Is it possible to install a game in the VRAM of a graphics card? Yes, even Crysis 3

It seems that the famous question But can it run Crysis? has a whole new meaning, because someone managed to install the game in the VRAM of a GeForce RTX 3090 card and everything runs smoothly.

Is it possible to install a game in the VRAM of a graphics card? Yes, even Crysis 3

What to do when you run out of space on your hard drive to install a game? Of course, you can uninstall or throw away something else, but you can also… use the VRAM memory of your graphics card, which, although not designed for this, seems to be doing just fine. Or at least that’s what it seems from the description of a user hiding under the pseudonym Strife212, who has just reported that he installed Crysis 3 game in the VRAM of his GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card. And what’s most interesting in all this, 24 GB of GDDR6X memory are apparently enough to handle this production, which is still squeezing all the juices out of computers despite the passage of 7 years since its release.

Of course, as you can easily guess, you can’t just install something in the graphics card’s memory, so Strife212 had to use special software that allowed it to extract the disk partition on the GPU. Only after this procedure the system saw it as available space, allowed to install Crysis 3 in it and fully enjoy the game – yes, Crysis in this form is fully playable, does not create any problems and it is difficult to even notice that something is wrong here. As proof, we have 75 frames per second on Very High settings and at 4K resolution, which is quite an achievement with this game.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to improve load times, which are exactly the same as with traditional PCIe NVMe media, but all in all it is hardly surprising. Firstly, in such a situation, the game must first send data from VRAM to traditional RAM, from where it goes to the CPU, and secondly, no one during the development of Crysis 3 thought about optimizing for such use. So it’s a bit of art for art’s sake at the moment, but as games take up more and more space, developers are looking for more and more efficient ways to load data into video memory, such as a solution called DirectStorage, which is designed to exploit the full potential of NVMe drives (by allowing games to send tens of thousands of IO requests), so this could be the standard in the future.

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