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Thread: RAM, how I love thee...

  1. #1
    Discipulus et Magister Member Lord Condormanius's Avatar
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    Default RAM, how I love thee...

    I must start by saying that while I am not completely computer illiterate, there are some things beyond a basic understanding that I do not understand.

    I was very excited when I received a package in the mail today. Recently, I ordered some RAM to add to my desktop.

    I had been running:

    Celeron 2.6 GHz
    512 MB RAM
    XTasy 9600 256MB

    Just by adding another 512 MB RAM, the performance has increased beyond my expectations. Save games load almost instantly (I used to have to wait several minutes), there is no lag on the campaign map, the music doesn't "skip".

    I haven't fought a battle yet as I was too excited to wait to tell everyone about my RAM.

    I just got an inexpensive 22" widescreen monitor. Am I to understand that if I use a DVI hookup instead of the traditional monitor plug thingy, I will get better graphics? Does anyone have a clue as to what I am talking about?
    "You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war."
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    "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
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  2. #2

    Wink Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    Its nice huh.. This Christmas Im waiting to do the Ram. I got a 1 gig but it will be 2 gig. I cant wait!

  3. #3
    Captain Obvious Member Maizel's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    Nah

    You wont get better graphics.

    The DVI is mostly use for tv in/out purposes

  4. #4
    Discipulus et Magister Member Lord Condormanius's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    I can't believe the difference it makes. It only cost me $35 on eBay.
    "You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war."
    -Albert Einstein

    "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
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  5. #5
    Discipulus et Magister Member Lord Condormanius's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    Quote Originally Posted by Maizel
    Nah

    You wont get better graphics.

    The DVI is mostly use for tv in/out purposes

    What about s-video? I have one of those too.
    "You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war."
    -Albert Einstein

    "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
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    Sacrelicious Member Rameusb5's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    Graphic quality is controlled by the game options, not by what hardware you use.

    But if you up the quality in game beyond what your hardware can handle, it will start to bog your machine down, and while the graphics will still LOOK good, the gameplay will be very choppy. And by hardware, I mean your Graphics card (yours could use an upgrade).


    S-Video is for TV's. You won't find a computer monitor that uses it. Just use whatever cable your monitor comes with and it will work fine.

    And, yes, adding good RAM is the cheapest way to get a performance boost out of your machine. But eventually you're going to need to upgrade your GPU and CPU (and probably motherboard too).
    Last edited by Rameusb5; 11-30-2006 at 20:44.
    Rameus

  7. #7
    Member Member Maxfu's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rameusb5
    Graphic quality is controlled by the game options, not by what hardware you use.

    But if you up the quality in game beyond what your hardware can handle, it will start to bog your machine down, and while the graphics will still LOOK good, the gameplay will be very choppy. And by hardware, I mean your Graphics card (yours could use an upgrade).


    S-Video is for TV's. You won't find a computer monitor that uses it. Just use whatever cable your monitor comes with and it will work fine.

    And, yes, adding good RAM is the cheapest way to get a performance boost out of your machine. But eventually you're going to need to upgrade your GPU and CPU (and probably motherboard too).
    Graphics quality is controlled by your hardware. Specifically your graphics card. If that was not the case, why would anyone upgrade their cards and why would there be some much competition in the market? Secondly why would you suggest he update his GPU if graphics quality is not affected by hardware? Your monitor can also affect your graphics quality. Monitors BTW are also hardware. There are also many monitors on the market that support s-video, it is not just for TV. I do agree however, that adding RAM is the cheapest way to get better performance from your PC in all aspects.
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    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    RAM made a big difference since MTW. I upgraded to 1 GiG for MTW, so for this errr... let's see....

    There is law of diminishing returns which applies, naturally but 3 GiGs should be ideal, I think.

