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AMD Athlon 64 x2 3800 DDR2 memory speed question

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July 29, 2006 7:43:20 PM

Hi,
I am going to build a AM2 new computer based on the Athlon 64x2 3800 (after the recent price drop).

I wonder if someone could please help me with the choice of memory as I am confused on which of the following would be best for the system. The mobo I am going to purchase is: Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe.

The choice of memory I have so far is:
Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-6400C5 Twin X (2*1GB) - 5-5-5-12-T1
Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-5400 Twin X (2*1GB) - 4-4-4-12
Corair 2GB DDR2 Value Select PC5300 Dual Channel Kit (2*1GB) - CAS 3

Basically I am unsure as to whether the 6400 is required, or whether the cheaper 5400 with its lower latency would be better.

Thanks for your help in advance as I am confused over the DDR2 requirements.

Jim
July 29, 2006 9:25:44 PM

Now I'm not positive about this, but I'm pretty sure. The "XMS2-6400C5 5-5-5-12-T1" would be the best choice. They run at a higher mhz than the 5400 sticks, so they will give you a lot better performance than the slightly looser timings on the slower 5400 sticks would.
July 29, 2006 9:35:40 PM

I also have the choice of DDR800 4-4-4-12 or DDR667 3-3-3-12 for my AM2 build. Anyone offering any advice?
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July 29, 2006 10:17:36 PM

Hi,
Thanks for the reply. As far as bandwidth vs latency is concerned, would it be true to say the 6400 with 5-5-5-12 timings would be quicker than the 5400 with 4-4-4-12 (even though the latency on the 5400 is lower)?

I am trying to understand the tradeoff between speed vs latency.

(*) Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-6400C5 Twin X (2*1GB) - 5-5-5-12-T1
(*) Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-5400 Twin X (2*1GB) - 4-4-4-12

Thanks,
Jim
July 29, 2006 10:48:46 PM

I'd hate to hijack your thread, but I too am confused by this question.. Is the tradeoff of an extra $100 worth the DDR800? Or is DDR667 just fine? :/ 
July 30, 2006 12:21:55 AM

THG has a great article on DDR vs. DDR2 speeds with their varing timings. It has a bit of insight as to how they differ but doesn't really have a difinitive answer on the best because PC use varies so much from person to person and from program to program.

Generally, speaking though, from what I've encountered and read ramping up the clockspeeds tend to counter the latency issues.
July 30, 2006 3:31:08 AM

Well, I agree, Jack.

It's not THAT old... but it still mostly holds true; It's always about a few percentage points. Do consider that as well when buying? Do you want to spend, say, 100 bucks more for 2% in memory speed? Will you even notice a difference?
July 30, 2006 10:31:04 AM

DDR2 800 4-4-4-12 for me then!
!