The aim of this article is to work out the benefits of upgrading or adding more memory to your notebook computer. Typically with computers (desktop or notebook), benchmark programs don't properly represent performance increases of additional memory (say 512MB vs. 2GB, as in our case) as they do when compared to testing in real-world applications. By upgrading to 2GB of memory from 512MB or lower, you're going to see big increases in performance in areas such as Windows boot time, game level loading time, loading applications (especially when multi-taking) and performance in new games such as Battlefield 2 and F.E.A.R with lots of AI and large and complex scenes.
Even still, we ran some popular benchmarks to show the difference in upgrading the Dell XPS2 from 512MB (2 x 256MB) to 2GB (2 x 1GB) - both in Dual Channel mode. Most of our benchmarks are hard drive orientated to show the performance increases of the hard drive which is under less stress. With more of the load being handed off to the memory, the hard drive is able to function much more efficiently which also makes the overall system much more responsive.
Most of our important information will come from our own observations in the F.E.A.R demo, which was released about a month ago - you can download it here from Gamers Hell. F.E.A.R was pretty much unplayable (very choppy) when I first got my notebook, but after adding an extra 1.5GB of memory, things got much better (and scarier) but we'll cover this in more detail shortly.
Let's start off with 3DMark05.
Version and / or Patch Used: Build 120
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark05/
3DMark05 is the latest version in the popular 3DMark "Gamers Benchmark" series. It includes a complete set of DX9 benchmarks which tests Shader Model 2.0 and higher.
For more information on the 3DMark05 benchmark, we recommend you read our preview here.
In our first benchmark, we only see a slight increase when upgrading from 512MB to 2GB but this is as expected.