

Below, you will see a comparison between HBM2 and GDDR6, along with graphics cards that are currently available in the market with either memory type.

HBM2

For those who do not know, HBM stands for High Bandwidth Memory, and it happens to be one of the most common memory types available in the market. HBM2 is certainly one of the more advanced forms, and it is the 2nd generation of the original HBM memory. As far as the advancements are concerned, HBM2 should have higher memory speeds, as well as bandwidth.

An HBM2 memory cheap can come with 8 DRAM dies on a single stack, and have a transfer rate of up to 2 gigabits per second. The memory interface is 1024-bit wide and can come with a memory bandwidth of 256 gigabytes per second on a single stack. Which means that this is double as compared to the first generation of HBM. The overall total capacity of HBM2 is also higher and it can reach 8 gigabytes on a single stack. The first GPU that came with HBM2 memory was Nvidia’s Tesla P100. The Quadro GP100 by Nvidia also comes with the HBM2 memory. However, Nvidia has not released a mainstream GPU with HBM2 memory.

The primary use case of HBM2 memory revolves around AR gaming, VR gaming, as well as other applications which are intensive on the memory.

Currently, AMD Radeon VII and the Vega series is using HBM2 memory, meanwhile, some of the Pascal and Volta-based cards from Nvidia are also using this type of memory. Below is a list of the cards using HBM2.

AMD

  • Radeon VII
  • Radeon Vega Frontier Edition
  • Radeon RX Vega 56
  • Radeon RX Vega 64

NVIDIA

  • Quadro GP100
  • Tesla P100
  • Titan V

GDDR6

GDDR6 is the latest mainstream memory type that is being used in the graphics cards and you can see many graphics cards running this type of memory for all the right reasons. It is the successor of the GDDR5 and older memory types like GDDR3 and GDDR4.

As far as the performance is concerned, the GDRR6 is perhaps one of the fastest memory types available in the market. Its widespread use has made sure that it is available in numerous GPUs, ranging from mid-end to high-end. Some of the modern GPUs running on GDRR6 memory are mentioned below.

AMD

  • Radeon RX 5700 / XT
  • Radeon RX 5600 XT
  • Radeon RX 5500 XT

NVIDIA

  • Quadro RTX 6000
  • RTX 2060 / 2070 / 2080 / 2080 Ti
  • Titan RTX

These are some of the best mainstream graphics cards of the modern-day and GDDR6 seems to be working pretty nicely. On a side note, If you’re on a budget and looking to play games at a mediocre level then check out this review of the best budget GTX 2060s you can get right now!

This memory type offers higher bandwidth at a lower power consumption when compared with its predecessor. The transfer speeds can be as high as 14 – 16 gigabits per second. Currently, the memory is being manufactured by the likes of Samsung and Hynix. The GDDR6 is although slower than the HBM2 when it comes to memory bandwidth, it is a lot cheaper than HBM2 which makes it great for mainstream graphics cards and that is why AMD has shifted to GDDR6 in their NAVI GPUs after using HBM and HBM2 in their FURY and VEGA-series graphics cards.

Conclusion

There is no denying that HBM2 is modern technology. However, since it is relatively expensive and we have not seen a lot of promising cards that come with HBM2, especially in the mainstream market, the safest bet is GDDR6 memory, that seems to be doing wonders in the latest graphics cards. Needless to say, if you are looking for a good experience with a GPU, do invest in something like a high-end GPU that carries GDDR6 and you would be good to go as far as the performance is concerned.

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Bill Wilson


Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.
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