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GTA 4 w/ 8gb vs 4gb ram does it improve performance?

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January 30, 2009 4:01:39 AM

Hello, I've patched my GTA 4 game to v1.2. The graphics are a lot smoother but it still imposes that 1 GB limit. My question is... is that limit coming from my graphics card or what? If I add more ram (from 4 -> 8) would this allow me to turn up the settings even more?
January 30, 2009 7:24:28 AM

I believe the main difference for you would be to disable the Vista page file which will give you a better access speed to data stored in RAM as you arent paging to your HDD. I'm unsure of game specifics though im afraid. x64 OS right?
January 30, 2009 4:16:32 PM

The 1GB limit when you go into GTA's graphic options is the VRAM on your graphic card.
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February 1, 2009 7:38:40 PM

pr2thej said:
I believe the main difference for you would be to disable the Vista page file which will give you a better access speed to data stored in RAM as you arent paging to your HDD. I'm unsure of game specifics though im afraid. x64 OS right?


GTA 4's recommended requirements for vista is 2.5 gb of ram. I've got 4 and yes I'm on vista x64. So I think I can actually play the game without having to use any swap space.

Since it's graphics card memory I'm guessing we'll need graphics cards with memory of 2GB+ to get the draw distance to 50 or so.

I have my graphics card maxed out on the display quality on 1680 x 1050 resolution and I got everything full except view distance which was set at a low 33.

I'm hoping that 2gb video cards come soon and then I can prolly bump it up to 50 or something :D 
February 3, 2009 7:32:48 AM

murdoc said:
GTA 4's recommended requirements for vista is 2.5 gb of ram. I've got 4 and yes I'm on vista x64. So I think I can actually play the game without having to use any swap space.

Since it's graphics card memory I'm guessing we'll need graphics cards with memory of 2GB+ to get the draw distance to 50 or so.

I have my graphics card maxed out on the display quality on 1680 x 1050 resolution and I got everything full except view distance which was set at a low 33.

I'm hoping that 2gb video cards come soon and then I can prolly bump it up to 50 or something :D 


If you try disabling the page file with only 4gb you are VERY likely to have serious stability issues. Vista alone takes up around 1.5gb of your ram when the page file is disabled meaning as soon as your game actually uses 2.5gb you are going to crash. When a page file is disabled running out of memory causes a crash! I have tried it and it didnt work, hence I have 8gb to run page file free. It might not show immedeatly but the longer you play the more memory use will build up until it crash's the system. Its worth noting that when a page file is available windows automatically uses the page file for stuff long before it starts running out of physical memory.

Although Ive not played GTA4 I doubt very much that its the lack of 2gb of video ram thats causing its issues more likely that its the extra rendering work it needs to do on the distant objects, Its possible the game doesnt have significantly reduced detail meshes and textures for distant objects, If this is the case then expanding the view distance has a huge effect on performance, video memory wont help, GPU throughput and better optimization by the game developers are what are needed.
February 3, 2009 8:52:49 AM

I think faster hardware not more RAM will help the most but since 4GB of RAM is like $25... 8GB, no PF would increase the speed but not by such a big amount.
February 3, 2009 9:05:32 AM

Disabling the page file HASNT had an effect on my FPS it does however make a difference to general windows use, it can reduce slight stutters etc. With memory being cheap its worth doing for a slight improvement in overall use. But I wouldnt expect to see a noticeable FPS increase.

MY SSD drive makes a really nice difference to gamescant wait till they come down in price enough to make it viable to run a raid 0 SSD setup to replace hard disks completely. I current have a 64gb one that I only use for installing games - mainly mmorpgs. Really is a worthwhile upgrade. again not so much FPS, but quicker loading screens and reducing loading stutter etc.
February 3, 2009 11:35:14 AM

Disabling pagefile will not "increase" FPS, it will prevent it from dropping. In the end it might result in an increase in average FPS, but only because the minimum might be higher.
February 4, 2009 1:32:11 AM

Well the main concern here is if more ram = higher graphics tweak. I was hoping by doing a cheap ram addon I can bump up the draw distance even more.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding of RAM is that if the video card runs out of memory to render images, the ram can help offload for the video card is that correct?
February 4, 2009 9:46:22 AM

I think it can to some extend, but the performance drop for using the system RAM is great. Look at high resolution benchmark of video cards with both 512MB vs 1GB (ex: XFire 4870 512MB vs 1024MB), you will see at one point the performance of the 512MB drops ~50% ... it ran out or VRAM.
February 5, 2009 3:24:21 AM

So it must use Sys RAM making it slow... only helps on higher res.
February 5, 2009 4:17:56 AM

amdfangirl said:
So it must use Sys RAM making it slow... only helps on higher res.

well depends on what you consider as "high res" because I have a 1680 x 1050 monitor... does that count?
February 5, 2009 4:24:55 AM

helps alot at full HD... and to a lesser extent the ones below it.
February 5, 2009 11:42:26 AM

murdoc said:
well depends on what you consider as "high res" because I have a 1680 x 1050 monitor... does that count?


