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To those who said that faster RAM does not increase FPS

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey there,

I've been told that there's very little point in going for faster ram because it won't help gaming performance.

Well, perhaps these opinions were terribly misinformed.

Check out these results:

I own 16gb of ddr3 gskill 2133mhz ram - cl9-11-11-31 - 1.6v (no OC).

However, my motherboard BIOS was showing only 1333 mhz. I did some extensive tests (r9 290 stock, 2500k stock, win 10 64, SSD - turbo cpu disabled, vcore unchanged)

1333mhz - 1.6v - 3dmark vantage: Overall Score: 27312 - Graphics: 34293 - CPU: 16957
2133mhz - 1.6v - 3dmark vantage: Overall Score: 28346 - Graphics: 35410 - CPU:17733

Alright, not a huge change by any means.

Windows 10 boot time + Win rar extraction times + game loading level time = Pretty much the same between 1333 vs 2133. Nothing to report.

Let's look at gaming: I only tested Star Citizen as that's all I have on my SSD atm.

1080p - medium settings @ 1333mhz: 45.4 FPS
1080p - medium settings @ 2133mhz: 53.5 FPS


I tested these 8 times. Even did a few reboots.

----

Frankly, I'm stunned that by making ONE change in my bios from 1333 to 2133 can lead to a 15% increase in FPS for a VERY demanding game.
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post #2 of 12
The consensus is typically based around overall use, not benchmarks. Some games do like faster ram.

Anyway, there is a notable difference between 1333 and 2133, especially using a 2500k. Out of curiosity though, I wonder what your scores would be using 1600 and 1866 in between. While leaping from 1333 to 2133 netted you a large increase, you may find that from 1333 to 1600 gives you as much as 80% of the boost. I tested the whole way up on haswell from 1333 to 2666 and found 2133 with the tightest timing I could get to be the best 'bang' for the buck with a very steep falloff in gains (but still gains) beyond, especially after 2400. Beyond 2400 I actually had zero gains or even drops in some tests.

I never say not to upgrade beyond DDR3 1333, but if somebody is already running a 2133 kit I usually will argue it's not going to result in much in the way of gains to buy even faster kits, 1866 for AMD Piledriver CPUs.
Edited by Serious_Don - 1/26/16 at 9:04pm
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Fair point Don.

Now I'm wondering:


What if I bought top-grade ram and overclocked the hell out of it ?Would it provide a further increase in gaming FPS?
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post #4 of 12
Hmm. Can you even crank the Memory divider (multiplier) up that high with Sandy? I've never had the CPU but remember reading 1866 was it's sweet spot. I know you can run 2133, I highly doubt you'll see any more frames beyond. I would think to push 2400 you'll have to go with a bus overclock from 2133 but I could be wrong, I don't think the IMC is going to take it though.

My personal opinion would be to try to tighten your timings at 2133, and test that compared to the tightest timings you can get at 1866 and see which provides the best benefit. Like I said, there was very tiny benefit on my Haswell chips going from 2133 to 2400, and certainly near nil beyond that if you can even get it stable. Sandy is a few generations back on the memory controller, so I would say you're pretty much maxed out on frame rates short of buying a 980 Ti / Fury X and/or upgrading to Skylake or Haswell-E.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1051733/the-official-intel-core-i5-2500k-i5-2550k-i7-2600k-i7-2700k-owners-club/1890 I would bump this thread and ask some of the people who have been using these for years for their thoughts, owners club for sandy CPUs.
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post #5 of 12
At what timings did you run 1333 at? I thought most tests show that there's not a very significant difference running lower speeds on tighter timings vs higher speeds on loose timings ever since C2D.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Like I said, there was very tiny benefit on my Haswell chips going from 2133 to 2400, and certainly near nil beyond that if you can even get it stable

Haswell scaled quite well to ~2666-2800 or so for 24/7 afaik, had some friends running there who were memory benchers

Yes, there's more FPS gain with memory that's faster still but it's harder to get further leaps in memory performance without having a newer gen CPU anyway. Memory typically helps the games that it helps when you're not GPU bound, so faster CPU usually also helps.
Quote:
At what timings did you run 1333 at? I thought most tests show that there's not a very significant difference running lower speeds on tighter timings vs higher speeds on loose timings ever since C2D.

"most tests" are wrong, though for comparable latency to 2133c9 you'd have to run 1333 below cas6.

