The RTX 3090 might be overpriced for a gaming card, especially with 24GB of VRAM you will never fully saturate…or will you? Strife212 on Twitter had the genius idea of using that 24GB frame buffer to run Crysis 3, but not in the way you think.
Using a program called “VRAM Drive” Strife212 was able to make a 15GB virtual disk on the RTX 3090’s VRAM and physically install Crysis 3 onto it, leaving 9GB of VRAM remaining for Crysis 3 to use as graphics memory, which is plenty for any video game by today’s standards.
She reports Crysis 3 loads fast, and performance is really good (screenshot shows 75FPS). She ran Crysis 3 at 4k very high settings with VRAM utilization barely hitting the 20GB mark.
This is really cool to see, VRAM is the fastest memory-solution in your system, exceeding the performance of system RAM, so using it as an SSD should yield some amazing loading times for video games. And theoretically, you can do this with any graphics card, as long as the game fits inside your GPU’s frame buffer.
However, the real-world application for this is quite small, today’s NVMe SSDs load games very quickly making this use case very niche (plus additional software features like RTX I/O will reduce load times further). But it’s still a cool concept, perhaps giving us a little sneak peek into what SSDs of the future will be like for gaming.