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RAM bottleneck

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November 5, 2006 10:04:49 AM

I have DDR-400 RAM. Im going to buy an X1900XT.
Will i have alot less FPS with DDR-400 than i would if had DDR2-800 or something?

Thnx.

More about : ram bottleneck

November 5, 2006 12:58:26 PM

it depends on whether or not your motherboard can take advantage of the ddr2-800 ram

do you have DDR-400 or DDR2-400? does your mobo support DDR2-800?

Ara
November 5, 2006 1:31:52 PM

Either way your am isnt going to bottle neck your video card just make sure you have enough ram to run the apps you want.
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November 5, 2006 1:59:07 PM

i was so into checking if he had the capability to even upgrade that i forgot to mention what you said [/seriously]

Ara
November 5, 2006 2:55:49 PM

Alright, so maybe it wont bottleneck.

But will it give me less FPS? I mean if not, then why get faster memory?
I heard that because of high latencies DDR2-800 memory is abt the same as DDR-400..

Im not going to buy new memory, ive stated wich i already have.
November 5, 2006 5:30:07 PM

It all depends on the programs you run. Some are more sensitive to memory speed, some are more sensitive to latency, some to both, some to neither. It also depends on the specific latencies of your DDR-400 and the latency of the DDR2-800 you are comparing it with.
November 5, 2006 10:00:03 PM

Quote:
i was so into checking if he had the capability to even upgrade that i forgot to mention what you said [/seriously]

Ara


Yeah happens to me alot no worrys.

to op: Faster ram can give you a couple fps i mean a COUPLE more. All you need to know is keep the ram buss matched with your cpu and more ram > then faster ram. Personaly i like to go both ways get ALOT of the fastest ram but thats me i get the best of everything that is out when i build my comp and use it for the next several years in many stages.
November 5, 2006 10:36:06 PM

you might get 1 or 2 more FPS, maybe a bit more then that, in a nutshell you wouldn't even notice it. ram speed is defiantly not something that impacts FPS, your video card and CPU should be your first concern, so DDr 400 will defiantly not "bottleneck" your gaming experience.
November 6, 2006 11:18:06 AM

Quote:
you might get 1 or 2 more FPS, maybe a bit more then that, in a nutshell you wouldn't even notice it. ram speed is defiantly not something that impacts FPS, your video card and CPU should be your first concern, so DDr 400 will defiantly not "bottleneck" your gaming experience.


So then why do gamers buy DDR2-800 or even DDR2-1066 for twice the price of DDR-400, if it dosent do anything??

Are u saying that 4GB of DDR-266 is better than 1GB of DDR2-800?
November 6, 2006 11:25:51 AM

He may have not replyed but yes it is. Its WAY better then 1 gig of ram. But saying it does nothing isnt true it does to something just the speed of the ram doesnt do alot for alot of things. More ram will (to the point of where the program cannot adress it) will aways add more speed then a faster clocked stick of less size.

To awsner why they buy the DDR2 over the DDR the new systems dont use DDR in most cases and you normaly have to get a garbage motherboard that will suport both. It isnt a choice for the gamers wanting the best its a requierment.

Funny thing about DDR2 is if you take in account the horrid timings speed wise its negligable. Bandwidth wise on the other hand is a different story.
November 6, 2006 12:30:44 PM

So we are being forced to buy more expensive RAM that dosent give a speed boost at all?

I find it hard to believe that 4GB of DDR @ 266Mhz is better than 1GB of DDR @ 1066Mhz. I mean its 4x the speed!
November 6, 2006 12:59:54 PM

Quote:
I mean its 4x the speed!

but quarter the size

here's my personal example of how ram helps, probably because of windows' management of the page file, but when i had 512 MB ram (keeping all other equipment constant) i could only play BF2 at 640x480 smoothly, with 1024 MB (had to try it because another stick was faulty) it ran 800x600 smoothly, and at 1536 MB (final size) i could play smoothly at 1024x768 (my graphics card isn't all powerful - x700xt) it was still the ram size that helped me, not the ram speed, because windows then no longer needed to use the page file when playing BF2, if i had 1 gig 1066 ram, windows would have to use the page file and completely slow down the system to hard disk speed, thus eliminating the point of the high speed ram

i've had my ram run at 400 and had it run at ~600 without ever seeing a difference (although i had to proportionally increase the timings. which may reduce the effects of increased speed?)

