As I said at the beginning of the testing section, F.E.A.R wouldn't work properly when I first received the Dell XPS2 notebook. After adding the 2GB of memory, things improved substantially and become very playable, even with high-quality graphics enabled.
With only 512MB installed, the demo took several minutes to get started but with the extra memory it loaded easily under one minute. When in the actual game with 512MB installed, we might as well have not even started it. The game play was not smooth at all - it was choppy and doing low single digit frames per second at best and probably under a frame per second when in an action scene shooting.
After adding 2GB of memory, the game comes alive. It felt as if we upgraded to SLI (Dual Graphics) and overclocked the processor - all we did though (of course) was increase the amount of memory in the system. Now the game loads quickly and provides very smooth performance as you'd expected from a notebook which cost this much along with the inclusion of a high-end mobile processor and GeForce 6800 Ultra GPU.
Where can I buy BF2?
We noticed the same kind of effect under Battlefield 2 but even more so since this game is even more CPU and memory intensive than F.E.A.R due to the large outdoor scenes and complex AI.
To sum it up from a gaming prospective, if you've got a desktop replacement notebook, you really need to spend the extra money and get one with 2GB of memory. Games turn into a dream with the additional memory.
Other General Observations
Besides gaming, performance improved a lot by increasing the amount of memory. Windows boot times improved by about half, programs such as Paint Shop Pro 9 loaded much quicker and processed things much better. Windows operated much more smoothly when multi-taking - that is running several Firefox windows, streaming a local radio station in WMP, checking e-mail, several IM clients operating and copying files.
Try the above with only 512MB and the notebook struggles to handle all the tasks at once. It does them all at once but it's not a very nice experience.
Overall by adding a total of 2GB memory to the XPS2 improved the notebook to what I first expected when buying it - a dream system which is much quicker than my old desktop system. Take the strain off the hard drive and add more memory and you're in business.
With memory being quite cheap at the moment compared to times of the past, now is a good time to consider adding extra memory to your notebook or desktop system. You can find prices on computer memory at our Price Comparison website, here.
- You can let us know your thoughts about this article or your experiences with upgrading memory in our forums - Until then, enjoy your upgrading!