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ddr2 800 vs 667

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March 1, 2007 3:00:42 PM

I am preparing a new build for my son, aged 12. I am by no means current, just past being a newbie. Just how critical is the type of memory, ie, ddr2-800 vs ddr2-667?

The reason for this question is that I have picked the E6400 to go into an ASUS P5N-E SLI with the 650i chipset. Reading reviews and such, I see that it is picky on memory, so I went to the ASUS site and downloaded the approved memory list. Newegg not listing much of the -800 that is on the list. Other info that you might need to help me, no overclocking, plan on using the sli video setup, computer mainly used for the foreseeable future playing MMORPG like W.O.W.

While I have your attention, what about timing? How important is it for this application?

Thanks to all that gives their time with this. I really appreciative it.

More about : ddr2 800 667

March 1, 2007 3:46:00 PM

Unless your oc'ing ram speed doesnt matter, i would just get a 2gb set of DDR2-533 value ram, it'll work fine. Timings too, unless your going to oc just get whatever is cheapest.

SLI is a waste of money unless your planning on spending big bucks on this pc (i.e. getting dual 8800gtx's). Theres always going to be a single card solution out there that can match the performance of an SLI setup for the same price or cheaper.
March 1, 2007 3:57:15 PM

AGREED.

Sounds like you're specifying components that are OVERKILL. Seriously, if you want stable and good, you should look at the Gigabyte 965P-S3, it's very inexpensive, good board layout, not picky about RAM or timings, easy BIOS to understand.

Then, if you're NOT overclocking, just get the cheapest 533 or 667 Value RAM you can find. If you ARE overclocking, then get at least 667 RAM, but something respectable (which will cost a bit more too).

Sounds like you're not overclocking, so I'd save some good coin and get the S3 mobo and Value 533/667 RAM.

Lastly, for the applications you're doing, the RAM timings won't make much real life difference at all. The BIG difference will be what graphics card you get for your son. For that stuff, it's all about the vid card. So use the money you save on the mobo and RAM and put it into a good graphics card. Tell your son that he has to help with cleaning the house and you'll get him that better graphics card ;) 
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March 1, 2007 3:59:44 PM

I second or third apt403's suggestions. Get a decent single card, save some money with a non-sli motherboard, and get inexpensive quality RAM 2gb.

EDIT: Skyguy's suggestions are excellent as well.
March 1, 2007 4:41:39 PM

Thanks for the input. This is what I have so far and the reasons:

ASUS P5N-E SLI 650i because of good reviews and that I can upgrade to quad pcu in future

HIPER HPU-4R580-MS ATX12V v2.2 580W Power Supply because good reviews, somewhat quiet, lots of power.

SAPPHIRE 100165L Radeon X1650PRO 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 because of the 512MB, crossfire and good reviews.

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe, good reviews

Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA
because of the name, he doesn't even need 150GB due to online playing.

2 sticks of Kingston ValueRAM 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) because of the replies above and the name.

He already has an extra case and a 19" LCD.

He only plays games on it, he's only 12, so not hard core.

I tried to build to be upgradeable in future, which may be a futile gesture.

All this for just $750. Is this video card good enough, or should I heed your advice, lower the mobo, and what video card would you recommend?
March 1, 2007 4:59:41 PM

Well, the 650i has good reviews, yes, that is true. But you need to take those reviews in context. By this I mean, that it is reviewed as a good budget, SLI motherboard that can be overclocked. Which it is. It is also picky about some RAM stuff too. However, you've just stated that your son isn't a hardcore gamer at 12 years old (good to hear!!), so an SLI board is frankly a waste of money. Further, the Gigabyte board will take quad core ;)  And it's cheaper, less picky about RAM, still can be overclocked very well, and is highly reviewed as well. So you get the same features and better RAM compatibility for less money....sounds like a winner to me :) 

For vid card, that one should be fine, given your parameters. Should do what you require fine at 19" resolution. It won't be able to handle the brand new and upcoming games at the highest settings, but again, it should do fine for awhile with most current games, especially RTS, RPG, etc.

Hiper PSU will be fine.

6400 is a great performer.

Kingston Value RAM will do just fine.

Lastly, the hard drive. It's not so much the size you should be concerned about, because the price difference is really small when you look at the total cost per gigabyte of storage. What you should be concerned about is Quality here. You can always add another hard drive later if you want more storage, piece of cake. But your primary drive needs to be stable, fast, and durable. And this is where my bias will show: EVERY SINGLE hard drive that has ever crapped out on me (and unfortunately I've had more than a couple) has been a Western Digital. Every one. I've NEVER had a problem with my other drives, and I've owned Seagate, Hitachi, WD, and Maxtor. Honestly, I'd seriously reconsider the WD and look into the Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 w/16 meg cache, whatever size you want. It's fast, durable, 5 year warranty, pretty quiet, doesn't run too hot, and gets great reviews and is highly recommended around these forums. I have 2 and I love them!

Food for thought........
March 1, 2007 5:04:24 PM

Quote:

He only plays games on it, he's only 12, so not hard core.


HEY! Im only a couple years older then him, and i play like 8 hours a day. Age isnt a very good measure of how hardcore a gamer is. When i was 12 i played 6, 7 hours of halo a day.

