The 6GB graphics cards still hold an extraordinary place in the current race featuring ever higher VRAM. While 6GB is nowhere near the top-of-the-line graphics card like the NVIDIA RTX 4090 (24 GB) feature, they are still highly relevant for gamers today.
The simple answer to whether a 6GB graphics card is enough for gaming is yes. 6GB graphics cards are sufficient for even the heaviest AAA games today. However, it all depends upon your gaming setup and what 6GB graphics card you have.
For instance, if you have a demanding gaming setup such as dual screens, a 4K monitor, or a 120Hz monitor for 120FPS gaming, more than 6GB may be required.
It is essential to understand that only some 6GB graphics cards are the same. What decides a sound graphics card is the VRAM and the chipset.
The bottom line is that the NEWER 6GB graphics cards are excellent for budget to midrange gaming builds. They should have little issues playing even the latest AAA games at high graphics while maintaining close to 60 FPS.
Your Gaming Requirements and 6GB VRAM
As mentioned earlier, your gaming setup is one of the most critical factors in determining whether a 6GB graphics card is enough for you.
Gamers these days have very high preferences for their gaming builds. They like to have dual screens featuring QHD or 4K resolution. Many also prefer to play their games at 120FPS.
Three factors determine the amount of graphics VRAM you need:
- The Resolution
- The Frame Rates
- The Graphic Settings
The higher the resolution, the more powerful a graphics card you need. The most common and default resolution gamers prefer Full HD or 1920 x 1080.
Anything higher than this, i.e., QHD or 4K/UHD resolution, would require a more powerful graphics card with higher VRAM.
The same goes for frame rates. The higher the frame rates, the more powerful a GPU you need. Thirty frames per second are the bare minimum you should settle for; however, any gamer worth their salt would aim for 60 FPS. Enthusiasts, on the other hand, aim for even 120 FPS or higher.
While 6 GB graphics may be sufficient for 30-60FPS gaming, anything higher and the 6GB graphics cards will show their limit.
Finally, your graphics settings matter a ton. Ultra-high graphics settings are taxing on a graphics card compared to low graphics settings.
In short, if you have a 6GB graphics card, you will generally need to juggle between resolution, FPS, or graphics settings until you find the right playable setting for yourself. You will often have to sacrifice one or the other.
Benchmark List of Graphics Cards Featuring 6GB VRAM
For a thorough comparison, we can benchmark the 6GB graphics cards and see if they would be sufficient for the latest AAA gaming titles.
However, one critical point is that only some 6GB graphics cards perform similarly. For instance, GTX 1060 and the RTX 2060 have 6GB VRAM. However, the RTX 2060 is far superior in comparison, as shown below in the table.
The following table highlights all the 6GB graphics cards and their corresponding G3Dmark scores – G3DMark is a popular benchmark that scores GPUs based on their performance. It is excellent for basic comparison.
|Graphics Card||Release Year||G3DMark||MSRP||Price/Performance|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060||2016||10,070||$299||33|
|AMD Radeon RX 5600||2020||11,288||–|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660||2019||11,744||$219||53|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti||2019||11,892||$279||42|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980Ti||2015||13,857||$649||21|
|AMD Radeon RX 5600XT||2020||13,833||$279||50|
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060||2019||14,009||$349||40|
- MSRP reflects the price at release, NOT the current market price.
One thing to note is that older 6GB graphics cards (GTX 1060 and the 980Ti) have a far lower value than the newer 6GB graphics cards if you consider the G3D mark and the MSRP.
Additionally, while the 6GB 980Ti was the top-of-the-line GPU of its time, the newer 6GB graphics cards, such as the RTX 2060, are considered mid-range GPUs of their respective series.
So is a 6GB Graphics Card Enough for Gaming?
In short, yes, it is. But we can further prove this point by looking deeper into the system requirements of the popular online games and the popular AAA titles released recently.
Graphics Requirements of Popular Esports Titles
Esports titles / MMORPGs generally have a low graphics card requirement. This is because they are intended to be played by the masses. Since only some have a top dollar to afford dedicated graphics cards, eSports/MMOs are intentionally designed to work on low-end graphics cards.
The following table shows the graphics card requirements of the popular online titles:
|Minimum Graphics Requirements||Recommended Graphics Requirements|
|Minecraft||Integrated Intel HD 4000 (Shared Memory)||GeForce 700 Series (2GB)|
|Rocket League||GeForce GTX 760 (4GB)||GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB)|
|Fortnite||Intel Iris Pro 5200 (Shared)||GeForce GTX 960 (4B)|
|Dota 2||GeForce 8600 (1GB)||Radeon HD 2600 Pro|
|League of Legends||Shader version 2.0b-capable (iGPU)||GeForce 8800 (1GB)|
|World of Warcraft||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 2GB||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 (4GB)|
6GB Graphics Cards are an Overkill for eSports Titles
We can deduce from the table above that for MMORPG/eSports titles, a 6GB graphics card needs to be revised.
Even a 2GB or a 4GB graphics card would be more than sufficient for online games. Games like League of Legends or Dota 2 do not require a dedicated graphics card.
Rocket League is the only game that requires a 6GB graphics card as a recommended requirement. But rest assured that these requirements are for someone who wants to play the game on QHD or 4K resolution with higher than 60 FPS. In reality, this is a game that even works on a measly integrated Intel HD 630 iGPU.
