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Does Memory Performance Bottleneck Your Games?

Metro 2033, Second By Second

Metro 2033 gives us a handy second-by-second FPS chart, but including this data for each of our 24 tests would only crowd the page. Instead, we're comparing the highest- and lowest-performing memory configurations, and included remaining charts in this article’s photo gallery.

When we target 40 FPS as the minimum for average performance, we’re actually trying to assure that the frame rate always stay above an instantaneous 20 FPS minimum. These cards can do that at Very High detail levels, even with memory operating at a modest DDR3-1600 CAS 9.

Unfortunately, we can’t reliably maintain a playable frame rate at 4800x900 using Very High detail levels. We’ll need to turn-down the eye candy to reach 5760x1080.

Metro 2033 performance dips mostly in response to smoke or fog. Fortunately, those dips don’t jam-up gameplay at 5760x1080 when we disable MSAA. It is a little disturbing that the valleys are lower in the quad-channel memory configuration, though. With more bandwidth, we'd expect better minimums, not worse.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.