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Help with DDR2 1066, 800, and 667, and Windows 64 bit

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September 10, 2006 1:58:51 AM

Hello everbody. I have been having a little trouble understanding a friend of mine when he tried to explain how this works. Here is my where I am having trouble understading the RAM speed.

Ok, the FSB of the C2Duos can go 1066 Mhz. My friend explained that 533Mhz of memory is what equates that. So that means that i need a DDR2 1066 stick to equal the FSB of the CPU. I cant find any motherboards that can have DDR2 1066 of dedicated RAM. The highest they go is DDR2 800. Am I missing something here, cause I am baffled? Could someone please explain this to me? Sorry if I sound like a terribly ignorant newbie, but I just havent found the answer yet.

I heard that Windows 64 bit and RAM are greatly affected by each other, I basically heard that you can not only run more than 4GBs, but that the management is a whole lot better and the performance gains a great boost. Im really considering getting 6GBs of RAM, so could y'all either help me out, or point me to an article that can clarify this stuff. Im not lazy, I am just doing so much research getting up to date on hardware for my next purchase that I could use a little side help. Thanks alot for any help you can provide in advance. Take care.
September 10, 2006 2:24:49 AM

Just like you wouldn't buy a car based on how many cylinders the engine has or what material the hood is made out of, you need to start with the big picture here.
1) What do you want to use the computer for in the near future?
2) How long does the computer need to last before you buy a new one? (the longer it needs to last, the more expensive it will be, because, for example, in 3 years a "normal" CPU will be at least as powerful as today's super-high-end CPUs)
3) What's your budget?
September 10, 2006 2:32:04 AM

Quote:
... I cant find any motherboards that can have DDR2 1066 ... The highest they go is DDR2 800. Am I missing something here,

No; RAM speed technology hasn't caught up with CPU speeds.

Quote:
I heard that Windows 64 bit and RAM are greatly affected by each other, I basically heard that you can not only run more than 4GBs, but that the management is a whole lot better and the performance gains a great boost. Im really considering getting 6GBs of RAM,

Yes, but:
1) Consumer (vs. server) MBs that can handle more than 4GB are only recently becoming available. They are more expensive than MBs that hold less.
2) If you run 64-bit Windows, you need 64-bit versions of the drivers for all your system hardware. Some hardware isn't available with 64-bit Win drivers yet.
3) To see any performance increase in a program, it needs to be written and compiled specifically for 64-bit Windows. Right now, very few such programs are available to the general public
4) RAM has recently increased in price. It may be worthwhile to wait 6-8 in the hope of lower RAM prices.
Related resources
September 10, 2006 2:33:03 AM

Usage:
Photoshop, Flash, Web Development - 40% total pc usage
I will be dealing with very high resolution photos, fairly complex animations, and some small to medium size development

Premiere, After Effects, Encore, Audition - 25%
Might not deal with HD editing, but if its not too pricy, I would like to leave the door open

Lightwave, Maya - 20%
I am only just learning to use the programs, and most of them will be used for the web, so I doubt my models and animations will be too complicated. Plus I plan on doing a lot of Swift 3D rendering, so thats an important little bit to consider.

Gaming, internet, other 15%
I plan on getting Call of Duty 2, and Medievel 2 when it comes out. I AM NOT A GAMING FREAK!!!!! Hence I am not picky at all about most things, so if I get a system that is good for gaming, itll be a plus but definately not a necesity.


I probably need it to last me 6 months to a year, since core 2 quadros and vista with direct x 10 are coming out soon

I dont have a budget, I am price concience, but I would mind shelling out 700 bucks for a video card if its a good investment. Money is spendable as long as its justified. Im not saying a 5000 system, but you get the idea.
September 10, 2006 4:15:47 AM

The current FSB for C2D is obtained by dividing it by 4. So a 1066 MHz is the product of 4x 266 MHz.

The actual frequency of DDR memory modules are obtained by dividing them by 2. So DDR2 533 modules run at 266 MHz.

In reality, to match the FSB of 1066 MHz, you need DDR2 533 modules. In this specific case they operate at a 1:1 ratio.


For a FSB of 1333 MHz (4x 333 MHz) it would be necessary DDR2 667 (2x 333) to obtain a 1:1 ratio.


