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Which speed and memory technology should I buy?

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
July 23, 2005 3:38:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.aopen (More info?)

Hi,

In an effort to gain more performance I would like to install "faster"
(Dual-Channel 2x 512) memory in my gaming pc, according to
http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/listparts.asp?model=AX4... web
site my choices are:-

DDR PC2700
Ballistix DDR PC3200, PC4000
Ballistix Tracer DDR PC4000

As I'm running a 533MHz fsb Pentium (3.06GHz) what speed of memory (2x 512)
would you guys recommend for the best performance?

Cheers

Matt U.K.

p.s.

The motherboard manual mentions PC-1600, PC-2100 and PC-2700 DDR DRAM speeds
but the web site shows speeds up PC4000 as compatible hence my question.

--
Machine Spec:-

Motherboard: AOpen 'AX4R Plus' Intel E7205 Chipset (Granite Bay).
Processor: Intel 'Pentium 4 3.06GHz' (Northwood,533 FSB) Socket 478.
Memory: 1GB 'Crucial' PC2100 DDR.
DVD Writer: 'LG' 4163B.
DVD-ROM: 'Pioneer' DVD-106S.
Hardrive(s):
X2 Western Digital Caviar 80GB 'Special Edition' 8MB Cache 7200 rpm Ultra
ATA/100,
Sound Card: Creative 'Audigy 2'.
Graphics card:
'XFX GeForce 6600GT' 128MB DDR3 TV-OUT/Dual DVI (AGP).
Monitor: 17" Samsung 'SyncMaster 700 IFT'.
Keyboard: Windows 125 'AnyKey' Keyboard.
Mouse: MS 'Intellimouse Explorer' 3.0 USB.
Operating System : Windows XP (SP2),
DSL Connectivity: SpeedTouch 510 v4 - 4 - Port ADSL Router (10/100Base-T
Ethernet switch).
3COM 10/100 (PCI) Network Interface Card (3C905CX-TX-NM).
ISP: PIPEX 'Solo 2000' (2Mbps).
July 25, 2005 7:54:14 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.aopen (More info?)

In article <wcidnd_T_Nuyg3_fRVnytQ@pipex.net>, "Matt U.K."
<mm_lewis@_No_SpAm_hotmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> In an effort to gain more performance I would like to install "faster"
> (Dual-Channel 2x 512) memory in my gaming pc, according to
> http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/listparts.asp?model=AX4... web
> site my choices are:-
>
> DDR PC2700
> Ballistix DDR PC3200, PC4000
> Ballistix Tracer DDR PC4000
>
> As I'm running a 533MHz fsb Pentium (3.06GHz) what speed of memory (2x 512)
> would you guys recommend for the best performance?
>
> Cheers
>
> Matt U.K.
>
> p.s.
>
> The motherboard manual mentions PC-1600, PC-2100 and PC-2700 DDR DRAM speeds
> but the web site shows speeds up PC4000 as compatible hence my question.
>
> Machine Spec:-
>
> Motherboard: AOpen 'AX4R Plus' Intel E7205 Chipset (Granite Bay).
> Processor: Intel 'Pentium 4 3.06GHz' (Northwood,533 FSB) Socket 478.
> Memory: 1GB 'Crucial' PC2100 DDR.

When a memory is listed at PC4000, that is a measure of how fast the
clock on the memory can be pushed. But, the motherboard also has to
be able to run that fast, to get the good out of it. It would be
like putting performance tires on a VW bus.

I went to the Intel site and looked up the 7205 Granite Bay Northbridge,
and the 251937 datasheet says:

"Memory System...
Synchronous operation with processor system bus (same clock
frequency required on both) "

What this means, is if you have a FSB533 processor:

Processor clock 133MHz x 4 (four transfers per clock) = FSB533
Memory clock 133MHz x 2 (two transfers per clock on DDR) = DDR266

DDR266 x 8 bytes per transfer = PC2100 (2.1GB/sec)
Dual channel max transfer rate = 2.1GB/sec x 2 = 4.2GB/sec

Your current PC2100 memory is perfectly matched to your
processor - that is because its maximum capability (DDR266) is
being exactly used by the FSB533 processor's choice of clock signals.

