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more RAM or better CPU ???

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April 17, 2006 7:25:14 PM

I'm ready to order the memory and cpu for my new homebuilt project.
I have an ASUS A8N-E on order and, due to limited budget, I've decided I need to decide on spending money on RAM vs. the CPU. My thoughts are as follows:

1. get 2x512 RAM, DDR400 and spring for an Opteron 165 perhaps


OR

2. go for 2x 1GB RAM and get a more mainstream cpu, like a 3200+ or 3500+ Venice.

For memory, I was thinking a pair of either Corsair XMS or Crucial Ballistix DDR400 RAM.


I want my pc to be a really nice, stable, gaming machine.

I'd love to hear your inputs.

Rob

More about : ram cpu

April 17, 2006 8:03:13 PM

Quote:
I'm ready to order the memory and cpu for my new homebuilt project.
I have an ASUS A8N-E on order and, due to limited budget, I've decided I need to decide on spending money on RAM vs. the CPU. My thoughts are as follows:

1. get 2x512 RAM, DDR400 and spring for an Opteron 165 perhaps


OR

2. go for 2x 1GB RAM and get a more mainstream cpu, like a 3200+ or 3500+ Venice.

For memory, I was thinking a pair of either Corsair XMS or Crucial Ballistix DDR400 RAM.


I want my pc to be a really nice, stable, gaming machine.

I'd love to hear your inputs.

Rob


Go for 2GB RAM and amd 3500+ because you really need more ram if you are going to play games with high setitings. Ofcurse you can buy an Opteron and upgrade latter to 2GB of ram
April 17, 2006 8:07:04 PM

depending on what games you want to play id say get the 2gb and 3200... for example, if u plan to play bf2/oblivion/fear and such id say go for 2 gb memory.. if ur gonna be using the computer for hl2 and multithreaded apps id say the opteron with 1 gb memory will benifit more. so be more specific in what you plan to do with it.

also what video card do u plan to get? and are u gonna oc anything? if u plan to oc, id say go with a 3200 and 2 gb corsair xms (its somthing like 160 for 2gb after rebates?) and the cpu is 160, so thats 320 for a damn good combo... plus the 3200 will hit 2.4-2.6 pretty easily with good cooling
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April 17, 2006 8:08:42 PM

Get more memory, it will give you more "all-around" Windows performance and makes games load and play slightly faster.

Now if you are deciding between more memory Vs. a dual-core processor, I'd get the dual-core and wait a couple months to get the extra 1Gb of memory. Either way, get the memory in single sticks. If you want 1Gb of memory to start, get the 1Gb stick, not 2x 512mbs.

Helps performance a bit because of lower latencies operating in single-channel mode, the dual-core memory thing is kind of overhyped. It helps, but only when you use a big ole' block of memory, 1gb or greater.
April 17, 2006 9:01:00 PM

Scrap up the extra $75 and get both, don't waste your time trying to decide.
April 17, 2006 9:01:51 PM

Ram quantity is very important as well when it comes to playing game with huge map and high settings. Take BF2 for example, an 840 EE with 1Gb of ram is not gonna be as smooth as to a P4 2.5Ghz with 2Gb of ram. So getting 2x1Gb of ram would definitely get you an increase in performance and be able to run games at higher quality.
April 17, 2006 9:18:16 PM

Thanks guys. I like the idea of 2x1GB ram. I think I'll scrape up a bit more. Either case, I plane to go for a nice graphics card ... maybe a 7800GT? I'm not too into OCing. Maybe I'll try it a little.

Any feedback on my choice of RAM??

Rob
April 17, 2006 9:20:23 PM

I've had good luck with Corsair/Crucial/PQI/G.skill
Some would say I've had "very" good luck considering those brands.
Lots of good word from Gigaram and Patriot as well.
OCZ is awesome, you pay for it though.
April 17, 2006 9:26:32 PM

dont even think about a 7800gt... a 7900gt is a few bux more and performs as well as a 7800gtx... 7900 is about 320... and memory i recommend corsair xms... very good memory. but others say OZC is good.. if u dont plan on overclocking dont get lowest timings just get decent mid range stuff... 2-3-3-6 timings or 3-3-3-8 will be fine since u wont overclock, it saves a ton of cash as well.. another good card if u like ati more is the x1800xt... a bit cheaper than a 7900gt and IMO ati has better image quality... its pretty much ur decision in the end, depending on ur budget and how cheap u become :) 
April 18, 2006 12:19:46 PM

I would get 1gb RAM and the 3700 San Deigo, buts thats me. Go for the slightly better cpu as it will last longer, and the ram is easier to put more in later..

And btw, Corsair is the best ;)  I'm running 2gb 400mhz corsair ram and it is very good.
April 18, 2006 1:09:32 PM

I would go for opteron 165 ...more room for improvement in future as dual core will be usefull in games soon... you can buy more memory if you wish (and 2x512 MB are faster than 2x1GB) but can you add a core in a single core CPU if you have to ?
April 18, 2006 1:25:29 PM

Quote:

2. go for 2x 1GB RAM and get a more mainstream cpu, like a 3200+ or 3500+ Venice.

