How does extra RAM affect game performance?

By John_T · 14 replies
Mar 27, 2007
  1. I have an ageing computer. And have pre-ordered Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars after playing the demo.

    AMD XP 3200+ @ 2.2GHz
    1GB of PC2700 (DDR333) RAM
    ATI Radeon 9800pro 128mb
    Windows XP home

    The demo for me runs well on low settings @ 1024x768.

    I am considering buying 512mb of extra RAM. Should I do this and how much impact will it have on the performance of the game?

    What aspects will this RAM upgrade improve?

    eg. More units on screen? Bigger maps?

    Should I spend my £33 on a new mini tripod for my camera? Or the RAM... you decide!
  2. honvetops

    honvetops TS Rookie

    Results 1 - 10 of about 1,050,000 for How does extra RAM effect game performance. (google response from your exact question) <

    it's an amazing tool* plenty of reading !!!
  3. John_T

    John_T TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Honvetops, I have read some of the google responses. Although they were moderatly helpful, I was hoping for a more personal answer to my questions.

    Thanks again,

  4. grayg1

    grayg1 TS Rookie

  5. John_T

    John_T TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you Grayg1 for the interesting link, I shall now spend the upgrade money on something else!! Hooray!
  6. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    I have read that Gamespot report and though they have a lot of good things to say take a hard look at their system set-up; I'd love to have it! How many of us can say we have such a cutting edge rig? (Yes, I am sure some of you do)

    Games are now becoming very demanding of both GPU and CPU and the conventional wisdom is 2 gigs of RAM for gaming.
  7. honvetops

    honvetops TS Rookie

    G-sKILL ddr2 800 hk's best bang for the pound*
  8. grayg1

    grayg1 TS Rookie

    Yes but he is hardly about to do the 2048x1536, Very High Quality, 4xAA settings with a 9800pro is he?
  9. John_T

    John_T TS Rookie Topic Starter

    In light of Route44's comment, I have changed my mind and ordered the extra 512mb of RAM.

    In response to the other comments, I would love to upgrade my motherboard so I could get faster RAM and GPU and CPU for that matter. The problem is I can't afford to do that at this moment in time.

    Thank you all for your help.

    John :)
  10. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    JohnT, in light of what grayg1 said, perhaps with your cpu and especially your vid card the increase in performance may not be that much. Don't get me wrong, I still think RAM is important, but it may not add all that much concerning this particular game. it would have been nice if they gave us performance reads on mid- to lower range systems considering the vast number of people who still use such rigs and aren't going to be able to upgrade anytime soon.

    I just don't want you spending your hard earned money for a single game and not gain anything. Though I do believe another gig of RAM can be a great addition for other games and applications that do require it. here is another link that may be of interest:
  11. John_T

    John_T TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the concern Route44.

    Hopefully it will improve performance in a number of games. Even if it does not increase performance much in this particular game. It should hopefully improve performance in some other games I own. It will be useful for my PC in general to be able to manage multiple applications running at the same time.

    Again, thanks to everyone for their help.

    John :)
  12. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    I never notice a difference in any game between having 1 gig and 2 gigs. Although that might be because when I had 1 gig it ran at 1T and now it's 2T.
  13. grayg1

    grayg1 TS Rookie

    Nah what you will notice with most games is that you can alt+tab out and it will all be instant stuff. With 1gb it will take a while whilst it reloads everything back from hard drive page file into the RAM. Or for a game like Oblivion with high settings you won't get the load stutter.

    I just find that your overall system is a lot more responsive.
  14. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    If you think that more RAM can improve frame rates, I'm afraid not.
    But if you have a lot of stuttering in your games, then it will help a lot.

    Regards :wave:
  15. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    [I'm learning as I am going along] And this from an associate of mine at another site:

    Ram is probably better thought of as a limitation than a performance enhancer. All other things being equal a faster processor or a faster GPU will always result in better performance. More ram will only help up to the point that you have as much as can be used, beyond that it gains you nothing.

    It tends to look like ram helps more than it does, because it can be such a crippling limitation if you don't have enough. The next step down in storage (typically HD) is orders of magnitude slower in both access times and throughput (amount of data/sec). So if you don't have as much could be used, the suppliment to RAM (your HD) will dramatically slow things down.
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