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FSB and RAM speed is a scam... (my vent)

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June 14, 2007 7:01:09 AM

Let me get this right. First off, I have an e6600 and a DG965RY Intel board.

I just upgraded from DDR2-533 to DDR2-800 RAM. Read lots about it, thought it would be a nice upgrade.
Then I just learned today that DDR2-800 is absolutely useless to anybody that doesn't overclock, or can't overclock. For the puposes of this post, lets leave out overclocking.

Is it just me or am I the only one shopping, looking through tons of DDR2-800 and nowhere in the specs, reviews, or description did it say that it would be useless to non-overclockers?
Can't be just me. In fact from other posts I've been finding lately, it sure as hell isn't just me. And somebody is making a lot of money off of non-OC'ers and its damn near a scam.

Considering a lot of Mobo's and manufacters certainly do not condone overclocking, in fact the vast majority of computers in this world have most or all OC options locked in the bios, or they don't exist at all.

Let's take intel for example, how many billions of mobo's will you find Intel stamped somewhere on there?
Intel shows from their actions and words that they do not want people to OC. And they go to great lengths sometimes to prohibit it.

But despite this, many of their new boards support at least DDR2-800 RAM. What is worse is that I real all this stuff on their site talking about the extensive testing done on DDR2-800 and they gave all the lists of DDR2-800 brands guaranteed to work, then they go on about more details like the 1.8v spec and how the timings can't be less than 5-5-5. I even read fine print to read everything they had to say about it.
NOWHERE did they mention "oh, by the way, DDR2-800 is useless".

No, in fact the main reason I upgraded from 533 to 800 was because not only that my board supported it, but because the Intel site went into detail about it.
I don't know about other people, but that is a clear indication to me that there must be some benefit of having DDR2-800.
Just the fact that they are helping people buy the right kind of DDR2-800 is completely contradictory to their feelings on overclocking.
Also, allowing DDR2-800 is almost like telling people to overclock because that is the only way to benefit from it. Right?

Trust me, the people getting screwed aren't buying DDR2-800 for 5 years+ down the road when they might be able to get and afford a mobo and cpu that is 1600 fsb capable. I'm pretty sure of that.

So not only did I just pay lots of $$ for good DDR2-800 RAM that not only can I not benefit from, but is actually a downgrade considering that my DDR2-533 has much lower timings than the 5-5-5 of my DDR2-800. I feel violated!

And since I can't return the RAM at this point without costing me more $$, I'm really swallowing the bait now as I'm feeling like I need to (and will) buy another mobo that is OC'able.
The no OC thing I knew about when buying this board and I was fine with that.
However, had I seen this coming, I wouldn't have bought it. Shame on them for having support for something on a board (ddr2 667 and 800) that has no benefit.

The computer industry must be making good money off me and others. After all, had I let things go, my memory performance would have been better sticking with the DDR2-533 and lower timings than the DDR2-800. Instead, I get lower performing RAM and lose a bundle of cash on the deal. And now I'm considering buying a new mobo (which my current one was just fine aside from this issue, and only 6 months old) to get benefit out of the DDR2-800 that I'm stuck with.
Other option is to sell the DDR2-800 and I sure won't get what I paid for it since it wasn't on sale at the time and of course now it is used.

Yup, either way, I'm kind of screwed over.
I wouldn't complain if it was a stupid mistake, but this was something more complicated and misleading even for non-OC'ers that know a lot about computers.

If I am wrong about anything I said, and somehow DDR2-800 will benefit me without overclocking, then somebody please say so. And in that case, sorry for wasting bandwidth!
June 14, 2007 8:27:58 AM

You would probably know better but it seems from the intel site that the DG965RY board does support DDR2-800 RAM. Try going into your BIOS and looking for a DDR2-800 setting.

http://www.intel.com/products/motherboard/dg965ry/index...

It may be possible to change your front-side bus speed while lowering the CPU multiplier to avoid overclocking your cpu. The motherboard should be able to take this without voiding the warranty but this is not a given and you should check up on this.

