4GB vs 8GB Performance

With the 8GB Radeon RX 5500 XT doing so well, we had to find out what the difference in performance is between 4GB and 8GB if the video card is the same.  We can do this because we have both a SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB and a SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB video card.  Both are the same video card, the same factory overclock and design, only one has 8GB and the other 4GB.  Therefore, we can put them head-to-head in this game to see the difference VRAM capacity on its own makes.


DOOM Eternal Graph

From this graph we can see that at 1440p with “Medium” settings enabled the 8GB Radeon RX 5500 XT is 20% faster than the 4GB Radeon RX 5500 XT.  They are the same card, same GPU performance, yet having 8GB of VRAM at this setting is 20% faster in this game compared to 4GB.


DOOM Eternal Graph

Moving down to 1080p at “Medium” also shows the 8GB video card is 21% faster than the 4GB video card.  That means just having double the VRAM alone gives the Radeon RX 5500 XT 20% more performance in this game. 

We should also note, we are testing on PCI-Express 3.0 with an X470 chipset.  It is very possible that with PCI-Express 4.0 on the new X570 chipset the 4GB Radeon RX 5500 XT can make up this performance if it is VRAM bottlenecked.  With 8GB it is not, and this shows its true potential.  Another way around that may be to upgrade to X570 with PCI-Express 4.0.  We wanted to point this out because it is a potential, though we have not directly tested this yet.  We do have plans to test video cards between PCIe 3 and 4 in a future review before we move over to a new X570 platform and CPU on our test bench in the future.  Still, the benefits of 8GB of VRAM cannot be taken lightly. 

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  1. I would like to add that this game looks excellent with chunky pixels from Integer Scaling, although setting it up in 1080p requires a custom 960×540 resolution.

    Once you get it going, it sort of looks like old pre-rendered CG video from the early 2000’s – except obviously quite a bit better.
    You’ll likely have to disable resolution scaling though, as your CPU+RAM is likely to become the bottleneck at half – or even one third for 3×3 pixels at 4k – the resolution you’d normally be playing at.

  2. So where does my 1080ti land? Somewhere around the 2080FE?

    The idtech engine is really pretty amazing that it does so well even on medium grade hardware.

    Not sure I’ll be in a hurry to get this game though, I get motion sickness from fast moving games. The 2016 Doom hurt me badly, I couldn’t finish it.

  3. So where does my 1080ti land? Somewhere around the 2080FE?

    That sounds about right.

    From what I’ve seen, the 1080 Ti at 1440p with Ultra Nightmare settings will run the game firmly in the 100s. I’d like to test it myself with my own 1080 Ti, but my highest resolution display is 1200p. Normally I would try it with nVidia DSR, but for the past few months and last several driver versions, DSR and Vulkan games haven’t gotten along on my system. If I try to use DSR in any Vulkan game it usually BSODs the system, and names an nVidia driver file. This still occurs on driver version 442.74. Saw it happen with Doom 64 this past weekend (on Vulkan, I didn’t try D3D11). Luckily Doom Eternal did not do that for me, but it would only display a black screen. So right now I am stuck at 1200p where I am CPU-limited. I’ve some testing between the 1080 Ti and my friend’s 5700XT, where the 1080 Ti turns in stronger numbers, as expected. He was running Doom Eternal at 1440p with max settings on the 5700 XT with framerates ranging from the low 100s to the high 100s. So I would assume similar but better results for the 1080 Ti at 1440p. My best guess anyways.

    Thanks for the article Brent, great job as always. Really interesting to see the difference between Ultra, Nightmare, and Ultra Nightmare settings was just a few fps. I think we can all agree that id Software really ****ing hit it outta the park again. Glad to see pure Vulkan implementation. Really appreciate the wealth of settings the game offers, and not just for graphics. Wish I could see this game in HDR.

  4. Great review as always. Glad to see VRAM being put to good use. I know this is a GPU review but I’d love to see CPU scaling. I swear I don’t dip below 200 on 1440p using the 3950x. It shows extremely good core utilization. Also I’ve been running folding at home *while* playing and still getting over my 120hz refresh. It’s insanely optimized.
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