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I tested Hellblade 2 on my laptop, which has a GRX 1650Ti on it. And although the game was running, its FPS was 5-6. And the used memory was around 3.7 GB, which was more than the available memory of 3.4 GB.

So, is it harmful (to the hardware components) to play games like this in the long run ? Just curious to know.

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    That's not going to be possible to answer with only the information here. The CPU/GPU temperature is the most critical factor, along with CPU utilization and overall memory usage.
    – Cadence
    Commented Jul 1 at 11:08

2 Answers 2

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If there is not enough memory on the graphics card available, the game will either not run at all or data will have to be transferred regularly between the video RAM and the main memory over the slow PCIe BUS. This is slow and therefore leads to lower FPS values. This will not harm your hardware as long as there is enough free memory in the main memory available.

The hard drive will not be affected either, as long as the main memory is large enough and still has free memory available. If the main memory were full and that data had to be transferred to the hard drive by the CPU, you would not achieve 6.7 FPS. And the SSD would burn more write cycles, but under such circumstances, the game would be unplayable well below 1 FPS.

To achieve higher frame rates, I would try reducing the video RAM requirements by reducing the resolution and using a lower texture quality setting.

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  • This will not harm your hardware as long as there is enough free memory in the main memory available. - By Main Memory, do you mean RAM or SSD ?
    – Asish
    Commented Jul 2 at 2:36
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    @Asish, they meant RAM. In the context of computers, "memory" generally refers to some form of RAM. Either video memory (VRAM) or main memory (RAM or system RAM). While technically still a kind of memory, SSD and HDD are generally referred to as "storage" instead.
    – Nolonar
    Commented Jul 2 at 13:02
  • @Asish Nolonar explained it well. With memory i mean main memory that is used mainly by the CPU and its MMU. I didn't meant data storage like an SSD or HDD.
    – Coder
    Commented Jul 2 at 13:13
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If a game or any other software needs more memory then is available there are essentially three options:

  1. the software doesn't run
  2. the software randomly crashes
  3. it uses swap, meaning it uses your harddrive as additionally temporary memory

Your FPS of 5 strongly indicates that you are in situation 3. The game wants more memory that you computer has available and then starts using the harddrive instead.

This works fine in principle but as you noticed the issue is speed. Your hard drive is much slower than your memory. If it only needs that much memory once during loading that might be okay, the game just takes longer to load. More probable is the case where it needs too much memory permanently or at least most of the time. Then the game technically works but not the way it is intended, it's not fun to play.

There are no risks to your hardware as far as I know, the GPU is running using its full memory but it should be designed to handle that. There should be automatic protections against potential overheating.

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  • You could, maybe say, that the hard drive swapping incurs reads and writes, which isn't necessarily harmful, but would add to the normal wear and tear. But that's probably not significant enough to really matter too much
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented Jul 1 at 11:31
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    The GPU does not transfer any data to the hard drive. Only the CPU does this and only when the RAM is running low. In his case, only the video RAM is running out. Which means that data has to be constantly transferred between the GPU and the RAM over the slow PCIe BUS and that's why it's slow. If the hard drive were involved here, it wouldn't reach 6,7 fps.
    – Coder
    Commented Jul 1 at 14:43
  • @Coder If video RAM runs out and it resorts to RAM, it can also fill up RAM and resort to the hard drive. So you -can- eventually get the GPU to use the hard drive.
    – Ryan_L
    Commented Jul 1 at 16:07
  • The GPU isn't doing that job, if the RAM fills up the CPU does do the paging. Thus it is never the GPU.
    – Coder
    Commented Jul 1 at 17:00
  • My point is the GPU can fill RAM, which can then start off-loading to the HDD. So GPU data ends up on the HDD.
    – Ryan_L
    Commented Jul 1 at 18:40

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