Crucial PC4000 Ballistix Tracer 2GB - 2GB vs 1GB Gaming - Game Performance - Continued...

Article Index
Crucial PC4000 Ballistix Tracer 2GB - 2GB vs 1GB Gaming
Test Setup and Everest Performance
Game Performance
Game Performance - Continued...
Game Performance - Still Continued...
Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Day Of Defeat: Source

DoD:Source HDR

Just because we've seen one Source project already doesn't mean we've seen them all.  The Source engine is a very powerful and customizable engine.  There has been lots of hype lately with HDR and the upcoming Lost Coast level.  Fortunately HDR gaming is already available from Valve and it comes in the flavor of Day Of Defeat: Source.  For this benchmark we turned up the detail to maximum and used HDR to the max.  We ran at 1024x768 with no AA or AF and fired up some intense multiplayer DoD_Flash.  Load times were achieved by running a local server on one machine and then connecting to it over the LAN.  FPS were taken when playing the same level on a local (Calgary) server with a total of 12 players.

DoD:Source Performance
(Click for a larger chart)

Day Of Defeat: Source has a lot more textures to load than the simpler CS:Source stress test.  When running 2GB of memory we do see faster load times, and if you want to jump into a level before your friends, you will want to grab that extra GB.  There is a five second difference, and while not groundbreaking - it is noticeable.  As far as FPS goes, it's pretty much a no show.  There is no difference in our benchmark as far as frames per second and having the extra GB of memory.  This game is CPU and GPU limited and performance doesn't seem to hinge on amount of memory.


 

Doom 3

Doom 3

Doom 3 is one of the most system killing games around.  There is a massive amount of textures and polygons as well as some of the niftiest pixel and vertex shaders around.  Overall, certain levels can run like a dog - even on a decent system.  For our Doom 3 benchmarks we run with the detail set at "Ultra" and turn AA and AF off to let the GPU and CPU run as free as they can with the massive textures.  We ran both the stock included "demo1" timedemo as well as the VIA_VGA_D3_Bench timedemo that requires a map from VIA as well.  All of these timedemos were ran several times to ensure accuracy and load times were taken when using the "usecache" parameter.  This caches all of the levels textures to RAM.  Theoretically, more RAM will improve load times so the game doesn't have to load textures to your Hard Drive swap file.

Doom 3 Performance
(Click for a larger chart)

This game turned up several intersting things when it comes to memory amount and gaming.  Load times were slightly improved overall - although very little.  When it comes to raw gaming performance it's a hit and miss thing.  The default "demo1" benchmark actually takes a hit in framerates, but the larger more complex VIA level has almost a 9% performance increase when adding an extra 1024MB of RAM.  My conclusion?  It's inconclusive.  Although you may see a performance hit in some areas of the game, when it comes to large, busy levels extra memory is a good thing.


Dreadnought Demo

Dreadnought Demo

Dreadnought is technology demo from Torc Interactive that relies heavily on AMD 64-bit processors and large amounts of memory to get things done.  This demo can run on 32-bit systems as well, but runs and looks the best when using the "64-bit enhanced mode".  This benchmark was ran using high detail at 1024x768 using the "64-bit enhanced" mode.  Game detail is exceptional, but you will need some serious CPU power to make it really smooth in fast action sequences.

Recommended Specs for 64-bit Enhanced Play:

AMD Athlonâ„¢ 64 FX processor
- Windows 64
- 2 Gigabyte RAM
- Radeon 9800 256MB card or GeForce 6800
- Soundblaster Audigy and Above

If you want the demo yourself, head on over and grab it from Filecloud here.

 

Dreadnought Performance
(Click for a larger chart)

One thing that I noticed immediately when loading up this technology demo is that it loads painfully slow.  Slow barely describes the loading time when it comes running in 64-bit enhanced mode with 1GB of memory.  It took 2:41 to load a level.  Running 2GB of memory greatly decreased the wait, but it still took a full minute and a half to load the level.  There is a lot of uncompressed textures which really slow things down for sure, but we are running a RAID 0 array to eliminate some of this bottleneck.

You'll notice that framerates take a nice little jump when running 2GB as well.  This extra memory helps smooth things up when opening a door in the level.  With 1GB of memory, the game pauses for a second while it loads up more information from the drive.  2GB allows more memory caching which is much faster and makes gameplay more enjoyable.   There is about a 13% performance improvement, but for me the improvement is far beyond that as stuttering and pausing is very irritating.

We've got another page of games to take a look at so carry on!