    1 is fine (I'm using that still) 2 would do as well, but 3 for every single setting on maximum (naturally compatible GFX card), that would be the best IMO.
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  9. #9
    Discipulus et Magister Member Lord Condormanius's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rameusb5
    And, yes, adding good RAM is the cheapest way to get a performance boost out of your machine. But eventually you're going to need to upgrade your GPU and CPU (and probably motherboard too).
    My motherboard can support a Pentium 4 3.? GHz CPU. I bought the graphics card when Rome came out, so it is a couple of years old. Both the card and the monitor have hookups for DVI, s-video and whatever the other thing is. The mointor also has some other hookups tha I can't identify off hand, but they are likely explained in the manual.

    I just remember reading or seeing or hearing something abut DVI providing better graphics because the digital signal is transmitted better...or something like that.
    "You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war."
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    "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
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  10. #10
    Praeparet bellum Member Quillan's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    Generally speaking, CRT monitors use the analog hookup, while a lot of the LCD flatscreen monitors use the DVI hookup. Having one of each just means you don't have to worry about whatever type you have. If you bought an expensive flatscreen monitor that had DVI and didn't have that outlet on the video card, then you'd have to get a dongle to go between the card and the cable.
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  11. #11
    Bland Assassin Member Zatoichi's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    I actually noticed a difference when I switched to using a DVI cable with my LCD monitor - there was an increased crispness in the graphics which was definitely absent before I switched.

    But adding extra RAM is a godsend in Total War - I went from 512 to 1gb for RTW and noticed a definite improvement. I'm now running with 2gb and M2TW is running very smoothly indeed.

  12. #12
    Member Member Spartiate's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    I'm running 4gb ddr2 ram and the game is just about acceptable as i have a crappy n-vidia 6200 in the pc. It turns out i cannot add in my ati 800xt pro so i'm going to buy a top shelf n-vidia this weekend.I seem to only ever upgrade when a new TW game comes out.
    "Go tell the Spartans,stranger passing by that here,obedient to their laws we lie."

  13. #13
    Member Member Barry Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    Well a lower end card wont hit that hard into the eye candy..but even on my 6600 256mb card...it runs well on mostly high (minus AF and AA)...

    I have 2Gb....512 is a bit too low..1Gb+ does the job well.

    I am thinking it is a fairly cpu intensive game also....played it on a P4 3GHz yesterday..and it wasnt nearly as smooth as a dual core processor...graphics card and ram the same...

    Just my theory anyway!

  14. #14
    Sacrelicious Member Rameusb5's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxfu
    Graphics quality is controlled by your hardware. Specifically your graphics card. If that was not the case, why would anyone upgrade their cards and why would there be some much competition in the market?
    Frankly, there are a few graphics options that newer graphics cards support, like shaders and so forth, that older cards won't. But for the most part, graphic detail is dictated by your graphics settings in the program itself, not by the hardware.

    Having a screeming video card means you can turn up the graphics settings in your games to maximum, run them at a very high resolution, and run anti-aliasing and so forth. All of this makes the game look good.


    You can do all of those things with a crappy graphics card, but your game will run like crap. It will still look fantastic, but won't run worth a damn.


    Secondly why would you suggest he update his GPU if graphics quality is not affected by hardware?
    Because performance is affected by hardware, and newer games have higher performance needs. This is why you upgrade.

    Your monitor can also affect your graphics quality. Monitors BTW are also hardware. There are also many monitors on the market that support s-video, it is not just for TV.
    Monitor quality is probably the last thing I would ever blame bad graphics on. Sure, refresh rate and color depth are all important, but the GPU, drivers, and software all have way more factor on that. I've never seen an S-Video monitor myself, but I guess that doesn't mean they don't exist. I'm not sure why in the world you'd ever buy one since not every graphics card has an s-video port.
    Rameus

  15. #15

    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    I just remember reading or seeing or hearing something abut DVI providing better graphics because the digital signal is transmitted better...or something like that.
    Your video card will be producing a digital signal. The LCD monitor uses a digital signal. If you use a VGA cable (between your video cards VGA port and the LCD's VGA port) then you are doing an unnecessary signal conversion from digital to analog and then back to digital that could lose some clarity.

    Use the DVI cable for LCD's, and you will retain a digital signal all the way, with a corresponding boost in clarity in some instances.

