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Old 06-12-2016, 01:17 PM   #1
PhilZJ
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how much RAM for gaming?

As the title says, I'm still holding on to my pc that I built back in 2011. Everything seems to be doing well (upgraded gpu a couple of times since thoug), but I've been starting to wonder about my ram capacity.
I currently have 2x4gb. Unfortunately my mobo + cpu cooler combination only allows access to 3 ram slots (I could probably fit basic ram with no heatsync under the cpu van, but I don't really want to).

While gaming I see that often my memory usage uses 70-78% which I think is around where windows starts paging, is that correct?

I'm thinking of getting a new GPU soon, so I figured while I have the case open, might as well swap the ram for some Mushkin 2x8gb. I can't find the red, but I see some blackline with decent looking heatsyncs on them and 9 CAS at newegg.
Do you guys think it's worth the effort to get more ram? let me know what you guys think.

Thanks,
-Phil
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:48 PM   #2
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8 gig is the current norm.
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:51 PM   #3
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Short answer; 8GB is still plenty, and it's not technically worth the upgrade(not for gaming related reasons) but if you do a lot of file compression/transfer it might be worth it up to $40-50.

Long answer; total ram usage and gaming performance are not directly related, and infact, in many situations the way windows manages memory you could use 200% of all available system ram and still have almost no direct impact on FPS or system performance.

There's a good techspot article I've frequently referred to when this issue is brought up.
It directly compares the effects of 4/8/16GB of ram on in a bunch of typical usage scenarios performance and the results are.. pretty boring for gaming, < 5 FPS difference between 4 and 16Gb in the titles they test. There were huge differences in file compression and disk usage which makes sense, but effectively none for gaming.
http://www.techspot.com/article/1043...ram/page3.html


Would it (probably) make more of a difference with 4K resolutions on a hugely memory sucking game? maybe, but likely not enough that it'll really make a difference.

Last edited by Sephiroth; 06-12-2016 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:51 PM   #4
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Actually most building a new system are going with 16GB whether that is actually needed or not can be debated.
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:55 PM   #5
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Actually most building a new system are going with 16GB whether that is actually needed or not can be debated.
It's so cheap these days there's no reason to purposefully spec a new system with 8GB unless you're *really* penny pinching. I'm in the market myself for a new pair for a couple of parts I'm about to throw together and there's a $23 cost difference between 8GB and 16 GB.

I think I spent $111 for 32 GB of ram in the iMac, but in my defense Apple wanted $600.

Last edited by Sephiroth; 06-12-2016 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sephiroth View Post
Short answer; 8GB is still plenty, and it's not technically worth the upgrade(not for gaming related reasons) but if you do a lot of file compression/transfer it might be worth it up to $40-50.

Long answer; total ram usage and gaming performance are not directly related, and infact, in many situations the way windows manages memory you could use 200% of all available system ram and still have almost no direct impact on FPS or system performance.

There's a good techspot article I've frequently referred to when this issue is brought up.
It directly compares the effects of 4/8/16GB of ram on in a bunch of typical usage scenarios performance and the results are.. pretty boring for gaming, < 5 FPS difference between 4 and 16Gb in the titles they test. There were huge differences in file compression and disk usage which makes sense, but effectively none for gaming.
http://www.techspot.com/article/1043...ram/page3.html


Would it (probably) make more of a difference with 4K resolutions on a hugely memory sucking game? maybe, but likely not enough that it'll really make a difference.
The only video related tasks I do is convert .mts from my camcorder and compress some mp4 from my gopro. I use Handbrake which is very light on memory, usage there is 30-40% maximum. Only time I see higher usage is when playing games.

4k, well that's what I use, I have a 4k TV I play on and it's the reason behind my upcoming gpu upgrade. (anticipating to pickup an ASUS 1080 when it comes back into stock at newegg).

If memory serves me right, the ram upgrade was roughly $80 for the mushkin I wanted, so not terrible, but not free either.
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mr.Scott View Post
8 gig is the current norm.
^ This. 8 is fine.

