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More RAM Or Video Card For Game Performance?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 27, 2006 6:18:33 PM

Hi,

I've got a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB Dual Channel DDR2, PNY 7900GT (256MB RAM) and I want to upgrade for better gaming performance. Nothing's overclocked.

My question is, should I go up to 2GB RAM or add another 7900GT and go SLI?

I can get the RAM for about $175 or the video card for about $225. My power supply is already good to go for SLI.

I was fairly happy with my machine's performance running FEAR and Ghost Recon - just occasional stutters with most settings pretty high. However, Flight Simulator X on high is causing a lot of stutters and slow frame rates. When it stutters, the hard drive light is on solid or flashing.

Any suggestions, recommendations or opinions are greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Jake
December 27, 2006 7:13:34 PM

Over 1gb of ram, you might get shorter level load times.

But more powerful videocard will get you faster framerates, which is more important.
December 27, 2006 8:55:32 PM

First what kind of mobo you got? the 7900GT(had one myself till i got the 8800GTS) is a great card pair it with a E6400 and its the best, however you really do need to OC that E6400 believe me your FPS will sky rocket, it's like having a ferrai but going only 55MPH on the highway, you gotta crank that baby up, I too have an E6400 and the x8 multiplyer and my 680I board allows me to OC my E6400 to 3.2ghz(400FSB) and the increase in performance is substabial.


on to your question, if i was you i would save my pennies. SLIing a 7900GT by now isnt worth it, splly if your not gaming at res higher then 1280x1024. If u can sell the 7900GT you got, and can get 150$ for it and try to by an 8800GTS(or even X1950XT) and that will be the biggest performance increase.
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December 27, 2006 9:09:18 PM

Go for the ram, save for DX10 :wink: Another 7900GT would be killer, though a 8800GTS would be murder.. er.
December 27, 2006 10:57:33 PM

Quote:
Hi,

I've got a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB Dual Channel DDR2, PNY 7900GT (256MB RAM) and I want to upgrade for better gaming performance. Nothing's overclocked.

My question is, should I go up to 2GB RAM or add another 7900GT and go SLI?

I can get the RAM for about $175 or the video card for about $225. My power supply is already good to go for SLI.

I was fairly happy with my machine's performance running FEAR and Ghost Recon - just occasional stutters with most settings pretty high. However, Flight Simulator X on high is causing a lot of stutters and slow frame rates. When it stutters, the hard drive light is on solid or flashing.


This is the same issue that everyone has with FSX; slow frame rate. Your GPU is not the problem. Certainly upgrading to 2Gb RAM will help, but the real fix is to install a high end CPU cooler, and OC your CPU as high as is reasonably possible. Many E6400's OC to 3.2Ghz, and as Xazax310 pointed out, it'll make a world of difference in FPS. Keep in mind that no games are 100% GPU or CPU bound, so FPS is always affected to some degree by the interaction between these two primary system components.

I run both FS04 and FSX. Flight Simulators are very heavily CPU bound, so you're going to need all the CPU horsepower you can get. Differences in high end GPU horsepower have little impact on FPS. I ran FPS tests on my system at 2.4Ghz (stock clock) and 3.7Ghz. Results showed that when CPU clock increased 54.2%, FPS increased 48.6%. This indicates that FSX is nearly 90% CPU bound, with an X1900XT OC'd to 700 / 1.7.

The following links have all the information you'll need to tweak your FSX config file, so you can get the most out of your rig, but again, the best changes you can make are to seriously OC your CPU, and upgrade to 2GB RAM.

http://www.fox-fam.com/wordpress/?page_id=41

http://flyawaysimulation.com/forum24.html

http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTIxOCwx...

FSX is still DX9 and single core threaded. There'll be a performance patch for FSX released in conjunction with Vista, which will improve FPS, and possibly dual core threaded with DX10 compatibility, making it somewhat less CPU bound.

I hope this helps. Enjoy! :D 
December 28, 2006 5:55:06 AM

Man, this is all really great info everybody. Thanks!

I totally agree (now that you guys have made it clear) that it would be silly to do the memory card right now.

I'll get the RAM soon.

And really great info about the overclocking benefits. I've never done it before, but I've been thinking about it. The only problem is, according to some reviews I've read, my mobo isn't very good at it, with them only getting 300MHz FSB or so. I have an Asus P5NSLI. Maybe I'll try and get what extra performance that'll give me though.

Jake
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