Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

My Memory World is a Mess

Last response: in Memory
Share
May 31, 2006 5:35:19 PM

Good Day,

I am an old Pc fan...Saying it very humble, my knowledge about PC and its performances is vastly and great due to more than 20 years reading, searching, testing, etc in this field that is my hobbie.But I must confess there is one field my knowledge is very, very limited: Memory.

Until now, all systems I have built by myself didnt take into account memory. I mean I always have bought "quantity but not quality".. I mean 2 GB Kingston DDR 400 Value are my current memory.

Yesterday I bought new PC parts so as to build my new system:

1.- DFI Infinity NF4 SLI s939 MB
2.- AMD X2 4400
3.- Nvidia Geforce 7900GTX Gigabyte

I have good SATA HDDs, an Xfi Elite Pro a Kandalf Case..well all to build my new system. AND......I was planning to use my old KIngston Value DDR 400 2 GB memories. When I told that to a friend he said..." YOU ARE CRAZY!!!" and began telling me about CAS2 CAS 3, latencies, bandwidht, velocity....and I realized I needed to make a research about the subject.

After spending hours searching on the web about memory, I learned about the column and files reading of info, the CAS, the latencies, the velocity, etc.. and I said..well I am ready to choose my memory. The more speed the better but also the less latency the best. you have one but not the other. And as thank to God I dont have too may budget problems I applied my old PC saying: "More expensive..better"..and decided to buy:

Corsair TWINX2048-4000PT (2 GB)

SO before purchasing them, I made a research about them, and my world collapsed. Where I read, they said it was a very good OC memory and in general with great performance...but they talked about T1, T2, 250 mhz ( a speed different from the 500 mhz of the memory) and other terms that made me realize I was at the starting point.

I really want to make a decision from the optimum side and knowing what I am doing because I can buy the most expensive memory and perhaps it really doesnt make any greatly difference with less expensive ones. Even, maybe my value Rams are good enough and I loose a little % of performance.

Do you know a good site where I can learn the basis in a clear way so as to be able to make a good choice?...I read the FAQ here but it is more a glossary than a guide...

Thanks in advance...

More about : memory world mess

May 31, 2006 6:25:12 PM

If you're not going to overclock, performance RAM will do nothing for you.
I'd just run w/ your Value RAM for now, and if you reallly really reallllllyyy feel the need to get that extra few % more in performance, then bite the bullet then.

This Tom's article may help:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/03/31/tight_timings_vs...
May 31, 2006 6:50:07 PM

If you aren't going to overclock then I would suggest lower latency as that will make a bigger difference. The only reason to get higher clock speeds is that if you increase the FSB then your system will remain stable, if you increase FSB to 220, then you increase ram speed to 440 (DDR just doubles the FSB to get the speed) therefore you should have DDR500 (PC4000) ram to handle it. If you aren't going to OC then PC3200 (DDR400) is fine.

The T1 and T2 you refer to is the command rate, 1T is better and is fine for the ram you have chosen, 2T is default when you use 4 sticks. Basically the command rate is determined by the number of ram slots you use.

The 250 mhz you will notice is half of 500, this is where the DOUBLE data rate (DDR) comes in.
Related resources
May 31, 2006 6:55:28 PM

For a moment there I thought you were wondering about us senile old guys who forget where we left our glasses. Anyway, depending on how much you're into gaming, overclocking and such, your Kingston memory may have been good enough for what you do. Forget what your friend says and does, what you do is what matters.

Yes, lower CAS latencies are good for speed, but they aren't the only thing. T1 timing is better then T2, but again, its not the only thing important. Havng two 1 gig sticks of value memoy is better than four sticks of fast memory, because XP will default the four sticks to slower settings. Forget the "more expensive..better" idea. That makes money for the companies that sell ram, but doesn't necessarily do you any good. First read the manual that came with your motherboard to see what memory it can support.

The Corsair memory that you list "TwinX2048-4000PT (2 GB)" has timings of 3-4-4-8 and it costs $208.00 at Newegg. Compare those timings to Corsair XMS TwinX2048 3500LL, which runs at 2-3-3-6 and costs $246.00. The 3500 is a lot faster and it overclocks well. You indicate that price isn't the object, so the 3500LL is a much better set of ram than the 4000PT, at least timing wise.

As for the 250 mhz-500 mhz difference, that relates to the fact that with DDR ram, the 250 mhz is doubled to get the 500 mhz speed. Again, don't get too caught up in the ratings of PC 3200, 3500, 4000, 4400 and such. It depends greatly on both what your specific motherboard can use and what the CPU is capable of handling. Oh yes, the CPU is part of the equation. If it can't run at the higher speeds, then it will give up trying and your computer either crashes or just defaults the memory to a slower speed that it can recognize. In that case, you just wasted a lot of money on memory you can't use.

Hope this helps, both for your computer and your wallet. Oh yes, I like the 3500LL very well.
May 31, 2006 7:13:33 PM

Thanks all for the help..i will read more..I love to understand what I am doing....By the way, I am not that old (33)...I mentioned the "time subject" so as to explain that I dont need a newbie answer and if it were possible I needed a more deeper explanation..Anyway you have been very helpful

Good Day...
May 31, 2006 9:51:41 PM

Quote:
If you're not going to overclock, performance RAM will do nothing for you.
I'd just run w/ your Value RAM for now, and if you reallly really reallllllyyy feel the need to get that extra few % more in performance, then bite the bullet then.