Ara
November 6, 2006 1:08:37 PM

Quote:
you might get 1 or 2 more FPS, maybe a bit more then that, in a nutshell you wouldn't even notice it. ram speed is defiantly not something that impacts FPS, your video card and CPU should be your first concern, so DDr 400 will defiantly not "bottleneck" your gaming experience.


So then why do gamers buy DDR2-800 or even DDR2-1066 for twice the price of DDR-400, if it dosent do anything??

Are u saying that 4GB of DDR-266 is better than 1GB of DDR2-800?

Try overclocking with DDR-400 and then you'll find out why...Intel's bus speed is 266 quad pumped to give you 1066Mhz, while the memory operates at DDR which is 533Mhz your memory is 200Mhz, 400MHz effective, so you are already under the required speed of an Intel CPU of current generation,

Why do gamers/enthusiasts buy DDR2-800 and DDR2-1066? So they can overclock their cpus with a fsb of 400 or higher
and lastly DDR2 operates at a lower voltage and in effect gives more bandwidth and will give performance increase in games although games are not the best benchmark, try photoshop and music creation and it helps alot more with more bandwidth, the difference between DDR400 and DDR-1066 would be bigger than they've made it out to be

and one last thing, oh yeah...no good motherboard these days for Intel or AMD AM2 support DDR...that might be a big reason :?
November 6, 2006 1:16:51 PM

You'll be just fine.If you were running pc2100(ddr266)but had a goop cpu,then I would say that yes your ram will bottleneck you.But not with pc3200(ddr400).you should run sweet.Goodluck.

Dahak

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November 6, 2006 1:26:00 PM

It depends on what the FSB of the cpu he is talking about runs at, if it runs at the current bus speed of Intel cpus, which is 266mhz, then yes he will be bottlenecked by his memory since his memory runs at 200mhz, his computer will still run but you'll be not getting the full potential of your cpu
November 6, 2006 2:59:18 PM

Quote:
you might get 1 or 2 more FPS, maybe a bit more then that, in a nutshell you wouldn't even notice it. ram speed is defiantly not something that impacts FPS, your video card and CPU should be your first concern, so DDr 400 will defiantly not "bottleneck" your gaming experience.


So then why do gamers buy DDR2-800 or even DDR2-1066 for twice the price of DDR-400, if it dosent do anything??

Are u saying that 4GB of DDR-266 is better than 1GB of DDR2-800?

Try overclocking with DDR-400 and then you'll find out why...Intel's bus speed is 266 quad pumped to give you 1066Mhz, while the memory operates at DDR which is 533Mhz your memory is 200Mhz, 400MHz effective, so you are already under the required speed of an Intel CPU of current generation,

I believe only the latest Core 2 Duo CPUs have an FSB of 266Mhz QDR.

My Pentium 4 Has an FSB of 200Mhz with a x15 multiplier.

So this means that if i wanted to overclock my CPU, i would have to overclock my FSB and then i would be dependent on how high my RAM can overclock? Cant i just overclock my CPU/FSB without overclocking my RAM?
November 6, 2006 6:03:09 PM

Quote:
you might get 1 or 2 more FPS, maybe a bit more then that, in a nutshell you wouldn't even notice it. ram speed is defiantly not something that impacts FPS, your video card and CPU should be your first concern, so DDr 400 will defiantly not "bottleneck" your gaming experience.


So then why do gamers buy DDR2-800 or even DDR2-1066 for twice the price of DDR-400, if it dosent do anything??

Are u saying that 4GB of DDR-266 is better than 1GB of DDR2-800?

Try overclocking with DDR-400 and then you'll find out why...Intel's bus speed is 266 quad pumped to give you 1066Mhz, while the memory operates at DDR which is 533Mhz your memory is 200Mhz, 400MHz effective, so you are already under the required speed of an Intel CPU of current generation,

I believe only the latest Core 2 Duo CPUs have an FSB of 266Mhz QDR.

My Pentium 4 Has an FSB of 200Mhz with a x15 multiplier.