Um... Anyway...

The video card is a bit weak, i would get atleast a 1900gt or 1950gt, maybe even a 1950pro. Having 512mb of video memory doesnt matter much, in most games you wont be able to tell the difference between 256mb and 512mb.

Im not a big fan of Hiper psu's, and the unit you have on your list is pink...just saying.

I would get this unit, better quality and its more powerful. If that one is out of your budget this one is pretty good as well.
March 1, 2007 5:07:26 PM

I don't know much about the 650i chipset, but if your heart is set on Crossfire you should check and see if it supports Crossfire....being an nVidia chipset after all it may not.

Again, I would suggest that you go with a more powerful single card. Skyguy is right, that card you picked is decent and will handle current titles without problems. I would recommend a 7900GT ($200 USD from the Egg) or maybe something like an x1800 or x1900 flavors from ATI if you want to extend the computers usefulness for now.

Or, you could go with the x1650 until you can get a good deal on a DX10 card down the road a ways.
March 1, 2007 5:49:21 PM

Ok, I asked for your advice and I'm going to follow it.

Changed HD to Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250820AS 250GB 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

Changed mobo to GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX

Changed video to EVGA 256-P2-N624-AR GeForce 7900GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16

Thank you all for your input.
March 1, 2007 5:53:02 PM

Excellent new specs there! :) 

But get the 16 meg Seagate, not the 8 meg. Couple dollars difference, if that.

And to save a bit of $$, consider the S3 mobo. It's the same as the DS3 but without the solid state capacitors. No performance difference, just won't last 6 or 7 years like the DS3....might last 5.......which should be long enough for this system ;) 

Good luck!
March 1, 2007 6:11:32 PM

Quote:

SAPPHIRE 100165L Radeon X1650PRO 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 because of the 512MB, crossfire and good reviews.


This is a no go! Don't bee fooled for the 512Mb, because you can store textures, but the gpu won't be fast enough to render them (like having a car with space for 10 people and a 40bhp engine).
A 7900GS or a x1950pro would be far better choice.
March 1, 2007 6:21:46 PM

Quote:
...
2 sticks of Kingston ValueRAM 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) because of the replies above and the name.
...

I'd suggest getting the DDR2-667 instead of DDR2-533 for two reasons:
1) Intel will soon be switching to a 333MHz FSB for its Core 2 Duo CPUs, requiring DDR2-667 or faster RAM; if you want to upgrade the CPU, it would be nice not to have to buy all new memory.
2) Down the road, you may decide to OC the CPU, and DDR2-667 allows you to boost the FSB (and memory speed) by 25%.
March 1, 2007 6:34:45 PM

Quote:

SAPPHIRE 100165L Radeon X1650PRO 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 because of the 512MB, crossfire and good reviews.


This is a no go! Don't bee fooled for the 512Mb, because you can store textures, but the gpu won't be fast enough to render them (like having a car with space for 10 people and a 40bhp engine).
A 7900GS or a x1950pro would be far better choice.

Very, very good analogy there. Post of the day award! :trophy:
March 1, 2007 6:50:29 PM

Hi , I must have this stuff all wrong you say that the memory speed for ddr2 doesn't matter if you don't overclock...so I can build any amd or intel computer and i don't have to put top of the line memory like corsair xms 2 in it ...? :oops: 
March 1, 2007 10:37:09 PM

No, that's not entirely accurate. Memory speed DOES matter if you want to overclock, but the C2D chips aren't as sensitive say as the AMD chips. Also, the C2D's are designed to currently run on 533 speed RAM, but I agree, you should get the 667 stuff.

Generally speaking, the lower stuff like 667 will still let you overclock (assuming it's decent quality), however, the higher overclock you want to push, then generally the faster RAM you should have. There are exceptions, but that is the easy rule of thumb.

So, quality 667 will get you respectable overclocks, 800 will get you very good overclocks, and 1000 will get you insane results....assuming you have good cooling.
March 1, 2007 10:47:28 PM

For Core 2 Duo CPUs with 1066 FSB data rate, the main thing is that *as long as you are running the memory in dual-channel mode*, the memory is already saturating the CPU's FSB bandwidth when run at DDR2-533, so performance gains from running the memory faster than that are limited.
March 1, 2007 11:29:25 PM

Just a FYI,

The new 320 mb 8800 vid cards are out in the $290 range, and offer DX 10 support, as well as trouncing anything else in the world without an 8800 in front of it. An old p4 machine with it will beat a e6600 machine with a 1950 GT......

Much better expenditure of your money than 533 vs 667 ram or the higher end motherboard. This card will allow him to play games and future games he would otherwise be limited from playing till a vid card upgrade. (1600 series is a dog IMHO)

Your ram and mobo choices (as long as adequate) will have very little effect on playing games.

Right now, the vid card is first, cpu second, psu (for adequate power), mobo, then RAM. HD is marginal for overall ability to PLAY a game, but will help in load times and for the competitive gamer.
March 1, 2007 11:45:15 PM

Thanks for the FYI ... I don't overclock at all just want a strong machine that will play games in the future without overclocking anything.
!