A typical overclock for a processor using the 7205 is a little
over 160MHz. If you repeat the math above, that clock rate would
be handled by DDR333 (PC2700) memory. Select a memory which is
CAS2 at PC2700, should be a good match for your board while it
is being overclocked. You could buy PC2700, PC3200, PC3500, PC4000,
but they will all operate at a little less than PC2700 in most
cases, as the processor cannot be pushed any further. (Pushing
the 133MHz to 160MHz doesn't come with any guarantees, and I'm
not certain as to which part is the limiting factor, processor's
bus interface, or Northbridge's bus interface.)

Go here, select "Pentium 4 3.06" in the Intel section.
3.5GHz core on air seems to be possible. (3.5/3.06)*133 = 152MHz.
http://www.cpudatabase.com/index.cfm?action=search

You could attempt to overclock, even using your current PC2100
RAM. Now, I don't have your board, and the downloadable manual
doesn't show BIOS screens, but what I would try is:

1) Set new processor frequency. Bump Vcore voltage a bit to
compensate for the higher frequency. Use values in cpudatabase
as a guide, and use common sense. (Huge Vcore makes processor
hot!)
2) Then visit memory timings - switch from auto to manual.
The BIOS should have already calculated the new memory timing
values, based on your new processor frequency choice. When
a memory is rated for 133MHz, and you want to run it at 160MHz,
bump Trcd by +1, as that is often enough to get the memory
to run at the slightly higher clock rate. (I'm assuming here,
that the BIOS has already calculated the correct value for
tCAS.)
3) Save and exit. If the computer will POST, boot with a memtest86+
test floppy, from memtest.org . You should not attempt to
boot into Windows, until memtest is clean for a couple of
complete passes when using the new settings.

Start with small changes first, like 133-138-143-148-152.
You might be able to see stability fall off, without having
to clear CMOS and reenter all BIOS settings. (Unplug computer
before clearing the CMOS. This protects the CMOS battery
path.)

The other things you might want to optimize, is the CAS value.
tCAS is in fact a time number, like 15 nanoseconds. It is the
time until the data comes out of the memory chip. It is
quantized into clock cycles. I.e. 3 clock cycles of 5ns each
exactly equals 15ns. 2 clock cycles of 7.5ns each is also
15ns. A 5ns clock is 200MHz, equivalent to DDR400. A 7.5ns
clock is 133MHz, equivalent to DDR266. What that means is,
if you bought a PC3200 CAS3 memory, when run at DDR266, it
becomes a CAS2 memory. Running CAS2 on your board will be
the lowest latency you can get for your memory. You could
either buy a PC3200 CAS3 memory or a PC2100 CAS2 memory,
and they would both offer CAS2 operation at the DDR266
(PC2100) rate. (If your current memory is CAS3, then you
cannot select a value lower than that. A lower CAS number
might be an option if you do decide to buy more memory.)

The PC4000 memory you mentioned above, would be good under
two conditions. You buy an (obsolete) DDR based motherboard
that supports a FSB800 processor, then you overclock the
FSB by 25% and wish to run the memory in sync with the
processor bus. PC4000 memory is "overclocker" memory - it
is only good value for the money, if you plan to run
overclocked to FSB1000 all the time (machine will run
hot and warm the room up). And don't plan on using four
sticks of PC4000 - it is really a 2x512MB deal only.
4x512MB double sided memory cannot be run at DDR500, due
to the limitations of signal quality on the memory bus.

What you do next, is a function of whether you think the
"bleeding edge" is really going to buy you something. Your
system, like mine, is a previous generation, and reuse
opportunities are limited. Spending $100 on a FSB800
motherboard, gives you a little room for an upgrade, but
the clock rate of the processor really isn't going to go
much higher (at least at a price you can afford). So,
even if you bought a 3.2GHz FSB800 processor, on core clock
limited applications it is only going to go a tiny bit
faster. If you had deep pockets, you could buy a slightly
faster processor than that, but not by much.

For gaming, AMD is another option. With memory dividers,
you could initially reuse your memory. A S939 dual channel
board, would match the dual channel nature of your current
board. DDR memory is still cheap, so buying 2x512MB PC3200
memory would help a bit. But, once the clock rate on the
AMD processors gets "interesting", the price is again
a little too high. (Overclocking is still a viable option.)
But, with careful shopping, at least if you bought a S939
Athlon64 based board, you can use a single core processor
or a dual core processor, reuse your AGP video card, and
use whatever DDR memory you manage to scrape together.

