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Thread: Better Ram / Better Performance

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    Senior Member RECOiL™'s Avatar
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    Better Ram / Better Performance

    Im not satisfied with the performance of my system. I usually end up upgrading most parts, but never have I invested in ram, as I have been lucky enough to grab some from stock at work. But its your typical bog standard ram nothing special.

    I have a MSI Neo 2 Platimun G, 1.5g ddr2 (standard ram), raptor 74gb, x800 256 pci-e, I'm not happy with the loading times in between changing levels and the over all performance of the system. The only bottleneck i can see in my system is the ram.

    Would I get better performance from 1gb 512x2 matched high quality ram than what im getting now ?

    Any recommendations (and prices) ?

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    Don't do it!
    RAM itself won't inherently speed up your system, but better RAM will allow faster / tighter timings, which would have an impact. That said, from general reading, you'd be talking about a matter of a couple of percent. You'd also be losing 1/2 a Gig from the sounds of it, which would INCREASE loading times on games like Battlefield 2.
    Spend your money elsewhere - like taking a really hot girl out for drinks.
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    Senior Member RECOiL™'s Avatar
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    ok so where do you think my bottleneck is then ?

    gfx
    mainboard
    hdd

    ??

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    The speed of your RAM makes so little difference that it isnt really worth upgrading it unless what you have now isn't DDR400. The benchmarks I've seen seem to indicate that you'll only get a couple of percent better FPS with the fastest RAM available compared to DDR400 and that is very optimistic, you'll not notice that sort of minor improvement.

    I think if you cut your RAM from 1.5 Gb to 1 Gb your system would not get any faster. More RAM should improve loading times if things can get cached to system memory.

    Hard disks tend to get slower the closer you get to capacity too so maybe its time to do some housekeeping. If your system is a slug it might be time to at minimum defrag your disk or perhaps install Windows clean. Maybe you're getting laden down with spyware / virii!

    Your system isn't slow, Ok so a P4 3.0 GHz isn't state of the art and neither is the x800 but you've got fast disks (which makes a big difference) and your m/b isn't holding you back. Which part of system performance aren't you happy with? FPS / loading times / general responsivity / boot times?
    Last edited by KowShak; 27-01-2006 at 12:08 PM.

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    I'd agree with KowShak, a re-install might be in order but do the usual freeing up of space, Spyware, Virus, DeFrag etc first.
    One question however, is do you really have a bottleneck at all? in other words, is it perhaps just a matter of your perception, rather than measured performance loss?
    The only reason i mention this is that we all have a tendancy to get used to what we have and forgot what we had before. My 20" Dell looks 'average' size now, despite blowing me away 6 weeks ago!
    Your system specs look good to me, better than mine in fact, so i don't think you'll get a measurable performance increase without a major investment of money (£500 or more) in CPU/motherboard upgrade.
    I'm commenting on an internet forum. Your facts hold no sway over me.
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    Senior Member RECOiL™'s Avatar
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    ahh KowShak, you sound like you know what your talking about. I didnt take in to account the hdd capacity thing. I have my raptor in 3 partitions :

    1st 5bg windows
    2nd 20gb apps
    3rd games

    i then have a 250gb maxtor for dvdrs/xvids/misc bits n bobs. I use O&O to regulary defrag my drive. Perhaps its worth me getting a 36gb raptor for my games then ?

    the general fps in games is ok, but every so often i get like 1/2 a second fame skip like th game is paging to the hard disk which is annoying. I want it to be as fluid as possible.

    I will be getting either a 6800gs or a 7800 at some point.

    The system boots up fairly swiftly i cant complain about that,.i dont know if its me but i just cant help feel like my system is not responsive enough. I think you guys are right about the ram now, so if anything I will get another 512 or better still 1gbx2.

    I havent gone down the route of overclocking the cpu yet, as i am not too familair with the process and not sure how well the mb would take and i dont think i have a good enough case with sufficient air flow to make it a safe and wise thing to do.

    so what are your recommendations then to get as much performance i can with my current hw ?

    I want to get something that can cool the inside of my case, like sucks in air throught he 5.1/2 bay

  7. #7
    Senior Member RECOiL™'s Avatar
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    You last post was done as i was typing mine lol.

    Yes we all get used to what we have and admittedly I may have got acustomed to mine. My dual 19" dell tft's look small now lol.

    Im going to try and get an Eclipse case and some sort of air flow thingy, then i will overclock.

    KowShak : you have a 6800 is that better than a x800 ?

