Metro2033

Metro2033 is a DX11 benchmark that challenges every system that tries to run it at any high-end settings.  Developed by 4A Games and released in March 2010, we use the inbuilt DirectX 11 Frontline benchmark to test the hardware at 1920x1080 with full graphical settings.  Results are given as the average frame rate from 4 runs.

Metro2033 IGP, 1920x1080, All except PhysX

While comparing graphical results in the 5 FPS range may not seem appropriate, it taxes the system to its fullest, exposing whether at this high end memory actually makes a difference or if we are weighing on computation.  What we do see is a gradual increase in frame rate with each kit, up to 10% difference between the top end and the bottom kit.  The pivotal point of increase is from 1333 to 1866 – beyond 1866 our increases are smaller despite the increased cost of those kits.

Civilization V

Civilization V is a strategy video game that utilizes a significant number of the latest GPU features and software advances.  Using the in-game benchmark, we run Civilization V at 1920x1080 with full graphical settings, similar to Ryan in his GPU testing functionality.  Results reported by the benchmark are the total number of frames in sixty seconds, which we normalize to frames per second.

Civilization V IGP, 1920x1080 High Settings

In comparison to Metro2033, Civilization V does not merit a large % increase with memory kit, moving from 3% to 6.7% up the memory kits.  Again we do this test with all the eye candy enabled to really stress the CPU and IGP as much as we can to find out where faster memory will help.

Dirt 3

Dirt 3 is a rallying video game and the third in the Dirt series of the Colin McRae Rally series, developed and published by Codemasters.  Using the in game benchmark, Dirt 3 is run at 1920x1080 with Ultra Low graphical settings.  Results are reported as the average frame rate across four runs.

Dirt 3 IGP, 1920x1080, Ultra Low Settings

In contrast to our previous tests, this one we run at 1080p with ultra-low graphical settings.  This allows for more applicable frame rates, where the focus will be on processing pixels rather than post-processing with effects.  In previous testing on the motherboard side, we have seen that Dirt3 seems to love every form of speed increase possible – CPU speed, GPU speed, and as we can see here, memory speed.  Almost every upgrade to the system will give a better frame rate.  Moving from 1333 to 1600 gives us almost a 10% FPS increase, whereas 1333 to 1866 gives just under 15%.  We peak at 15% with the 2133 kit, but this reinforces the idea that choosing a 1600 C9 kit over a 1333 C9 kit is a no brainer for the price difference.  Choosing that 1866 C9 kit looks like a good idea, but the 2133 C9 kit is reaching the law of diminishing returns.

Market Positioning, Test Bed, Kit Order Gaming Tests: Portal 2, Batman AA, Overall IGP
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  • just4U - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    Peaunut we are not talking 300-500 bucks here.. this is a 20-30 dollar premium which is nothing in comparison to what ram used to cost and how much more premium ram was as well.

    If your on a tight budget get 8Gigs of regular ram which is twice the amount of ram you likely need anyway.
    Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Monday, November 05, 2012 - link

    Thing is, these tests are for integrated graphics, unless I'm misreading something (AFAICT, the discrete card was only used for PhysX support; if I misread there then I apologize).

    Off the top of my head, there are basically three scenarios in which you're likely to want an IGP:

    1) You're building an HTPC, in which case you prioritize (lack of) noise and (lack of) heat over graphics' power. If all you want to run are movies, then the IGP should be adequate regardless of the speed of your memory -- and if you want to play games, no amount of memory is going to turn an Intel IGP into an adequate performer on your average TV set these days. (Better to grab an AMD APU or just give up the ghost and grab a moderate-performance GPU.)

    2) You're looking to run a laptop. But the memory reviewed in this article doesn't apply to laptops anyway.

    3) You're on a tight budget.

    So at best, we're talking about a fraction of a sliver of a tiny niche in the market, when we discuss the people who might be interested in wringing every last ounce of performance out of an IGP by installing high-priced desktop memory. Sure, the difference in absolute cost between the cheapest and the most expensive RAM here isn't going to make or break most people -- but people generally don't like to incur unnecessary costs either.

    And people who are on a budget? They can save $80, just based on the numbers in the article, without making any significant performance sacrifice. That's real money, computer-component-wise.
    Reply
  • tynopik - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    "I remember buying my first memory kit ever. It was a 4GB kit"

    makes you feel old

    my first was 8MB
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    My first computer only had 16k. Reply
  • Mitch101 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    VIC-20
    3583 bytes free
    Reply
  • jamyryals - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    wow :) Reply
  • just4U - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    The first computer i bough was a tandy 1000. I got them to put in 4 megs of ram.. at 50 bucks per meg. Reply
  • GotThumbs - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Same here.

    I had purchased a used AT Intel 486DX 33Mhz powered system and upgraded it to 16mb around 1989. Overclocking it was done using jumpers on the motherboard. Heck, in HS I was a student assistant my senior year and recorded everyone's grades on a cassette tape drive using a Tandy (TS-80 I believe). It blows my mind thinking about how things have changed. There's more power/ram in a Raspberry PI than my first computer.

    Best wishes for computing in the next ~30 years.
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Agreed, my first computer I owned personally was a 486 slc 33 (cyrix....) and I had a couple 1mb memory sticks, can't remember if those were called sims or something else. We had an apple 2+, trs 80, commodore 64, and ibm pc jr in the early-mid 80's but those were my dads :-), and some 286 that I can't remember the brand of.

    Just thinking about the e6400 as a first pc amuses me :-), that's still usable, and actually is when most of the computer fun started to die in my books. My current pc's are running phenom II 965, i5 2500k, i7 620m, i5 750, i7 720qm and I just have little motivation to upgrade anything ever.

    Haswell is the first chip in a long time that I'm excited about. Everything else has been meh. And AMD... I had an amd 486-120,K6-200,K6-2 300,athlon xp 1800,2500, athlon 64 3200, athlon 64 x2 4800, 5600, phenom II 945,phenom x3, and my current 965 and a c-50 e netbook. man hard to believe all the computers I've had :-) Anyways, amd has nothing I want anymore, except cheap multicore cpus for running x264 all day.
    Reply
  • IanCutress - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    E6400 wasn't the first PC... just the first processor I actually bought memory for. The rest were pre-built or hand-me-downs. :) I actually just took the same motherboard/chip out of my brother's computer (he has had it for a few years, with that memory) and bumped him up to Sandy Bridge. I'm still 27, and the E6400 system was new for me when I was around 21 or so. Since then I've got a Masters and a PhD - time flies when you're having fun!

    Ian
    Reply

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