Conclusion: Be happy with your current config, or be prepared
to fork out more dough. Buying a slightly faster memory
for your board, while it would make room for an overclock,
is not an entirely risk-free choice. (Depending on the BIOS,
overclocking might not even be possible. Some 7205 boards
have better BIOS than others.) Experiment with your existing
hardware, and see if you like overclocking - it is a bit like
learning to drive a manual transmission, expect to stall it
a few times, before you get the hang of it :-)

Paul
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
July 31, 2005 5:58:28 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.aopen (More info?)

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the reply, after reading your advice I'll just stick with what I
have. The pc is about to be replaced as my "main" pc with a water-cooled
one, I'm just
waiting for the Intel 670, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX to come down in price.
I've also read that Creative have a new soundcard due soon.

Many thanks for the advice

Matt U.K.

"Paul" <nospam@needed.com> wrote in message
news:nospam-2507051554140001@192.168.1.178...
> In article <wcidnd_T_Nuyg3_fRVnytQ@pipex.net>, "Matt U.K."
> <mm_lewis@_No_SpAm_hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> In an effort to gain more performance I would like to install "faster"
>> (Dual-Channel 2x 512) memory in my gaming pc, according to
>> http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/listparts.asp?model=AX4...
>> web
>> site my choices are:-
>>
>> DDR PC2700
>> Ballistix DDR PC3200, PC4000
>> Ballistix Tracer DDR PC4000
>>
>> As I'm running a 533MHz fsb Pentium (3.06GHz) what speed of memory (2x
>> 512)
>> would you guys recommend for the best performance?
>>
>> Cheers
>>
>> Matt U.K.
>>
>> p.s.
>>
>> The motherboard manual mentions PC-1600, PC-2100 and PC-2700 DDR DRAM
>> speeds
>> but the web site shows speeds up PC4000 as compatible hence my question.
>>
>> Machine Spec:-
>>
>> Motherboard: AOpen 'AX4R Plus' Intel E7205 Chipset (Granite Bay).
>> Processor: Intel 'Pentium 4 3.06GHz' (Northwood,533 FSB) Socket 478.
>> Memory: 1GB 'Crucial' PC2100 DDR.
>
> When a memory is listed at PC4000, that is a measure of how fast the
> clock on the memory can be pushed. But, the motherboard also has to
> be able to run that fast, to get the good out of it. It would be
> like putting performance tires on a VW bus.
>
> I went to the Intel site and looked up the 7205 Granite Bay Northbridge,
> and the 251937 datasheet says:
>
> "Memory System...
> Synchronous operation with processor system bus (same clock
> frequency required on both) "
>
> What this means, is if you have a FSB533 processor:
>
> Processor clock 133MHz x 4 (four transfers per clock) = FSB533
> Memory clock 133MHz x 2 (two transfers per clock on DDR) = DDR266
>
> DDR266 x 8 bytes per transfer = PC2100 (2.1GB/sec)
> Dual channel max transfer rate = 2.1GB/sec x 2 = 4.2GB/sec
>
> Your current PC2100 memory is perfectly matched to your
> processor - that is because its maximum capability (DDR266) is
> being exactly used by the FSB533 processor's choice of clock signals.
>
> A typical overclock for a processor using the 7205 is a little
> over 160MHz. If you repeat the math above, that clock rate would
> be handled by DDR333 (PC2700) memory. Select a memory which is
> CAS2 at PC2700, should be a good match for your board while it
> is being overclocked. You could buy PC2700, PC3200, PC3500, PC4000,
> but they will all operate at a little less than PC2700 in most
> cases, as the processor cannot be pushed any further. (Pushing
> the 133MHz to 160MHz doesn't come with any guarantees, and I'm
> not certain as to which part is the limiting factor, processor's
> bus interface, or Northbridge's bus interface.)
>
> Go here, select "Pentium 4 3.06" in the Intel section.
> 3.5GHz core on air seems to be possible. (3.5/3.06)*133 = 152MHz.
> http://www.cpudatabase.com/index.cfm?action=search
>
> You could attempt to overclock, even using your current PC2100
> RAM. Now, I don't have your board, and the downloadable manual
> doesn't show BIOS screens, but what I would try is:
>
> 1) Set new processor frequency. Bump Vcore voltage a bit to
> compensate for the higher frequency. Use values in cpudatabase
> as a guide, and use common sense. (Huge Vcore makes processor