2400c10 and 1200c5 will have the same latency but the 2400c10 will have double the bandwidth, in theory. Best way to get numbers is to actually benchmark, it's easy to grab latency and bandwidth numbers for RAM with a 5 second test in-OS. And yes, the games and tasks that show improved performance with faster memory generally give pretty predictable responses, for example 50GB/s 40ns should always beat 40GB/s 50ns in game FPS.
Edited by Cyro999 - 1/27/16 at 6:34pm
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post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyro999 View Post

Haswell scaled quite well to ~2666-2800 or so for 24/7 afaik, had some friends running there who were memory benchers

Yes, there's more FPS gain with memory that's faster still but it's harder to get further leaps in memory performance without having a newer gen CPU anyway. Memory typically helps the games that it helps when you're not GPU bound, so faster CPU usually also helps.

I tried up to 2666 but not 2800 as I couldn't get it stable, you are right that it scales, but in terms of notable frame rates in video games vs benchmarks, 1333 up to 2133 gave significant differences across the board, 2400 a little bit, 2666 very slight. So my point is personally I don't think it's worth it to put out the money for faster ram, I just don't see the gain being worthy of the cost, especially trying to push a Sandy Bridge CPU beyond 2133. I would instead consider saving for a new platform. I actually settled on 2133 tightened up on my 4790k, just a pinch slower but latency is a tad lower.

Also, he could potentially bump that gskill up to 1.65V and squeeze a little bit of a bus OC on it (or shoot for tighter timings) instead of buying a new kit.
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post #8 of 12
Frame rate increases from ram just shows your old ram was bottlenecking the rest of your hardware. You can't just keep going to faster ram and see frame rate increases unless you have such an intensive game and the rest of your hardware is powerful enough that the Ram continues to cause the bottleneck, just depends on what the graphics engine is doing, some games push data in and out very rapidly like GTA. I suspect Star Citizen's engine would too in order to continuously load in and out data as your travel with those kinds of graphics.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Frame rate increases from ram just shows your old ram was bottlenecking the rest of your hardware. You can't just keep going to faster ram and see frame rate increases unless you have such an intensive game and the rest of your hardware is powerful enough that the Ram continues to cause the bottleneck

It's not really a YES or NO question.

You'll often have a workload, limited by the CPU work for example. You could spend 20% of the frametime waiting for memory, 80% waiting for other stuff.

if you double memory speed, you spend 10% time waiting for memory, 80% for other stuff - it takes 90% of previous time instead of 100% total time and you get an 11% FPS increase.

There is still room for improvement, but with memory it has always been about improving a small chunk of the total time. If the CPU is where the task is for 10x longer slice of time, you'd need a 100% improvement to memory speed to rival only a 10% improvement in CPU core speed. We see a similar situation almost always when memory performance affects a game. CPU is king but a huge change in memory speed makes a dent, enough to make buying faster memory make a CPU with worse silicon lottery win in FPS - or be a cheaper way to get performance than buying a better cooler and overclocking more, as faster RAM can beat 100 or even 200mhz gains on CPU core regularly.
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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLeftNut View Post

At what timings did you run 1333 at? I thought most tests show that there's not a very significant difference running lower speeds on tighter timings vs higher speeds on loose timings ever since C2D.

I ran the 1333 at the same timing I did the 2133 at... cl9-11-11-31 - 1.6v
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious_Don View Post

I tried up to 2666 but not 2800 as I couldn't get it stable, you are right that it scales, but in terms of notable frame rates in video games vs benchmarks, 1333 up to 2133 gave significant differences across the board, 2400 a little bit, 2666 very slight. So my point is personally I don't think it's worth it to put out the money for faster ram, I just don't see the gain being worthy of the cost, especially trying to push a Sandy Bridge CPU beyond 2133. I would instead consider saving for a new platform. I actually settled on 2133 tightened up on my 4790k, just a pinch slower but latency is a tad lower.

Also, he could potentially bump that gskill up to 1.65V and squeeze a little bit of a bus OC on it (or shoot for tighter timings) instead of buying a new kit.

Hey Don

if I bump the timings is there any chance I can damage my system/ram ?

and, do u think I'd see much of a performance boost?

(fyi: check out the link I'm posting below - anadantech- where ram is benchmarked - a real eye opener)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Predaking View Post

Frame rate increases from ram just shows your old ram was bottlenecking the rest of your hardware. You can't just keep going to faster ram and see frame rate increases unless you have such an intensive game and the rest of your hardware is powerful enough that the Ram continues to cause the bottleneck, just depends on what the graphics engine is doing, some games push data in and out very rapidly like GTA. I suspect Star Citizen's engine would too in order to continuously load in and out data as your travel with those kinds of graphics.

Well , you have a point...Still, take a look at this: http://forums.anandtech.com/showpost.php?p=37837493&postcount=14
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