Flying on with X-Plane, RAM upgrade benefits

Here’s a short video on my X-Plane progress getting to Australia in a Cessna 210T. At the time of writing I’m down in Singapore and ready to move on through Indonesia.

Recently I found that frame rates in X-Plane 10 and other titles like ARMA 3 & DCS were rather inconsistent. I also tested this while having the resource monitor open and tools that overclock and monitor the CPU & GPU. I was pretty surprised to find that at times the CPU and GPU weren’t running at full speed. At first I thought that they were throttling due to heat issues from overclocking. I then suspected that my reporting tools were inaccurate as they aren’t officially supported by the vendors.

I tested this further by cranking up the GPU load and CPU load.

In general game play I get around 60 FPS in ARMA and about 60-100 in X-Plane 10. What I was finding though is that the FPS would dip to 20-30 depending on what was on screen.

As an experiment I overclocked the RAM up to 1866, up from 1600. I also tested it at 2000mhz and the frame rate became much more consistent.

I decided that the frame rate dips were probably a bottleneck in memory so it was worth investing in some more RAM for these 64-bit applications, and faster RAM!

I then went out and purchased 16GB of 2400Mhz rated DDR3. Rawr!

First problem was that my local supplier that I use only had 2 in stock. I got one pack home and my PC wouldn’t post. Disaster! Had I wasted my money on incompatible RAM? I tried it again with two pairs and it worked. I adjusted speed and failed with 4 sticks. I alternated the sticks matching up different pairs, no help. After much testing and nashing of teeth I discovered that while all the sticks worked individually there was one stick that would not work in pair with another. Ah ha! I had a faulty stick of RAM. No problem, I’d just purchased it so it was Dead on Arrival and surely they’d replace it on the spot.

I rang my supplier and they said that they’d be happy to take it back and test it but if it wasn’t faulty there was a $49.95 charge for the service. Bah! But don’t worry, they’d knock it down to half price since it was just RAM they were testing.

I was pretty confident in my testing so took at back and it turned out to be faulty. The service guy then said that my mother board didn’t do 2400Mhz anyway. This also turned out not to be true though luckily.

Luckily the last pack in stock was good (I got them to test it and POST’d while in store).

I’m happy to report that the performance gain was noticeable. Here’s a brief on my current PC:

  • Intel i7 4770k overclocked to 4.3Ghz
  • 16GB 2400Mhz DDR3
  • SSD for Win7 64-bit, ARMA 3 & DCS World (7200rpm HDDs for X-Plane and most other things)
  • nVidia GTX 680 4GB vram
  • Acer 120hz 3Dvision ready Monitor + Samsung 24inch Monitor
  • Track IR 5
  • HOTAS Warthog
  • Saitek Combat Pedals


Categories: Flight Simulation

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2 replies

  1. I’ve been trying to find info on how dependent Xplane 10 is on RAM performance, this has been very useful thanks!

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