Ram speed and GFX cards


I'm a newbie to the GFX card world and was wondering would the speed of the ram I use in my PC affect FPS in games?

Would ram at a higher mhz speed give me more frame rates?

Core 2 Duo: 6400 @2.13ghz
GFX: sapphire x1650 pro
Ram: (1gb X 2) Adata PC2-3200 DDR2 sticks

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  1. Quote:
    would the speed of the ram I use in my PC affect FPS in games?

    Yes and No. The exact answer is "it might".

    If your system RAM/CPU are fast but your video card is slow and you are playing a game that relies mostly on the video card (some games are very CPU/RAM dependent) then further increasing the speed of your RAM and/or CPU will not noticeably improve your frame rates.

    If you have a slower CPU/RAM and an uber video card, upgrading to faster RAM and/or CPU will give you a big boost in frame rates, especially in games which rely heavily on CPU/RAM.

    One example is World of Warcraft: It needs at least of 1 GB of RAM to work well. You can have a slower/older CPU and an older/slower video card but if you have 1 GB of decent RAM the game will give you good frame rates. But if you have a fast CPU and a fast video card but only 512 Mb of RAM (especially if it is older/slower RAM) your performance will suffer tremendously, especially in crowded areas of the major cities or during large-scale PvP battles.

    Simply put, the best policy overall is to try and use good components all around because any one component can become your PCs bottleneck: If your PC is not using the fastest CPU your motherboard can support in combination with the fastest video card there is probably no good reason to use the fastest memory supported by your motherboard.

    As a rule of thumb, all else equal, increasing the amount of your RAM will be more beneficial than increasing its speed. Make no mistake, I am talking about your system RAM here. As for the the memory on your video card the amount of Video RAM is less important than its speed. Again, all else equal, a video card with 256 Mb of fast 256-bit memory will beat a video card with 512 Mb of slow 64-bit memory any time.
  2. Yes and yes. First, linkage.

    Look at the graph. Using memory ratios, they test this ram at many different settings, including the one you use at DDR2-400. Seeing as you talked about gaming, look at the game results. (farcry, quake, etc.) I see two "walls." The first is at the ram your running. DDR2-400 is several FPS slower then all the rest, at any of those games. (probably because it has to run lower then 1:1) Farcry is 4FPS slower, while Quake4 is over 6FPS slower. Most of the rest of the scores are very close together. The difference between DDR2-667 and DDR2-800 in farcry is .8FPS. .8, thats it. The next "wall" happens at DDR2-1000, where all the FPS jump up another 4-6FPS. The difference in Farcry between DDR2-800 and DDR2-1000 is 4+FPS.

    So what does all this mean? It means that if your running a C2D CPU and using DDR2-400 ram, you could get better FPS if you upgrade to at least DDR2-533. (which is what a stock C2D should have.) Better can mean 3-5 more frames per second. I would upgrade the ram if you have the money, and you already have a good video card. I wouldn't bother upgrading the memory if your video card is a 6600GT or something like that. You would probably see WAY more FPS by upgrading to a x1950pro+ then upgrading your ram.
  3. Quote:
    Yes and yes

    :lol: :lol: :lol: :wink:

    Oh, brother. You are such a scientist. Who cares about 3-5 frames per second improvement? Have you seen his specs? He has an uber CPU and a truckload of RAM. He is better of spending his coin on a better video card as it is the video card that is the bottleneck in his system.

    I tried to explain to him how things work and interact and where to look for bottlenecks. What were you trying to do?

    Would you also say "yes and yes" if you could prove that faster RAM would give him a 0.5 frames per second improvement? :roll:

    You would probably see WAY more FPS by upgrading to a x1950pro+ then upgrading your ram.

    Now you are talking.
  4. I was simply saying yes, there is a relationship between RAM speed and FPS seen in games. If your using DDR2-400, your FPS will be lower then if you were using faster ram. If your using DDR2-1000, your FPS will be faster then if you were using DDR2-800 ram. (if your using DDR2-533 to DDR2-800, its pretty much a wash...)

    My last paragraph was the warning, and one I hope he got. If you have a CPU like he has, and lots of ram, but a old/slow videocard, then getting faster ram isn't the answer. Who cares that upgrading to faster ram can get him 5FPS more if he could get 30FPS more by upgrading his video card? At this point, as far as gaming is concerned, his bottleneck is at the videocard and not his slow ram speed.
  5. Thanks guys.

    I'm getting a sapphire x1950 pro which I hope is alot better than the x1650 pro. The x1650 pro cost me €170 here in Ireland which is a very high price. Another shop the x1650 pro cost €230. I managed to sell the card for €170 again so I'm happy.

    I think I get what your saying the only way ram would effect FPS is if the ram is the bottle neck and If I had a bad GFX card upgrading the ram wouldn't make much of a different plus a wastse of money.

    If I bought the sapphire x1950 pro would the ram I have effect FPS? I want to make sure instead of wasting money because If I only get a extra few FPS on faster ram then there's no point buying it.

    Thanks again for the help guys.
  6. Quote:
    If I bought the sapphire x1950 pro would the ram I have effect FPS? I want to make sure instead of wasting money because If I only get a extra few FPS on faster ram then there's no point buying it.

    Don't worry about your RAM. Get a new video card and see if games play well. I am pretty sure they will. If they play poorly (which I seriously doubt) then try to find your bottleneck. Regardless, your RAM is decent enough.

    Just make sure that your Power Supply is strong enough to feed your new X1950 PRO.
  7. You should see more fps, at least at the higher resolutions. If you like to play games with AA/AF turned on, then you should see lots of improvement. If you play at 1280x1024 or lower without AA/AF, I'm not sure you'll see much improvement with todays games.

    Judging from what you've told us, I'm not sure my next upgrade would be the videocard. (I probably wouldn't have upgraded the ram either.) You will eventually have to upgrade to PCIe, so I probably would have done that. Over here in the states, you can buy a PCIe motherboard and a x1950pro for just a bit more then the AGP x1950pro. Seeing as you already have the DDR2 ram, this might have made more sense. (I don't know about the prices of things in Ireland, so I don't know if this is the case.) Either way, I feel its a toss up. Your path will see higher frame rates, but mine would have allowed an easier upgrade path. (which might not allow for much the way CPUs are evolving right now...) I'm sure you'll love your new card.
  8. Quote:
    You will eventually have to upgrade to PCIe

    He did not say it but I think his X1650 is PCI-E... Plus he said he sold it so now he needs a new card :wink:
  9. Except that he's only listed AGP cards. If he said he was buying an x1900XT, then I wouldn't assume he has AGP. By listing ONLY AGP cards, I am left to believe that he is limited to AGP. (although I admit that the whole overseas thing could be leading me down the wrong path...)
  10. Yes I have a PCI-E slot and the x1650 pro was PCI-E. My PC is a Philps MT3700.

    Thanks again
  11. LOL, damn overseas stuff throwing me off....

    As I said, as long as you push the video card, you should see lots of improvement.
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