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Building a System Motherboard/Ram connection

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October 21, 2006 2:14:27 AM

Trying to decide to build a Core 2 Duo or x2 system and while I've been unable to find a cheap core 2 duo board that had BOTH dual channel capability and support for 4 ata devices(I'm on a budget so need to cut corners currently so need to reuse my hard drive for a while) I had another question about RAM.

Used to be you just looked at the FSB of the processor and tried to match the ram. But now AMD boards are rated in Hyper Transport speeds. So how do you know?

Also anyone have any idea if using DDR2 533 would heavily bottleneck either a Core 2 Duo 6300 or X2 4200? And if I can use DDR2 533 in a board that supports DDR2 standard 800?
October 21, 2006 3:10:42 AM

Quote:
Trying to decide to build a Core 2 Duo or x2 system and while I've been unable to find a cheap core 2 duo board that had BOTH dual channel capability and support for 4 ata devices(I'm on a budget so need to cut corners currently so need to reuse my hard drive for a while) I had another question about RAM.

Used to be you just looked at the FSB of the processor and tried to match the ram. But now AMD boards are rated in Hyper Transport speeds. So how do you know?

Also anyone have any idea if using DDR2 533 would heavily bottleneck either a Core 2 Duo 6300 or X2 4200? And if I can use DDR2 533 in a board that supports DDR2 standard 800?


I don't think the chipsets for Core2 support 2 PATA channels. I could be wrong. They used to make adaptors that let you use an IDE drive via SATA. Not sure if those are available anymore either.

To answer your RAM question- 533 is fine for a Core2 if you don't want to overclock- it would suck on an AMD system. "Supports 800- just mean the max speed RAM you can use- anything slower will always work.

If you are a real budget, consider S939. It's got life in it, and there are plenty of boards with 2 PATA connectors avaiable.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
October 21, 2006 3:37:07 AM

The 975X chipsets have 2 PATA channels for 4 IDE devices. MSI 975X Platinum $170 and a THG review editors choice

Quote:
Used to be you just looked at the FSB of the processor and tried to match the ram
You can still do that if you can break the "code".
C2D FSB of 1066 Mhz is "quad pumped" so that the actual FSB is 1066 รท 4 = 266Mhz.
DDR2 RAM is transfering two (2) data blocks per clock cycle so that the actual Mhz speed is half the rating. As in DD2 533 (PC2 4200) actually runs at 266Mhz, DDR2 667 (PC2 5400) at 333Mhz and DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) at 400Mhz.

C2D can make use of the extra bandwidth the faster RAM makes available. But the extra performance is very small - hard to notice without benchmark programs running.
So what do you choose?? Higher Frequency (800DDR2 vs 533DDR2) over Tighter Timings (CL4 vs CL5)?
"By and large, we are convinced that the step from DDR-533 to DDR2-667 makes sense when timing settings remain comfortably fast (Corsair). But DDR2-800 confers only minimal additional performance gains, and at DDR2-1066 the further reduction in timing settings provides little room for improvement. The price increases for these faster chips are proportionately much higher than the performance benefits they deliver.
For business applications, installing faster DDR2 DIMMs isn't cost justifiable, and even gung-ho gamers will find that the extra money pays better dividends if invested in a high-end graphics card. Either way, we recommend a big name vendor, because they invest more in the testing and validation of new products."

THG Article: "Pushing your RAM to the MAX" Conclusion

"The bottom line is that as long as you have enough memory - preferably 2 GB - the extra money you pay for more memory speed would be better invested in a faster graphics card. And if you don't play games, then the CPU and hard drive offer more room for improvement than the memory."
THG review: "Tight Timings vs High Clock Frequencies" Conclusion
Related resources
October 21, 2006 4:07:38 AM

Ya currently playing around with this setup

AMD x2 4200 or Core 2 Duo 6300 (haven't decided yet but do not plan to overclock)

Mobo for less than 90 bucks supporting 4 ATA devices.(so I can use my HDs for a little longer, dont' really care about start up performance as much as performance IG, PCIE dont' care if can do SLI, support Dual Channel)

2 GB DDR2 533(is the same price as DDR 400 cheaper in my case part of the reason I'm looking at C2D or AM2 socket) Cas Lat 4

7600GT 256 PCI-e.(no point blowing here with DX10 comming out)

Trying to find the best bang for buck. I'm flexible on the processors but thats the most expensive I'm willing to go.
October 21, 2006 4:56:49 AM

The way I see it, it's your memory - if you are going to buy DDR2 then things are wide open for you (AM2 or S775).
If you want to use DDR then AMD Socket939 is best. It will certainly help you hookup 4 IDE devices, heheh... but for goodness sake don't purchase new DDR, if you're buying then why not get DDR2.
Like buddy says, I run my memory at a lower MHz speed (synchronous 1:1) but with very tight timings :^)
Hey harddisks are dirt-cheap but memory costs a fortune! Don't let your HD situation make you buy something unfortunate...
With Intel Core2 you will pay for the CPU and motherboards are not inexpensive. You can save a bit on memory.
With AM2 you will pay for the CPU but you can save a bit on mobo. The memory however will eat that up, as the so-called default AM2 memory speed is considered to be 400MHz (800DDR).
So you need good PC2-6400 for AM2, but only PC2-4200 for Core2 - but WTF, buy at least some PC2-5400 for it anyway (it will run better).
But if you want IDE support stay away from Intel, LoL
Regards
October 21, 2006 5:13:03 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Board has 4 ATA and Core 2 duo support.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
Not 4 ATA unfortunately, only 2. But no reports of having problems with PQI Ram which I plan on running currently.

Guess I can budge a little bit on having the 4 ATA as long as I could save some more money on the board. Guess depends what length cables they gave me and if I could go from 3.5 bay to a 5.25 bay with them so could have DVD and 1 HD temporarily until I could get sata.
!