If you don't want to do this, you can still lower the speed of your DDR2-800 RAM and see if the latency can be decreased. This will sometimes work.
June 14, 2007 8:57:18 AM

OK, either I am more confused or we aren't on the same page. I wrote a lot so I understand if you didn't read it all. :oops: 

Yeah, I know the board supports DDR2-800 because I have it in there right now and everything works pretty much as usual. I have the intel desktop utility also which does say that the memory speed is 800mhz (this is the correct reading, right?).
So yeah, the board does support and acknowledge that I have DDR2-800. No problems there. Problem is that while it reads DDR2-800, it is my understanding that it is only running at DDR2-533 speeds.

What I was saying is that it sucks that Intel supports DDR2-800 on boards that can only maximize DDR2-533 at the most, given the mobo's 1066 max fsb (stock, of course). And again, I'm leaving overclocking out of the conversation for now.

I'm pissed that I was led to believe that I should see a little better performance from memory going from DDR2-533 (which I did have) to DDR2-800.
From what I understand, although DDR2-800 is listed and recognized on my computer, it is actually just DDR2-533 RAM with bad timings due to the 1066 FSB and the stupid intel 1.8v and 5-5-5 or above timings.

Again, if I am wrong for thinking DDR2-800 is completely useless in this scenario then somebody please correct me.
I think I'm right here, and if I am, there is an awful lot of people buying DDR2-800, paying a little extra, and getting nothing.

Also, how much do the 5-5-5-18 timings impact performance vs 4-4-4-12 or something like that? I think my 533 RAM might of even had a cas of 3.
Am I correct in thinking that DDR2-800 with the higher timings is actually worse than DDR2-533 in this scenario (given the DDR2-800 is only operating at 533 due to the 1066 FSB)?

Am I making any sense?
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June 14, 2007 9:11:48 AM

Oh, I apologise, I didn't understand what you were saying.

Your cpu and motherboard support a front side bus speed of 800MHz, and DDR2-800 RAM, therefore if you run the RAM at 1:1 ratio then your ram will be running at 800MHz.

I would think that if you just placed your new RAM in and didn't fiddle with the bios then it should be running at 800MHz already. Check this with the CPU-Z program.

http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

If the RAM is not running at 800MHz then go into the BIOS and set the memory ratio to 1:1 or the equivalent setting.

If the intel desktop utility says you are running at 800MHz then you will be running your RAM at 800MHz.

As far as RAM and latencies are concerned, it can be a complicated issue, however, speed is generally more favourable to lower latencies. However, the two RAM types you have are fairly equivalent. Analysis of what low latency is worth to certain applications is out of my knowledge area and would be better answered by another.
a b K Overclocking
June 14, 2007 9:18:35 AM

Check it with CPUz. You said

Quote:
I have the intel desktop utility also which does say that the memory speed is 800mhz


If this is true, then you're not running at DDR2-533 speeds, you're running at DDR2-800. This can be achieved by changing the multiplier. (3:2 instead of 1:1)

The kicker isn't that you are running your 800MHz ram at 533, but that there is probably little to no increase in performace. Look at the difference in speed between the 533MHz RAM and the 800. For Farcry, we're talking .6 of a FPS. Lost Coast does a little better with a delta of 2.4FPS. Fianlly, Quack4 shows the biggest increase in speed with a difference of 5.5FPS. (5.5FPS might sound like a big increase, but it's less then 5%.)