512MB is mostly enough for 1680x1050, GTA4 is the first game I ever saw that can bust that ... then again, only because they didn't force a view distance of 30 on everyone. 512MB is also enough for up to 1920x1200 is you don't crank-up AA at which point you will probably need 1GB (and SLI/XFire).

Then 1GB is usually enough up to (and including) 2560x1600.

February 5, 2009 6:24:17 PM

Zenthar said:
512MB is mostly enough for 1680x1050, GTA4 is the first game I ever saw that can bust that ... then again, only because they didn't force a view distance of 30 on everyone. 512MB is also enough for up to 1920x1200 is you don't crank-up AA at which point you will probably need 1GB (and SLI/XFire).

Then 1GB is usually enough up to (and including) 2560x1600.


Well I do notice if I crank up the draw distance it fills my graphics card memory really quickly.. I have it at about 33 right now with everything else maxed and it's using 984 MB/ 1024 MB allowed.

Even then, sometimes I'm getting problems rendering the stuff nearby I might walk into an area where for about 5 seconds I'd see nothing but a gray screen lol...
February 9, 2009 6:21:27 PM

The Ram limit is on your GPU. I have the GTX 260 and my limit is 896MB which is the same as my GPU. In the game settings I can slightly push over that, but then I am locked and limited from going to higher settings. Wheres the freedom in these games now-a-days? I still get 30fps though on highest settings with a Q9550 and GTX 260 Black Edition. Oh and just recently I found that for some games RAM makes a huge difference. For FSX I went from 2GB to 4GB and I increased dramatically in performance at least by 10 or more frames just by the RAM upgrade alone. Not sure if there is a topper out limit thought and if 8GB would make a difference from 4GB. RAM's pretty cheap these days depending on what you have and if thats the case I would do it.
August 1, 2009 5:17:18 AM

I have an 8 gig ram system with a GTX 285, quad core 3.02 overclocked amd 9950 black edition, and it only puts my view distance at 64, meanwhile everything is maxed ... my point here is the extra gigs of ram, i allocated them to my graphics so my computer shows i have 4 gigs of video ram, even though the 285 comes with 1 gig, isn't 4 gigs enough for 100% view distance???
August 1, 2009 6:16:43 PM

phillywilly said:
I have an 8 gig ram system with a GTX 285, quad core 3.02 overclocked amd 9950 black edition, and it only puts my view distance at 64, meanwhile everything is maxed ... my point here is the extra gigs of ram, i allocated them to my graphics so my computer shows i have 4 gigs of video ram, even though the 285 comes with 1 gig, isn't 4 gigs enough for 100% view distance???


How do you re allocate your Ram to show as your video GPU ram?
August 2, 2009 3:34:51 PM

As cheap as memory is, why notr have 8gb anyway, certainly cant hurt down the line.
August 3, 2009 12:43:31 AM

Unless this allows you to completely disable disk swap, 8GB might actually hurt performance in an indirect way: you might have to lower speed and/or timing to make the whole 8GB stable.
August 3, 2009 4:09:07 PM

Strangely, the reason I went from 4GB to 8GB RAM was because of GTA4! It was only this game that used enough RAM to make my Vista64 setup need to hit the hard drive when I quit the game and went back to desktop. That few seconds reloading the desktop was just annoying, and enough of an excuse to buy the extra 4GB (which I wanted, but didn't really need). Now quitting the game gives me a desktop available instantly. Didn't make any difference during the game, but then I never expected it to really.

Need vs Want? If we only upgraded what we need to then we'd all still be running Windows 98 with 16Mb graphics cards! ;) 
August 4, 2009 5:32:58 AM

I think it depends on what settings you use, if you're not using gta with highest quality, i think 4gb is enough.
Anonymous
September 23, 2010 4:11:43 AM

think about it this way.

calculate the bandwidth for each stick and multiply by how many stix

here's an example:

2 x 2gb at 1333mhz each that's 667MHz per 64bit chip or 2666mhz combined by adding two more sticks so you have 4 x 2gb which would be the equivalent of 5332mhz and would give gains in speed rather than the amount of physical memory available.
so if you have 4 slots and 4 x 1gb at 1333mhz it would have the same bandwidth as 4 x 2gb @1333mhz and would be more costly to replace than so not worth it but if you have 2 x 2gb and 2 spare slots then yes it would be worth the upgrade.

but you should make sure all other components are up to speed first you don't want a Ferrari in traffic!
September 23, 2010 7:44:15 AM

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