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RAM speeds vs. size performance...very complicated

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May 1, 2007 11:16:18 PM

I have a K8V SE DELUXE socket 754 mobo which runs in single channel only.
I use my computer solely for gaming: i.e. BF2, CS:S, BF2142, SC:CT, etc
Other Specs: Ath64 3200, x1950gt, audigy 2 zs, sweet floppy drive

Q1) Right now I have 1.25gb RAM using all 3 slots. (512,256,512) What kind of performance increase would I see by replacing the 256 stick with a 1gb stick? (neglecting speed changes)

Q2) How much performance difference is there between a DDR400 stick of ram with a heat spreader, and one without?

Q3) Finally, according to the ASUS website, if I use only my two 512 sticks in slot 1 and 3, my ram will run at 400mhz. However, by using all three slots the speed will ramp down to either 333mhz or 200mhz depending on the stick in the 2nd slot. What is the performance difference between 1.25gb @ 200mhz (currently) VERSUS 1gb @ 400mhz (if i took the 256 stick out)??

Q4) Moreover, if I do add ram, will I see an increase going from 1gb@400 to 2gb@200??

-Very Conflicted
a b } Memory
May 1, 2007 11:36:39 PM

I would definetly remove the 1 256 meg stick.
If you want to upgrade, get 2 1 gig matched sticks.
If your memory slows from 400mhz to 200mhz, do not use that 3rd slot.
That is quite a slowdown, in my opinion anyway.
May 2, 2007 12:41:52 AM

By having matched pairs of memory sticks, you're RAM is going to run in Dual-Channel which will give you ~15% improvement in memory performance compared to single channel at the same frequency.

Depending on your motherboard, you can have Dual-Channel memory at full 400mhz by having either a pair of Sticks (in slots 1,3) or 2 pairs (1,3 - 2,4)

Now you'll have to check your motherboard manual on what RAM configuration's you can have, but I think your best bet would be to ditch the 256, and buy another 2x512mb sticks that are as close to being the same as your current ones as possible. Put these in with your current 2 512mb sticks (so you have 4x512mb sticks) and this should hopefully allow you to have 2gb @ 400mhz in Dual-Channel.

BF2 and BF2142 get way smoother with 2gb of ram.

Heat spreaders do not effect performance, When overclocking they help keep your RAM cooler so you don't need them.
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May 2, 2007 1:24:39 AM

I think the speed sacrifice is too great. I would either remove the 256mb stick so you get full speed ram, or get rid of all of it and buy 2 1gb sticks. Only if you are sure this motherboard runs only single channel. Otherwise, if its dual channel, buy 2 more 512mb sticks.
May 2, 2007 1:36:39 AM

Having only 3 ram slots, my mobo runs only in single channel
May 2, 2007 1:40:09 AM

Just checked out you mobo. looks like only single channel. In my opinion i wouldn't bother getting any more ram at all. I would just get rid of the 256mb stick so you get full speed ram, then see how that goes first.

If you still aren't happy with the performance, then 2 x 1gb sticks would be your best performance option. To save a little money, you might be able to keep the 2 512mb sticks you have and only get a 1gb stick, but i can't say what the performance will be like.

Heat sinks on your ram don't make it faster, as locky28 said.
May 2, 2007 2:04:15 AM

I cbf reading up on the board but since you have fred, will 4x512mb sticks run at 400mhz or only 2x512? Is there even four DIMM slots?
May 2, 2007 2:05:23 AM

Fred is right; none of us know for sure whether removing the 256MB, but increasing the speed of the remaining RAM, will speed up or slow down the apps you run. Adding a 1GB stick in place of the 256MB stick should speed up Windows' responsiveness, but might slow down your games. Experiment and see!
May 2, 2007 2:10:09 AM

Quote:
I have a K8V SE DELUXE socket 754 mobo which runs in single channel only.
I use my computer solely for gaming: i.e. BF2, CS:S, BF2142, SC:CT, etc
Other Specs: Ath64 3200, x1950gt, audigy 2 zs, sweet floppy drive

Q1) Right now I have 1.25gb RAM using all 3 slots. (512,256,512) What kind of performance increase would I see by replacing the 256 stick with a 1gb stick? (neglecting speed changes)

Q2) How much performance difference is there between a DDR400 stick of ram with a heat spreader, and one without?

Q3) Finally, according to the ASUS website, if I use only my two 512 sticks in slot 1 and 3, my ram will run at 400mhz. However, by using all three slots the speed will ramp down to either 333mhz or 200mhz depending on the stick in the 2nd slot. What is the performance difference between 1.25gb @ 200mhz (currently) VERSUS 1gb @ 400mhz (if i took the 256 stick out)??

Q4) Moreover, if I do add ram, will I see an increase going from 1gb@400 to 2gb@200??

-Very Conflicted

First only use 2 sticks so they will work in DDR mode.

Buy a set of G.Skill 4000HZ (2 X 1GB)....this is 250Mhz ram (DDR500) @ 3.4.4.8 T1 settings.
Runs fine at stock voltes.

Same ram with a small OC to 260Mhz (DDR520) and my Optron 146 @ 1:1 gives me higher Read/Write/Copy scores in Everest than DDR2-800 ram!
May 2, 2007 2:24:33 AM

Quote:
...
First only use 2 sticks so they will work in DDR mode.

Perhaps you meant "dual-channel mode"? The OP has pointed out a couple of times in this thread that his MB doesn't support dual-channel mode.


"If all else fails, read the thread." :wink:
May 2, 2007 2:29:28 AM

Dual Channel = Double Data Rate

It's the same thing.

But I'll admit that I did go straight past thing single channel comment in the OP :D  .
May 2, 2007 2:37:48 AM

Quote:
Dual Channel = Double Data Rate

It's the same thing.

But I'll admit that I did go straight past thing single channel comment in the OP :D  .
:?:

DDR refers to the memories abilities compared to SDR Ram. All dual channel actually does is improve the data bandwidth by increasing the bus width from 64bit to 128bit and thus theoretically increasing the total amount of bandwidth by a factor of 2. While you could say that Double Data Rate pretty much describes the effect, the real meaning of DDR refers to a different technical aspect.
May 2, 2007 2:46:21 AM

Do'h, that's the second thing I've missed in this thread, I might just leave this one be :roll:
May 2, 2007 3:39:15 AM

Let's make sure everything is straight here.

Dual Channel and DDR are not the same thing. Dual Channel means that the motherboard addresses your memory on two seperate channels thereby increasing the data rate. Not all motherboards support dual channel memory and none of the socket 754 systems do. So having matched memory is not as big of a deal with this system.

As far as the frequency that your memory runs at, you really want to stick with DDR400 (200MHz actual clock speed). You especially want to have DDR400 if the third DIMM is only giving you 256MB like yours is. One thing you might want to try, is buying a single 1GB DIMM, take out the 256MB and one of the 512MB DIMMs and put in your new 1GB DIMM. That would give you 1.5GB at DDR400. It would seem like that might be a reasonable improvement over 1.25GB of DDR333 or whatever your current setup is. You might want to check with CPUz just to see for sure if your memory is actually running slower than 200MHz before you buy something.
May 2, 2007 4:39:28 AM

DDR = Double Data Rate, which means than instead of transferring one "chunk" of data per clock cycle (which would be single data rate), it transfers two "chunks" of data per clock cycle. Thus, the clock rate can be kept down (which makes the bus design easier and components cheaper) while keeping the data transfer rate up.
Current Intel CPUs use a quadruple data rate (normally called "quad-pumped") on their FSB (not to be confused with their memory bus).
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