RAM – 512 MB Single vs 1024 MB Dual Channel

Worth doing? – Kyle Lunau

After recently purchasing another stick of RAM for my system, I figured I would measure performance before and after so the rest of you can make educated decisions about upping your RAM. Enjoy!

The System used for this test is as follows:

  • Asus A7N8X motherboard
  • AMD Athlon XP 2500+ processor at 2.3 GHz and 1.825 volts
  • Maxtor 40GB 7200RPM drive
  • Western Digital 160 GB 7200RPM drive
  • PNY Nvidia 6800 GS AGP w/ stock clocks

The testing was carried out as follows:

  • In both tests RAM was run at 175 MHz, 3-3-3-7 timings and 2.6 volts
  • 3DMark 2001 SE was run on highest settings and 1280 x 1024 resolution
  • 3DMark 2003 was run with 1024 x 768 x 32 resolution and optimal settings (the non-pro versions settings are not changeable)
  • 3DMark 2005 was run with the same settings as 3DMark 2003 for the same reason
  • Aquamark 3 was run with 1024 x 768 x 32 on very high detail with no AA and 4x Aniso
  • Load times were an average of 5 tests, boot 2 tests and reset and shutdown 1 test
  • BF2 level load was Strike at Karkand Singleplayer with bots on easy
  • PCMark was run with the system tests only
  • Firefox average was taken starting right after entry to Windows



512 MB Single Channel

1024 MB Dual Channel

3DMark 2001 SE



3DMark 03



3DMark 05



3DMark 06



AquaMark 3



PCMark 04



PCMark 05



BF2 Max Playable – Resolution: 1280 x 96

Terrain: High
Effects: High
Geometry: High
Texture: Medium
Lighting: Medium
Dynamic Shadows: Medium
Dynamic Light: Medium
AA: Off
Texture Filtering: Medium
View Distance: 100%

Terrain: High
Effects: High
Geometry: High
Texture: High
Lighting: High
Dynamic Shadows: High
Dynamic Light: High
AA: Off
Texture Filtering: High
View Distance: 100%

Boot Time

41.88 seconds

37.35 seconds

Firefox Load Time

Initially: 17.20 seconds
Average: 4.46 seconds

Initially: 17.37 seconds
Average: 4.38 seconds

BF2 Level load time

Initially: 4 min/ 44.1 sec
2nd run: 47.78 seconds
3rd run: 30.48 seconds
4th run: 27.51 seconds
5th run 30.54 seconds

Initially: 1 min/ 44.7 sec
2nd run: 45.56 seconds
3rd run: 43.16 seconds
4th run: 43.36 seconds
5th run: 42.81 seconds

Shutdown time

17.81 Seconds

16.32 seconds

Restart time

1 minute 16.30 seconds

1 minute 18.03 seconds

WOW!! I would have to say the extra 512 MB is definitely worth it just from the reduction in BF2 load times!

Although I didn’t include it in the testing, I also found that the extra RAM greatly reduced load times in Counter Strike: Source as well. In general use, the extra RAM could not really be noticed though and most of the tests I ran showed only modest increases in performance. But I have to say the gig is good to have in BF2!

All in all I think this proves that for today’s latest games – or newer titles at least – the full gig really makes a difference!

Kyle Lunau

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