VRAM stands for Video Random Access Memory.
VRAM is like RAM – except it is entirely dedicated to storing Image Data. It also acts as a buffer between the computer processor and display.VRAM is expensive than regular Dynamic RAM(DRAM), but VRAM can perform reads and writes at the same time. Basically VRAM is a type of DRAM used in Graphics Card, which increases the overall speed of Graphics Card.
VRAM was invented by F.Dill, D.Ling and R.Matrick at IBM Research in 1980.The idea was patented 5 years later, in 1985.IBM introduced the first commercial use of VRAM in a high-resolution graphics adapter for an RT PC system in 1986.This set a new precedent for graphics displays.
- When images are to be sent to the display, they are first read by the processor & then written to the VRAM. From VRAM the data is converted by a RAM digital-to-analog converter(RAMDAC) into analog signals that are sent to the display presentation mechanism such as a Cathode Ray Tube(CRT).
- VRAM are Dual-Ported i.e while the processor is writing a new image to VRAM, the display is reading from VRAM to refresh the current display content. This Dual-Port design is the main difference between RAM and VRAM.
- VRAM is used in a dedicated graphics card.VRAM is extremely fast & it has a large bandwidth which makes it ideal for graphics devices.
- All types of VRAM are a special arrangement of dynamic RAM(DRAM)
- VRAM is volatile memory i.e every time when the computer is turned off, all the data stored in VRAM will be lost.
Types of VRAM
- SGRAM(Synchronous Graphics RAM): It is comparatively low-cost and it’s clock-synchronized. It means here data can be modified by a single operation, rather than as a sequence of read, write and update operations.
- RDRAM(Rambus Dynamic RAM): It is designed by Rambus & it includes a proprietary Rambus bus that speeds up data flow between VRAM & the frame buffer. It is optimized for video streaming.
- WRAM(Window RAM): It’s a very high-performance VRAM.It’s dual-ported & it has about 25% more bandwidth than standard VRAM. It can be used for very high resolution(e.g 1600 * 1200 pixels) using true color.
- MDRAM(Multibank Dynamic RAM): It’s a high-performance RAM, developed by MoSys, that divides the memory into multiple 32KB parts, which can be accessed individually. This makes memory transfers more efficient also it increases the overall performance.
- VRAM plays a significant role in loading time and image quality.
- It’s most important in applications that display complex image textures or render polygon based 3D structures.
- VRAM also positively impacts gaming performance. More VRAM means GPU can render more complex images and textures on graphics chip, resulting in faster performance.
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