Assassin's creed unity system requirements: 6GB vs 8GB?

spellbinder2050

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I wanted to know people's thoughts on this. The min specs and recommended RAM specs for Unity are 6GB and 8GB's respectively.

I noticed that a lot of the newer console ports require high levels of Vram and Ram. I'm pretty sure this is because of lazy optimization and the developers would rather have the hardware specs as close to the consoles as possible to make their work easier.

Anyway, I just want to know what you guys think would be the difference between 6GB and 8GB in terms of performance, while running a high end 4GB gpu like a GTX 980?

Does anyone think this would create a ram bottleneck? Are we talking about annoying texture pop ins? Sudden drops in FPS during explosions or lots of textures on the screen at once? Anyone have direct experience with this?
 
It's a bit of both, but also because PCs still lack unified memory and low level API. Both can relate to these problems and even tie into development design.

Part of the problem is many multi plat titles are developed on console. To get the most out of the consoles they have to be designed for unified memory. Since PCs don't yet have unified memory they get the short end of the stick. So some of it is not so much lazy porting, but biased development. Often times biased toward unified architecture even at the engine level.

This can be hard to overcome on the PC end without time consuming porting, or driver wizardry. The latter of which we've seen recently in what AMD accomplished with their Omega drivers regarding AC Unity and Far Cry 4 performance.

A lot of people mistakenly assumed that x86 architecture consoles would mean far easier porting, but what they forget to account for was that PCs not yet having unified memory and low level API is still one of the biggest hurdles to overcome. In fact with today's extremely large texture file games, it's every bit as much a hurdle as the core architecture being different.

To answer the question though, anyone even considering a 900 series Nvdia GPU should have at least 8GB RAM. Preferably 16GB given the still existing lack of unified memory. Pascal's unified memory should somewhat diminish the RAM bottleneck, but my next build I still plan on 16GB RAM, even with unified memory and Dx12.

Dies are shrinking, architecture is getting more efficient, and there are still some great driver accomplishments, but one thing that's scary to me is the texture file size in games is increasing dramatically. Best to have more hardware than you need than not enough.

 

neieus

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First let me address your second paragraph with a no......The reason these games require more and more memory is because the games are becoming more and more complex and not necessarily due to lazy programmers. Lazy programming in my opinion would be a game that crashes or doesn't live up to it expectations.

Will there be a difference between 6GB and 8GB in terms of performance? Yes generally speaking depending on the game and how often the hard drive will need to be accessed in order to load data once you run out of ram. You also have to keep in mind that it's not necessarily the game that's eating up all 6-8GB of memory. The 6-8GB requirement is because windows alone will eat up at least 2-2.5GB once full loaded up so in reality the game itself only needs the remaining space of 4-6GB.

If there is any bottleneck created it will NEVER be from the ram because if you're low on memory the bottleneck will always come from the hard drive if you're accessing data constantly.
 

neieus

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Upgrading your RAM to 8GB would be a good idea but how much memory will be saved by disabling AERO? I honestly don't know the answer to that.

The RAM will never be the bottleneck and the best way to understand that is to understand what a bottleneck is. The most basic meaning is how fast data moves from one point to another and anything that impedes that is a bottleneck. RAM no matter how much you have will never be the bottleneck because it will always be faster than your hard drive. When you run out of memory your system will store extra information on the pagefile which is a section of the hard drive reserved as backup RAM. Since hard drives are slower in comparison to RAM it creates a bottleneck when transferring data back to the RAM for use. This is why SSD's are so popular because they are so much faster than a traditional hard drive it lessons any data transfer bottlenecking however it's still far slower than RAM.

Add: Basically the RAM is waiting for the hard drive to send data back thus creating a bottleneck.
 

neieus

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If you want to see and monitor your memory/pagefile usage while gaming you can use programs such as hwdinfo to track your usage. It will save the information in an excel spread sheet that you can pretty easily follow.
 
Even though I agree that it seems PC should have gotten unified memory in one way or another long ago, I'm just glad it's finally on the table and announced for the next Nvidia architecture with a not too distant timeline mentioned.

As far as the logistics go, sometimes we on PC forget that it's not just console manufactures and publishers swaying devs toward console, it's PC itself being a nightmarish plethora of configurations that make it extremely hard to reach a unilateral manufacturer agreement on standardization of new features like unified memory.

You add to that various types and brands of chip manufacturers each wanting to offer such things on THEIR product to lay claim and sell more, and it can drag on for years. This is what's killing the evolution of display tech right now and why we're still sitting on LCD tech, vs way more advanced stuff, because there's been a lot of bickering over design patents, copyrights, etc.

It's been known for some time that a lack of unified memory on PC would eventually become a bottleneck that has to be dealt with. It really wasn't until the next gen consoles debuted when multi plat games were finally made with HUGE texture files that it became the 20,000 lb elephant in the room. At least Nvidia have stepped up and vowed to try and solve the problem though, so I applaud them for that.

 

spellbinder2050

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OK that makes sense given the improved textures and draw distance I'm seeing in some of the newer games like ACU and Watchdogs.



My rig has 3x 2GB = 6 GB in triple channel config, and I'm thinking about replacing my GTX 570 SLI config with a GTX 580 to get some gaming in, so I'm assuming I should definitely upgrade my RAM to 8 GB as well? How much does shutting off the Aero theme in Win 7 save?



Wouldn't this still technically be considered a RAM bottleneck because the low RAM is causing the extra drive reads?

 

spellbinder2050

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Yes, I'm familiar with what a bottleneck is and the pagefile, not to a great degree though. I definitely wouldn't mind seeing how the spreadsheet looks because I can't dive into it myself right now.
 

spellbinder2050

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Yeah, I was just looking at something pertaining to unified memory and Watch Dogs here:

http://gearnuke.com/watch-dogs-can-use-upto-3-gb-ram-ps4xbo-pc-sutters-due-lack-vram/

And Pacsal Architecture here:

http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2014/03/25/gpu-roadmap-pascal/

"Unified Memory: This will make building applications that take advantage of what both GPUs and CPUs can do quicker and easier by allowing the CPU to access the GPU’s memory, and the GPU to access the CPU’s memory, so developers don’t have to allocate resources between the two."

Given what you said and what I read, it's to my understanding that Nvidia is solving this problem by creating unified memory on the gpu itself instead of needing a change in motherboard architecture? Either way, this leaves PC gamers in a bad situation because within a year or two everyone is going to have to upgrade their gpu's.

And another thing to consider is why the hell did they wait for months after the release consoles and a bunch of bad ports to tell us the architecture was going to be a problem for PC gamers?
 

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