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There is no denying that when we are looking at the different sort of graphics card memory, we are reminded of the traditional memories. Well, that is mainly because the lettering is the same, so it can bring forth some confusion that people have to deal with.
However, we can assure you that these memories are predominantly different from what else is available in the market. With that said, since we are talking about graphics card memory, the most common type of memories you will get to see are GDDR5, GDDR5X, as well as GDDR6. Additionally, you will also get to see HBM and HBM 2.
So what is the purpose of these memories, and how are they different from each other? That is exactly what we are going to find out in this article. This is for people who are normally confused and do not really know what they should be going for when buying a graphics card.
Therefore, let’s not waste more time and have a look.
The first and perhaps the most common type of memory you will get to see is the GDDR5 memory.
This is something that is used in most of the high-end graphics cards available in the market.
As far as the memory performance is concerned, GDDR5 happens to be one of the fastest memory types available in the market. As a matter of fact, you can find this type of memory being used in GPUs like GTX 1000 series, starting from the GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 as well as some AMD GPUs like RX 480, 580, and even some other options.
Additionally, some mid-tier cards are also using this memory type. Needless to say, as far as being mainstream is concerned, GDDR5 is definitely on top of the food chain.
In the hindsight, you can call the GDDR5X an improved or an upgraded version of the GDDR5 memory type. Both the predecessor and the successor are high bandwidth memories and their extends to not just the graphics cards, but high-end servers as well.
However, as far as the GDDR5X is concerned, it is supposedly twice as fast as the GDDR5. This means that the memory can achieve speeds that range from 10 gigabits per second and going all the way up to 14 gigabits per second and even 16 gigabits per second.
The memory is currently being manufactured by Micron, one of the leading names in the memory business.
Another benefit here is that the GDDR5X is that it consumes less power as compared to the GDDR5. The memory chip is available in different capacities ranging from 4GB and going all the way to 16GB. The most common graphics cards using this type of memory is the Nvidia GTX 1080, as well as the Nvidia Tian X (Pascal). Additionally, the same memory is found in the Quadro P5000 and P6000 by Nvidia.
On the other hand, we have HBM or High Bandwidth Memory. This is also used in graphics cards, as well as other advanced units available in the market. Currently, Hynix and Samsung are manufacturing this type of memory type. The number of graphics cards using HBM is not that high.
For those who are unaware, HBM is a non-planar memory, and it comes in a 3D design structure that looks a lot like a cub. Multiple memory chips are stacked over one and the other in order to make the HBM memory smaller in size, therefore, taking less space on graphic cards.
The benefits of HBM memory are that it consumes less power, has a smaller form factor, higher bandwidth, reduced thermals, and overall better performance. However, at the same time, there are some downsides like an increased price, as well as availability issues.
HBM 2 is a lot like the original HBM as it does have all the same features.
However, there are some improvements made. Mainly in terms of speed, and bandwidth. For starters, HBM 2 can have 8 DRAM in a single stack and can offer transfer speeds up to 2 gigabits per second, as well as a 1024-bit memory interface.
This is some serious specification upgrade as compared to the original. As of now, the HBM 2 memory is being used Nvidia Titan V, Radeon Vega Frontier Edition, Radeon RX Vega 56, and 64, as well as Nvidia Quadro GP100.
The last memory on the list is the GDDR6; the true successor to the GDDR5 and GDDR5X. The memory is definitely faster than both of the predecessors and will be capable of running at 1.35 volts, as well as offering speeds up to 16 gigabits per second, as well as 18 gigabits per second.
The memory is already available in the market and is mainly being used in the Nvidia Turing based GPUs that are available in the market. Which means that GTX 1660Ti, RTX 2060, 2070, 2080, 2080Ti, as well as the future Titan card that will be based on the Turing architecture.
In conclusion, the one thing that we can say for sure is that the graphics memory market is rapidly evolving. If you look at the other situation of the desktop memory, it is still at DDR4, which happens to be the latest and greatest.
However, an important thing that must be noticed here is that there is a huge difference between both memory types, and that is why the comparison is simply not possible.
With that said, the latest memories are doing really well in the market. So, it is only safe to assume that the future is looking good. As to what memories await us in the future, we cannot really say much about that. So, let’s wait and see what we are going to be getting.