View Full Version : How exactly does RAM affect your games?

08-27-2003, 01:35 PM
Say that I would like to play a game that needs 256 MB RAM, and that's exactly what I have on my comp. What will happen?

08-27-2003, 01:49 PM
then i guess you would be playing the game

08-27-2003, 01:58 PM
You'll have enough resources on your computer to play the game, that's what.

There are three key factors to making a game run smoothly. The processor speed, video card capacity, and the RAM. The speed of the processor determines how fast your computer can process information. But you need enough RAM to balance things out a bit. You can have alot of processor speed but very little RAM, but without that RAM you won't notice much of a change in the speed of your computer. The same can be said if you have a whole bunch of RAM but not alot of processor. Think of both as two integral parts of a brain. The processor determines how fast information can be processed. But the RAM is what determines the bulk or capacity of how much information can be processed at once. So you can say that a the faster a processor, the quicker the "brain's" wit is. But the bigger the RAM, the bigger the "brain" will be.

Advantages you'll see in bigger RAM will be things like faster level loading time, or less choppiness in-game assuming your graphics card is up to spec. Take those BF1942 levels for example. Massive. More RAM will make those levels load at a more reasonable rate, and even though they're so big your computer just might be able to take the whole thing in without jumping too much.

08-27-2003, 02:03 PM
Well, in simple terms it's largely about how much of the game files have to be loaded into memory to give you a 'smooth' ride. If a game had to keep constantly disk-swapping, it would be choppy and glitchy, and no fun to play. Of course, they have to keep in mind how much the OS, sound cards, etc., demand from the system resources alongside the game files.

Demands from graphics are not such an issue these days, due to the prevalence of graphics accelerators, but textures still need some space to move around in. And the more complicated a scene is on screen (in terms of numbers of allies/enemies, AI, physics, game states etc.) it all needs to eat up those PC resources. ;)

Games like Unreal 2 really like 512Mb RAM...so I guess I need to upgrade. :D

08-27-2003, 10:17 PM
Oh well, guess I need to upgrade my Ram to 512 MB RAM. It's the only thing I'm lacking...

The Cheat
08-27-2003, 10:23 PM
yeah i have been thinking about upgrading to a gig of ram

08-27-2003, 10:34 PM
The only thing i need to upgrade is my Graphics Card, this GeForce 2 Ti sucks i need a better one :(

Any Recomendations for Graphics Cards ?

08-27-2003, 10:50 PM
A GeForce 4 Ti 4200 w/ AGP works great! (It's what I have.) It costs $130 dollars though. (I don't know what that is in pounds.) :)

08-27-2003, 10:54 PM
Me and my dad are gonna upgrade the comp to 1.5 Gigs of ram (from 512 mb) once our computer is paid off. Then, well be riding in style. :) :cool:

08-28-2003, 01:07 AM
More Ram is good. I have 256 and it is ok but sucks for some games. I just borrowed a friends copyy of BF 1942 and when I first tried to play the SP campaign's it lagged. I have it on the lowest setting's and it still is laggy. I am currently running a P4 1.6 Ghz with a Geforce 3 Ti 200. I have double the requirment's to run the game except for my 256 of Ram. I've also noticed the lag whenever I am playing a lot of Bot's on CS or JO.

:lsduel: :duel:

08-28-2003, 06:15 AM
It's not only how nuch ram you have but also the quality or ram you have. You can have 512mg's of the crap you get for $20 and you will get just what you paid for.

Corsair, Crucial, Mushkin, Samsung and others all make some great stuff.

Don't buy the cheap stuff , wait till you can afford some good quality stuff so you don't have to buy twice.

I have a 512mg stick of Corsair XMS DDR3500 and the stuff flat out smokes.

08-28-2003, 10:24 AM
Does Ram make your games smoother?

08-28-2003, 10:42 AM
It sure does.

Think of it this way...

You RAM is a cubboard in the kitchen where you keep the salt and your Hard drive is the garage where you keep the extra salt shakers.

Following me so far?

So it's much faster and easier to just go to the cubboard to get some salt then it is to run to the garage and get it.. right.


Your RAM stores "things" on it that you access frequently. But if it isn't big enough to hold all that stuff your CPU needs to go to the hard drive to get the files or what not. Which runs slower then your RAM and is that much farther down the line.

So the more ram you have the more "stuff" it can hold that you use often and that means less trips to the hard drive.

There is a point though where RAM is not used. Right now 512mg is enough to get the job done very well. And even 256 will work in a pinch but it boarders on the edge in todays world.

But like I said. Not only do you want quantity, you want quality.

And if you can it is better to have one stick of 512 then two 256 sticks or 4 128 sticks.

That doesn't mean if you have 256 you shouldn't by 256 more. It's just that some day of you want to build a new box go for a 512 stick instead of twin 256s.

Go to www.newegg.com they have good prices and sell top name stuff and have a great reputation.


To finish off.

So say your playing a game and it wants to show a certain map but it doesn't fit on your RAM, it would need to g oback to your hard drive to get it. But if you had more RAM the whole file might fit on the RAM and you wouldn't have to wait for the time it takes to go get it from the hard drive.

How was that?

08-28-2003, 10:51 AM
Great! I always wanted to know how RAM works. I'll get more RAM sticks, to get faster gameplay. Some of my games tend to lag a lot.*looks at Generals *

08-28-2003, 11:00 AM
It might not make your games faster, per say. It will smooth out things but will not add extra frames per second and what not.

It's like this. If you have a pentium 100mhz and 128mg or ram, you will not get a faster gameplay by adding more ram. You might not take as many trips to the HD but your CPU speed will slow your game down.

It takes a fast CPU and GPU to make a game run fast. Not a ton of RAM.

08-28-2003, 12:41 PM
More RAM increases 'efficiency'

Faster CPU/GPU increases raw speed


08-28-2003, 12:54 PM
Basically,it's this.

Cant put stuff in the RAM if you dont have much to put in it.

Cant put the stuff you process if you dont have anywhere to put it(excluding the hardrive,but that's usually much slower than RAM).


08-28-2003, 01:50 PM
Be aware that Win98 can not physically handle any more than 256 MB of RAM. WinXP can handle almost as much as you can throw at it, although after you get past 512MB you probably aren't going to notice a lot of a change. Only programs like Photoshop and games with large levels to be loaded will test out your PC.

If you do get something like 1.5 GB of RAM, try and setup a RAM Disk to take advantage of the high speed of RAM compared to a Hard Disk.