First up, we have Sandra's Memory Bandwidth results. Using the full 4 GB does provide a performance increase, but the margin of defeat is very narrow... certainly not anything that you would notice.
Sandra's Latency Benchmark shows much of the same thing, with the win going to the 4 GB configuration.
The Super PI 4M Calculation reveals the system was 5 seconds faster at completing the task with the full 4 GB of memory.
I had hoped to run more synthetic benches, but I found it difficult to locate programs to use that were 64 bit compatible. So, let's move ahead to real-world gaming results. As mentioned before, I will be testing with Colin McRae's DiRT and Far Cry v1.4. I tried using Rainbow Six Vegas but it kept locking up in Vista, even when trying it in XP Pro compatible mode.
First up we will look at DiRT. I ran this game at the max graphics settings in the options menu with a resolution of 1680 x 1050. I used FRAPS to record a race from start to finish, both with 2 GB and 4 GB of memory. Each test was run three times and I calculated the averages for the final results, which can be found below.
Running this game at max graphics @ 1680 x 1050 really put a strain on the system. The 4 GB configuration only resulted in 5 more FPS, but when running at these semi-low overall frames, every bit counts.
Next up is Far Cry. Far Cry was released in 2004 as one of the most beautiful PC games of all time. Even today, this game remains one of my all-time favorites. I ran Far Cry at 1280 x 1024, max in-game graphics settings. I used the Hardware OC Far Cry Benchmarking Utility with "Ultra Details", 16x Anisotropic Filtering, 8x Antialiasing, Shader model 3.0 and HDR rendering level set at 11. Each pass was conducted twice and the average computed from there. First up is the Archive Demo.
The extra 2 GB of memory was good for nearly 10 extra FPS on average. Next up is the River Demo.
Results from the River demo were less impressive, with an increase of only 3.41 FPS on average.
Finally, I wanted to see if 4 GB of memory would have any impact while working with photos. For this test, I used Paint Shop Pro 7 and took a 3.37 MB image file, then increased its size by 740%. I timed this process using both 2 GB and 4 GB configurations and also kept an eye on the memory usage as reported by Vista.
The entire process was completed 4 seconds faster with 4 GB of memory. The image above on the left shows the system with 2 GB of memory, at 99% memory usage. The same test using 4 GB of memory only consumed 61% of the system RAM.
Continue ahead as we look at overclocking and wrap things up with a conclusion...