More memory or a better video card???

Okay so I'm on a budget and i'm deciding between going from 1 GB to 2 GB of memory in my system build. Originally i was going to get a 120 dollar radeon x850xt PE, but for 220 I could probably swing a 7900GT or x1900xt. I haven't built the system yet... should I go for the memory or the video card? In the end games are priority HOWEVER I burn a lot of DVDs and do a lot of multi-tasking.

specs: 160 GB SATAII barracuda
1 GB G.Skill ddr 800 5-5-5-12 (debating going to 2 GB)
480 watt logisys PSU
E6300 Core 2 duo
Gigabyte P965 S3 (or asus P5B.. haven't decided??)
Coolermaster Centurian 5 case
Video Card to be determined!
26 answers Last reply
More about more memory video card
  1. If you plan to hold onto the card for a while, I would say do the X1900Xt and 1GB. If you play BF2, it does smooth out with 2GB though. But if by chance you plan to buy a DX10 class card withing 6 months or so, then it may be better to buy 2GB now and a X850XT or 7600GT to hold you over until your next card. It all depends on the games you play and the res you need to push. If you needed to run a 1920x1200 native resolution, you'll want the beafier card. If you Game at 1024x768 on a 17" CRT, then the X850Xt or 7600GT would do alright.
  2. So, seriously... you need 2GB to run BF2 smoothly?
  3. Pretty much yes.
  4. What about what kind of memory? To play BF2 should i go with 2x512 GB DDR2 800 pc6400 or 2 x 1GB DDR2 667? If i want smoother gameplay which do i choose?
  5. If games are your priority, I say get the X1900 XT. It'll make a bigger difference than the memory would, I would even guess an X1900 XT with 1gb of RAM would be better in BF2 than an X850 XT with 2gb of RAM.

    In everything else I know of, the 1GB + X1900 XT would beat the pants off 2GB + an X850 XT for sure, methinks...
  6. Quote:
    If games are your priority, I say get the X1900 XT. It'll make a bigger difference than the memory would, I would even guess an X1900 XT with 1gb of RAM would be better in BF2 than an X850 XT with 2gb of RAM.

    In everything else I know of, the 1GB + X1900 XT would beat the pants off the X850 XT for sure, methinks...


    Editted the 2gb for ya Cleeve.

    wusy, I used to play WoW and many of my friends do, and they all have pretty low end systems and it runs at 60fps with everything up, except in Ironforge or the horde city which I cant remember. I guess I never played at a huge resolution but does it start to take more system resources to run once you break 1600x1200? I guess I just never thought of it as an intensive game like GRAW or BF2.
  7. Quote:

    Editted the 2gb for ya Cleeve.


    Heheh thanks man.
  8. Quote:
    So, seriously... you need 2GB to run BF2 smoothly?

    Yep. I've got a screenshot around here somewhere of the BF2.exe process using slightly over 1 GB by itself (that was after installing the expansion pack and some patches) ... throw in all the other Windows processes that are going and you're quickly pushing 1.5 GB.
  9. Consider I only have a 15" LCD (Free), I hope I don't have a problem with BF2, guess I won't know until I get it and my x850 gets here
  10. Quote:
    So, seriously... you need 2GB to run BF2 smoothly?

    Yep. I've got a screenshot around here somewhere of the BF2.exe process using slightly over 1 GB by itself (that was after installing the expansion pack and some patches) ... throw in all the other Windows processes that are going and you're quickly pushing 1.5 GB.

    Wow, and I thought 1GB would be enough. If I grabbed up another 1GB DIMM of the same exact RAM, I could run in Dual Channel mode ride?
  11. Quote:
    throw in all the other Windows processes that are going and you're quickly pushing 1.5 GB


    Ummm.. I would like to get a list of Windows processes that take up half a gig of RAM. What in the world are you talking about?

    Normally, I have no more than 22-24 processes running at the same time (including 5 processes from Symantec AntiVirus which I can disable for gaming if needed) and my total RAM usage is about 160 Mb of which around 50 Mb is used by AntiVirus processes (real time system protection alone uses about 30 Mb).

    So where did you get half a gig? (... or was it just a guess?)
  12. Quote:
    throw in all the other Windows processes that are going and you're quickly pushing 1.5 GB


    Ummm.. I would like to get a list of Windows processes that take up half a gig of RAM. What in the world are you talking about?

    Normally, I have no more than 22-24 processes running at the same time (including 5 processes from Symantec AntiVirus which I can disable for gaming if needed) and my total RAM usage is about 160 Mb of which around 50 Mb is used by AntiVirus processes (real time system protection alone uses about 30 Mb).

    So where did you get half a gig? (... or was it just a guess?)

    Neither. It was an oversimplification.

    It was bit less than .25 GB actually... but do you know anyone with 1.25 GB of RAM? Even 1.5 GB is a rarity based on the system descriptions I see on here. Hell, it's just easier to say you need 2 GB to play BF2 although that is more than is actually necessary.
  13. Quote:
    Hell, it's just easier to say you need 2 GB to play BF2 although that is more than is actually necessary


    Gotcha. You have a point there.
  14. Are you guys seriously saying that BF2 will runn better with 2GB and an X850 XT, than it would with 1GB and an X1900 XT?

    Anyone got any proof of that? I'm finding it real difficult to believe.

    Sure, more memory will help the smoothness, but is it going to negate the massive advantage of the X1900 over the X850? I doubt it.
  15. Quote:
    Sure, more memory will help the smoothness, but is it going to negate the massive advantage of the X1900 over the X850? I doubt it.


