Friday, May 30, 2008

1Gb vs 2 Gb RAM (Hitching problem/Game Stutter)

Your video card can handle it but your machine's getting intermittent attacks of Alzheimer's.

So there I was three years ago, reading all those articles about 1Gb vs 2Gb of RAM, and all of them agreeing that 2Gb was simply not the cost-effective option. Gaaah.

What I did not know however, was that one writer wrote an article about "2Gb may not give you a substantial improvement in loading times and framerates but you can see/feel the benefits." This after I abandoned reading about the subject and went on with my gaming life firmly convinced that 1Gb was all I needed. It's so ironic since that SAME writer ALSO made a 1Gb vs 2Gb article 14 days before the second one and the former maintains that 2Gb simply isn't worth it.

Why did I not notice the past three years? Well, only my old friends know that I'm not exactly a neophiliac. I tend to play games to death and with the digital forest out there, it's going to take an eternity to chop them all down with what little time I have for gaming. Now though I just bought F.E.A.R.

Yes, after three years, I bought F.E.A.R.

(Call me insane but when I first played it on my friend's rig back in 2005 (?) I was firmly convinced that I had to get a copy. He offered to lend me it. I refused. And no, I do not like p|r@ting --- I firmly consider it a more expensive path than buying legit games. I waited. So after three years, here I am with my very own --- legit --- copy of the Platinum Edition, no less.)

Now though it mystified me right off the bat that my gaming rig is showing healthy numbers --- I'm averaging about 50-60 frames per second --- but the game hurts my eyes. I tried lowering the settings, and there were improvements of course, but the jerky movement was still there.

That's when I noticed the LED of my hard drive blinking furiously. G0ttd@mn, you should see it --- it's like a tiny Paul Revere is in there handling a gigantic LED lantern lol!


1 Gb is definitely not enough with 2005 or newer games --- it simply can't hold all the intensive textures these heavy hitters have. I had to lower my textures and memory-related settings before the game became more agreeable to my eyes.


Here's what the graphical level that the game recommended for my gaming rig. I had an average of 34 and a maximum of 90. However, my framerate had a nadir of 13, which was unacceptable, so I dumbed it down a bit.

Min: 33; Ave: 70; Max: 147. Notice the absence of several eye-candy like volumetric smoke and shadows though. VERY playable except that...

The game still stutters visually --- even when my framerates is in the 80s!!! Above it all, my HDD's light as I've said before blinks rapidly like an SMG spitting out lead. Here's my benchmark result at 800X600 resolution. It's definitely playable but the stutter is there.

I stand corrected. I need more RAM. Shazbot!