So this means that if i wanted to overclock my CPU, i would have to overclock my FSB and then i would be dependent on how high my RAM can overclock? Cant i just overclock my CPU/FSB without overclocking my RAM?

Your ram,cpu and fsb are all related...they all come from one number, in the case of the C2D that is 266, since a E6700 has a mutliplier of 10 it has a speed of 2.66GHz.

Since ram is DDR, it has Double, so its 533Mhz effective,

and the FSB is quad pumped therefore equaling 1066...

when you push the 266 you push everything with it...therefore you overclock your ram and your cpu, depending on how far your ram can go is usually how far you can overclock your cpu

usually is much more beneficial to run your ram and cpu at a 1:1 ratio, but if your ram cant overclock at all, then running your ram at a different ratio to overclock your cpu and not your ram would be what you have to do,

just note that it is usually more beneficial to run your ram and cpu at a 1:1 ratio

and most importantly of all your system is more stable when your ram and cpu run at this ratio, usually guaranteeing allowing a higher overclock...
November 6, 2006 7:09:54 PM

Alright, but then why do they not make QDR for RAM aswell?
November 6, 2006 7:46:51 PM

Since almost everyone uses their RAM in dual-channel mode, that gives you another 2x throughput, so DDR2-533 in dual-channel mode matches the 1066 effective FSB throughput.
November 6, 2006 8:05:33 PM

Quote:
Alright, but then why do they not make QDR for RAM aswell?


because they can't
November 6, 2006 9:48:34 PM

Quote:
So we are being forced to buy more expensive RAM that dosent give a speed boost at all?

I find it hard to believe that 4GB of DDR @ 266Mhz is better than 1GB of DDR @ 1066Mhz. I mean its 4x the speed!


Im just assuming your kidding with me now. Your forced to buy newer expensive hardware alot of times. Do you really think you need a dual core cpu now? let alone a quad core. Now i realise your arent forced to buy those two unless you got a motherboard that doesnt support a older chip. 4 gigs of ram is most defanitly better then a faster 1 gig of ram. Actualy someone explained one example of why. I am no means againced buying faster ram but that also doesnt mean in anyway you can get away with less.
November 7, 2006 1:03:40 AM

Quote:
Will i have alot less FPS with DDR-400 than i would if had DDR2-800 or something?

No. DDR2-800 has bigger latencies.

For example,
DDR400 at CAS2 will perform about same as DDR2-800 at CAS4.

You will not lose any performance because of this.

the latency is usually always offset by the speed, and i doubt he has cas2 latency, since it sounds like this wasn't a homebuilt system

i would bet that ddr2-800 at cas 4 would be ddr400 at cas 2 anyday...
November 7, 2006 1:06:38 AM

Of course it will since it has alot more bandwidth to work with but it doesnt really matter since the difference is negligable. The faster ram isnt going to do much anyways more ram will most defanitly make a big difference.
November 7, 2006 2:01:24 PM

Could u ppl stop contradicting urselves.

10 FPS loss is a really big deal! So this means that faster RAM DOES really matter.
November 7, 2006 5:04:10 PM

when you get 200 fps, it's not a big deal.

Ara
November 7, 2006 5:30:17 PM

Sorry, Ic, but that review tested DDR2-400, not DDR-400.
November 7, 2006 6:07:58 PM

Quote:
Sorry, Ic, but that review tested DDR2-400, not DDR-400.


Please Read what i said in the previous post...
IcY18 said:
Quote:
http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=2863&p=6

About 5-10 fps when going from DDR2-400 to DDR2-800, they dont say the timings but you get the idea



Your point doesn't mean anything since the difference between DDR and DDR2 is its power efficiency and timings(negligible difference) i never said it was DDR-400, i said the difference was between DDR2-800 and DDR2-400 was about 5-10fps

Now when you're getting about 100fps that doesn't mean much and in the case of the op if he has a X1900XT this won't effect him that much, but if he had a lower range card it could mean the difference between a game that is unplayable to one that is bearable...
November 7, 2006 8:32:24 PM

Wait wait wait, ur saying that this is like the CPU??

Like when ur on LOW settings and ur getting 200 FPS, ull loose 20 FPS if u have a weaker CPU, but on HIGH settings u wont notice a difference?

