View Full Version : RAM - bulk up graphics card or motherboard?

22-02-2004, 04:39 PM

I'm gonna order a PC through Dell soon. I've been customising on the site and I'm after some opinions.

Assuming everything else is equal, I can afford 1024MB DDR Ram, or an ATI Radeon Pro with 256MB, but NOT both.

The PC will be used for general household use, with a definite leaning towards MS Flight Simulator.

Options are:

512MB DDR Ram and 256MB graphics; or
1024MB DDR Ram and 128MB graphics.

Which would you pick, and why? I want to "future-proof" to a large extent, and don't think 512MB will cut the mustard in a year or two...

But then a 128MB graphics card won't either!


PS: I know $$$ can be saved elsewhere, but can we just stick to the above :)

22-02-2004, 05:01 PM
well rams pretty cheap and you'll be able to bulk up that easily in the future if you want...........i own a p4 2.4c Ghz with 512mb ddr and 128MB GE Force agp vid card........now I'm very happy wiht this but cant say I play games anyway so I cant tell you how it'll work wit flight sim game .....however in normal usage I'm only using about half the ram......
I've read in some places that these 256mb vid cards are sometimes 'slower' than the 128's ......something to do with the type of ram they use............check out www.tomshardware.com for some interesting comparisons......

22-02-2004, 05:02 PM
umm , may i ask what is the graphics card?

You say Ati radeon Pro, But what radeon?

22-02-2004, 05:10 PM
512Mb PC3200 DDR400 SRDRAM $120.04

tha'ts from pricespy.co.nz

as you can see..............rams cheap

22-02-2004, 05:36 PM
Ummm yeah it's quite a decision, I would say that if Flight Sim is all you're gonna be playing then a 128MB graphics board will do you fine. It would help if you stated what kind of Radeon board you're looking at. Also as previously stated is has been known that graphics cards with 256MB of RAM tend to have slower cheaper memory.

Personally if I was getting a Radeon 9600XT or 9800XT I would leave the RAM at 512MB it can always be upgraded later, what OS are you planning to run... if it's XP chances are you may need to get more RAM but at this stage see if the system will get by on the 512MB...which it should do, depending what other applications you're running.

In short if it's a high end Radeon then get it at the expense of less RAM. RAM is a cheaper buy later than a gruntier graphics board (despite their falling prices), so get the high end card and worry about the RAM later.


22-02-2004, 06:04 PM
As already stated it depends on the ati chipset more then the amout of onboard ram on the card.

The enrtire loading up the video card with ram is a bit of a strum.A 64mb card runs as fast as a 128mb card,Hence,none of the ram onboard will matter untill game textures outgrow the need of the ram...and by then the games will need a faster chipset anyway.

As for dell,while i can see why people buy there budget models(cheap as dirt) they don't have a good name for multimedia computers.Before handing over the dosh it would be a good idea to find out exactly whgat model of motherboard,ram and video card its supplied with.

They have a habit of using Video cards that have a lower clockspeed (due to cheaper,inferier onboad ram) then the models that are sold thru other avenues.

hence,There system supplied withan ati9800pro may be dead slow.Compare clockspeeds.

Imo your better off buying local,Garenteed to get a better performing cheaper system.

Unless your local shop is a crook.....

22-02-2004, 06:44 PM
yeh what's the FSB of the mobo ?.................

as for running xp on 512mb ddr well that's what I do and it runs fine as and only ususaly uses about half the ram.........I have ONE game on this ptuer and that's um...........'call of duty' which it seems to play fine........

I DO have an 800FSB with 2.4c Ghz p4 and 512mb ram with Asus GE Force 128 Fx5200, now I know that's not the best vid card but well it works fine on that particular game.......cant say about others.....

the FSB of the mobo and the type of cpu will be of considerable impact on your game capability also.....

22-02-2004, 07:22 PM
Thanks guys.

Unfortunately I'm not computer-savvy enough to predict those sort of details you asked for, and Dell doesn't supply them.

I asked the exact same question at Avsim.com, and they agreed that bulking up on graphics RAM is preferable due to price.

But you guys have been more....thorough.

So decision has been made: 256Graphics card.

22-02-2004, 08:15 PM
whats the specs of the model ?.............what kinda ram they using pc2700 or pc3200 ?...........how much you paying ?.......can you give a list of the specs or a web link to see ?......

22-02-2004, 09:25 PM
1024MB DDR Ram and 128MB graphics.

Reasons already said. 128 is faster that 256. I dont think there is any use for 256 at the moment.

If you could, it would be good to hold off buying a computer for a while.

PCI Express sounds great.

Also, new design of motherboard coming out, that has a different, and much better layout of compenents.

Apparently PCI Express will become mainstream by the end of this year.

Maybe a bit long to wait though.

On second thoughts, dont wait :-)

If you wait for the next tech that is just about to come out, then something else will be just about to come out, so you will wait a bit longer, then something else, and by then you could have had your new computer for 3 years or something, and buy a new one anyway :-)

I think that dell 8200 or whatever is very good. I was looking at buying it myself at one stage.