If you built a new system, then 16 unless penny pinching like Seph said and more importantly for those newer systems is mem speed anyways.
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:46 PM   #8
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The only video related tasks I do is convert .mts from my camcorder and compress some mp4 from my gopro. I use Handbrake which is very light on memory, usage there is 30-40% maximum. Only time I see higher usage is when playing games.

4k, well that's what I use, I have a 4k TV I play on and it's the reason behind my upcoming gpu upgrade. (anticipating to pickup an ASUS 1080 when it comes back into stock at newegg).

If memory serves me right, the ram upgrade was roughly $80 for the mushkin I wanted, so not terrible, but not free either.
If you're thinking about replacing the GTX 980 you already have, I think you would see more benefit from saving the $80, getting a cheaper GPU (like a RX480 or 1070)and moving twoard a more modern CPU / mainboard. I think next gen graphics are going to be the nail in the coffin for the Sandy Bridge platform being a viable gaming architecture.

$80 is a lot for ram, you don't need the expensive stuff unless you were gaming on an IGP. You're talking about < 1% advantages between something like DDR3 2133 and DDR4 3200 at JEDEC latencies

Last edited by Sephiroth; 06-12-2016 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:12 PM   #9
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$80 is a lot for ram, you don't need the expensive stuff unless you were gaming on an IGP. You're talking about < 1% advantages between something like DDR3 2133 and DDR4 3200 at JEDEC latencies
http://www.techspot.com/article/1171...nce/page3.html
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:59 PM   #10
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That article highlights what I'm talking about on the very next page.

Our op here is not running SLI 980tis he has a single card, and in a single card scenario;

http://www.techspot.com/article/1171...nce/page4.html
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:08 PM   #11
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But he was asking about getting another 980 but in any case maybe if it was going from 30 -40 fps it might be noticeable but is it really going from 90-100?
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Old 06-12-2016, 06:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sephiroth View Post
That article highlights what I'm talking about on the very next page.

Our op here is not running SLI 980tis he has a single card, and in a single card scenario;

http://www.techspot.com/article/1171...nce/page4.html
Thanks for the find, interesting about the memory bandwidth. But as stated, single 980 in my scenario is a long way away from SLI 980Ti...
Also, by any chance, running SLI add to the traffic on the system RAM? My intent currently is to stick with a single card setup and go with the Asus 1080 GTX ROG (https://www.asus.com/Graphics-Cards/...80-O8G-GAMING/)


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbmcmillan View Post
But he was asking about getting another 980 but in any case maybe if it was going from 30 -40 fps it might be noticeable but is it really going from 90-100?
If you guys feel like my motherboard / chipset / cpu is holding me back more than the 8GB over 16GB of RAM, then that makes my decision easy. Buy a game on my iphone and stop playing pc games... ha ha ha, just kidding.
Seriously though, I think if that's the case, I'll stick with my plan to get a GTX 1080 and perhaps next year or 18 months from now I'll start considering a new cpu / mobo / ram. I don't see the value in spending $80bux on RAM which is going to hold be back due to bandwidth (remember I'm on DDR3 here..)
Right now I want to get a boost in my frame rates for Witcher 3, and next I still have a couple of games I bought that I've not played yet (farcry 4 and fallout 4) and I'd like to have decent 4k framerates for those. If I had not build my NAS box (see sig) 2 months ago, I'd probably just go ahead and get the motherboard + cpu + new ram now, but that's just too much tech spending for me in a year.
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Old 06-12-2016, 08:11 PM   #13
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I surf more than i game and even more rarely on the audio/video/photoshop editing... so 8GB works for me.
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:57 PM   #14
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I surf more than i game and even more rarely on the audio/video/photoshop editing... so 8GB works for me.
you overkilled on hardware, I have an old Asus P4p800 Deluxe with Intel 2.8c in storage that might be more appropriate for your use case
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:58 AM   #15
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just built a new system with 16gigs.. things have never been better. Skyrim with highrez textures and other enhancements just as smooth as butter.
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:42 AM   #16
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you overkilled on hardware, I have an old Asus P4p800 Deluxe with Intel 2.8c in storage that might be more appropriate for your use case
Maybe... by my hardware provides when i need the extra powa!
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