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Will good ram increase gaming performance

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August 25, 2009 10:19:56 AM

Hi guys

just wondering if buy say 4 GB of GOOD ram will help out with gaming performance compared with 2GB of cheap stuff?

and would it help increase any 3dmark 06 score.

thanks
August 25, 2009 10:31:59 AM

What do you mean by cheap and good? Sometimes there the same. What OS do you have?
a b } Memory
August 25, 2009 10:44:40 AM

I think not so much. Decreased latency will increase mem i/o a little, but it won't have much effect on overall computer performance.

Case in point (personal experience):

Way back when, I built a Core2 system out of an eVGA 680i motherboard, an E6600, a 640 MB eVGA 8800GTS, and 2 GB of DDR2-1000 Crucial Ballistix.

I got the system running at 3.3 GHz. pretty easily (later 3.6 GHz.). I initially set the memory timing to 5-5-5-15-2T. Using 3dMark05, graphics performance leveled off at around 3.2 GHz.

CPU and memory performance scaled linearly with CPU speed. So I started optimizing memory. I worked all the way down to 3-3-3-7-1T, Orthos stable for 24 hours.

Back to 3DMark. Memory i/o increased about 7%. CPU performance increased maybe 2%. No significant increase in frame rates.

I think just the fact that you will have 4 GB of RAM instead of 2 GB will have the greatest effect on performance.

And the price difference between good and cheap RAM is small enough that practically everyone can afford to be good RAM.
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August 25, 2009 11:18:21 AM

rodney007 said:
Hi guys

just wondering if buy say 4 GB of GOOD ram will help out with gaming performance compared with 2GB of cheap stuff?

and would it help increase any 3dmark 06 score.

thanks


4 GB are much better than 2 GB for some games and it will continue more and more to make a great difference as new titles will comes out. I think that in about a year 2 GB will not be enough to run many games in Vista or Windows 7, in some cases they are barely enough now.

As for latencies and frequencies, no, it doesn't change so much to justify a great price increase in games. Going from 800 mhz RAM at CL 10 to 1600 at CL 7 improves only 2-3% at max gaming. Usually RAM speed is important to compression and video editing, not so much for games. There's an article here on TH that compares various RAM speed and latencies and explain well what I've just said, here it is:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-scaling-i7,2...
(The article is made for Core i7 systems in mind but it's the same thing with all other sockets if they are not before the Core 2 era)

Having said this, higher frequencies are however useful if you intend to overclock since you have more margin to do it, above all for i7 systems.
August 25, 2009 11:25:01 AM

wow thats very useful to know thank you,

August 26, 2009 12:38:18 AM

Just an FYI, the OS may not show and/or recognize 4 GBs.

In the case of Vista, check out this for more info... http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929605

Edit... Personally, over 3 gigs and I believe you'll see diminishing returns (strictly gaming related). A video card with 512 MBs and a system with 3 gigs, is more than enough memory for gaming.
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