T420, HD3000, and RAM speed

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by formerglory, Nov 15, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. formerglory

    formerglory Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    168
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    31
    I've read in a few places that upgrading the RAM in a T420 (or any Sandy Bridge laptop) can provide a speed boost for the Intel HD3000 IGP. Specifically, faster RAM will show a noticeable improvement. Can anyone here sound off on this? My Google-Fu hasn't come up with much on the subject, so I figured I'd ask around.

    I'd like to upgrade the RAM in my T420 to 8GB eventually.
     
  2. Thors.Hammer

    Thors.Hammer Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    982
    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    216
    It is true on a couple of different levels. First, more RAM will benefit the overall environment if using a 64 bit OS. Today most people realize Windows 7 x64 does a great job in this regard. However, most people only need 4GB of RAM.

    The integrated Intel iGPU will take advantage of more RAM because it uses shared memory. But keep in mind there are different versions and clock speeds of the Intel HD 3000 iGPU. This isn't commonly known. For example, take a look at this Intel proc comparison.
     
  3. MidnightSun

    MidnightSun Emodicon

    Reputations:
    6,668
    Messages:
    8,224
    Likes Received:
    231
    Trophy Points:
    231
    In theory, faster system RAM will result in better Intel 3000 IGP performance. I believe some NBR members have tested this out on the X220 (and other SB laptops with the Intel 3000 IGP), and although some have reported some gains, they're generally rather insignificant.

    Bottom line: if the Intel 3000 IGP couldn't run the program satisfactorily before, using faster RAM won't change that.
     
  4. Thors.Hammer

    Thors.Hammer Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    982
    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    216
    I was referring to more RAM, not faster RAM. You should see a better result on a 8GB system compared to a 2GB system.
     
  5. erik

    erik modifier

    Reputations:
    3,647
    Messages:
    1,610
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    55
    significant?   let's test that hypothesis.

    here's how fast 1333MHz memory runs in an X220:

    [​IMG]

    let's see some 1600MHz and 1833MHz memory results in comparison. ;)
     
  6. Colonel O'Neill

    Colonel O'Neill Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    300
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Now I'm tempted to get even more RAM for caching. :p
     
  7. erik

    erik modifier

    Reputations:
    3,647
    Messages:
    1,610
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    55
    i tested various apps using a ramdisk for scratch/swap/page and didn't notice a difference over an SSD scratch disk.   by manually measuring the time it takes to update a temp file, it seems like most apps are bandwidth-limited to around 500MB/sec even on a ramdisk.   it's safe to say that software is a larger limitation than CPU, GPU, memory, storage device, or operating system, yet everyone focuses on hardware.

    but, i'd highly recommend testing it just to see what you find.   it's always fun to experiment. :D
     
  8. thomasw333

    thomasw333 Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    11
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Get more ram, my E420 had 4gb or ram, I monitored the ram while playing civ 5, the intel hd3000 was using between 1400 and 1600mb of ram, it could not always get the full use of the ram because... the system itself was using the ram, I gave a long explanation in the E420 thread, but basically by upgrading to 8gb of ram, the gpu maxes and then the laptop uses the rest to play the game, the game is more stable, plays better, faster, etc........
     
  9. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

    Reputations:
    7,182
    Messages:
    28,836
    Likes Received:
    2,055
    Trophy Points:
    581
    Any two modules are better than one. The amount of RAM is less of a factor. The 1600MHz RAM gives a modest boost to graphics performance compared to 1333MHz RAM. Draw your one conclusions from this table of resuots which I've been wanting to analyse for some time when work stops getting in the way.

    [​IMG]

    Sandybridge's built-in memory controller provides a major boost to integrated graphics performance compared to the previous Intel platforms.

    John
     
  10. Thors.Hammer

    Thors.Hammer Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    982
    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    216
    Was the same CPU used in all of the tests? Which one?

    Thanks
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page