Do I really think they put 1GB on graphics cards to hold 117 frames? YES. How else are you going to get smooth framerates? In Rift I get 40 - 60 FPS. In PlanetSide I get 100+. In EQ2 I get 30 - 50.
For the love of god! Think, man! If they rendered more than a few frames ahead, the lag when you tried to move would be intolerable. No modern game renders more than 3 frames ahead.
If the rendered frames had to compete with textures then your computer would grind to a halt.
No, because thankfully they have GPUs with fast local memory that are designed from the ground up to do *exactly* that.
I run LOTRO with Hi-Rez textures. That folder ALONE is over 11GB. That very fact makes it impossible to store textures on the VRAM.
It also makes it impossible to fit the textures in system memory. On modern systems, the video card memory and the system memory are of the same order of magnitude. Games load those textures they need for a particular region onto the video card. They pick the texture resolution (and in some cases, use compression) based on the available RAM on the video card.
Since it would have to pick and choose what textures it needs, it would have to call them from the hard drive, to system RAM and finally the VRAM. That's idiotic.
Why? That's actually remarkably efficient. The hard drive controller can write directly into system RAM. And the GPU can read directly from system RAM. This keeps the CPU out of the loop.
Especially when it makes far more sense to only send the textures you need for a given frame.
You have to be crazy. There is no way you want to be doing anything per-texture, per-frame except on hardware 100% designed for exactly that purpose, which would be the GPU and its fast, local memory.