On QHD, Rocket League runs at a whopping 134 FPS on GTX 1060. You should easily sustain 60FPS on 4K on this graphics card.
For someone who wants to play on FHD resolution and high graphics, 6GB is an overkill not just for Rocket League but for almost any eSports/MMORPG title.
Here are the G3D scores of the graphics cards as required by eSports/MMO titles above:
|Intel HD 4000||339||2012|
|NVIDIA GeForce 710||635||2014|
|NVIDIA GTX 760||4772||2013|
|NVIDIA GTX 1060||10,70||2016|
|Intel Iris Pro 5200||1224||2013|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960||6025||2015|
|NVIDIA Geforce 8600||116||2007|
|AMD Radeon HD 2600 Pro||110||2011|
|Shader Version 2.0B||–||–|
|NVIDIA Geforce 8800||507||2006|
|NVIDIA GTX 560||2704||2011|
Comparing the G3DMark of the GPUs above with those of the 6GB graphics card should make it clear that for eSports games, 6GB GPUs are far too advanced.
Graphics Requirements of AAA Titles
AAA titles require a robust graphics card to play at ultra-high graphics settings and high resolution and frame rates.
The following are the graphics card requirements for some of the latest games.
|Minimum Requirements||Recommended Requirements|
|Cyberpunk 2077||GeForce GTX 780 (3GB)||GeForce GTX 1660 Super (6GB)|
|Resident Evil Village||GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB)||GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB)|
|Watch Dog Legions||GeForce GTX 970 (4 GB)||GeForce RTX 2060S (8GB)|
|Assassin’s Creed Valhalla||GeForce GTX 960 (4GB)||GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB)|
|Elden Ring||GeForce GTX 1060 (3GB)||GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB)|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||GeForce GTX 770 (2GB)||GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB)|
6GB Graphics Card Are Sufficient for FHD @30-60 FPS for AAA Titles
Note that the requirements in the table above refer to games played at Full HD and between 30-60 FPS.
The latest AAA titles tend to push the limits of the current-gen graphics cards, particularly if you wish to play the titles at 4K resolution or 120FPS or higher.
But generally speaking, 6GB of graphics for most gamers is more than sufficient, even for AAA titles.
You may have tweaked the resolution or the graphics settings to medium settings a bit to bring the game to decent frame rates, but in most cases, a 6GB graphics card should do the trick.
If you wish to play AAA titles at ultra-high graphics while maintaining 60FPS or higher, you may need more than 6GB graphics cards, particularly the older ones (GTX 980Ti, GTX 1060, etc.).
The only issue with 6GB graphics cards is that they will run obsolete soon as the graphics engine on AAA titles advances in the coming years.
In most cases, the answer to the question “Is 6GB graphics card enough for gaming?” is a yes. Almost all 6GB graphics cards out there should be able to support the latest titles, given that the graphics settings are reasonable.
You will be disappointed if you expect these graphics cards to play the latest demanding titles at ultra-high settings on 4k resolution while maintaining higher than 60 FPS.
In short, 6GB graphics cards are great if you are tight on budget or wish to play games at FHD and 60FPS max – like most gamers.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can a 6GB graphics card handle newer or more demanding games, or is it primarily suited for older or less graphically-intensive titles?
A 6GB graphics card can handle many newer and more demanding games, but its performance may depend on factors such as the game’s graphics settings, resolution, and the overall system configuration.
In some cases, a 6GB graphics card may struggle with the most demanding games or at higher resolutions, but it can still provide a good gaming experience for many titles.
2. Can I use a 6GB graphics card for other applications besides gaming, such as video editing or 3D rendering, and what kind of performance can I expect?
Yes, a 6GB graphics card can be used for other applications besides gaming, such as video editing, 3D rendering, or machine learning.
The performance of the card will depend on the specific application and the type of workload involved, but a 6GB card can provide significant benefits over integrated graphics or lower-end graphics cards.
3. Are there any limitations or drawbacks to using a 6GB graphics card for gaming, such as overheating, power consumption, or compatibility issues?
Like any graphics card, a 6GB graphics card may have certain limitations or drawbacks when used for gaming.
These can include issues such as overheating, power consumption, or compatibility issues with certain games or hardware configurations.
It is important to consider these factors when choosing and using a graphics card, and to ensure that the system is properly cooled and powered to prevent any potential issues.
4. What is the lifespan of a 6GB graphics card, and how often should I consider upgrading or replacing it to ensure optimal performance?
The lifespan of a 6GB graphics card can vary depending on factors such as usage, environmental conditions, and manufacturer quality.
In general, a graphics card can last several years before becoming outdated or needing to be replaced for optimal performance.
It is important to monitor the card’s performance and temperature regularly, and to consider upgrading or replacing it if it is struggling to handle newer games or applications.
5. How does a 6GB graphics card compare to integrated graphics, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each option for gaming?
A 6GB graphics card is significantly more powerful than integrated graphics, which are built into the CPU of most computers.
Integrated graphics can still handle some older or less graphically-intensive games, but they are not recommended for more demanding titles.
The advantages of a 6GB graphics card include higher performance, better graphics quality, and the ability to handle newer and more demanding games.
The disadvantages include higher cost, power consumption, and the need for additional cooling and power.
Integrated graphics are less expensive and consume less power, but they are not suitable for high-end gaming.