> hot!)
> 2) Then visit memory timings - switch from auto to manual.
> The BIOS should have already calculated the new memory timing
> values, based on your new processor frequency choice. When
> a memory is rated for 133MHz, and you want to run it at 160MHz,
> bump Trcd by +1, as that is often enough to get the memory
> to run at the slightly higher clock rate. (I'm assuming here,
> that the BIOS has already calculated the correct value for
> tCAS.)
> 3) Save and exit. If the computer will POST, boot with a memtest86+
> test floppy, from memtest.org . You should not attempt to
> boot into Windows, until memtest is clean for a couple of
> complete passes when using the new settings.
>
> Start with small changes first, like 133-138-143-148-152.
> You might be able to see stability fall off, without having
> to clear CMOS and reenter all BIOS settings. (Unplug computer
> before clearing the CMOS. This protects the CMOS battery
> path.)
>
> The other things you might want to optimize, is the CAS value.
> tCAS is in fact a time number, like 15 nanoseconds. It is the
> time until the data comes out of the memory chip. It is
> quantized into clock cycles. I.e. 3 clock cycles of 5ns each
> exactly equals 15ns. 2 clock cycles of 7.5ns each is also
> 15ns. A 5ns clock is 200MHz, equivalent to DDR400. A 7.5ns
> clock is 133MHz, equivalent to DDR266. What that means is,
> if you bought a PC3200 CAS3 memory, when run at DDR266, it
> becomes a CAS2 memory. Running CAS2 on your board will be
> the lowest latency you can get for your memory. You could
> either buy a PC3200 CAS3 memory or a PC2100 CAS2 memory,
> and they would both offer CAS2 operation at the DDR266
> (PC2100) rate. (If your current memory is CAS3, then you
> cannot select a value lower than that. A lower CAS number
> might be an option if you do decide to buy more memory.)
>
> The PC4000 memory you mentioned above, would be good under
> two conditions. You buy an (obsolete) DDR based motherboard
> that supports a FSB800 processor, then you overclock the
> FSB by 25% and wish to run the memory in sync with the
> processor bus. PC4000 memory is "overclocker" memory - it
> is only good value for the money, if you plan to run
> overclocked to FSB1000 all the time (machine will run
> hot and warm the room up). And don't plan on using four
> sticks of PC4000 - it is really a 2x512MB deal only.
> 4x512MB double sided memory cannot be run at DDR500, due
> to the limitations of signal quality on the memory bus.
>
> What you do next, is a function of whether you think the
> "bleeding edge" is really going to buy you something. Your
> system, like mine, is a previous generation, and reuse
> opportunities are limited. Spending $100 on a FSB800
> motherboard, gives you a little room for an upgrade, but
> the clock rate of the processor really isn't going to go
> much higher (at least at a price you can afford). So,
> even if you bought a 3.2GHz FSB800 processor, on core clock
> limited applications it is only going to go a tiny bit
> faster. If you had deep pockets, you could buy a slightly
> faster processor than that, but not by much.
>
> For gaming, AMD is another option. With memory dividers,
> you could initially reuse your memory. A S939 dual channel
> board, would match the dual channel nature of your current
> board. DDR memory is still cheap, so buying 2x512MB PC3200
> memory would help a bit. But, once the clock rate on the
> AMD processors gets "interesting", the price is again
> a little too high. (Overclocking is still a viable option.)
> But, with careful shopping, at least if you bought a S939
> Athlon64 based board, you can use a single core processor
> or a dual core processor, reuse your AGP video card, and
> use whatever DDR memory you manage to scrape together.
>
> Conclusion: Be happy with your current config, or be prepared
> to fork out more dough. Buying a slightly faster memory
> for your board, while it would make room for an overclock,
> is not an entirely risk-free choice. (Depending on the BIOS,
> overclocking might not even be possible. Some 7205 boards
> have better BIOS than others.) Experiment with your existing
> hardware, and see if you like overclocking - it is a bit like
> learning to drive a manual transmission, expect to stall it
> a few times, before you get the hang of it :-)
>
> Paul
!