Components

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 GDDR5,  as well as HBM2.

Image: Graphics Card Hub

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 relatively new while the GDDR5 has been around for some time. Still, we are looking to see just how the HBM2 is going to evolve, and can GDDR5 hold up against what is available in the market?

Below, you will see a comparison between HBM2 and GDDR5, 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’s 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 Vega Frontier Edition.
  • Radeon RX Vega 56.
  • Radeon RX Vega 64.

Nvidia

  • Nvidia Quadro GP100.
  • Nvidia Tesla P100.
  • Nvidia Titan V.

GDDR5

GDDR5 is perhaps the oldest mainstream memory type that is being used in the graphics cards, and even today, you see many graphics cards running this type of memory for all the right reasons. It is the successor of the GDRR3 and GDDR4 memory. You can still see some entry-level GPUs running on GDRR3 memory type, while GDRR4 is not seen anywhere for some time now.

As far as the performance is concerned, the GDRR5 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 low end to high end. Some of the modern GPUs running on GDRR5 memory are mentioned below.

  • AMD Radeon RX 480.
  • AMD Radeon RX 580.
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060.
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070.
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050TI.

These are just some of the modern-day GPUs that we have listed, otherwise, the actual list happens to be a lot longer. 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 1060s 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 8 gigabits per second. Currently, the memory is being manufactured by the likes of Samsung, Hynix, Elpida, and Micron. You can get these chips in capacities ranging from 512 megabytes, all the way up to 8 gigabytes. The bus width is 32-bits.

Image: AnandTech

Conclusion

There is no denying that HBM2 is modern technology. However, since it is relatively new, and we have not seen a lot of promising cards that come with HBM2, the safest best is GDDR5 memory that has been around, matured a lot, and has some pretty amazing graphics cards available in the market as well. 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 GDDR5 and you would be good to go as far as the performance is concerned.

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