VRAM and Graphics Card: 4 Differences

Apart from the obvious, if you do not know the other differences between a Video Random Access Memory and a graphics card, you are probably in the best place.

This article will point out the differences between them and help you to know how each of them influences the display quality.


  • Different types of VRAMs are available out there such as MDRAM, Rambus DRAM, SGRAM, and WRAM but there are only two types of graphics card available namely the integrated graphics cards and the dedicated or discrete graphics cards.
  • The VRAM does not directly influence the graphics processing job but stores the relevant data for the graphics card to access which actually does the graphics processing job.
  • The VRAM is a particular type of memory module integrated into the graphics card which is a specific piece of hardware.

The 4 Differences Between VRAM and Graphics Card

Differences Between VRAM and Graphics Card

1. Types

There are different types of VRAMs available in the market such as Multibank DRAM or MDRAM, Rambus DRAM, Synchronous Graphics RAM or SGRAM, and Window RAM or WRAM.

On the other hand, there are two types of graphics card available in the market. One of them is the integrated graphics cards that are built into the motherboard.

The other type of graphics card is the discrete or dedicated graphics cards that are added to the motherboard through a slot as an extra component.

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2. Processing Participation

The VRAM does not take part in processing the graphics directly. It simply stores the image data for the GPU or the Graphics Processing Unit to access easily and quickly.

The graphics card, on the other hand, actually does the processing job of the graphics or image data in order to render the images onto the display of the computer.

3. Design and Built

The VRAM is designed as a specific type of memory module that is built in the Printed Circuit Board or PCB of the graphics card.

On the other hand, the graphics card refers to a specific device of a computer that has similar components to RAM.

4. Purpose

One of the most significant purposes of using a VRAM is to free the system RAM from the load of storing the image data.

On the other hand, the most important purpose of using a graphics card is to perform the mathematical calculations related to graphics rendering on binary or 0 and 1 quickly.

Which is Better – VRAM or Graphics Card?

Well, both the graphics card and the VRAM in the graphics card have specific functionalities and therefore both are equally important for a computer to function smoothly.

If there is no graphics card in your system then it would have affected the visual aspect of the system.

On the other hand, if there is no VRAM in the graphics card, as it is usually in the integrated graphics cards, the graphics performance would be slow since the image data will have to be stored in the system RAM.

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In that case, it would take a long time for the GPU to access that data due to the distance between it and the RAM as well as the multitude of connections it has to go through.

As said earlier, the VRAMs are specific types of RAMs that are intended to store image data for the graphics card to access and to display the images on the computer screen.

The main purpose of storing the image data in the VRAM is to allow faster access to it by the Graphics Processing Unit.

It also ensures much smoother implementation of graphics display.

VRAM is extremely useful in specific types of applications where it is needed to display intricate image textures or render polygon-based 3D structures.

However, the use of VRAM is also seen extensively in other applications as well such as 3D graphics design programs and video games.

All the available types of VRAMs are unique arrangements of DRAM or Dynamic RAM.

The images are written onto the VRAM after these are read by the processor before these are sent to the monitor to display.

Before the digital signals reach the display, it passes through the video port which can be an HDMI port or any other digital video interface.

However, in the case of an old CRT model where the signals pass through a VGA connector, these are first converted into analog signals by the RAM digital-to-analog converter.

However, the graphics card on the whole has a bit more importance because it influences the gaming performance directly and the VRAM does it indirectly.

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The quality of the graphics card determines the quality of the images displayed on the computer screen.

The graphics card therefore plays a significant role when it comes to gaming or performing any video editing tasks on a computer.

However, the need of the graphics card for a game to start will largely depend on the type of the game you play as well as its specific necessities that are typically mentioned on the game box.

Most importantly, the resolution and the frame rate per second will be more if the graphics card is more powerful.

However, the same cannot be said for the VRAM.

Nonetheless, it will be wise to go for a system that is equipped with adequately powerful graphics card and a reasonably high amount of VRAM.

This will ensure that you can use your system for high end gaming as well as for doing complex video editing and other graphics intensive tasks on it.


So, as the article points out, there are not many differences between a graphics card and a VRAM but still there are some major ones that make them two different things, much to the contrary to the common belief of the users.

About Puja Chatterjee

Puja ChatterjeePuja Chatterjee is a technical writer with extensive knowledge about computers. She graduated from BIMS. Her expertise includes technology writing and client relationship management gained through over 12 years of experience. Follow Her at Linkedin.