Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Boosting your APU graphics memory without breaking the bank

7-way-a75-dram The AMD Llano APUs have been around for a short while now and have made a fair old impact with their discrete-level integrated graphics capabilities. You’re basically getting similar graphics performance in video games from an integrated part, as you’d expect from adding a genuine graphics cards. Many of you will have noticed however that in this scenario, the PCs RAM can almost become a bottleneck or sorts. A discrete graphics card will typically come with a healthy, 256MB, 512MB or 1GB of GDDR memory, memory that’s designed specially for graphics subsystems, and while today’s PCs are content with DDR3 memory, these graphics cards are usually built using faster GDDR5 chips which are designed for speedy data transfer, the likes of which a GPU really thrives on.

It is for these reasons that many PC builders using an AMD Llano APU are opting to use higher clocked DDR3 memory than one would traditionally choose. Most PC builds would have no problems using regular everyday 1333 data rate memory DIMMs, but tests have shown that these new APUs in fact really benefit from a little extra memory headroom; from say 1600 or 1866 data rate RAM.

Tom’s Hardware has put together an interesting article that examines and compares some faster clocked RAM offerings and the effects that is can have on graphics performance with an APU. Its really interesting to see that a 3D gaming performance boost from memory alone might not actually cost as much as you expected. Furthermore, I’d expect to see faster clocked RAM sets come down in price in the coming months, as memory vendors tempt you to enjoy a boost in just the right place.

Read the article in full here on Tom’s Hardware here.

You can learn more about AMD APUs and the GIGABYTE boards that drive them here.

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