    I just recently got an LCD widescreen monitor as well, and am still trying to get it all configured nicely. The widecreen is great for the battlemap, but the campaign map looks a little...off somehow.

    Also, gradients of color (for various in game cinematics) seem to be rendered more poorly on my LCD than on my CRT - I get banding on the LCD, indicating it can handle fewer colors. Anyone know if this is something that can be adjusted or just a necessary drawback to LCD's?

  16. #16
    Discipulus et Magister Member Lord Condormanius's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulstan
    The widecreen is great for the battlemap, but the campaign map looks a little...off somehow.
    Yeah...maybe a little bit stretched out on the campaign map. It's crazy how much more of the battle map you can see.

    I don't know about the color thing. this is my first LCD.
    "You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war."
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  17. #17
    Member Member Dr_Who_Regen#4's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    Just as a point about RAM...there is a farily easy way to tell if you need more (instructions for Windows XP). First reboot your machine. Play M2TW for a while. Then exit the game (or you could tab out of M2TW)

    After exiting the game bring up task manager (ctrl+alt+del)

    Go to the performance tab.

    Under the "Physical Memory" section their is a "Total". This is how much RAM you have to use in your system.

    Under the "Commit Charge" section there is a "Peak" value. If your Commit Peak is higher then your Physical Total then you have used Virtual Memory which is much slower (however, depeding on what is in virtual memory your game play might not really be impacted).

    SO you have a couple options to correct this issue. Get more RAM, exit background programs as they take up RAM (Messenger, iTunes, etc), change game settings etc...The background stuff can be most easily found on the right of your taskbar next to the date/time.

    I have 1 GB of RAM installed and almost nothing running in the background excpet internet security programs and hardward configuration programs. It appears that I go about 10% over my available memory in SP. I have yet to attempt to determine what impacts RAM usage from M2TW and how settings change this. I use Large Unit sizes and most graphics settings on high (Using XFX 7600GT card). I am sure the bigger the battles you play the more RAM you will need.
    If I could only find my TARDIS

  18. #18
    Discipulus et Magister Member Lord Condormanius's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulstan
    Your video card will be producing a digital signal. The LCD monitor uses a digital signal. If you use a VGA cable (between your video cards VGA port and the LCD's VGA port) then you are doing an unnecessary signal conversion from digital to analog and then back to digital that could lose some clarity.

    Use the DVI cable for LCD's, and you will retain a digital signal all the way, with a corresponding boost in clarity in some instances.
    Thank you. This is answer to my original question.
    "You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war."
    -Albert Einstein

    "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
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  19. #19
    Member Member Maxfu's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAM, how I love thee...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rameusb5
    Frankly, there are a few graphics options that newer graphics cards support, like shaders and so forth, that older cards won't. But for the most part, graphic detail is dictated by your graphics settings in the program itself, not by the hardware.

    Having a screeming video card means you can turn up the graphics settings in your games to maximum, run them at a very high resolution, and run anti-aliasing and so forth. All of this makes the game look good.


    You can do all of those things with a crappy graphics card, but your game will run like crap. It will still look fantastic, but won't run worth a damn.




    Because performance is affected by hardware, and newer games have higher performance needs. This is why you upgrade.



    Monitor quality is probably the last thing I would ever blame bad graphics on. Sure, refresh rate and color depth are all important, but the GPU, drivers, and software all have way more factor on that. I've never seen an S-Video monitor myself, but I guess that doesn't mean they don't exist. I'm not sure why in the world you'd ever buy one since not every graphics card has an s-video port.
    First let me apologize if I can off a little harsh yesterday in my reply, I was in a bad mood. I guess we are really arguing semantics here. You right, graphic detail is dictated by the application settings but those settings are useless without a card that can support them so...lets just say we both have a point.

    I also do not know why anyone would by a monitor that utilizes s-video but they are out there. I suppose if you wanted to add a DYD player or something to the same monitor, you would have the ability to do so. I'm sure that someone out there has found a use for it.
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