And that 20 out of 200, is like 5 out of 50, wich leaves u with 45 wich is playable?
...Course then ill loose 5 on RAM and 5 on CPU and ill have 40 right?
November 7, 2006 10:58:43 PM

i didn't catch everything you meant in that post

What i Ara and i intended to mean was that if you are getting over 100fps in any game regardless of settings you won't know the difference if your ram is a little slower than the guy next to you...

As far as your computer, what cpu are you using this with again?, if your ram does not match or exceed the bus speed then you will either a) underclock your cpu(not good idea) or b) run your ram and cpu ratio at something other than 1:1 so that your ram runs slower(actually at its stock speed) while your cpu runs at its stock speed

i doubt you will ever "know" the difference, you shouldn't even worry about it although if a you ran a actual benchmark you would be able to see a difference...
November 7, 2006 11:14:55 PM

Quote:
...

Please Read what i said in the previous post...
IcY18 said:
...
About 5-10 fps when going from DDR2-400 to DDR2-800, they dont say the timings but you get the idea



Yes, my point was that the OP was asking about the difference between DDR-400 and DDR2-800. Since DDR2-400 is slower than DDR-400, comparing w/DDR2-400 doesn't directly answer the question. Here's some useful info:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/ddr2-dd...
November 7, 2006 11:48:36 PM

Quote:
Could u ppl stop contradicting urselves.

10 FPS loss is a really big deal! So this means that faster RAM DOES really matter.


Like was stated already 10fps is nothing assuming you even get that much. The reason why its nothing is because to be able to get the max gain from that ram your already pushing up to 200 frames. Hell in HL2 i can pull up to 300 frames in limited areas at 1920x1200 with everything cranked to max. 10 fps isnt going to do much for me.

Wait wait wait, ur saying that this is like the CPU??

Quote:
Like when ur on LOW settings and ur getting 200 FPS, ull loose 20 FPS if u have a weaker CPU, but on HIGH settings u wont notice a difference?

And that 20 out of 200, is like 5 out of 50, wich leaves u with 45 wich is playable?
...Course then ill loose 5 on RAM and 5 on CPU and ill have 40 right?


that doesnt really make alot of sense actualy :-/ its not as black and white as you put it there. The ram isnt going to really make any game playable unless it is the ram its self keeping hte game back and the user already has the power in every other area. And you do realise not every game (most actualy) arent CPU intensive so the cpu its self gives little difference as well.
November 8, 2006 12:41:46 AM

Quote:
Wait wait wait, ur saying that this is like the CPU??

Like when ur on LOW settings and ur getting 200 FPS, ull loose 20 FPS if u have a weaker CPU, but on HIGH settings u wont notice a difference?

And that 20 out of 200, is like 5 out of 50, wich leaves u with 45 wich is playable?
...Course then ill loose 5 on RAM and 5 on CPU and ill have 40 right?


sry i haven't responded sooner, but most of the other posters are telling you the right thing. your over dramatizing this. ram speed is not something to worry about, unless you are encoding, compiling, rendering, or other tasks that are memory BANDWIDTH INTENSIVE. games simply are not very demanding of memory bandwidth. if you are so worried about your computers performance, post your computer specs, and then we could tell you what is holding you back.
November 8, 2006 12:56:13 AM

Just to add on here and i know this is a vary crude comparasin but if you know what apps a p-4 did well on the same can be basicly said about ddr2. like almerac said bandwidth intensive programs.
November 8, 2006 7:48:54 AM

Quote:
i didn't catch everything you meant in that post

What i Ara and i intended to mean was that if you are getting over 100fps in any game regardless of settings you won't know the difference if your ram is a little slower than the guy next to you...

As far as your computer, what cpu are you using this with again?, if your ram does not match or exceed the bus speed then you will either a) underclock your cpu(not good idea) or b) run your ram and cpu ratio at something other than 1:1 so that your ram runs slower(actually at its stock speed) while your cpu runs at its stock speed

i doubt you will ever "know" the difference, you shouldn't even worry about it although if a you ran a actual benchmark you would be able to see a difference...



I know abt the whole FSB 1:1 thing, dont worry.

