Originally Posted by Vancha
Well 2-3GB is high, so mid would probably be 1GB and anything below that is low.
I think the problem is defining what low, mid and high are. Lets take the GTX460/HD6800-level of GPUs. If we're talking about gaming rigs specifically, they're pretty much low-end now. You certainly wouldn't recommend anyone building a rig get anything worse.
If however we're talking about computers in general, they're near the top of mid-range. The amount of gamers who've gotten a new PC since the 500/6000 series released are probably the minority.
This is probably fair to say. Which corresponds nicely with my earlier post, when I suggested that some 400 series cards are probably dipping into the mid-range department, but not all. So 400's are right on the line, depending on where in the generation your card falls, it's either on the high side of mid-range, or near the bottom of high-end.
Originally Posted by Fenrys
The quantity of VRAM does not matter until you start using more than 1 GPU.
All graphics cards come with enough VRAM to max out the graphics processor. Adding more won't make it any faster.
If a card normally comes with 1GB, and you want to use 2 cards in SLI//X-fire, then you will want both of them to be the 2GB model. If you want to use 3 GPU's that normally come with 1GB VRAM, then you should get all 3 of them as the 3GB model (for a total of 9GB VRAM, but the same data will be copied 3 times, with the same 3GB of data present within each of your 3 graphics cards).
I think I see what you're getting at, but I disagree with how you've stated it.
Namely, if what you mean to say is "for single-card setups, the manufacturers of the graphics cards generally don't saddle a GPU with less RAM than it needs to keep up," I tend to agree.
However, that's not to say that getting a specific model of a given card with more video RAM than its peers doesn't benefit you. More video RAM means that, say, a mid-range card could use higher texture resolutions than an equally fast card with less RAM. Generally, though, more RAM alone won't allow you to run higher screen resolutions, as that requires horsepower (if you will), as well.
More often, as I understand it, low amounts of RAM will prevent you from running higher screen resolutions that the GPU could keep up with if it weren't swapping data through the PCI bus to keep enough working space for the larger frame buffers.
Also, since I neglected to mention it earlier, CMcHz, thanks for taking the time to explain some interesting under the hood stuff to us non-programmers. The 3 frame pre-render is a bit I didn't know.