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RAM Speed Effect On Gaming
Quote:Until recently, I would’ve told you that high-speed RAM had very little impact on high-end gaming. A recent report from Digital Foundry, however, appeared to show otherwise.

Digital Foundry’s full review is worth a read — they tested a Core i5-6500K with a GTX Titan X at 1080p in a variety of titles to measure both the impact of overclocking DDR4 and of higher clock speeds. What we’ve done below is map the gains they saw from overclocking DDR4 from 2133MHz to either 3066MHz or 3200MHz. These two clock speeds always delivered the best performance, but some titles showed the greatest gains at 3066MHz and regressed at 3.2GHz, while others showed continual improvement.

This dataset is limited, but it does point to some general trends. First, minimum frame rates tend to increase more than average frame rate. Second, the gains are title-specific: Battlefield 4, Crysis 3, and COD Advanced Warfare all see gains under 10%, while GTA V, Far Cry 4, and The Witcher 3 are all at or above the 15% mark. Assassin’s Creed Unity splits the difference, with a 15% jump in minimum frame rates and a 6% rise in average frame rates.

The Digital Foundry team claims to see a similar set of results when using faster DDR3 in Fallout 4 and a GTX 970. As this screenshot shows, FO4’s minimum frame rate rises dramatically when paired with DDR3-2400 instead of DDR3-1600.

Again, however, a caveat is in order. Gamebryo games have always tended to be very friendly to more memory bandwidth — much more so than you would otherwise expect. We’ve seen this in Skyrim, and we’re seeing it, apparently, in Fallout 4 as well. TechSpot has more on this, and their data shows that Intel chips gain more than AMD does from faster DDR3. This actually makes sense — the FX-8350’s L3 and integrated memory controller are clocked at 2.2GHz, and the FX-8350 has other latency issues that will blunt the impact of faster RAM.

The non-Fallout 4 gains aren’t huge, considering that we’re increasing RAM clock by 50%, but these results fly in the face of previous testing. For years, conventional wisdom has been that RAM clock speed is nearly irrelevant to game performance, provided that you’ve met the minimum threshold for a title.

It’s possible that we’re seeing the impact of new game engines or that the GTX Titan X that Digital Foundry used was powerful enough to show an impact, whereas previous video cards were not. The choice of resolution (1080p) and potentially even the use of FCAT over FRAPS could also have played a part.
anyone who has ever modded an Elder Scrolls or Fallout game knows that they are basically giant relational databases with a graphical frontend. So naturally they like memory bandwidth.
Adam knew he should have bought a PC but Eve fell for the marketing hype.

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