Hello all. I recently upgraded from a 6150 SE to an Chaintech 8600 GT 512MB GDDR2 128-Bit. I am using an AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Processor @ 2.0GHz on Windows Vista Basic. I have 1022 MB of Ram and at a fresh reboot I'm at around 50% Utilization of that ram.
Most of my games run great, but this game stutters quite a bit even at 800x600 with all settings maxed out in DX9 Mode. I've noticed that the HDD light is lit up almost constantly during this game so I'm guessing It's writing to the page file non-stop due to ram shortage? The framerate is really smooth but it freezes up every few seconds creating a stutter effect. When I close out of Bioshock, windows lags for a bit as if I've run low on ram so that's why I'm thinking it is a ram issue.
I plan to upgrade to 3GB of DDR2 PC-6400 Ram soon anyway and I don't mind waiting until then if that is the problem, I just want to make sure that's what the issue is and it's not something else.
Forgot to add that I've tried the 169.25 WHQL drivers and the 174.74 Beta Drivers, both do the same thing. Also, AA and AF is not turned on.
Thanks in advance all!!
yep, your right on the ball there. Ram issue for sure.
On XP 1gb of ram for Bioshock isnt too bad, but for vista its.. well, you know already.
On thing: In DX10 mode your graphics card can dip in to your RAM as though it were VRAM. I wouldnt be suprised if DX10 actually caches some of your RAM as VRAM as well - so you might want to try and play it in DX9 mode, that might ease up on the stuttering.
Just make sure that you keep the number of your ram modules even, otherwise you will loose dual channel.
I think I forgot to mention that the stuttering is with it on Direct X9 mode already. But yeah, ram was what I thought. Thanks!
BTW, what do you mean keep the number of my ram modules even? I plan to purchase 3 x 1GB sticks of DDR2 PC-6400 ram since I've heard that vista 32-bit can't utilize 4 GB, otherwise I'd buy 4GB. Would that still run in Dual Channel or are you talking about something else?
nah, 3 sticks wont dual channel. If you want dual channel and no more than 3GB you can get 2x 512 and 2x 1GB (gotta put the larger sticks in the first slots, order goes from left to right). Gotta be in pairs for dual channel to work.
I needed more than 2gb, but didnt want to loose dual channel, so I have 4gb even tho my xp is only 32 bit. A bit of wasted RAM, when im not on Vista 64, but the xtra performance is worth it. Its not a TOTAL waste tho, my XP can reference 3.25GB of ram.
Last edited by Yabbering Yeti; 04-17-2008 at 02:53 AM.
So if I got 4GB it'd run in Dual Channel even though it won't recognize the last GB? I don't really mind ram is cheap anyways.
With 32-bit Windows the OS can only see 4GB total. That includes the RAM on your video card, so if you have 4GB system RAM and 512MB on your video card, Windows can only utilize 3.5GB of the 4. If you switch to a 64-bit flavor of Windows then you will never see a system in your lifetime that actually has more RAM than a 64-bit system is capable of addressing. Also on a 32-bit system each process no matter how much RAM is available is limited to 2GB each. And again if an application (or game) is written for 64-bit and the OS is also 64-bit then that limit is gone too.
But I don't have a 64-Bit OS and I don't have the money to buy both a 64-Bit OS and the Ram right now. So If I were to buy 4 GB of Ram (4x1GB PC-6400 DDR2) Would it run in dual channel mode, even if it only recognizes 3.5GB of that 4GB? I can't imagine any game this card would be able to handle requiring over a gig of ram in itself.
I think the reason I have stuttering is because my Vista at fresh boot uses 512mb of that 1024mb without even opening a game, so that only leaves 512mb give or take a bit for the game to use. I've heard bioshock and fear can both use up to 800-900 MB by themselves, which explains the constant disk writing while I'm playing those two games, which also explains the stuttering.
Is your current 1 GB split between two 512 MB modules? If so, you can just get two 1 GB modules and put them in slots 2 & 4. Thats what I did for my 32-bit XP. Stuttering and texture load times went away completely.
Yeah, it's two 512 MB modules but it's slower PC-5700 ram and the new ram I'll be getting is PC-6400 so I think that it wouldn't be the best idea to mix and match. Anyway I can get 4GB without any problems since theres a sale on them and I can get 4GB for less than $90 right now.
It'd be the last upgrade I'd need to make so I don't mind dropping the money, I just don't want to make any mistakes. I was planning to take out the two 512s and place 4 x 1GB modules into all four slots but since I've heard Vista can only recognize 3GB on the 32-bit version I'm worried they won't run in dual channel.
I have heard differing opinions on mixing different speed RAM modules. I can tell you that before I upgraded to the 3 GB in my system (it is the 32-bit system that limits access to the full 4GB and not Vista - so XP has the same limitation). I mixed two additional 512 MB modules that were a higher speed than the originals with no stability problems whatsoever. Just go into your set-up and verify whether you current memory is buffered or non-buffered, as this is more important. The memory will only operate at the frequency of the lower modules. I am not sure just increasing frequency of modules alone will allow your system to operate at the higher frequency without tweaking the bios. You are correct in that it is ideal not to mix and match different speeds or even different manufacturer's of RAM for that matter, but as long as the different size/speeds are on parallel rails (i.e. 1:3, 2:4), I think it would be fine. If you can get four - 1 GB modules for $90, I am assuming you can get two - 1 GB for $45 unless you are getting two - 2 GB modules. Latter would be a good investment since you would be able to re-use in a new system as long as your new MOBO still supported DDR2. I use Prime95 and PCMark05 to test the new memory for stability. once I install it. A session of Bioshock is probably just as effective of a test.
Hmm... Well, my motherboard can't handle more than 1 GB per stick so the 2 GB sticks are out of my reach. I did a scan from a website, I forget now which website it was, but it was supposed to tell you what type of ram your motherboard uses, it claimed I was using PC-5700 and that my motherboard would accept either PC-5700 or PC-6400 so I think if I removed the PC-5700 sticks that operating at PC-6400 shouldn't be a problem, though I could be wrong. I've never really tried installing ram before so I'm just going by what I've heard and read off websites.
Originally Posted by maf
You are right about the price, two 1 GB modules would cost around $45 right now at newegg but I'm not sure if it's worth the $45 savings to have the ram operate at a slower frequency. I need all the performance I can get because my system isn't exactly the best but it seems to do pretty good after installing this new card except for the stuttering in games which demand a lot of ram.
Anyway, if I were to install 4 x 1GB modules, would it operate in dual channel mode even though my 32 bit operating system cannot recognize all of the memory? That's really all I'm concerned over. The meager $45 doesn't mean much since it's the last upgrade I'll be doing for a long time, not much else I can upgrade on this system since it's a slimline, I'd most likely have to buy a new computer, which is what I'll do in the future when this system becomes too outdated.
Thanks again for all of the help I've received on this forum.
Short answer. Yes. Check your Set-Up on existing Modules (F2 on reboot) to see if they are buffered or non-buffered and replace like-for like. Simply installing higher frequency RAM will not mean you will take advantage of the higher speed without tweaking settings in bios.
Originally Posted by fultz