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Old Feb 3, 2014, 03:22 PM   #1
MacCrank
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: UK
More RAM required?

I run a game (Arma 3) and without having to splash out on a dedicated gaming PC I want to get the best out of my MBP. Obviously I know it's not the best idea to try and hope for good gaming but the MBP I use for work and tasking so gaming comes as a bonus really.

Its spec is below:
Year 2011 or 2012

15" MBP
4GB RAM
AMD HD Radeon 6750
2.2GHZ i7 quad core
500GB drive

During gameplay my CPU runs around 12-20% or so but my RAM runs 70% during initial start up and play and 90% most of the time.

Playing Res I set to just under 1920x1080 as a window on one of 2 screens.

Would I gain in FPS from putting in a 8GB RAM?

Although the graphics IMO are superb, the settings are all set on Low which is 1 of 1-6 settings (6 being Ultra). I know I'm not going to get much out of my MBP due to its graphics but I'm just hoping to get more out of it.

I know I can't upgrade the graphics card but the RAM is an easy upgrade.

Also would an SSD give better gaming experience or is it the RAM that should come first?

If so, can anyone recommend makes of RAM or cheapest place to get it? I see loads on eBay but it's all foreign to me.

TIA

Last edited by MacCrank; Feb 3, 2014 at 03:50 PM.
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Old Feb 4, 2014, 02:49 AM   #2
Cougarcat
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Join Date: Sep 2003
If you want to do heavy gaming, 8 GB of RAM is a good idea. You can tell if Arma is taxing your ram by looking at the RAM usage graph in Activity Monitor. If it's red, you will benefit from more . I doubt you will notice much of a FPS increase though.

A SSD just helps with loading times. You may notice a difference in games that stream load levels (not many.)
In general, however, SSDs are by far the best way to make your Mac feel faster for everyday computer tasks. I am SSD/Fusion Drive only now and I can't imagine ever going back.


Otherworld Computing is the best place to get ram, IMO.

Last edited by Cougarcat; Feb 4, 2014 at 03:00 AM.
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Old Feb 4, 2014, 01:34 PM   #3
garnerx
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Join Date: Nov 2012
I just tried it on a Windows 8 PC with 16GB, and the RAM usage doesn't seem to go over 3.2GB in total, with about 1.2GB used by Arma 3. So I don't think more RAM is going to make much difference with this game. It doesn't max out the CPU or GPU either.

I'm running it off the SSD, in the hope of getting better performance, but it doesn't make any noticeable difference. I have these launch options enabled in the game properties:

-cpuCount=4 -exThreads=7 -high -maxMem=8192 -noPause -noSplash -world=empty -nologs

Had them in there since the alpha, they're supposed to help with crashes and force the game to use more of the CPU. world=empty makes it load quicker by not pre-loading the map on the title screen. I have no idea if they're still necessary...

edit: Also, easiest way to improve the framerate in Arma 3 is to turn down the draw distance. The trees really slow it down, and you don't notice that it looks less detailed unless you get in a helicopter.

Last edited by garnerx; Feb 4, 2014 at 01:44 PM.
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Old Feb 4, 2014, 01:49 PM   #4
MacCrank
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: UK
Many thanks for both your inputs.

CPU is under no load as it shows no more than 20%.

RAM goes up to 90% so around 3.6GB of 4GB during play but at the beginning can be around 70%. Can this increase due to heat?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by garnerx View Post

I have these launch options enabled in the game properties:

-cpuCount=4 -exThreads=7 -high -maxMem=8192 -noPause -noSplash -world=empty -nologs

Had them in there since the alpha, they're supposed to help with crashes and force the game to use more of the CPU. world=empty makes it load quicker by not pre-loading the map on the title screen. I have no idea if they're still necessary...
Thanks, may try this. My overlay on TS used to crash Arma all the time so had to disable it.
Loading the map faster would be great. Its odd some servers I find have a lot more lag (lower FPS) than others. I think its due to the amount of activity on that server.
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Old Feb 4, 2014, 04:49 PM   #5
casperes1996
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RAM and heat?

I don't see how RAM usage would be affected by heat? The RAM stores data, and should not load or unload based on heat levels.
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Old Feb 5, 2014, 05:48 AM   #6
garnerx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCrank View Post
Loading the map faster would be great. Its odd some servers I find have a lot more lag (lower FPS) than others. I think its due to the amount of activity on that server.
Maybe it's because it's running a lot of simulation on the server. Getting on a fast server definitely gives you better FPS.

Some servers seem to turn down the default draw distance to increase FPS. I've noticed it when going from one server that gives me 30fps to another that gives me 60 - the faster server might have dropped my draw distance down from 5000 to 1000.
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