I said "modded". Nobody said anything about running Vanilla . Misery 2.0 for Stalker maxes out 2GB cards quite easily. ENB configs for Skyrim, some of the most ridiculous gorgeous graphics modifications I've ever seen, easily consumes 2GB+. Here, let me show you an example of how Skyrim's on my current & previous card. Here I'm using Bleak ENB, which is considered somewhere in the middle when it comes to extreme quality ENBs. Some of the more popular ones, for example (K ENB) can bring down even SLi rigs to their knees. Notice how my 570 flatlined at 1280, as it ran out of VRAM and stuttered quite heavily.
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This is my Skyrim Gallery on Flickr. Enter at your own risk http://www.flickr.com/photos/98771941@N03/sets/72157634972041733/
The reason they're pushing for higher buffer is people have now begun to slowly embrace EyeFinity/ Surround setups (I personally know a guy who's using 2x 7950s to power up 3 monitors at his home). At such insanely high resolutions, the VRAM buffer really helps. To be honest, its an experience that cannot be described in words. You really need to experience it in person .
The reason why BF3 pushes the system so hard is as I already mentioned, EPIC 64 player battles across the huge map (which you can use to fly jets, helicopters, drive tanks, jeeps and bikes). As a regular BF3 player myself (there are nearly 200 players in Pakistan that play BF3 regularly and are all premium members), it can easily max out a 2GB card. BF4 introduces the destructible environments that were pretty cool back in the Bad Company 2 days. Its not so surprising to find it utilizing upwards of 2GB+, since I've played it myself and can see where that VRAM buffer is getting used (you can bring down a whole #$%^%$# Skyscraper down crying out loud).
SP games & MP games really have different requirements. Its quite easy to max out an SP game even on a 1GB card, but MP is an entirely different matter.