    Well, personally I have no clue. I do not have BF2. But I think we are talking a "bottleneck" issue here. If BF2.exe uses a gig of RAM it seems likely that lack of RAM will be a serious bottleneck regardless of the video card. I imagine the game will have to use the paging file quite intensively. And we all know what this means in terms of performance. So who cares if the video card is super-uber fast? It will just sit there and wait on the hard drive.

    Again, this is just an educated guess. Nothing more. I am NOT saying that it is better to go for more RAM vs. a better video card for this game.
  16. I've never been one to be on the bleeding edge of technology. I have a Pentium 3.4 ghz CPU, an X850XT and two gigs of RAM. I recently added the second gig of RAM because I found it on sale for $100, about $120 less than everywhere else.

    I play BF@. The improvement in gameplay with the second gig of RAM was exceptional.

    Go for the second gig of RAM. Upgrade your video card latter.

    It seems every few months or so, ATI up Nvidia or Nvidia ups ATI. That will never end. Get all the RAM you need now. You're better off.

    I'm going to upgrade my CPU, mobo and GPU within the next six months or so.
  17. I'd go for the $114 BFG 7600GT, along with 2GB RAM, and a different power supply
  18. I have bf2 and 2 gig ram and my total system ram usage is 65% while playing, which gets me to about the 1.25-1.3 gig of ram that rodney mentioned. my ram is paired with a 6800gt and i can get very smooth play at 12x10 with almost everything thing on high and 4xaa and 8x ansio. as cleeve mentioned, the x1900 will destroy the x850 in terms of image quality and bells and whisltes; however, i don't know if playability will suffer sans the extra gig ram. i only got bf2 after the 2gig of ram which all bf2 players seem to swear by.

    the only time i have really maxed out my 2gig ram was when doing serious stuff with photoshop and premeire.
  19. I got an AMD X2-4400 with a 7800 GTX shortly after both came out... and thought 1 GB would get me by... BF2 played, but not at an acceptable rate... 2 GB definitely smoothed things out.
  20. I think you should go for 2gigs, it is for everything you do with the computer.
    Vista also will need lot of ram(Vista 64bits=2gb recomended :wink: )
  21. One thing that amazed me was with 1GB RAM, BF2 takes forever to exit, and the music keeps playing for many seconds. After popping in 2GB, the gameplay smoothed out, but also the games exits so much faster with the music stopping almost immediately upon clicking exit. That difference was huge IMO.

    -------------------

    Cleeve, I don't think anyone is trying to say 2GB + X850XT > 1GB + X1900XT. (At least I surely am not) At 10x7 4x/16x it probably would be a smoother BF2 experience. But at high res, 16x12 4x/16x, it would be a smooth slideshow if such a thing exists. :roll: 2GB definately smooths out BF2 and once anybody has played that way I doubt they would want to go back to 1GB. My only feeling is if the card is temporary and he is gaming at a lower resolution, then it could be better to grab the 2GB now and pick a slower temp card that can handle his resolution. But if it's a higher resolution and/or he wants the card to last...the X1900XT is the way to go for sure. The Obvious solution is X1900XT and 2GB. :wink:
  22. Yeah, when I run Battlefield2 it generally takes around 1.3GB of RAM, but that's about the same as F.E.A.R. and Doom3: RoE.
  23. get the extra gig. and yes, windows + BF2 take up 1.5 gigs.

    Ive got the x850XT right now, and the frame rate stays at least above 30 at minimum, and thats with all of the settings TO DA MAX.

    granted, the extra 256mb of onboard video ram would be useful, in games like graw, fear, etc, but this allows you to ugrade to a DX10 video card, and vista in a year or so.

    Trust me, I was in the same boat as you when I built the rig that I have now: JUST NOT ENOUGH MONEY TO GET WHAT YOU WANT WHEN ON A BUDGET.

    Plus, think of it this way:

    At 1 gig, and an x850XT, you are going over, and that EXTREMELY slow, extra capacity is on your hard drive.

    If you got 1 gig, and, lets say an x1900XT, sure you have extra room for VIDEO stuff, but then u still are using that slow pf space.

    If you got 2 gigs, and the x850XT, all of the normal game overload is gone, and if you have some overflow from you videocard, it goes to you system RAM, which is a hell of a lot faster than your hard drive.

    BTW, get the ATI card, cause nVidia doesn't allow you to turn all of the visual effects on.
  24. 8O Holy cow. While usually up on pricing, I'm out of the loop on the latest RAM increases. For a while now I had loads of RAM in stock; well that stock is dwindling and I need a 2GB kit of PC3200 for a build. I see prices are like nearly double now than from when I last bought a low latency 2GB kit. Shoot, I probably way undercharged my last two builds without realizing how valuable that crud is now. :x

    Ugh, just added this here as now I say X1900XT + 1GB for sure.

    Anyone know of a cheap place to get 2GB (2*1GB) kit of PC3200? Any retail chains out of the loop on the price increases? I'm hoping for a decent value ram kit for under $180.
  25. Heh, good luck. I haven't been able to find anything for under $215, and that was for CAS3.
  26. If you don't plan on OC'ing, then pick up the PQI Turbo 2x1GB for only $170 after MIR.

    With the money saved and if you don't mind a little OC'ing, get the eVGA 7900 GTO. Currently best bang for the buck.

    Or if you are not into OC'ing, then the X1900XT - 256MB is your next best bet.

    Video Card Price/Perf Ratio
Ask a new question

Read More

Graphics Cards Memory Graphics Product