AMD bigs up 12GB for 1440p gaming but where are its new GPUs?

The Nvidia RTX 3070 and AMD RX 6700 XT side by side on a colourful background
(Image credit: Future)

AMD's latest blog post on gaming graphics is doubling down on the importance of plenty of VRAM for modern gaming, pitching 12GB-plus as optimal for 1440p gaming. The only slight problem is that the GPUs AMD is pitching in the 1440p space are essentially over two years old at this point.

In a blog post titled the "Importance of VRAM when gaming at 1440p in 2023", AMD's Matthew Hummel says the latest Steam survey data shows that 1440p is the sweet spot for PC gaming. And AMD recommends 12GB of VRAM for 1440p gaming at maximum settings.

The blog post has various benchmark examples showing AMD's 12GB Radeon RX 6750 XT tearing Nvidia's 8GB RTX 4060 Ti a new one in games running at max texture detail and with ray tracing enabled. The latter is arguably the great irony in all this—that Nvidia's usual ray tracing advantage is reversed on low-VRAM RTX boards because enabling it can push VRAM usage beyond the available buffer. And that can really hurt performance.

Of course, the caveat here is that simply running a game at maximum settings usually doesn't make sense. Typically, the very highest settings hobble performance horribly while not significantly improving visual quality over knocking things a notch down.

So, you could argue AMD's benchmarks are somewhat contrived. On the other hand, there is also real value in being able to simply hit global maximum settings and be pretty confident that you're not going to run out of VRAM.

The other snag with AMD's implied—and not so implied—criticism of Nvidia is that at least the latter has launched its latest 1440p contenders in the RTX 4070 and RTX 4070 Ti. The cards AMD pitches as its 1440p offerings, the RX 6700 XT and RX 6750 XT are now very old.

We are expecting AMD to roll out new RX 7700 and RX 7800 boards. But at this stage, AMD is taking its sweet time. It's also worth noting that Nvidia unambiguously pitches the 8GB RTX 4060 Ti as a 1080p card. So criticising it for not being optimised for 1440p isn't entirely fair.

1440p 12GB

AMD's 12GB boards are based on last-gen tech. (Image credit: AMD)
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(Image credit: Future)

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Just to contradict that, it's likewise true that the 6700 XT undercuts the 4060 Ti on price and the 6750 XT is pretty much on par. It wouldn't really make sense to compare those AMD boards with the much more expensive RTX 4070 or RTX 4070 Ti.

Overall, the moral of the story is that AMD does have a point here. It would be better if Nvidia put more VRAM on its graphics cards. But AMD's point would hit harder if it wasn't making it with what are now very old GPUs.

This will run and run. In the meantime, here's hoping AMD gets those new 1440p GPUs out sooner rather than later.

Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.