This Tom's article may help:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/03/31/tight_timings_vs...


Good Day,

Awesome article..I have just finished reading it and ALL Clear...Being an Engineer, clearly the gains in % dont justify all the inversion. Another thing I understood from the article (and also from another ones) is that the best configuration is two rams of 1 GB; I now have 4 of 512, so I will change that...

Thanks..
June 1, 2006 5:14:50 PM

Good Day,

So after eading all you mentioned and the article proposed here it is right to think that if your not going to OC or even if you are going to do so, it is better quantity instead of quality?

Thanks..
June 1, 2006 6:07:06 PM

These days I think the sweet spot most people would agree on is 2x1GB sticks for 2GB total. Of course that might change in the future, and from what I read, you'd probably want to stick to a two-stick configuration.

Of course your how much memory you want depends on what you're going to do with your computer. If you're gaming or something of the like, 2GB is probably enough. If you're doing video editing, you might want more - but your program might not take advantage of it. Alot of the answers kind of depend on what you're doing and w/ what program you're doing it with.

Some motherboards can't run DDR400 w/ a 4-stick configuration, so you may want to double check the motherboard manual to see what'll happen if you have a 4-stick config - it may come down to DDR333 speeds.

Value RAM is good enough if you don't care to overclock or are happy w/ your performance.
June 1, 2006 6:20:58 PM

Quote:
These days I think the sweet spot most people would agree on is 2x1GB sticks for 2GB total. Of course that might change in the future, and from what I read, you'd probably want to stick to a two-stick configuration.

Of course your how much memory you want depends on what you're going to do with your computer. If you're gaming or something of the like, 2GB is probably enough. If you're doing video editing, you might want more - but your program might not take advantage of it. Alot of the answers kind of depend on what you're doing and w/ what program you're doing it with.

Some motherboards can't run DDR400 w/ a 4-stick configuration, so you may want to double check the motherboard manual to see what'll happen if you have a 4-stick config - it may come down to DDR333 speeds.

Value RAM is good enough if you don't care to overclock or are happy w/ your performance.


Good Day,

Thanks for your time...Yes I have also read that the "best" configuration is two sticks of 1 GB of RAM. I have four 512 MB now so I am going to buy two modules of 1 GB even though I will leave two banks free. Anyway, my main purpose for this PC, my home PC, is to play. I am a gamer, not a casual one, and even though I dont have more than 3 hours per day to play due to all day in my office, I love to have good performance in last tech games...Thats why I also bought a 7900GTX and I own an X-Fi Elite Pro card.

Tanks again for your advice...
June 2, 2006 12:36:46 AM

Good Night,

Again, one last piece of advice..Today I bought the recommended Corsair Memories. So I will have to Dual Channel Sticks in two banks of my DFI SLI Infinity NF4. So there will be left two banks free. Is it adviceable to put in there two 512 DDR 400 Kingston Value memories from the 4 512 Modules I left unused? (of course supposing that configuration will work).

Thanks Again..
June 2, 2006 8:00:22 PM

Ok, I feel nice today. Normally I would get on your case for not reading the motherboard manual, but as I said... I feel nice today. :) 

Here is a link to your motherboard's manual:
http://us.dfi.com.tw/Upload/Manual/nf4%20sli%20infinity...

Now look on page 20.

Now if you populate all 4 banks, you can see 2 options.
1) you run dual channel w/ double sided RAM sticks and get... DDR333 speeds. OR
2) you run dual channel w/ single sided RAM sticks can get... DDR400 speeds.

Single sided RAM is also known as Single Rank, etc.
More info on ranks: (Note that this is a Kingston website)
http://www.valueram.com/memoryranks/
June 2, 2006 8:26:10 PM

Quote:
Ok, I feel nice today. Normally I would get on your case for not reading the motherboard manual, but as I said... I feel nice today. :) 

Here is a link to your motherboard's manual:
http://us.dfi.com.tw/Upload/Manual/nf4%20sli%20infinity...

Now look on page 20.

Now if you populate all 4 banks, you can see 2 options.
1) you run dual channel w/ double sided RAM sticks and get... DDR333 speeds. OR
2) you run dual channel w/ single sided RAM sticks can get... DDR400 speeds.

Single sided RAM is also known as Single Rank, etc.
More info on ranks: (Note that this is a Kingston website)
http://www.valueram.com/memoryranks/


Good Day,

Well...Ok Ok OK..you are right I havent read the manual but I have an apology. I havent built my system yet until tonight due to a problem with the motherboard which I had to return for change..SO I havent been able to read the manual.
But If you noticed, that is why I asked the question mentioning "(of course supposing that configuration will work).". Really my question was from the performance point of view having two different memories..Corsair and Kingston Value, surely with different latency and Cas...

Anyway I read now what you linked and your answer as always, has been very helpful. Now I am at my office but tonight I will have to check that (and yesssss I will read the manual :lol:  :lol:  ).

Thanks for your time....

PS: I am really happy you feel nice today.... :wink: :wink: ..Really thanks for your time..
June 5, 2006 6:15:57 PM

:)  Well I hope everything works out!
Have fun building... Hope you don't run into any issues.

My last post was really in re: to you thinking about running 4 sticks of RAM, just so you knew that it might only run at DDR333 speeds instead of DDR400.

Have fun!
!