So what ur saying is, if i get a good graphics card that will let me get 100 FPS in a game, then i wont notice it when my RAM takes off 10 FPS?
But then if i get a worse card that will only let me have 50 FPS in a game, then i will notice it when my RAM takes off 10 FPS?

But then, what if i want to run a game like Oblivion, wich i will not get over 50 wich any card in?
November 8, 2006 7:58:40 AM

Quote:
...

Please Read what i said in the previous post...
IcY18 said:
...
About 5-10 fps when going from DDR2-400 to DDR2-800, they dont say the timings but you get the idea



Yes, my point was that the OP was asking about the difference between DDR-400 and DDR2-800. Since DDR2-400 is slower than DDR-400, comparing w/DDR2-400 doesn't directly answer the question. Here's some useful info:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/ddr2-dd...

Wait, DDR2 - 400 is WORSE than DDR - 400??

I'm assuming that this is because of latencies, but if DDR's latencies are so low, why move to DDR2? Just because it takes less power?
November 8, 2006 8:07:00 AM

What im trying to ask, is.. when u say that ill loose 10 FPS when im running 200 FPS, how much FPS will i loose if im running 60 FPS?

And i thought games were the most intensive programs in every direction.
I mean the bandwidth has to be enough to sestain 60 FPS..

My PC:

Asus P4GD1 motherboard
Pentium 4 (prescott) @ 3.4Ghz 1M 800FSB CPU
1GB, PC-3200 DDR-400 RAM
FX 5200 -> X1900XT 512MB
Intergrated 7.1 channel Sound
500w PSU (cant find a way to check the amps)
November 8, 2006 8:56:50 AM

Quote:
...
Wait, DDR2 - 400 is WORSE than DDR - 400??

I'm assuming that this is because of latencies,

Yes

Quote:
...but if DDR's latencies are so low, why move to DDR2? Just because it takes less power?

The main reason was that memory chip speeds were not keeping up with CPU FSBs. DDR2 does use less power, has internal termination and some other improvements, but the main change was to modify the internal design so that 2x faster speeds could be achieved without having to increase the speed of the underlying memory technology. See this: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/ddr2-dd...
November 8, 2006 10:19:04 AM

Right, that makes sence. Cool.
November 8, 2006 12:36:36 PM

Ok track everyone has tried to explain it best they can. The fact is faster ram is NOT better then more ram. Not every app needs more of everything some apps use more of sertin things like cpu,video,ram ext. 10fps was a example alot of times you wont even see a improvment unless of course the app can use the extra bandwidth. a game thats running at 50fps or 200 fps isnt going to run any better with faster ram UNLESS it was coded to use the bandwidth. Even then it wont be alot unless the ram was holding back the process. DDR2 400 isnt really worse then DDR400 its just a bit slower however it has alot more bandwidth which offsets the speed difference in any app that can utalise the extra bandwidth and makes it faster in a sense.

Look at it this way DDR and DDR2 as a convaier belt. DDR has a narrower belt but DDR2 has a lets say 3x wider belt. Now even though it takes a clock or two more to move the info its still moving 3x more info and lets say its only 1x slower. So the example would show ddr2 can move 2x more data per its clock. Which is great if the app can throw on enough info for it to move along. Which right now games dont really do.

The memory speed of hte onboard video ram is VASTLY faster then system memory. The video card does all process's onboard. So system memory doesnt really effect games aside from cacheing the game its self.

*Edit* The new cards that use system memory for the video memory would benafit from ddr2 alot more of course the cards pretty much suck so they are almost pointless at all to get for anyone who wants to play games.
November 8, 2006 5:24:38 PM

To the OP:

Also, if a game had so much data that it was overflowing the graphics board's onboard RAM, then the PCIexpress or AGP bus speed may come into play, along with system RAM. However, real-world games are not overflowing reasonably current boards.

Your question has become a whole-system optimization question. Time for you to go out and do some research to learn about CPUs, system design, busses, memory, graphics and modern graphics card design, etc. There aren't any simple answers.
November 9, 2006 1:52:26 AM

Quote:
What im trying to ask, is.. when u say that ill loose 10 FPS when im running 200 FPS, how much FPS will i loose if im running 60 FPS?

