Memory maker Corsair has released a report in which they compare the gaming performance of 3GB and 6GB of memory on system with the Intel Core i7 processor. Corsair is eager to sell you 6GB memory kits, stating that 3GB of DDR3 memory is too little to run modern games. They illustrate how more memory will boost gaming performance, especially minimum framerates, and how it will cut game loading times. Here's Corsair's conclusion:
These results show that using 6GB of system memory provides significant performance benefits in today’s games when using the Intel Core i7 platform.
The analysis shows that 3GB of system memory is insufficient to run modern games, such as Warhammer Online and Crysis Warhead, resulting in poor performance. The lack of memory when using 3GB of RAM results in increased hard disk drive access, sometimes called thrashing. This causes in-game stuttering, which reduces the minimum frame rate. The minimum frame rate is crucial for fluid gameplay since this determines the overall ‘smoothness’ of a game.
In our tests the minimum frame rate in World in Conflict rose by 50% when we upgraded from 3GB of system memory to 6GB of system memory. In Crysis Warhead the jump was far more significant, with the minimum frame rate increasing by a factor of 3x when upgrading from 3GB to 6GB of memory. The Crysis Warhead results also highlight the need for large amounts of system memory when using high graphical detail settings. The results from Warhammer Online are similar to World in Conflict and Crysis Warhead and show a minimum frame rate increase of 45% when upgrading from 3GB to 6GB of memory.
The message to enthusiasts who are looking to build a Core i7 system for gaming is clear – installing 6GB of memory will provide significantly higher frame rates and a considerably smoother gaming experience.