DirectX 8: Unreal Tournament 2004
Unreal Tournament 2004 may not be the newest title, but once you start turning the settings up on a system with insufficient system memory it behaves just as badly as newer games. Compared to Quake 4 or Doom 3, benchmarking UT2004 is a totally different story. With just 512 MB system memory, benchmark results get inconsistent as you can see from the graph above. UT2004 with maximum settings and 512 MB system memory is not for the serious gamer.
DirectX 9: 3DMark 05
3DMark 2005 really proves the point: if the application doesn't need more system memory than you already have, adding more simply won't help at all.
DirectX 9: Far Cry
Despite the huge outdoor environments and with settings turned up, Far Cry is a game totally playable with no more than 512 MB system memory.