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3D: Is drawing smaller textures less CPU/GPU intensive?

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I draw a lot of 3D boxes on the screen in XNA. Does it consume more (significantly more) CPU/GPU resources if the textures are 256x256 per side rather than, for example, 8x8?

Or perhaps it doesn't matter at all, as scaling an 8x8 texture would take more resources?

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If the card has enough memory to hold the entire image there will be no significant difference.



It will convert the raster point into a texture coordinate, find the nearest neighbors (based on mipmap and scaling settings), then draw that color.

The points are normalized from zero to one for (width,height,depth), so the cost of finding the nearest texture point relative to (0.315235, 0.943421, 0.439870) is going to be about the same regardless of if you use an 8x8 flat texture or a texture using 2048x2048 with 8-level mipmap.


Even if you are going for an 8-bit graphical style, there will be reasons you may want bigger textures with mipmaps and a few other features.

As graphics cards have many gigabytes these days, neither of those sizes will see any performance difference. If you were talking about hundreds of 2048*2048 images or tens of thousands of smaller images, eventually you will get a performance hit when memory gets full.

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