3GB, 6GB or 12GB Investigated

SuperPI, Passmark & Photoshop

 

SuperPI is the benchmark of choice for many overclockers. It's lightweight to download and can give a quick indication on how good a system is at number crunching. Once again, testing was performed a total of 5 times, with an average being calculated from the middle three results.







 


PassMark is a popular benchmarking suite which test all aspect of PC hardware.The CPU test examines Mathematical operations, compression, encryption, SSE, 3DNow! instructions and more. Each CPU test was performed a total of 5 times, with an average being calculated from the middle three results.


 


Adobe® Photoshop® CS4 software provides improved access to its unrivalled power through a more intuitive user experience, greater editing freedom, and significant productivity enhancements. For this benchmark we used a variety of filters on a single image and enabled the timing mode, adding the resulting times together to produce a single result. Memory performance settings were set to maximum for the timed runs.
 

 
 
Results Analysis

I was surprised at the SuperPI results given that all the kits were clocked exactly the same. All 3 kits began the same but the longer the test went on, the 6GB and 12GB kits started to pull away. The only logical explanation for this is that there was more room for windows processes to run in the allocation of memory. A lame explanation but the only one I can offer I'm afraid.

More distinct performance difference were to be had with Passmark's Memory performance test, again showing the 12GB kit to be superior. Photoshop however, showed the biggest differences but as with the operating system, the 64bit version is required to fully utilise the 6 and 12GB capacities.

Let's see if there is anything to separate the kits with our run of standard memory benchmarks...
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Most Recent Comments

27-03-2009, 18:54:44

monkey7
Lol at the photos with all the ram. And 200 quid for 12GB, I paid that for 6GB 1333MHz. Prices are really dropping now.

Nice and unique review, really sheds some light on questions which are asked a lot and answered rarely.Quote

28-03-2009, 05:01:48

themcman1
That was a really good review - I really enjoyed reading that.

I want to have enough RAM to take photos like that though. Quote

28-03-2009, 06:52:46

Rastalovich
Outstanding article.

The large leap in the price from 6g to 12g as opposed to the leap from 3g to 6g really pushes the business requirements for the largest kit. The CS4 results show they'll get reward for it professionally in terms of time over work hours. Even tho 6g will do a great job, 12g plus the cost, minus perhaps the vat and time saved would make it viable.

(*cough* most of ours still use 2g in the main, with 4g if they're lucky - don't know of any 8g machines - 775 ofc) If the heads of the departments concerned really had their heads around the figures, they'd be more concerned with maxing the memory of their pcs rather than paying over the odds for a retailed pc with an nvidiafx card that will relatively not help them as much. Go figure.

From what I can see as far as the gamer is concerned, 3g is no issue, particularly for those who fps the majority of the time. I'd perhaps throw in an argument of certain games utilizing more memory over others. 6g for £95 or so in the present climate is surprizingly cheap, meaning I expected it to cost a whole lot more.

I think it will get to a stage where 6g is so cheap that considering u've spent 100s on ur mobo and cpu, a matter of 10s of pounds between 3 and 6 would make it a non-issue and covers more bases.

I'm glad u did an OS reinstall between memory switches, there would have been many complications otherwize.

Great stuff.Quote

28-03-2009, 07:05:52

w3bbo
Cheers for the comments guys.

This was perhaps the biggest, most time consuming article/review I have done thus far. As we have not done a test on this magnetude to date, a lot of experimentation was used to find the optimum testing procedures, image and video sizes etc because, as you say Rast, without a re-install, there were anomolies and strange results that didn't match what I was expecting. Not only that but passing filters over a 4gb image with 3GB of ram ground the system to a halt whereas 12 GB found it a breeze, if somewhat time consuming.

I used each kit for a week's worth of 'everyday' computing. 12GB is definately worth it if you are working with large files and although most of the benchmarks don't significantly back this up, simply opening and closing programs, general vista use etc made the expereince so 'slick'.Quote

28-03-2009, 07:31:56

Rastalovich
If u still have the 12g in-house, it'd be interesting if u could create a ram disk and run a game off it. Dunno how u'd do that with Vista.Quote
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