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Two Gigs vs One Gig of System Memory
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Author:  rhogue islander [ Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Two Gigs vs One Gig of System Memory

Lately I play a ton of WoW and an occasional game of Quake4. At some point I plan to tackle HL2, Episode one.

I have a gig of system ram. Will upgrading to two gigs make for smoother gameplay with the above titles?

My vid card is a 256mb BFG 7900GT. PC3200 with low Cas ratings are disappearing fast ad vendors move to DDR2 :(

Author:  Finko [ Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:55 pm ]
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For WoW it will in the major cities or any situation where you have a ton of players in view like Alterac Valley. HL2, I'm not sure that it will be a huge difference. Q4 can use every megabyte you can throw at it, lol.

Author:  Rroff [ Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:11 pm ]
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If you play games like quake 4 in ultra quality - then 2gigs is a must... however with "only" 256Mb on the video card you probably can't load all the textures for ultra quality in most games anyhow, so 1gig would prolly be enough.

The downside to 2gigs of RAM over 1gig of ram is that your RAM performance can be hit significantly - if you put 2x1gig RAM sticks in, they are usually crappy timings to keep costs down unless you spend a lot of money, and if you put 4x 512Mb stick with tight timing, you have to relax the command rate (1T/2T settings) on most boards (not really a performance hit except that a lot of boards auto adjust other settings when you change this which do make for a performance hit), and sometimes even the CAS latency, so you can lose performance any way.

Author:  Rroff [ Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:12 pm ]
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Also if you have an AMD rig it will often enforce 2T timings with 2gigs of RAM and/or drop the memory bus speed down a divider - which is something to look out for.

Author:  +UB+_Rare Vos [ Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:12 pm ]
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Good question RI! I've been wondering the same thing, and watching the price of my existing memory hold steady, instead of dropping like I had hoped. I had bought "CORSAIR 1GB (2x512) TWINX1024-3200XLPT 1024MB XMS3200 (400MHZ) (2) MATCHED XL W/HEAT SPREADER 2-2-2-5" (a direct quote from my order :) ) and if I can find another pair in stock it's about $239 !zoink :((

[blockquote].... however with "only" 256Mb on the video card you probably can't load all the textures for ultra quality in most games anyhow[/blockquote]
Not necessarily true... I have a BFG GeForce 6800 GT OC 256MB GDDR3 PCI-E DVI-I, VGA, S-Video card and ran Doom3, Quake4 and HL2 at the Ultra settings with no problems, or stutter. More video memory would be nicer, but I'm holding steady with this card for a bit. After our daughter's wedding this past summer, and other household expenses, my big-ticket toy buying is on hold for awhile.

Author:  rhogue islander [ Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:10 am ]
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Thx for the replies guys.

What got me thinking was the amount and duration of harddisk seeking I hear whenever I quit Wow and the unresponiveness of windows during that time. Makes me think there's a lot of disk caching going on.

Maybe a 2x 1GB kit will help. There's a matched OCZ kit with gold heatsinks and 2-3-3-6 timing at Newegg for $208 that looks good.

Author:  Rroff [ Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:02 pm ]
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I recently bought a matched 2x512Mb PC3200 dual channel kit of OCZ Gold EL XTC (gold heatsinks with Z on them) and I'm of mixed feelings - they do what they say on the tin (2-2-2-5) with great performance however the SPD is 2-3-3-6 so I had to manually set the tighter timings and despite the reviews of them being great overclockers on a 1:1 divider - they don't overclock worth a shit.

But if your running stock settings with no overclocking those OCZ Gold sticks give unmatched performance.

Author:  Commander Keen [ Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:57 am ]
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You may consider trying this BOOT.INI tweak if you have 2GB and over of physical RAM...


Author:  rhogue islander [ Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:11 pm ]
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So I bought 2 x 1gb of some Corsair XMS that I found at a local Microcenter.

It's really difficult to find performance ram at local comp stores. I had to settle for something rated 3-3-3-8.

At 2.75 volts in my Asus A8N Sli Premium it runs at 2.5-3-3-6 and at 1T command rate for a Sandra rated bandwidth of 5805, which isn't too shabby.

Any way it does seem to eliminate disk caching with all the games I've tried and nearly eliminates slowdowns and choppiness when things get busy in-game. Computer is responsive after I quit a game as well.

Author:  Commander Keen [ Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:45 pm ]
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I love Corsair RAM.

Author:  Rroff [ Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:14 pm ]
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5805 is pretty decent for PC3200

I like OCZ RAM myself - now that I've put the OCZ booster in I can get my PC-3200 to atleast PC-4400 (DDR500) speeds and still keep the 2-2-2-5 1T timings - which gives me 7000+ in sandra when I'm OCing - they'd prolly go way beyond that if I upped the voltage more but my CPU isn't capable of taking a higher FSB :D

I'm trying to find a single 1gig stick atm that can do atleast 2-3-3-6 - preferably 2-2-2-5 and handle upto 3.4 volts - as my other ram channel currently has the booster in one socket limiting my ability to put 4 sticks in there... don't think I'm gonna find what I'm looking for tho.

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