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Faster memory for gaming purposes?

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a b } Memory
November 1, 2010 11:55:15 AM

Hey All.

So I've been playing Fallout New Vegas recently (great game!), I'm playing maxed out settings at 1920 x 1080 120Hz 4xAA and the frame rate varies from about 50-120FPS (V-Sync enabled). Thing is the game seems alittle choppy.

This to me seems like it could be a variety of possible things, perhaps my HD5850 1GB is running out of VRAM and is having to constintly replace textures? Or I'm running out of system memory and my HDD is having to do some work? Confused lol/
:heink: 

Maybe an SSD would help? Or faster memory?

I was thinking of getting some patriot viper memory 3 x 2GB 1600Mhz 8-8-8-24, would it help?

PC spec's
Core i7 920 @ 4Ghz
3x1GB OCZ 1200Mhz 7-7-7-21
HD5850@ 1000/1200 (No CF ATM :(  )
Gigabyte GA EX58 UD5
Corsair obsidian 800D
Corsair HX850
Custom water
Samusng Spinpoint F3 500GB
GD245HQ ACER
Some other stuff.....

Any thoughts/opinions? much appreciated.
a b } Memory
November 1, 2010 3:35:42 PM

You just have to live the fact that performance will vary based on the environment. Certain areas will take more video processing or more CPU processing power, or both.

Interiors will generally give you better performance than outdoors since it's more of a confineed space and fewer textures need to be loaded. When there is a lot of NPCs and action going on (fights, explosions, etc) then that needs more CPU power.

I have not seen any benchmarks for Fallout NV and I haven't played it yet. However, below a snapshot of benchmarks for Fallout 3. The HD 5850 is not included, but it is roughly as powerful as the HD 4870 X2. As can be seen there is not much of an increase from the HD 4870 X2 to the HD 5870 to the HD 5970. Therefore, the video card should not be holding you back.



http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...


Fallout 3 only uses two cores to the best of my knowledge, I don't recall CPU load going much beyond 50% on my quad core unless I have other processes taking place in the background like encoding video. Fallout NV uses a modified GameBryo engine, the same engine in FO3 and I would be that multi-threading has not been improved. Therefore, the only way to probably get better minimum performance is to go beyond 4GHz.

RAM? Play Fallout NV with Task Manager layed over the game and look at available memory in the performance tab (I'm using Win XP as reference). I really doubt Fallout NV will be using more than 2GB, but this is something I never even checked with Fallout 3.


Overall, I don't think there is anything you can do to increase your minimum FPS short of perhaps lowering some settings.
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a b } Memory
November 1, 2010 4:07:15 PM

saint19 said:
Hi.

Get this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... i think that can help u to rise the FPS a little more.


And set the GPU to stock clocks and test the game again if u get better FPS or the same the OC that u are doing isn't good.



The key phrase is "I think". I don't think you will notice any increase in FPS short of measuring for benchmarks purposes. Who knows may be you can improve minimum FPS by 3 (wishful thinking in my opinion), but is that worth the $150 investment?

You could always try it out, but if you notice no improvement, then you can either keep the RAM or send it back and eat the 15% restocking fee + the cost of shipping the RAM back.
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a b } Memory
November 1, 2010 5:00:30 PM

ok well i cant go past 4ghz as my cpu is degrading pretty fast as it is (used to need 1.26V for 4Ghz, now needs 1.31V)

@saint, the GPU OC is good, stable as a rock and gives a good boost in performance.

The RAM you linked is very good, unfortunately I live in the UK so I can't buy from Newegg : /

I noticed that 4xAA made things alot more choppy, even though my FPS were still perfectly playable, I'm leaning towards a VRAM bottleneck....

I think MSI AB can monitor the VRAM usage, So I'll use that and I'll also use task manager to monitor system RAM and CPU usage.

Thanks for the replies guys. :) 
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November 1, 2010 8:19:05 PM

you are using 3gig of ram currently, yes?
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November 1, 2010 8:31:44 PM

wow, I just did a quick search, and you are not alone! GameBryo apparently fails. I did come across one link where you can download a dll that makes the engine use dx9 library and it's supposed to help.

