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

Far Cry 32-bit & 64-bit


FarCry really needs very little introduction.  Back when we were waiting for the stunning visuals of Half-Life 2 and the creapy bumpily beasts of Doom3, Crytek surprised us by coming out of nowhere with FarCry.  The games details and massive amount of polygons when running outside levels just astounded us.  This game set a new standard of how games can and should look.  It did require new hardware to run really well at high detail, but it was worth it for the serious Shooter fan.

For our benchmarks we ran the 1.33 patch when testing the 32-bit version and then for the 64-bit tests we patched to the official 64-bit patch and installed the extra 64-bit content pack.  Both versions exist on the same system without issues and you can choose to either run 32-bit or 64-bit FarCry.  We benchmarked a few of Ubisofts timedemos - Regulator, Volcano and Research.

32-bit FarCry Performance
(Click for a larger chart)

We first tested the 32-bit version to see how things would work as a baseline for 64-bit performance.  There is a slight improvement on level loading times when running an extra GB of memory and a very slight FPS increase as well.  The framerate increase is so small that would likely never notice it in-game, but it is measureable through a benchmark.  Each benchmark was ran a minimum of three times and averaged so that we could reduce the margin of error.  On the Volcano level, the 4+ second faster load time is can actually be noticed and I like faster loads.  Fast loads mean more fragging faster!

Next up we take a look at 64-bit FarCry performance.

64-bit FarCry Performance
(Click for a larger chart)

64-bit performance is basically a reflection of 32-bit performance - only slightly faster.  Overall FPS is faster across the board and even level load times are slightly faster.  I don't understand exactly why levels load faster when running 64-bit FarCry, but all times were taken at least 3 times.  Performance in loading levels and framerates takes a minor step up when running 2GB of memory in FarCry - 32-bit and 64-bit, but this game alone is not worth the money to buy the 2GB kit.


Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2

Moving on to Half-Life 2 we drop into the freaky Ravenholm.  I know, "We don't go to Ravenholm", but if you want a level that's intense and keeps you on the edge of your chair - this is it.  While it is a little dark, there are a lot of polygons, shaders and enemies to keep your computer toasty.  This game is one of the best coded games I've played as it performs very well on a wide range of systems.  At this point it is my #1 pick for First Person Shooter Single Player Game.  Enough lauding, let's fire up some RAM tests.

Half-Life 2 Performance
(Click for a larger chart)

For this benchmark I fired up the Ravenholm level and took a very linear path through the buildings, and into a large room of head-crab plagued zombies.  I recorded the framerates using FRAPS and averaged several runs of this path.  As I previously mentioned, the run was linear and the FPS never varied more that 2% per run.  The totals were averaged and listed above.

As you can see, this game runs fine with 1GB of memory, but does in fact run slightly better with 2GB.  Load times see a 1.3 second performance improvement and framerate takes a 6% increase.  At over 110FPS you'll never notice the increase but it is there.  Again, HL2 is not a game that will make you rush out and buy more RAM . . . if you already have 1GB.

Crucial's Memory Advisor finds the right memory!


Unreal Tournament 2004

Unreal Tournament 2004

Unreal Tournament 2004 is a fast-paced game that is more taxing on the CPU that today's current GPU's.  It's getting a little dated, but the game itself is still a great game and it plays well across a wide array of systems.  This game actually is playable on Linux out of the box, but our tests take place on a Windows XP Professional x64 system.

The benchmark score listed below is taken from Nicao's UT2KxBench program.  This program runs a couple of flyby's and a couple of botmatches and generates a score based on these numbers.  The version that has been released to the public is UT2K3Bench 2.0, and the version we used is UT2KxBench 2.1.  This version is not available for download at this time.  The scores below are an arbitrary number that show comparative performance between 1GB and 2GB.

UT2K4 Performance
(Click for larger chart)

As you can see above, the levels load very fast regardless of memory size.  However, when running 2GB of memory, it loads faster than when running 1GB of memory by 3 seconds - which equates to 33%.  That's quite a boost.  As far as framerates go, there is an increase, but when running over 150FPS, you don't really notice the extra 10FPS.  The benchmark shows an improvement, but it won't be noticeable especially when running at 1280x1024 or lower.

Finally, head on over and we'll draw some conclusions.