RAM Speed Vs Quantity Vs Quality

  Mysticnas 15:10 14 Jul 2005

Hi all,

Hope everyone is well.

Just wondering about DDR RAM. I currently have 2Gb of DDR2100 (4x512 running in Dual Channel).

What difference would DDR3200 make? I'll start off with 1Gb for now then back to 2Gb again.

Also, what's the score with the quality of RAM? I mean does it matter if it's branded?

I saw some of the following:

- Based on High Performance Nanya Memory Chips
- 184pin, Non-ECC, Un-buffered, Industry Standard DDR memory modules
- 6 Layers Low Noises Shielded PCB
- 2.55v-2.85V

(Overclocked system)
P4 3.06 533FSB HT,
(Multimedia PC)

  TomJerry 15:25 14 Jul 2005

you can benchmark yourself

you will see almost no difference by remove 1g

you will see very little difference by downsize to 512m

"high quality" and "high speed" RAM only useful if you are going to do overclock aggresively

  Mysticnas 15:37 14 Jul 2005

a difference with the amount of RAM, especially when I do my 3D and video work, which runs much smoother.

I'm more concerned with the brand of ram. I read an article not so long ago comparing RAM, but i can't seem to find it anywhere, i don't even know what magazine or website it was in. (goldfish put me to shame).

  gudgulf 15:56 14 Jul 2005

Hi Mysticnas...........I've just gone through a similar decision myself.And I did some testing on my own system before I made up my mind.Here's what I found.

System was a P4 3.2GHz Prescott with 2x512MB and 2x256MB generic DDR333.It runs the [email protected] scientific project 24/7 at 100% cpu usage.This process is heavily memory dependent so made a good test.First thing I did was lower the memory latencies to as low as I could go (2-3-3-7 timings) which improved things.Then I borrowed some DDR400(at 3-3-3-8) and tried that which gave an immediate improvement of almost 20% in the time taken to do each unit of [email protected]

Next step was to try and overclock my existing memory/system ......It would go to a 7% maximum FSB increase before frequent crashes and lockups.Still not matching the move up to DDR400 from DDR333.

So I took the plunge and bought 1GB of Corsair XMS Cas2 DDR400 memory.This improved performance yet again....best yet.A unit that was taking 26hrs to complete was now taking 21hrs.Thats before I started overclocking.......Currently up to 15% (230FSB and 3.7GHz at the cpu) and perfectly stable.

SO......if you have memory intensive applications you WILL notice a difference.Particularly where programs are running over long periods of time.It also pays dividends to buy good quality branded memory.....particularly if you are running an overclock/dual channel.Have a look at the Corsair TwinX matched pairs....the DDR400 that you want is very good value at the moment click here

Obviously if your usage is less intense then TomJerry is correct and the difference would be less noticable....but still there nonetheless.That's my opinion,lol.

  wee eddie 17:26 14 Jul 2005

No not really:- An interesting question for those wishing to take your money.

The number of Mb's of RAM you have will affect the PC's ability to work with large quantities of information. However once you have sufficient for the job in hand, any extra is superfluous.

The speed of that RAM, once you have sufficient to handle the task in hand, is so far beyond your brains ability to respond that it is almost academic.

  Mysticnas 19:45 14 Jul 2005

is Crucial classed as good branded memory or average?

  gudgulf 20:16 14 Jul 2005

Crucial is good..........do make sure your motherboard will run pc3200 at the full 200MHZ FSB though.

wee eddie

I agree with your sentiments.......however if you have a powerful games machine and run programs which are memory intensive(me) or do 3d rendering which I believe is the case for Mysticnas,then the answer to how much RAM is enough is...A lot.Certainly 1GB, and more can be an advantage(lot of debate about this on the gaming forums) and as for speed,the answer is.... as fast as your board can handle.The increase per instruction might be mind bogglingly small but when you have millions of them it all adds up.

  Mysticnas 20:42 14 Jul 2005

well my board is a 533FSB and can apparently handle PC3200 DDR400 RAM. There's only a couple of quid difference between the DDR400 and DDR333 so i might as well go for the faster one, seeing as i want to overclock.

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