There has been a lot of media over the problems with the GTX 970 and the 4096MB VRAM it ships with. This page will make it clear why you should return the card as defective.
First we use MSI Afterburner and the OSD so we can see immediately how much VRAM is being used ay any given time. We do this routinely to gauge how demanding a given title can be.
Most games do not use a lot of VRAM so this problem is hard to notice. It does appear when a 3820×2160 UHD panel is used for some games.
NVIDIA posted incorrect information about the GTX 970 where they said it had 64 ROPs but it actually only has 56.
The VRAM load gets above 3.5GB, then problems emerge.
The GPU is a binned part lacking a suitable memory controller or cache.The GPU has a 256-bit memory interface. So it seems that NVIDIA used the full set of memory chips, but with one memory controller not working, this is how the fault exists This is a design fault, the CPU should have used 192-bit and be provisioned with 3GB VRAM and there would be no problem.Of course this would put the card at a lower price point. NVIDIA wanted to sell this at the higher price point so consumers ended up with a defective product.
Eventually, a class action over the VRAM issues was filed and a settlement has been reached. The class action suit affects all manufacturers of the GTX 970 and US residents who purchased a GTX 970 are eligible. A website to file a claim has been opened.
We lack adequate funds to buy a new video card every time a new one is released. Income has been down with the economy. Eventually we hope that the economy will recover adequately so that we can afford to buy more equipment.