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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  • crackedwiseman - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    OK, just one question: why in the hell are the IGP memory tests done on an i7? The results would be much more meaningful if the tests were on an AMD A10 or similar - it has a beefier IGP, and thus would be more bandwidth-bound. Reply
  • creed3020 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    100% Agree. Doing these tests against a Trinity APU would have been much more interesting from a iGPU point of view. It it well known that AMD APUs benefit from increased memory bandwidth, AT has yet to test Trinity for this yet they did it for Llano. Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    It makes sense to test; HD 4000 is far superior to HD 3000 and it is worth knowing if that extra power is bandwidth limited. Generally, it is a little, though nowhere near as much as AMD's equivalents are. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Not to mention, it's surprising to me that AMD wasn't mentioned as a company trying to match memory to motherboard. AMD started making their own memory modules, an interesting fact I think. Reply
  • SeanJ76 - Saturday, June 21, 2014 - link

    AMD is a decade behind Intel, in processor technology and instructions, it really doesn't matter what AMD attempts to do.... Reply
  • SeanJ76 - Saturday, June 21, 2014 - link

    No one gives a shit about APU you moron......these are desktop tests! Reply
  • hp79 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Maybe because more people use intel? I agree that it would have stood out more if it was AMD's IGP, but doing the test on intel IGP is also okay and gives an idea of what to expect. I think the article is fine. Besides, do people really play games with IGP? If I am playing demanding games, I want the frame rates to be minimum 60 fps. That's why I use a dedicated graphics card. This might change when AMD's IGP gets even more powerful, but for now I think it's still not there yet. Reply
  • zcat - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    > Besides, do people really play games with IGP?

    Some of us do. My miniitx i7 is primarily for work & everyday use, but its HD4000 is fast enough for Portal 2 and Diablo 3 to be very playable @ 1920x1080p with AA off.

    However, I know the limits of IGP, and intend on upgrading to an overclocked GeForce GTX 650 Ti very soon in order to play some more demanding games this winter.
    Reply
  • sking.tech - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    you may want to reconsider your choice of video "upgrade"
    nvidia's 2nd number is more significant than the first as far as overall gaming graphics power goes... You'd do better going for a 560 TI than a 650 for approx the same cost
    Reply
  • Dirk Broer - Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - link

    You should first look at what chip actually powers the card -and it's capabilities- before staring yourself blind on the last two digits. Besides that, a GTX 560 Ti is more expensive than a GTX 650. Reply

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