And i thought games were the most intensive programs in every direction.
I mean the bandwidth has to be enough to sestain 60 FPS..

My PC:

Asus P4GD1 motherboard
Pentium 4 (prescott) @ 3.4Ghz 1M 800FSB CPU
1GB, PC-3200 DDR-400 RAM
FX 5200 -> X1900XT 512MB
Intergrated 7.1 channel Sound
500w PSU (cant find a way to check the amps)


if i where to do anything, (to increase performance) i would first look into another 1 GB of ram, that would be the easiest way to get an appreciable gain. but also consider at the same time, what it would cost to migrate to a faster processor, yours is not bad, but it will be the first thing to "bottleneck" your system in the future. and if your motherboard supports conroes i would defiantly look into getting one. other then that, a faster video card would increase performance (not that you need it with a X1900XT). see the pattern here, more RAM+ faster CPU+faster video card= more performance per dollar in games

if your motherboard supports conroes, then no need to read past this point.

ok i just looked at newegg. i am not aware of any AGP x1900xt so im assuming its PCIe (altho i found some AGP motherboards too) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
this supports conroes, as well as DDR 1 and DDR2, only 2 slots for each, and you can only use a total of 2 sticks for either. it has a PCIe 16x slot, as well as onboard raid (0/1), video and a couple other things that are good.


if i were you (and assuming you are like me, and have to buy parts on a paycheck by paycheck basis), and i was looking for more improvement, first i would buy that motherboard, or an equivalent. if i could use my current proc in it it would be great(in the mean time), but primarily i would be concerned with making sure i was set for the faster proc. then i would buy a conroe. then i would forgoe the old DDR stick, and wait till 2GB single DDR2 sticks are out, then buy one of those. and possibly buy another later. i would buy DDR800, because with my low end conroe, i would be overclocking the hell out of it. :lol: 

thats just my 1cents tho. remember tho, what is holding you back right now is actually nothing. in the future it will be your amount of ram, and your processor in that order.
November 9, 2006 4:56:16 AM

I'd stay away from that MB. Just a quick look reveals the following:
1) It's made by ECS
2) It only has 2 DDR2 slots, so future memory upgrades are limited.
3) It can only handle DDR2-533, which is just enough for today's C2Ds (non-OC'd only), but again limits future upgrades.
November 9, 2006 7:23:24 AM

Quote:
I'd stay away from that MB. Just a quick look reveals the following:
1) It's made by ECS
2) It only has 2 DDR2 slots, so future memory upgrades are limited.
3) It can only handle DDR2-533, which is just enough for today's C2Ds (non-OC'd only), but again limits future upgrades.
]

i would agree normally. and maybe i assumed to much about how he could go about upgrading. first off 2 DDR2 slots would be fine, because bigger modules always come out, and the motherboard supports 4GB anyways. and in gaming DDR533 wouldn't hurt him any, were talking about that +10FPS when your already at 200+ (and he could always overclock, ram speeds aren't set in stone like they once where with all motherboards). and for things like SLI/Xfire, they are not good upgrade options as we have seen since its inception, its often just easier and cheaper to buy a more powerful video card. true the motherboard is made by ECS, altho i have used jetway, and many other smaller brands with little problems, just need to remember a little TLC with them.

but i do agree with you in general, that in an optimal solution, would be a total upgrade other then his video card. my thoughts where simply that, seeing as he already just spent $250 (thats the going rate for a x1900xt if you can find them right?) on a video card, spending another $400+ (easily) on a new motherboard, ram and processor, is not likely an idea that he had initially. but it isn't a bad one. otherwise i would recommend saving for a total upgrade.
November 10, 2006 7:24:37 PM

Quote:
... first off 2 DDR2 slots would be fine, because bigger modules always come out,

But then he will have to sell/throw away his current modules.

Quote:
...in gaming DDR533 wouldn't hurt him any, were talking about that +10FPS when your already at 200+ (and he could always overclock,...
I wouldn't count on a low-end ECS board being OCable.
The upgrades I was referring to are new, faster C2D processors. They will run at faster FSBs than 1066MHz, and this board likely won't be able to keep up with that.

My point was just that there are better choices, for likely not much more money if you are patient and a good shopper.
!