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Dual core needs more ram?

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November 10, 2008 6:29:22 AM

Someone told me that with dual cores, you usually need more ram. I have 1gb and i play older games (quake 3 engine, half life 1 engine, warcraft 3). He said its best to have atleast 2gb to function "optimal"

Does this make sense at all? Why should i need 2gb if im playing old games? Or even 1 gb? In my case i have a e6300 but i think hes just bsing?

More about : dual core ram

a c 87 à CPUs
November 10, 2008 6:43:53 AM

You need as much ram as you need, it has nothing to do with how many cores/CPUs you have. If all you do is load XP and surf basic websites, you could get away with 512MBs of ram. Due to the caching that it does, Vista needs more like 1GB. If you play older games and don't experience the "windows is increasing the size of your swap file" error message, then don't worry about it.
November 10, 2008 6:48:08 AM

All i know is when i play older games, the games feel very choppy and unsmooth. He told me to get another 1gig .. but i get 100fps steady ;|
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a c 87 à CPUs
November 10, 2008 6:52:10 AM

Sigh. Rather then try to diagnose the problem yourself, or relay to us what other "smart" people have told you, please just tell us the problem. Tell us about your computer, monitor, games you play, and the settings. Let us know what issues you have while playing. The issue might be not enough ram, but it could also be a under performing CPU/GPU, etc.
November 10, 2008 7:23:44 AM

woodyfly said:
All i know is when i play older games, the games feel very choppy and unsmooth. He told me to get another 1gig .. but i get 100fps steady ;|



If halflife 1 is choppy, you have some serious hardware or spyware issues. 1gb should be enough for xp + halflife 1.
a b à CPUs
November 10, 2008 8:27:06 AM

And what graphics card do you have?
XP or Vista?
November 10, 2008 10:01:03 AM

What 4745454b said.
a c 87 à CPUs
November 10, 2008 5:23:05 PM

How does one get 100FPS steady, but it feels choppy?

Perhaps you just need to turn Vsync on. If you get back to us with details we can stop guessing and start suggesting.
November 10, 2008 5:37:07 PM

Haha, yes, I like that. Choppy 100FPS.

PS - defragging is not the be-all and end-all fix for system slowdowns. It can reduce HDD access time depending, but that doesn't mean your system will automatically run faster.

Before going out and getting new hardware which often times may be bottle-necked by your current hardware, try reducing the number of processes you currently have running. Check your RAM usage, the requirements of your games, and your system specs.

If you come to the conclusion that you really need more RAM, use CPU-Z (if you can't google that, I'm not helping you anymore) to check your RAM type, and browse newegg for a cheap solution.
a c 173 à CPUs
November 10, 2008 6:41:43 PM

First, as mentioned, state clearly the problem (if one exists) and your system specs including: CPU, Motherboard, Power Supply Unit, Graphics Card, RAM amount and speed, and Operating System.

I'll assume you have the following system:
Windows XP, 1GB @400MHz (DDR3200), E6300, 500W PSU, video card?

If you are only playing older games then your system sounds fine. Running FRAPS will tell you your framerate which ideally is 60FPS for shooters (85FPS for CRT monitors set to 85Hz) but 30FPS is just fine for top-down games.

If you are running games and FRAPS shows well above 60FPS (or 85; see above) then you want to use VSYNC which not only prevents screen "tearing" (google "vsync") but prevents needless processing of frames that your monitor can't display. For example, the older "Conan" game can play at about 300FPS on my system which means my hardware is working 5X harder than it needs too. Enabling VSync dropped it to a solid 60FPS and my system quieted right down.

If you are happy with how things are I'd wait and buy a whole new system. If you have to upgrade more than one component it quickly becomes a waste of money.

If you want a little more "oomph" then consider getting an HD4850 graphics card, and possibly 2GB of RAM but then you have power supply issues to consider.

Your friend is right that 2GB for XP is optimal, almost no games justify more than that. It's not "required" for dual-core CPU's but a gaming PC that is "balanced" would have something like the E6300, an HD4850, 2GB RAM, XP, 300GB+ hard drive, XP and 600W PSU.

I recommend either spending a minimal amount of money if needed for a little more oomph or waiting and getting a new system at least 6 months after Windows 7 comes out then get a suitably balanced system including 4GB of RAM, 64-bit Windows 7, and good power management, particularly turning off the graphics cards power.

I'm waiting for a modularized PC with an EXTERNAL graphics connection. AMD has finished designing a connection for laptops and the external graphics box to boost performance though the connection isn't quite fast enough for high-end gaming. I'm looking for a 3-box system consisting of a CORE PC layer (complete desktop or laptop), graphics box and mass storage/ DVD/ BD layer.

I hope this helps. If you still have specific questions feel free to post and remember how to state your problem(s).
November 10, 2008 11:14:32 PM

Didnt expect so many replies, usually get one or two.

4745454b: Yes.. i was pretty baffled about it too. I dont know if CHOPPY would best describe it but what happens is.. its not really SUDDEN choppyness but constant unsmoothness. Im playing 100fps constant + 100hz (and so have been for 7 years of gaming) until i got my new pc last year. Not only do the games not look smooth, they dont feel smooth either. It feels like im having 150 ping but instead of ping causing it, hardware is. Its not software related at all (viruses, defrag, spyware, etc) because ive done over 13 reformats (just happened to reformat again yesterday). Ive tried 3 different GPUS and all the same.