As far as I know (after much reading on the forum) is that setups built around C2D’s benefit very little by going DDR2 800 (not more than 6% in real world benchmarks). Supposedly the C2D’s are quite efficient despite the memory frequency used. Nonetheless it is recommended to stick with a 1:1 ratio (…so I read).
September 10, 2006 4:19:44 AM

thanks for that excellent reply, I just read a similar article explaining that 800 is only a marginal boost over 533 and does warrant the price boost. Too little difference. Thanks for clarifying.
September 10, 2006 4:36:44 AM

Quote:
...
As far as I know (after much reading on the forum) is that setups built around C2D’s benefit very little by going DDR2 800 (not more than 6% in real world benchmarks). Supposedly the C2D’s are quite efficient despite the memory frequency used. Nonetheless it is recommended to stick with a 1:1 ratio (…so I read).

Based on the published performance data, in most cases running RAM faster does produce increased performance, although in practice the extra cost is sometimes disproportionate to the benefit. The exception seems to be with higher-latency (CL4 or 5) DDR2-667 memory, which may actually give better performance when run at DDR2-533. C2D seems to be more sensitive to higher latency than are the Pentium D CPUs, so it's best to avoid CL5 RAM (and CL4 for DDR2-667).
September 10, 2006 4:43:15 AM

Quote:
thanks for that excellent reply, I just read a similar article explaining that 800 is only a marginal boost over 533 and does warrant the price boost. Too little difference. Thanks for clarifying.

If that's true for you, then go for DDR2-400 RAM, as DDR2-533 is only a marginal performance boost over DDR2-400. :) 
The point is that RAM speed is a relatively small part of overall performance -- there is no magic major threshold, so what you really need to do is to check current RAM prices and find the "sweet spot". Currently, that's at DDR2-667; within a few months, it'll probably be at DDR2-800.
September 11, 2006 10:53:22 PM

Quote:
The point is that RAM speed is a relatively small part of overall performance -- there is no magic major threshold, so what you really need to do is to check current RAM prices and find the "sweet spot". Currently, that's at DDR2-667;

With that being said and
Quote:
1.8V is the standard for DDR2. All DDR2 will run at 1.8V. However, if you want to get the specified latency timing performance out of your RAM, you *may* have to increase the memory voltage to the value quoted by the manufacturer

I'm planning on getting an Intel DP965LT mobo for my E6600 build.
This mobo only supports 1.8V ram. I'd like to keep the ratio of 1:1 with the FSB. I was considering getting the Patriot DDR2 667 at 4-4-4-12 and underclocking it to 533 (to get tighter timings?) and to get a 1:1 ratio. I don't play games, mainly just video editing and rendering using Pinnacle Studio 9 Plus. Here is what I have already for my build.

WD 150GB Raptor for OS(XP Pro SP2) and apps
Seagate 7200.10 320GB Sata 3.0 Gb/s for data
Gigabyte 7600GT Silent Pipe II 256 MB GDDR3
Ultra Aluminus ATX full tower
Ultra X-connect 2 550w psu

I like the Intel mobo because of the onboard 1394a connectors and the inexpensive price. I do not intend on OCing the cpu.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated
September 11, 2006 11:46:43 PM

Thanks mondoman, I knew I could count on you. I already have my Ultra and got a good rebate on it, but thanks anyway. I do have a question about the ram. Should I leave it at 667 or underclock to 533 and how do I do it as I have no experience in the under/overclocking arena.
September 12, 2006 12:11:31 AM

With a less than 1% performance difference in the Photoshop benchmark, I wouldn't mess with it. Some benchmarks (more gaming related) show the DDR2-667 CL4 doing a few percent better than DDR2-533 CL4, but most are mixed, with one sometimes a bit better than the other, but less than 1% difference.
Usually the changes are made in the BIOS. It doesn't hurt to go through the various BIOS screens and see what's available, even if you aren't going to change settings. In any case, when you exit the BIOS, you have the choice of saving the changes you have made, or throwing them away, so no harm looking around.
September 12, 2006 12:15:38 AM

Thanks
I'll be finishing my build before the end of the month.
!