Demystifying GPU Clock Speed: Importance and How to Calculate

The memory of a video card is one of its key parameters. Its frequency is also determined by an equally important aspect. If you choose a module for your computer, it is very important to make sure that the purchased components have decent characteristics and are compatible with each other. Below I will tell you what the memory frequency of the video card affects.

Effect of GPU Clock Speed

As you can imagine, each video card model has built-in RAM. In other words, it is video memory. At the same time, it has the abbreviation GDDR, which stands for “graphical doubled data transfer”.

GPU Clock Speed Explained

This designation principle provides an understanding that you are working with video memory, not RAM. It has a higher frequency. As a result, due to this, the speed of the graphics chip is guaranteed, as well as work with a large amount of data. A powerful video card easily processes all the information and displays it on the screen.

Memory bandwidth

The first important point regarding the influence aspect concerns the clock frequency of the video memory. It is she who determines what the bandwidth (bandwidth) will be.

Meanwhile, high memory bandwidth is, in most cases, the possibility of getting decent results in terms of performance if there is an interaction with 3D graphics.

Additional Information! This is a really relevant point, since at the moment there are a huge number of games in 3D format, as well as programs that work with it.

Check out Does My Graphics Card Support Directx 12.

Memory bus width

The memory bus width, as well as its frequency, are those parameters that are even more important. Since it is they who determine how effective this or that clock frequency of the video memory will be.

The idea behind the thought described above is that when choosing the right model for your PC, you need to pay attention to all parameters, including the width of the memory bus. Further results of work with demanding programs and games will depend on this.

An example looks like this. If you buy a graphics card that has 4GB of video memory, you might think you have opted for a powerful module. But this will be far from the case if it turns out that it has a 64-bit bus.

Memory bus width

Note! This phenomenon is common, so you must be careful. Marketers will convince you that 4 GB of video memory makes the product extremely powerful. However, the installed bus will not be able to pass such a large stream of video data, which will result in minimal performance.

In order not to run into trouble, you just need to carefully approach the issue of choosing a model. It is very important that the bus widths and the video memory frequency are in balance with each other.

In the modern GDDR5 standard, it is possible to make the effective memory frequency 4 times higher than its real one. But you should not think about the fact that you personally will constantly perform all the calculations and keep the formula in your head.

At this point in time, manufacturers initially indicate the already multiplied memory frequency of the video card. That is, in other words, they write a real indicator.

want to know about How To Change Graphics Card On Laptop?

Bus bitness parameters

If we consider the possible parameters, then these are:

  • Bus width from 64 to 256 bits. This is a standard option for general users who do not perform global computing in the scientific field.
  • The width is 352 bits. This option will be relevant in the case of the most demanding games that exist at the moment.

Important! When it comes to cost, a 352-bit product will be extremely expensive, so its worth is often not confirmed.

Speaking in more detail about the necessary parameters for certain needs, a number of situations can be distinguished:

  • Working in the office, interacting exclusively with documents and the browser. With this format, the load is minimal. As a result, the model with a 64-bit bus will be the most appropriate.
  • If you want to occasionally play some games that are not the newest model, models with a 128 or 192-bit bus are suitable.
  • With the goal of mastering the freshest products on the market, choose a graphics card with a 256-bit bus width.

Note! If you buy a video card for the latter of the cases described, make sure that the amount of memory is decent. 1 GB at this point in time will no longer provide the required performance. The normal option is 2 GB or more. Then working with demanding software and games will be comfortable.

Calculating bandwidth

You can simulate a situation in which you have two video card models. The first one comes with GDDR5 memory. The effective clock speed is 1333 MHz (the real clock is divided by 4) and the bus width is 256 bits. The second model includes a 128-bit bus and an effective memory frequency of 1600 MHz.

If you have mastered the previous material, then you understand that the first video card will be the most effective solution.

Calculating bandwidth

In general, a special technique should be used to calculate memory bandwidth and video chip performance. It consists in multiplying the bus width by the memory frequency. After that, the resulting value is divided by 8 (due to the fact that this is how many bits are contained in 1 byte). The result of the calculations will be the desired indicator.

For clarity, it is worth performing calculations for the two models compared above. The bandwidth of the former is 42.7 GB per second. For the second, this figure is much less 25.6 GB.

Note! If you already have a video card and want to know all its parameters, it is advisable to install the GPU-Z program , which provides all the most detailed data, including the bandwidth.

Read Guides on


Summing up everything that was described above, it is worth noting that the frequency of the video memory, together with its effect on performance, depends on another equally important indicator – the bus width.

Both parameters in combination form one or another memory bandwidth. It is she who determines the speed and in what quantity the video card can process and transfer data. Ultimately, the level of comfort of working with a PC under certain loads is determined. I hope that this article was useful to you and now you know what the video card memory frequency affects.

Hi, fellow tech enthusiasts! I’m Syed Kashif Shah, and I’m proud to be your go-to expert for all things like problems, suggestions, recommendations related to graphics cards. As a seasoned Technology Consultant and Hardware Enthusiast, I’ve spent years in the graphics card troubleshooting and repair field.