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Do You Really Need More Than 6 GB Of RAM?

Benchmark Results: 3D Games

Play-by-play benchmark comments are needed whenever inconsistencies are found, but that didn’t happen with the game tests of today’s article. We thus grouped all of these together on a single page to show an overall pattern.

Single-task gaming doesn’t require anything more than 3 GB to achieve full gaming performance, even at high resolutions and details. Of course, the key here is single-task. We heard your comments in the 64-bit story, requesting multi-task testing, and that's coming later. For now, what about applications?

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • EQPlayer
    I run 8GB in my rig because... having open memory slots doesn't jive well with my OCD. Haha. /facepalm
    Reply
  • Try opening a PSD file from a 21-Megapixel camera with 3 or more layers in Photoshop and see the difference.
    Reply
  • Great info for the Vista crowd. What about DDR2 and XP? Betcha there are more of us than youse guys.
    Reply
  • whitewhale1
    can someone help me with what apps will utilise more ram?

    im currently researching building a workstation for photoshop and some 3d modelling to be imported and rendered in CS4

    any help much appreciated im no hardware guru :)
    Reply
  • Crashman
    Great info for the Vista crowd. What about DDR2 and XP? Betcha there are more of us than youse guys.

    It's generally accepted that XP uses less RAM than Vista, so you should be fine with 4GB (which, with 32-bit XP, will yield around 3GB of usefull address space).
    Reply
  • shades_aus
    @Thomas Soderstrom
    What the heck is that image on the front with all the memory modules!
    Can you supply a link with a bigger pic??? That's just insane!
    Reply
  • curiousgeorgieo
    Hey guys I was wondering: What if you had a 9g game loaded completely on a ramdrive (64bit+software) then kept the remaining 3 for regular ram?
    Reply
  • Tindytim
    I got 12 for all your application pleasure baby *wink*
    Reply
  • Crashman
    shades_aus@Thomas Soderstrom What the heck is that image on the front with all the memory modules!Can you supply a link with a bigger pic??? That's just insane!
    It looks like a memory testing machine or burn-in rack to me...I'm not sure where the site found it.

    curiousgeorgieoHey guys I was wondering: What if you had a 9g game loaded completely on a ramdrive (64bit+software) then kept the remaining 3 for regular ram?
    That's a great idea! Because it takes sooo long to copy an entire game from the hard drive to "anything" (even RAM), most users won't even try it. But you would get super-fast map loads!
    Reply
  • Try using several VMs in parallel and you'll be happy to have more than 3 GB. I'm using one VM for work (image of my work notebook with VPN etc.) and one for online banking (mainly because my old smartcard isn't supported in 64bit OS, little bit of a catch22).
    Reply