Bill O’Brien of TechWeb tried something I have been thinking about attempting as well.
Only he got off his duff and did it.
Bill took his Microsoft Media Center Edition PC (I have one, too) and kept ramping up the memory from 512 MB by adding one module, then another, then another. Before long, his box was set up with a cool 2 GB.
Along the way, he used the open source, COSBI OpenSourceMark benchmark software utilities to measure memory, graphics and hard drive performance. He also used Ulead Video Studio 10 Plus to do some fairly intricate video cutting and pasting.
In addition to the added memory modules, Bill kept on going in and out of dual-channel memory archtecture. That’s the use of memory modules in pairs rather than single devices.OpenSourceMark spat out test results for each memory module add and configuration. The OSMark Test results were “memorable,” to put it mildly.
With two memory modules installed at the 1024MB threshold, the score was 1,074. Dual-channel configuration for the same amount of memory was 1,111.
Are you expecting much higher with this PC loaded for bear at 2GB?
Hardly. Both at single-channel and dual-channel, the OSMark Testscore increased by only the tiniest of margins. We’re talking exactly one point difference- up to 1,112.
Bill then does some cost-benefit analysis to quantify that because each 512 MB costs about $105, upgrades beyond 1GB are impractical for many applications at 2 GB or even as low as 1 GB.
“For video rendering, large spreadsheets, graphic image manipulation, and similar memory hogs, more memory is only better up to a point — after which you might as well feed your hard-earned dollars into the paper shredder,” Bill writes. “Unless you don’t mind throwing money at problems, you’ll need to do some work to figure out when you’ve reached that tipping point. “