Is 26 Megs Enough?

Is the Dreamcast's 26 megs of RAM enough? I was recently asked this very question on a forum, and it inspired this editorial.

Let me start off by reminding you that the Saturn and PSX had around 2 megs of RAM each. The Dreamcast has a whopping 26 megs. That's 13X as much. So as far as previous consoles are concerned, Sega's new system is more than blessed in the area of RAM.

Remember, 26 Megabytes=208 megabits. That's more than Capcom's CPSII board and larger than most Neo Geo games. In other words, most Neo Geo arcade games could be loaded in to the Dreamcast's RAM at boot and there would never be any more loading throughout the game. That covers 2D games, don't you think?

Now what about 3D games? Well the PVRSG hardware helps some in this aspect. You see, it has hardware texture compression (this could be used for 2D games as well). There is no loss in using this compression, so detail levels do not suffer. The DC can compress the textures thereby allowing twice as much (or more) textures to be stored than a conventional 8 megs of video ram would allow.

Also don't neglect the fact that the OS on your computer takes up quite a bit of RAM. 8 megs if you use Windows 95. The OS on the DC will take up, at most, 2 megs of RAM. So on your PC with 32 megs of RAM you have 24 of it free after the OS. The Dreamcast will have 24 megs of RAM free after the OS (which doesn't even have to be used), also. Plus, it will have the benefit of being able to compress all textures thereby increasing the "virtual" memory to well over 34 megs.

You tell me, is 26 megs enough?

--Seth C