Budget Graphics Strike Back: Revenge of the RAM

by Derek Wilson on 5/19/2005 5:40 AM EST


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  • kobymu - Saturday, May 21, 2005 - link

    I was hoping for some information about how these card suffer/gain in performance when move from the AMD platform to INTEL's, considering the differences in memory subsystem.

    1.Assuming that the graphic card will deploy some sort of DMA, in an Intel platform, it should have a shorter path (only needs to go through the northbridge) as opposed Amd (pci-e controller/chipset -> integrated memory controller on Amd cpu).


  • AtaStrumf - Friday, May 20, 2005 - link

    Yea I know, my spelling sucks. But hey, nobody is perfect :-) Reply
  • Rand - Friday, May 20, 2005 - link

  • xsilver - Friday, May 20, 2005 - link

    sintax = syntax
    sorry... I usually dont correct people on spelling but it was funny cause you were talking about language and spelt something wrong :P
  • AtaStrumf - Friday, May 20, 2005 - link

    OK, I guess technically, in this particular case you're right, that the order can be reverse of what is logical and still get the right message across, I just think it's more than a little bit confusing.

    English language in general, not unlike programming language, is however extremely depedent on the order of words (sintax), because it's grammar is very simple, missing many, shall we say "features", of other languages like declension for example, that's why I think it's important to keep it right.

    If you're interested you can read up on my language here:


    Our grammar's complexity has to be second only to that of chinese'/arabic scribble, so most of us over her are inherently grammar experts :-)

    OK, I'll stop bugging you now ;-)
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 20, 2005 - link

    Now we just need to get Derek to run some tests with 2.5-3-3 RAM and a realistic CPU choise like a Celeron of Athlon 64 3000+. ;) Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    As I said -- I cannot say decrease, as the percentage was calculated as an increase. Sorry I forgot to mention that I'm not going to recaculate my data and reenter it into the graphing engine in order to call it a decrease when all I need to do is change a couple words :-)

    Besides, all of the percentage data in our processor and graphics articles is a percent increase. Why break tradition now :-)

    Lexically, I could have swapped 2:2:2:8 and 3:4:4:12. Of course, as per English, it makes the same ammount of sense to do what I did. Technically, I don't believe there are any restrictions on the order of prepositional phrases. I will admit that saying "increase to fast from slow" could be tough to skim, but hopefully no one will think games run faster with crappier products.
  • AtaStrumf - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    He, he this is just hilarious Derek. I give you two perfectly fine options and you go and find a third, totally confusing one. "increase to 2228 from 34412" :stares in amazement: OK maybe my English isn't quite up to par with you guys, or maybe I have been reading a few too many biochemistry books, while not sleeping enough, but this just doesn't make any sense to me. I would recalculate for decrease and say "...decrease from 2228 to 34412", but that's just me. Reply
  • ReadyFireAim - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    The 128MB onboard memory version on the X300 (256MB supported) is available @ Newegg for a mere $2 more than the 32MB onboard TurboCache that's recommended here.

    "The 128MB onboard X300 HyperMemory part should perform significantly better than what we are seeing here"

    Is it fair to assume that the 128MB X300 will be the beat these others; the $2 cost difference doesn't matter to me at this point.
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    I'm sorry about the graphs there -- I've changed them to say increase to 2228 from 34412.

    Actually, it would have been improper to change increase to decrease, as the percentages would be smaller for percent decrease. (increase from 15 to 20 is 33%, but decrease from 20 to 15 is 25%).


    Integrated graphics performance generally isn't as high as even these budget cards.

    Also, 754 boards would be inappropriate for this test -- these cards are all PCI Express cards.

    We did use the same system from our previous test -- the Athlon 64 FX-53 nForce 4.
  • Calin - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    I pretty much prefer an integrated graphics to one of those cards - but there are some problems:
    1. you can easily change the graphic card, much easier than changing the mainboard
    2. I want a integrated graphics mainboard. There are almost no mainboards I can buy (or they are not available here)
    3. To compare to the performance of a card with local memory plus system memory, the integrated card must have a local memory also (frame buffer or whatever)
  • AtaStrumf - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    Damn it Calin, you already fixed the timings, so my copy/pasted statement is inconsistent with what's in the graph and what I was saying. I was referring to: Percent FPS **increase** from 2:2:2:8 to 3:4:4:12 line in the first graph on page 2 and the same thing is repeated in other graphs as well. You can either change the order of timings or "increase" to "decrease". Your pick, but I prefer decrease, because it's more logical that way. Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    Yea I mean really: Percent FPS increase from 3:4:4:12 to 2:2:2:8. And then the least increase get puts a card at the top? WTF?!?! You gotta be kidding right. I believe it should be decrease.

    Anyway, who cares, if you get a card like this, you are not gonna be playing games much, and even then I'd like my RAM to stay intact. If I want to share my system RAM with a GPU, I'll get one integrated in a chipset, thank you very much.

    Just one more marketing BS scheme.
  • Houdani - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    "Upon examination, the graphs reveal counterintuitive data."

    Heh, it's particularly counterintuitive since the page 2 graph titles are backwards! See #5, above.
  • Tarumam - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    I think th ewhole concept of both turbocache and hypermemory is wrong. I mean if you have a system with a very cheap dedicated video card on it, that´s because two main reasons:

    1- You don´t care much about 3d performance;
    2- You don´t want the video subsystem wheighing on the ram memory.

    Those reasons all but completely disaprove the use of a weak dedicated GPU that will use the main system memory.

    Anyways, thanks for the article as it demonstrates that there are no such things as miracles. The bottom line is: If you´re going to build me a computer with the video subsystem in a dedicated video card, then (whatever the budget you have for it) keep it off my RAM.
  • BornStar18 - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    I agree with #5. That's my only grievance so far. Reply
  • Calin - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    On the second page, the graphics should read "Percent FPS increase from 3:4:4:12 to 2:2:2:8" - assuming the performance is better with fast memory.
    What processors did you use in the test? At that time, for Pentium4 only dual channel solutions are easy to grab, however, Athlon64 single channel (Socket 754) is pretty common and a much more sensible choice for a budget computer.
  • mostlyprudent - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    Sorry if I missed this in this or the previous article, but how does the performance of the ATi 32MB Hypermemory card compare to the standard X300 with 128MB of onboard memory? Reply
  • Iftekharalam - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    Look at the Farcry 1.3 Performance benchmark. The system memory causes the frame rate to fluctuate up to 20%!

  • Iftekharalam - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    My first post in anandtech becomes the 2nd post! Reply
  • Budman - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    1 Reply

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