For memory, I was thinking a pair of either Corsair XMS or Crucial Ballistix DDR400 RAM.

I want my pc to be a really nice, stable, gaming machine.


I'd go for your second option. Dual core is now taking off and it's not sure when the games will take real advantage of it. It could take sometime and then it's time to buy a whole new system...

For the RAM i like Patriot but your options are ok. Try to buy CL2.0-3-3-5 or CL2.5-3-3-5 or with similar timmings.

Invest also on a new graphic card. That makes also all the difference for top games.

Just my 2 cents...
.- Luis Duarte
April 18, 2006 5:17:32 PM

Is it ok to get 1 stick of 1GB ram now and add another later?
I always thought that you want to buy memory in matched pairs if you want dual channel operation.

Rob
April 18, 2006 6:20:24 PM

matched pair is better choice... but if you will get standart memory and will not oc them ... add a second 1 GB from same brand would be fine...
April 18, 2006 7:27:45 PM

If you don't like waiting for weeks and weeks for mail-in rebates to come back, if they ever do, then that ram looks good.
April 18, 2006 7:45:43 PM

That was a listing with instant savings, not a rebate. Check into LG DVD burners and G.skill, the've had combo's that will only come up with the LG in the cart first. I am running that exact model of paired DDR in my computer, it's been doing fine, although I haven't tweaked all the timings yet. Very happy with it for the price.
April 18, 2006 8:37:01 PM

I'm running with 1GB (2x512MB) Mushkin Redline XP4000 (DDR500) RAM, and its run any game I've thrown at it on max settings with smooth gameplay. My CPU is an AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego Core, and I am using a DFI Lanparty UT nF4 Ultra-D Motherboard, and a X850XT PE PCI-E video card.
April 18, 2006 8:37:31 PM

Question..

in my system I have two sets of PNY 512MB PC3200 DDR DIMM Memory..total of 1 GB.

I have three memory slots. How worthwhile would it be to a) Add another 512 to the last slot? Its pretty cheap now..69 bucks for same brand b) do nothing?

I am sure some will suggest I chuck everything and get XYZ fancy brand with single 1GB sticks but thats not what I am looking to do sadly.

Here is why I ask...my MoBo says the following:

Memory:
. Three 184 pin dimm slots
. supports 3 dimm ddr 200/266/333 max 3gb
. supports 2 dimm ddr 400 max 2 gb

DIMM SLOTS 1 & 2 are taken by the two ddr 400 sticks I already have..its sounds like DIMM 3 wont work at ddr 400??

BTW..I have an ABIT NF7-S2 MB

Thanks for the advice!!
April 18, 2006 9:39:51 PM

I would upgrade the processor first, and then focus on the RAM. If your budget is your biggest concern, then get the chip now and get another stick of RAM later. It would be less expensive to add more RAM in the future.
April 18, 2006 11:36:39 PM

I thought you are getting the Asus board with a pci-e slot. In your current rig what kind of graphics do you have in it? More ram is better when running huge applications and playing huge map games with higher quality. Matter of fact, can you give me all your full system specs if you don't mind.
April 18, 2006 11:44:26 PM

Quote:
If you don't like waiting for weeks and weeks for mail-in rebates to come back, if they ever do, then that ram looks good.


I was giving him the thumbs up for the instant savings. I posted that because you can get higher performance RAM for about the same price, but you have to put up more money up front and wait a long time for rebates to come in.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
April 19, 2006 12:15:23 AM

"Either case, I plane to go for a nice graphics card ... maybe a 7800GT?"

7800GT is a nice, decent card, but is a bit overpriced since the release the new "best overall card for $300" range by the 7900GT!
April 19, 2006 12:28:35 AM

Thats a tough one late 2005 I would have said go for the CPU 1GB of ram is plenty for now ! early 2006 1GB is now considered the least you would want to run with... hmmm seems the aplications guys are catching up to the memory guys again lol I guess by this time next year 3 and 4 GB's will not be too uncommon. I need up update my price for my next build lol (ahhh well it looks like DDR2 is getting cheaper anyway)
April 19, 2006 2:35:46 PM

It's pricey to upgrade the cpu down the line so, I think I may put the money into a better cpu, perhaps the Op165 if I can talk myself into it.
I don't usually run monster apps, and my previous box had just 512MB ram, so I'm thinking of getting just 1GB memory for now and add more later. It's a cash flow reason! : )

Anyway, question ....
For upgrade reasons it would be cheaper to buy one 1GB stick now, with the plan to drop another 1GB stick in down the road. The other option is to get 2x512MB and run dual channel. Would this run faster than a single 1GB stick? I recall someone posted that a single stick would run faster!

Also, is this approach asking for trouble if I want to try OCing down the road?

Whatever I get, I plan on performance ram like Corsair XMS or OCZ Gold.

Thanks,
Rob
!