For the most part, looking at memory bandwidth numbers mean nothing to that average computer user. They could care less if they score 6500 or 7500 mb/sec in ScienceMark, as long as they can email, surf the web, and open Word in a timely manner. There is very little to notice in these types of apps as they relate to memory bandwidth. But, for the average computer user who is also a gamer, there is a tangible difference that they will realize in their gaming experience. The difference in bandwidth could mean the difference in capturing a flag or killing an alien, or being killed yourself. Frame rates are important as you game. We ran a bench or two, just to give us an idea of how these games were affected by the different ram configurations that we used. We just thought it would interesting to see the results between 1 and 2 GB, as well as the results between different overall frequencies and the bandwidths that they create. So, let’s take a look at a couple!
As you can see, DOOM 3 shows us a pretty wide gap in scores between the different configurations. While it is not a huge increase in frame rates, going from 1GB to 2GB gave us a healthy increase of 6 fps. The jump from DDR800 to DDR1066 with the Buffalo ram is always quite impressive, as we gain nearly 13 fps.
Overall, Aquamark showed us the same exact results. It is quite interesting to see the differences in the CPU scores here using the AMD processor, which of course has the memory controllor on the chip. It would be very interesting to see if an Intel CPU would exhibit the same response in this test.
Obviously, games benefit from increased bandwidth and frequency. In fact, games are likely where you will see the biggest difference for the average computer user. Other visible benefits would likely be seen in encoding, Photoshopping, and CAD programs.
Let’s take a look at overclocking.