ram choices

I want to get the best value for my money, but this time I am buying AMD. I am not looking for a barn-burning processor that will kill anything it comes across. I have lived with deprecated technology for most of my life.

Ive decided that when Newegg drops the prices on the AMD X2s, Im going with them. One reason is that my favorite choice for motherboard is an AM2 socket, and it offers an upgrade path in the future. This build will be my college PC, and I dont want to replace my CPU unless absolutely necessary, but with AM2 I will have that option for at least 2 or 3 years.

Also, I dont want to spend my hard-earned cash on a Conroe that is in its testing phase. I dont want to wait another 6 months, either, for the kinks to be hammered out. Say what you will, but I generally avoid buying a product that is brand new, especially if I need it to be reputably reliable.

Also, I know I might just be biased because of my Celerons in the past, but I find that Intel isnt exactly straightforward in selling its processors in that it goes for sheer clock speed instead of efficiency. I know its my fault I bought a lemon, but buying an AMD this time around is a little bit of a response from me.

The Conroe is also a little expensive too. $184 is just a little too much.

IN OTHER NEWS, ANOTHER QUESTION: I am going for PC2 6400 RAM, but I am unsure over whether to get 1 GB or 2x512 MB dual channel. Im on a budget, so Im looking around $90. Main question: what is the advantage of dual channel RAM? I only see it offered in pairs (512x2), and reading up on it shows that it supposedly offers much better performance. So which is better to get, a 1 GB PC2 6400, or 2x512 MB dual channel kit?
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  1. Conroe has passed its testing phase, and while true there will be bugs, but AMD still has bugs in their mature platform...
    Best value is a low end Conroe in both performance and energy efficiency...
  2. Quote:
    Conroe has passed its testing phase, and while true there will be bugs, but AMD still has bugs in their mature platform...
    Best value is a low end Conroe in both performance and energy efficiency...


    I feel a lot better picking a product thats been out for a while. New car models go through extensive safety testing and drive testing, but no one knows how truly capable they are until they have been in use by people in real-life situations for a good time. While I have no doubt Intel has done some truly great testing and R&D, like you said, there will be bugs...

    Low end Conrow is in the $180s, thats out of my reach. I would have to find it for around $160, 150 to seriously consider it.

    And what about upgrade options? Is Intel moving to a new socket soon? AM2 will be around for a while, at least long enough for me to upgrade.

    And I run Linux. I love what Nvidia has done by releasing somewhat good drivers for Linux, although they are closed source (ATI does too, but their drivers cause problems). Intel processor compatible Mobo's generally come with either VIA or Intel integrated graphics, and they arent supported as well under Linux. And I would love to support Nvidia for what they have done.

    Ill repost my question, too, its not very prominent:

    ANOTHER QUESTION: I am going for PC2 6400 RAM, but I am unsure over whether to get 1 GB or 2x512 MB dual channel. Im on a budget, so Im looking around $90. Main question: what is the advantage of dual channel RAM? I only see it offered in pairs (512x2), and reading up on it shows that it supposedly offers much better performance. So which is better to get, a 1 GB PC2 6400, or 2x512 MB dual channel kit?
  3. The dual channel RAM is ever so slightly faster (by just a whisker) but why would you want to live with single channel RAM. In terms of RAM, I'd always go for quantity rather than quality. I don't recommend anyone to get less than 2GB of RAM. Trust me on this, all current processors will cary you for a long time but 2GB RAM is important (vista has 1GB recommend and you want to be ahead of that!).

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820231055

    Although it runs at sluightly slower speed, it shouldn't effect the build too much. The extra RAM will make a much better impression.

    If you can, I really suggest you go for a dual core processor. I'm an AMD fan too but if I was buying a processor at a budget price then I'd go for the pentium D range. But, if you must go AMD go for a sempron
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819104301
    and save your money for a better dual core processor later. Even better, wait for the after conroe price drops for AMD's X2 line of processors.
  4. You realize that Conroe outperforms AMD while using the cheaper DDR2 533 memory, and that alone makes up more than the $30 difference, and it outperforms AMD to boot... :?
  5. I think conroe out-performs the X2 at all memory speeds but that's besides the point. He doesn't want to go with intel/a new processor, he wants SLI and intel's new chipsets are expensive and have strange configurations.
  6. Quote:
    The dual channel RAM is ever so slightly faster (by just a whisker) but why would you want to live with single channel RAM. In terms of RAM, I'd always go for quantity rather than quality. I don't recommend anyone to get less than 2GB of RAM. Trust me on this, all current processors will cary you for a long time but 2GB RAM is important (vista has 1GB recommend and you want to be ahead of that!).

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820231055


    2GB of RAM would be awesome, but I just cant afford that. I can always add RAM later, and by no means do I plan on running Vista. I have heard, though, that anything under ddr2 800 on a AM2 socket will decrease performance. True, or no? I was planning on going with a 1GB stick of Gskill 800 or two 512 mb dual channel stick of Geil 800...

