Oh, screw it, I started this using not-quite-done-with-undergrad reviewer style with a history of my system, how RAM from Newegg didn't work twice, RMAs, quick trips to Circuit City. Who cares?
There's something fancy in my mobo's chipset that can get the integrated video to talk to onboard RAM really fast, if the RAM you install is good, dual channel stuff. I had inserted dual-channel Mushkin without ever removing the cheapy Kingston single 512 stick I'd stuck in a long time back. Leave cheap RAM in your Xpress 200 chipset mobo for a year and you'll never see the integrated video do its thing. I recently gave away the cheapy stick to someone stuck with a Dell Dimension 2400 and 128 megs for WinXP. I'm so gallant, but this is getting us close to crappy reviewer style again.
Edit: Just in case you couldn't deduce the breath of idiocy, my line of reasoning was, "Well, the good memory's in there in its own dual-channel slots. The video chip will see it and know to do its scratchwork there, not on the crappy RAM, which it'll surely ignore. [and get this...] I don't need to check by removing it." I kept that mindset through crappy play for months, b/c the play with the extra Mushkin RAM was slightly better than it was with just the crappy RAM. ID E. AUGHT.
Does integrated video still stink? Sure, I guess so, though it's still very much at the right price. Does it stink as bad when it finally gets to use its fancy memory jive (hypermedia?)? Not nearly. Though I would still council any would-be system builder to go buy the cheapest thing Alienware has to offer (wait; they've got nothing under $819 now. What gives?), giving you an SLI board and a dedicated GeForce card, my latest "upgrade" is still a great tide me over. Madden is *very* fast, relatively speaking, now that little single Kingston's gone. I can actually see the kick meter and make extra points now, and I'll put off the new card purchase a while longer yet.
The interface in Madden is still the worst I've ever seen for a game, but the game is much, much, MUCH more playable now that I've taken RAM out.