I would be cautios of things like this though, here's the discussion
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/959559-fallout-new-vegas/56879206
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a b } Memory
November 1, 2010 8:32:13 PM

Ok so I checked CPU and RAM usage during FNV and one of the cores of the CPU was using about 60% and 3 other cores where using about 1-20%, hyperthreading wasn't used at all.

Roughly 2 GB of RAM was used.

I tried MSI AB to check VRAM usage but it seems it only works with nvidia cards :( 

@jake, yes im using 3GB of RAM
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November 1, 2010 8:42:56 PM

You can overclock your card with MSI AB, you need to unlock the voltage and then you can raise your 5850 to about 1200mhz(vram speed)

The reason why it is sluggish is simple, the 5850 is not powerful enough to give you a constant 120 fps, which with vsync on unsync the whole thing.

Try to turn off vsync to notice a big difference, also, having 70 fps with a 120 hertz monitor, you will still see 120 fps, althought those 120 frame will be 120 times the 70 images you graphic card produced.

If you go crossfire then 120 is reachable, althought it will probably won't be consistant.

120 times 70 is still better than 60 times 70 :)  (If you see my point of view)
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a b } Memory
November 1, 2010 8:52:28 PM

abswindows7 said:
You can overclock your card with MSI AB, you need to unlock the voltage and then you can raise your 5850 to about 1200mhz(vram speed)

The reason why it is sluggish is simple, the 5850 is not powerful enough to give you a constant 120 fps, which with vsync on unsync the whole thing.

Try to turn off vsync to notice a big difference, also, having 70 fps with a 120 hertz monitor, you will still see 120 fps, althought those 120 frame will be 120 times the 70 images you graphic card produced.

If you go crossfire then 120 is reachable, althought it will probably won't be consistant.

120 times 70 is still better than 60 times 70 :)  (If you see my point of view)

No need for MSI AB for overclocking, I've edited my cards BIOS (changed 3D voltage and Core and Mem clocks) and flashed the card with the edited BIOS, so its 3D clocks are always 1000/1200, no need for software, what I meant before was that MSI AB doesn't allow me to monitor my cards VRAM usage, Seems it only works with nVidia cards.

I shouldn't need 120FPS for smooth gameplay, usually 45+ is fine for me. However the constant change in FPS could cause "stuttering" I guess, What I'll do is set my refresh rate to 60Hz (leave V-Sync on) and see if its smoother.

If not then I'll try that dll jake linked me too.

(Just brought a 5850 on ebay, maybe CF will helps :)  lol )
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a b } Memory
November 1, 2010 9:55:08 PM

If your gaming is a bit choppy, take a read here and see if you think this could be the cause:

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/hard_data_pro...

What kind of HD are you running?
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a b } Memory
November 2, 2010 7:28:44 AM

@Twoboxer, thanks for the link, it made for an interesting read, however im confused now lol, it says "Games today are too large for the assets of a level to be fully cached on a modern graphics card. Main memory is also a limiting factor – not everyone has 12 gigabytes on their PCs"
So is that implying that when the GPU's VRAM is used up, the game starts caching to the system RAM, and when thats used up the game has to cache from the HD?

The article goes on to say "As you move through the virtual world, the game is making guesses as to where you’ll navigate next. It has some information, like an overall map of the level, or where the next turn might be on a virtual race course. So it will stream in assets – textures, model data, level-of-detail information and sound files – ahead of time.

If the game guesses wrong, however, it has to reload the new data. Think of this as a kind of game engine cache miss – except that it has to go back to system storage to load the right data"

If a game does cache from my system memory before my HD, and I'm only using 2GB when playing FNV then doesn't that mean my HD isn't involved much at all?

Argh confused to the max

My HD is the Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache, I don't think its quite as fast as the Velociraptor used in the article.
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a b } Memory
November 2, 2010 4:29:06 PM

Lowering the refresh rate to 60hz helped and the game is now much more playable. Thanks for everyone's help. :) 
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a b } Memory
November 2, 2010 4:29:48 PM

Best answer selected by omgitzfatal.
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