    I want to be able to play all my games at max detail lol. I dont use AF cus I have a .25ms tft so i get ghosting. and aa is usually at 8, i been told that css has llimit of 6 though, so i might drop this down. Sorry if im steering off topic.

  8. #8
    I need a coffee jamena's Avatar
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    check all your drivers and stuff are functioning right - I bought a 9800pro and spent 2 weeks being annoyed that it's performance was not that much better than my fx5600. Eventually I worked out that my (obsolete) motherboard required some extra GART drivers. After in stalling those I went from jerky performance at 800x600 with low gfx settings to fluid 1280x960 at medium settings! The higher the resolution you're running and the higher the texture quality, the more ram your system will try and use, but having said that 1.5Gb sounds fine.

    edit: poor loading times (assuming in game performance is okay) suggests you need more ram, or a better data bus (hdd, hdd-cable, ram, motherboard-memory-bus, etc) but I'm sure the more knowledgeable lot on here would be better to answer that
    Last edited by jamena; 27-01-2006 at 12:51 PM.

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    One idea to improve performance (a bit) is to move your paging file to the second hard drive.
    This may or may not speed things up, but i think it might because
    a) it'll free up space on the Raptor
    b) it's a seperate, physical drive with seperate physical read/write heads, on (hopefully) a seperate IDE channel / SATA channel so you don't have to share bandwidth.

    This may not be all that better though, given the different spin speeds. You'll have to test it out. Don't make the mistake of putting the page file on a seperate partition of the same drive, as the heads will just have to jump around alot more.
    Certainly if you go down the road of a second raptor, put the page file on a seperate hard drive to the Windows raptor. This will definitely help.
    See here for further info, but be aware that people can have conflicting opinions on the 'dark art' of page files!!!
    I'm commenting on an internet forum. Your facts hold no sway over me.
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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    What sort of loading times are you getting?

    IME level loading is normally bottlenecked on the hard drive, and you already have one of the fastest going!

    Anandtech.com have a hard drive review fresh up today, and a quick shuftie says they got ~17 seconds to load a half-life 2 level with a 74GB Raptor.

    http://www.anandtech.com/storage/sho...spx?i=2682&p=7

    Odd that choice of hard drive seems to have a large effect, and yet raid-0 didn't influence the result much.

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    Why do people spend £200+ on the best ram if it only makes a few percent diff?

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    I need a coffee jamena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aphex
    Why do people spend £200+ on the best ram if it only makes a few percent diff?
    placebo effect?



    ...mainly for overclocking I think?

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aphex
    Why do people spend £200+ on the best ram if it only makes a few percent diff?
    Hype. That and the reason we all want to get the next latest, greatest thing.
    If you market something well enough, and continue to bang on about it again and again, people will believe that they don't just want it, they need it.
    Now then, where can i get a next gen DVD player from....
    I'm commenting on an internet forum. Your facts hold no sway over me.
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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    You really need a faster CPU. 3Ghz is dragging you behind. I see so much different between 1800Mhz and 2700Mhz (My A64 3000+).
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    Senior Member Dark Horse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aphex
    Why do people spend £200+ on the best ram if it only makes a few percent diff?
    Because it used to make a difference but now it doesn't make nearly as much.

    I did some testing yesterday to show the difference a high performance ram overclocked has a on a modern game:

    http://forums.hexus.net/showpost.php...5&postcount=10

    Effect : None....

    If you spend £100 on ram and the other £100 on a better graphics card it will give an immensely improved game experience.

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    It looks like the way you've partitioned your disk could be causing some of your problems. That 5 GB partition sounds small, Windows does tend to grow once you've got it installed. If I'd set the system up I'd have games and apps in the same partition as Windows, because if you have to reinstall Windows the games mostly have to be reinstalled too.

    You could try making Windows use your other HDD for swap (250 / 300 GB ?), I've done that in the past and its made a big difference even when the second HDD is old and slower than the first. If the first has to handle apps/games and swap it will thrash trying to do 2 things at the same time where as 2 disks will do 2 things better!

    I've got a 6800 GT and generally it beats the x800 (and the x800 GT / GTO / Pro / XL / XT) by a big margin. Its similar in performance to a xt850 XT (very slightly above it on average), it beats the xt850 XT PE in the odd benchmark but its generally behind it. I suppose it depends on the benchmark and the CPU in the system. I got mine off ebay and from the full retail package it came with I can tell that it cost somebody a lot of money when it was new!
    Last edited by KowShak; 27-01-2006 at 06:18 PM.

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