    Quote:
    You realize that Conroe outperforms AMD while using the cheaper DDR2 533 memory, and that alone makes up more than the $30 difference, and it outperforms AMD to boot...


    Newehh shows about a 5 dollar difference between the cheapest PC 6400 and PC 4300 (533 mhz) 1 GB RAM.
    LINK

    Conroe sounds great, but if I went with the Conroe, I would be buying a motherboard with a socket that may soon be obsolete, is MicroATX (I have 4 PCI cards), and of lesser quality than I could get with an AM2 mobo. All said and done, July 2x will tell all. If I can get a Conroe for around $150 AND find a mobo I like that I know will work with Linux, Ill do it, but until then the X2 3800+ is looking like the best fit for me, as long as it does the price tumble it is rumored to do so.

    Quote:
    I think conroe out-performs the X2 at all memory speeds but that's besides the point. He doesn't want to go with intel/a new processor, he wants SLI and intel's new chipsets are expensive and have strange configurations.


    Actually, Im not looking for SLI, I just really like the motherboard I found, since I am using it in a ATX case that I really like as well. In the end, AMD may be less efficient at the same price, but for the gains I get in my mobo, case, RAM, etc... I think Ill be happier ... and I wont notice the difference in CPu unless im decoding the genome (and I would leave that on overnight anyway, so I wouldnt notice).
  7. There is no guarantee that AM2 will deliver a faster CPU than what Intel will have when Conroe matures... buying a lesser product today in hopes of future upgrade path is silly. I have been dealing with PC's for years, and a future upgrade path is almost always BS. It is more a marketing ploy to persuade you over to their product, looking to the future, since currently they do not have much to talk about...
    Besides...Conroe overclocks on air to 3.6GHz, and I do not believe in 2 years that AMD will be much faster than what an overclocked Conroe today will do, but that is of course speculation....
  8. Sorry, I think I'm mixing up people in my posts, someone else wanted SLI with conroe but sadly I don't think that's possible.

    I recommend you don't buy RAM separately, if you do, you run the risk of getting different RAM (even if it's the same product, same timings, same manufacturer) which will run slower. It's kind of like getting two twins to do a dance compared to Laurrel and Hardy.

    It is said that DDR2-800 at 5-5-5-15 timings gives similar performance to DDR-400 at 2-2-2-6 timings. So obviously, getting DDR2 at less than 800 at those timings will result in a performance drop compared to DDR1. Of course, DDR2 at slower speeds can usually be run at better latencies. For example, if you can find DDR2-667 at 3-3-3-9 latency then you'll probably get similar performance to DDR-800 5-5-5-15.

    I still say quantity over quality though. Remember that RAM isn't always being accessed so going from DDR2-533 -> DDR2-800 will probably only give you a 10% performance increase. On the other hand, needing to access the hard disk to thrash files will probably drop performance by 98% as you drop down from 5GB/second transfer rate to a 80MB/second.
  9. Quote:
    There is no guarantee that AM2 will deliver a faster CPU than what Intel will have when Conroe matures... buying a lesser product today in hopes of future upgrade path is silly. I have been dealing with PC's for years, and a future upgrade path is almost always BS. It is more a marketing ploy to persuade you over to their product, looking to the future, since currently they do not have much to talk about...
    Besides...Conroe overclocks on air to 3.6GHz, and I do not believe in 2 years that AMD will be much faster than what an overclocked Conroe today will do, but that is of course speculation....


    I have no doubt that Conroe will be an amazing processor, and I hate to miss out because I cannot afford the 20 or so dollars more. But my motherboard I want is AM2 and even though the "upgrade path may be BS", I think its at least worth a look. I would be upgrading my Dell if I could, but it is all proprietary. If I can buy a processor in two years and have it work in my system, I will be content. Most probably, however, I wont be buying another.

    Quote:

    I recommend you don't buy RAM separately, if you do, you run the risk of getting different RAM (even if it's the same product, same timings, same manufacturer) which will run slower. It's kind of like getting two twins to do a dance compared to Laurrel and Hardy.


    You mean, I have to put the same type of RAM in all slots of my system? I cant put 800 mhx in one and 667 in another, and have both run at their native clocks? I guess it has something to do with the FSB, but Ive never read too much on clocking of RAM, so...

    Quote:
    It is said that DDR2-800 at 5-5-5-15 timings gives similar performance to DDR-400 at 2-2-2-6 timings. So obviously, getting DDR2 at less than 800 at those timings will result in a performance drop compared to DDR1. Of course, DDR2 at slower speeds can usually be run at better latencies. For example, if you can find DDR2-667 at 3-3-3-9 latency then you'll probably get similar performance to DDR-800 5-5-5-15.


    I can get 667 @ 3-3-3-8 for around the same price as 800 @ 5-5-5-15. So, I guess I should just go with the 800? Basically, what can I do with $100 of RAM for an AM2 dual core?
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