Hi, I was planing to build a C2D system based on Gigabyte GA-965P-S3, a C2D E6400 and 2GB of RAM. I was wondering what would be the best memory for this board? I looked at many articles and forum posts and to be honest it confused me more than anything else... I've seen all 3 (mainstream) DDR2 speed being suggested for similar setups (533-667-800).
I used to build system I buy the highest clock RAM the board/CPU could support and it would normaly yield higher performance, but it seems that with C2D (and maybe some latest AMDs) higher RAM clock could mean lower performance... I understand it has something to do with the MB having to calculate or not a ratio of FSB to RAM clock cycles, but anyway.
I can get all 3 types of RAM fairly easily so in which conditions should one be used instead of another? I've seen DDR2-800 mostly suggested for overclockers, but I don't plan on overclocking unless it's to prolong the life of the system in a few years. The other 2 (553-667) pretty much eaqualy suggested.
Just for my personal knowledge and future reference, how much overclocking needs to be done to get the most out of the 667 and 800 Mhz DDR? How hard would it be to get to each?
Thank you for your help, I managed faily well for the rest of the system, just this RAM thing that keeps bugging me.
I was actually wondering the same thing. I also plan on doing a little overclocking so I went and picked up Patriot 2x512 DDR2 533Mhz... from what I understand that should work just fine (I haven't built it yet because I'm waiting on my processor and hard drive).
The C2D's run best at 1:1 (2x multiplier) ratio. The current models in the market are 1066MHz models, which is 266MHz FSB ... which is equivalent to 533MHz on RAM running at 1:1 ratio ... if you're planning to run at stock speed, 533MHz would suffice ...
In fact, get a high speed (666/675MHz, 800MHz, 1000MHz, etc), low latency (preferably CL 4 or lower) set, if you're planning to overclock ... There are many articles on them all over the forums regarding these ... Those that have proven to work well are Corsairs, Patriots, G.Skills, PQI Turbo, OCZ and many more...
I'm gonna try to overclock on the Corsair Dominator series tomorrow ... more reports on it on the link over my siggy ... The system I built about a month ago is still one of the best priced system around, since C2D price didn't change much, in fact, price increased a couple dollars ...
I have had the S3 with DDR800 and am running the FSB @ 400 at the moment.
The 55512 timing ram handles it well, I have since purchased the Dominator Ram from Corsair and upped it a bit further. I would say that you can not go wrong with DDR800 if you intend to overclock.
I've seen a few articles suggesting that at stock speeds - 667 DDR2 actually loses performance compared to 533 - yes, this is because the FSB and ram are working asynchronously with each other and there is a performance penalty (although it's a very slight difference) - the 800Mhz RAM normally outperforms both since it's higher clock speed allows it to more than make up for the hit it takes running out of sync.
If you're not going to overclock and budget is a leading concern, 533 is a very good choice. If you want to overclock the FSB, the higher speed memory will help - 667 will let you get a 333 FSB and then there is no penalty becuase you are in sync. 800 will let you push the FSB to 400 OR provides better performance (slightly) over the 533 even at stock but will cost more.
The answer to your question... "Which is best?" is that it depends on what your looking for. 800 (or higher) is the best, but isn't necessary if cost is a concern.