Every once in a while, a game comes out and pushes the envelope, requiring high-end hardware to run with maxed out visual quality settings at high resolutions. Battlefield 4
is one of those games, and if you're looking for an excuse to upgrade your system, you now have one. When you're shopping upgrades, Corsair
wants you to consider one of its high performance memory kits, but does faster memory really matter for gaming?
Corsair says it does, at least for BF4, noting that Electronic Arts recommends a minimum of 8GB of system memory.
"Interestingly, Battlefield 4 takes a pretty holistic approach to the system it runs on. Isolating bottlenecks used to be pretty easy: you were either CPU limited or GPU limited. Either your graphics hardware was holding you back or your processor was," Corsair explains in a blog post. "As long as you weren’t running 4GB or less system memory, RAM wasn’t an issue. Yet with Battlefield 4, your RAM is important again in more ways than you might have expected."
It's not just the amount that matters, but also the frequency, Corsair claims. To prove it, the memory maker benchmarked BF4 on a Haswell system using an Intel Core i7 4770K processor overclocked to 4.4GHz and two overclocked NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 graphics cards in SLI. The results are pretty surprising.
At 1920x1200 with Ultra Settings, Corsair recorded minimum and average framerates using both DDR3-1600 and DDR3-2400 RAM. Here's how it broke down:
- DDR3-1600 (Minimum Framerates): 72
- DDR3-2400 (Minimum Framerates): 79
- DDR3-1600 (Average Framerates): 91.8
- DDR3-2400 (Average Framerates): 112.6
Corsair then repeated the tests at 5760x1200. Let's have a look:
- DDR3-1600 (Minimum Framerates): 35
- DDR3-2400 (Minimum Framerates): 43
- DDR3-1600 (Average Framerates): 46.8
- DDR3-2400 (Average Framerates): 53.9
All of those benchmark runs represent playable framerates, but it's also a monster testbed that Corsair was using. What's interesting about the results is that RAM frequency has a measurable impact on performance that, in at least one case, nets a 20fps difference just by going from DDR3-1600 to DDR3-2400.
When testing at the higher resolution, Corsair also notes that the faster 2400MHz RAM "made the game noticeably smoother and eliminated a substantial amount of stutter." Obviously Corsair has a vested interest in these benchmark results, but even so, it doesn't mean they're wrong. If nothing else, it's food for though if you're planning a build (or upgrade) based on BF4.