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Speed impact on gaming

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December 21, 2011 1:47:29 PM

I have done a bit of research on the web and it seems that memory speed does not have a performance impact on gaming. My only challenge is they are typically old articles or if new they are comparing DDR3 speeds of 1333 to higher ones. I know in benchmarks you can se an impact but is there any real world impact

So I am wondering if anyone has seen a review that compares slower speeds (like DDR2 at 800 against DDR3 1333).

I am just trying to confirm that I am not being hampered by memory throughput at this point. Also its not like I am using a 3way SLI system or anything crazy like that, so I imagine I am fine.

More about : speed impact gaming

a b } Memory
December 21, 2011 2:16:51 PM

No simple answer to this one. It depends on a number of things (operating system, the game, cpu, chip set, memory amount and tyoe, cpu and hd). Some games are more cpu intensive than others. Also depending on a number of things and game design, different amounts of graphic processing my be asked of the cpu. Then there is the caching of none graphic data. The greater the band width (what is usually called speed) and amount of memory available; the faster the game will appear to play. In your comparison of memory types, you would see a performance difference in a game like Skyrim at higher resolutions and with more eye candy selected. Thee real test is to play the game and if it runs smooth and looks they way you want it, then you are ok. If your game experience leaves you wanting more then maybe it is time to start to save up for a new system. From your system specs., I would think you are good to go for most everything you want to play. I would look to a new video card as the next gaming up grade item. This might also require a new PS however.
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December 21, 2011 3:02:10 PM

I figured there would not be an easy answer or google would have found it for me.

I notice on BF3 that sometimes neither my CPU or GPU seem to be near max so I wonder if this is a RAM limitation that I sometimes hit . Other times I'll see my GPU near max while playing. So it always strikes me as odd that some sessions my GPU is not being strained so I imagine then the bottleneck is elsewhere.

I am going to go for an all new system in a 12 to 18 months (at least that's the plan) as some components of my PC are 5+ years old like the MB, HD, and PSU. So I plan to hold off on anything new until then. I added RAM to get me to 6GB instead of 3GB (removed 2 512MB sticks for 2GB sticks) and upgrades the CPU a year ago and picked up the GPU for $120 6 months ago.
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a b } Memory
a c 214 4 Gaming
December 21, 2011 3:18:53 PM

Yes and no. While oft claimed that there is no impact, that's not actually the case. What's usually true is that the impact is small .... in the order of 3 -5 % and the argument goes, why pay 50% more for RAM for a 3-5% increase in price. The failure of that logic is that it's not the RAM that goes faster its the system. So the value of any performance increase can only be fairly be weighed against the system price. And keep an eye on min fps more than average fps as this is where it hits hardest

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2792/12

22.3 % (SLI) increase in minimum frame rates w/ C6 instead of C8 in Far Cry 2
18% (single card) / 5% (SLI) increase in minimum frame rates w/ C6 instead of C8 in Dawn of War
15% (single card) / 5% (SLI) increase in minimum frame rates w/ C6 instead of C8 in World in Conflict

Also see http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/memory/2011/01/11/the-...

Here we see Civ 5 going from 21 to 23 fps from 1333 CAS 7 to 1866 CAS 7 ..... that's a 10% improvement .... 1333 to 2133 CAS 9 gives the same 2 fps (10%).
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December 21, 2011 3:30:07 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph...

single-player campaign doesn’t care if you’re using a $130 Core i3 or $315 Core i7. It doesn’t care if you come armed with two Hyper-Threaded cores or four Bulldozer modules. It just. Doesn’t. Care. BF3 is not cpu limited i read the difference between
ddr2 and ddr3 is small maybe try ocing nb will improve performance or fsb try setting
it to x11 or 2200 keep ht around 2000
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December 21, 2011 3:36:55 PM

marco324 said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph...

single-player campaign doesn’t care if you’re using a $130 Core i3 or $315 Core i7. It doesn’t care if you come armed with two Hyper-Threaded cores or four Bulldozer modules. It just. Doesn’t. Care. BF3 is not cpu limited i read the difference between
ddr2 and ddr3 is small maybe try ocing nb will improve performance or fsb try setting
it to x11 or 2200 keep ht around 2000



My potential not GPU bottleneck is occurring on multi-player...but I don't feel like it is my CPU when it happens. Its also not that I am getting low Frame rate during it just noticing that my system has more power left from the GPU in some cases which got me wondering where the bottleneck is.

Basically, seems to be the chipset or RAM at this point (and I don't have much room to tweak my old board or RAM speed without loosening the timings)

SO I doubt there is much I can do to tweak things..more just wondering why.
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a b } Memory
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2011 8:54:48 PM

If you only notice problems during multi-player then it could be network/internet bandwidth.
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December 21, 2011 9:21:49 PM

sorry let me re-phrase...I am not actually having issues...its that I notice my CPU and GPU are not always heavily used so I am guessing a bottleneck elsewhere and I am curious to figure out where.

For sure I have network issues on occasion but that is very noticeable because the game heavily stutters (and I can tell when my ping jumps up on servers where I should be under 50)
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a b } Memory
December 21, 2011 9:31:23 PM

Ahhh I think I understand now. You think because the cpu or the gpu is not at or close to 100% something is keeping them from being fully utilized. Not the case. If you want to see them go 100% get a stress test and run it. It would be unusual for any game to force your system to 100%.
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a b } Memory
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2011 9:39:34 PM

If you want to utilize more resources during games then you would need to increase settings.
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December 21, 2011 9:45:37 PM

Dogsnake said:
Ahhh I think I understand now. You think because the cpu or the gpu is not at or close to 100% something is keeping them from being fully utilized. Not the case. If you want to see them go 100% get a stress test and run it. It would be unusual for any game to force your system to 100%.


I see people say that all the time on this site, but I have definitely seen games where my GPU or at least one core gets pegged to 100% or at least 98. The other day when I played BF3 on wake island I alt-tabbed out and could see in the past that my GPU was hugging the 100% utilization. On other maps though I don' t hit 100% which is what made me wonder. now maybe for BF3 my 1GB of vid RAM is limiting me at 1920 by 1080 on High.

Another example
On fallout: New Vegas with all settings on High my GPU sits at around 50% but one of my cores is sitting very near 100% (my frame rate is over 60). I'll have to do some more testing on games where my Frame rate is under the game max to get better confirmation but I feel like I can usually tell where something is limited based on system utilization in play (or if the game ever lags then it is very noticeable as there will be a huge CPU or GPU spike).
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a b } Memory
December 22, 2011 6:02:24 PM

When you say "my core (s)" are you referring to the CPU? Many games do not take advantage of multi core processors. So you never see impact on more than one core. Your OS does so you may see more than one core active while the game is running one of them to high use. Perhaps I have lost the theme of you posting? What exactly are you trying to achieve? Looking at your first post, given your system I do not think a faster ram will yield better game performance or improve utilization of you cpu. An upgrade to your video card may smooth out some but not all games a bit. There is an entire other factor not mentioned, the hard drive. When you move through areas in the game the data must be moved from the HD to the memory. When the games are linked to online servers (Skyrim, BF3) the data may be split to the storage system and the memory. You would find using an SSD for your game files a big boost. I guess in the end it comes down to if you are enjoying the games the way they run on your system all is good; if it bugs you and is not fun then it is time for a system replacement. I would upgrade the video card first however.
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