If you wanna get specific on how "exactly" it FEELS like, ill explain it for each game, pretty much same symptom. Counter strike 1.6 : Recoil and shots are UNREASONABLY high and theres a delay before the shots are registered. For ex: i shoot an enemy 5 bullets to the chest, 1.5 seconds later, he dies. (been playing competitive for 5 years, it's not my lack of ability or knowledge or the game mechanics/netcode/etc). Quake 3 (same symptoms, shots seems to hit delayed, as if i had "150 ping" which in reality, ive tried playing with bots or 30 ping. Obviously playing offline eliminates a bit of the delay but its still noticeably abnormal. Warsow/Other dm's : same thing. Offline bots = delayed hit sounds and shots. Pretty much in all DM games i play, the hit sounds (beeps) are out of sync, it's not a sound problem either. It sounds like it's out of sync, and it actually IS out of sync, the bullets dont hit.

The weird thing is, it happens on my brothers rig as well. He runs a completely different setup, with an amd. Only similarities we have is : both running nvidia cards, win xp pro and dual cores.

It could have been coincidence but... i installed vista ultimate a few days ago and tried it, it ran perfectly smooth. It felt like my old amd single core, very smooth gaming. Unfortunately, my vid card fried a few days later so im not sure if it was coincidence or what. Although i did hear some people claim that vista made their gaming smoother, especially with dual cores and older games

WIN XP pro sp3
E6300 duo core stock
PNY 7600gs 512mb
ax400-PN fortron
ga-945p-s3Ive
a c 87 à CPUs
November 10, 2008 11:33:02 PM

A couple of ideas.

First, I see you called it a Fortron, and not an FSP. This is their older name, so I'm guessing its an older 400W PSU. PSUs can not only age causing their output to get lower, but times have changed as well. Years ago the CPU voltage came from the 5 or 3.3V rails. It now comes from the 12V rail, the same as your GPU. Its *possible* that a new PSU might fix your problem, as your older PSU might not have enough juice on the 12V rail for both your video card and your CPU. (more so if it is several years old.)

Second, when you got your new PC last year, did you get a new monitor? Do you now have an LCD?

Third, you've mentioned older games, does this happen with newer games? It might be possible that the older games are having issues with a multi core CPU. Assigning affinity might help. (as would updating/patching any games.)
November 11, 2008 12:08:00 AM

4745454b
Yes it is an older PSU, 350W or 400w im not sure.

EasyTune5, my mobo's program to monitor stats, it indicates +12v at only 12.04v. Could be wrong or not, dont know. It makes sense that you said CPU voltage needs 12v rails now (i didnt know that). The 3.3v rail also indicates FAIL in bios

As for monitor, i switched from one CRT to another that belonged to my brother. Hes on a LCD now and me on CRT. Ive tried swapping monitors, its the same problem.

Yes i thought about the possibility of older games having issues with multi core CPU's. This "problem" i described in the thread, it also happens on my brothers athlon X2. Ive tried assigning affinity and it doesnt do any good. Actually.. i remember the first few days and weeks i got my pc, i used to assign affinity to my games and i believe WITHOUT assigning affinity, i used to have many fps drops. Now, my fps is the same assigning affinity or NOT. Either the devs patched it or flashing my motherboard did it. (Im actually gonna downgrade my mobo flash right now, see if it does anything, lol.. yes im quite desperate!)

Although me wanting to have fps drops with the affinity thing is not good, there's change. Anything that changes can help me right now.
a c 87 à CPUs
November 11, 2008 1:38:51 AM

If you have the money, I'd see about getting a newer PSU. It might not fix the issue, but it won't hurt. Have you looked at Speedfan and/or CPUz to make sure everything is ok? Be careful flashing your bios down, as the 945 didn't natively support the C2D line.
November 11, 2008 3:32:45 AM

Ill try defragging.. but i HIGHLY doubt it, quake3 isnt even an installed game, its a isolated folder on my desktop.

EDIT: took about 10 mins to defrag and yep, no improvements. Its hard to explain what EXACTLY my problem is, but its not "random chops". Its more like a constant unsmoothness, a stable feeling of 60fps/60refresh rate/120 ping..

check my other thread i tried to explain the symptoms
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/256779-33-choppy-slug...
November 11, 2008 4:49:38 AM

The only games installed is cs 1.6 and quake3 right now. I only mentioned WC3 as an example of what i meant by "older games". WC3 never posed a "choppy" problem at all, like i tried to explain very detailed in my other thread, theyre minimal but consistent sluggishness.. it affects the way the game is played. In fps games, very precision is VERY important, stuff like i described can drastically change how i play. In WC3, i could really care less if i played sluggish, its not gonna delay the response to my units at all
November 26, 2008 12:55:43 PM

Sorry to revive an old thread but i think i might have finally found the solution.

Story is, i messed up my windows registry a few days ago and i did a windows repair without deleting anything, just a fresh windows re-install. I noticed that the bullets now shot very smooth and fast (in any given fps game). Later i install my chipset/usb 2.0 drivers and kablam gone. I actually fixed it one time a long time ago, messing with usb drivers as well. So i rebooted into bios and there were two USB options. One was to enable EHCI (usb 2.0) controller which was on enable. The other option was called "USB MOUSE (enable if you have usb mouse installed). I never paid any attention to this because bios default sets it to off.

So far, the bullets is fixed, as far as the choppyness, i still get some graphical chops, but the games PLAY normal now.
a c 87 à CPUs
November 26, 2008 1:20:36 PM

Actually, thanks for the update. I can now add this as a possible solution next time someone complains about choppy 100FPS games.
a b à CPUs
November 26, 2008 2:28:21 PM

So what did you actually do with those bios options?? enabled the usb mouse?
November 26, 2008 7:05:00 PM

4745454b
The choppyness isnt gone like i said, i still get graphical chops.. but the gameplay actually works fine. so im guessing theres 2 problems to mine
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