That being said, all is not lost. You can upgrade the motherboard to one that will allow you to bring out your rams potential. You are also better prepared for newer chips that support a faster FSB, although perhaps not depending on how fast DDR3 is adapted. Last, you have (hopefully) learned an important lesson. Do some research before you spend your money if you're not 100% positive on what the outcome will be. A post on this forum asking about the upgrade might have given you this information before you made your purchase.
June 14, 2007 9:31:27 AM

I don't want to mess it up here? :)  but the point, for me as an "proud" owner of DG965RY, is, that there is NO SUCH THING as FSB setting, no memory ratio setting, nothing...with this board all you can do is set your boot sequence, enable/disable ports, sound, ethernet (not even the integrated graphics!), some power wakeup settings and memory timings...that's roughly it :)  so that's the point...i have kingston 667 ddr2 which is no problem for overclocking, because you can usually use the memory ratio...of course if the board supports it or if it supports manual FSB change at least :lol:  oh man...the board is just fine...if i don't mention i have the ICH and MCH temperatures 40c and 70c :p  and i have C2D E6320 which is a real treasure for overclocking...but no use so far :( 
June 14, 2007 10:00:45 AM

Not to sound like a jerk but I think you could have done a little more research before choosing your mobo/RAM combo :-/ It's no secret that DDR2-800 is meant for overclocking, and Intel-made boards aren't always great for overclocking either. However, Intel DOES support a slight overclock on certain boards. They have their own utility that allows you to change those settings up to a certain %, but the board has to support it. The issue is mostly quality of the board rather than them trying to screw you over. People have to build boards to handle higher clocks, and that costs more money. Mine has solid capacitors and a 4-phase power regulator. Without that, you'll most likely end up blowing your board. So in essence, they're saving you money by not allowing you to overclock. Make sense? There is no shortage of information out there, and I find no evidence to support that any company is trying to cover up any information. They may not give you all the details about overclocking, but they do expect you to know a thing or two about it as well I think. I'm sorry that you think you've wasted your money, but you can only blame yourself on this one :wink:

If this helps at all, if you're running at DDR2-800 speeds right now, and it looks like you are, then you haven't lost your money at all. You got what you paid for ;) 
June 14, 2007 10:29:12 AM

To 4745454b:

Thanks for pretty much verifying what I was thinking. I just needed to hear it from somebody else because I'm brand new to the C2D and the whole 1066 FSB thing.
These things weren't much of an issue before but things have gotten more complicated and I will learn and pay more attention to this stuff with this next gen of goodies.

You know what though, it's not all bad. When I got my DDR2-533 (not all that long ago), I think I damn near paid $200 for 2 gigs of upper low end RAM.
I built a computer for my brother and saw how cheap ram prices got. The computer I sold him could take DDR2-533 maximum. So I figured it would be smart to give him my 533 and for under a hundred bucks I was able to get DDR2-800.
DDR2-667 probably is what I would of got knowing this, but I was noticing really little price difference, so no big deal.

Only thing that has me worried with the DDR2-800 is the timings because they are higher than my 533 RAM.
But I heard somewhere else that in this case the DDR2-800 (effectively operating at 533mhz) actually adopts lower timings somehow.
So is it true that my 5-5-5-18 timings might be lower than that or is it like 533 running with 5-5-5-18 timings?

Even the bios shows DDR2-800 and 5-5-5-18 timings, but maybe not even the bios takes these issues into account? If they are 5-5-5-18, I would like to try to lower them. I suppose I just find it strange that the bios, windows, everest, the intel desktop management, all showing DDR2-800, 5-5-5-18. Maybe I'll try the cpuid thing, or is the whole 800mhz operating at 533mhz thing something that just isn't picked up by any software?

When considering lowering timings, I worry about the Intel warning of not using timings under 5-5-5 for DDR2-800.
However, I wonder that if the DDR2-800 is operating at 533mhz, then maybe that 5-5-5 rule also goes out the window.
I don't know

Just saw this benchmark test. They compared different ram speeds and timings for the C2D (1066 fsb), using an intel board (no OC). Same deal as what we are talking about. Figured this would verify my thoughts.
But NO! DDR2-800 performed better in all the benchmarks. In most cases performed a lot better.
This may not always reflect every program, game, or whatever. But their conclusion after testing all the different RAM (tested 533, 667, and 800 each with high and low timings) was that the 800, even with the standard 1066 FSB, was the better performer, even with the higher timings.

Can't make sense out of that, but of course I've heard other people make the same claim.
Now the 800 didn't always win by a landslide, but I'm still confused how it would perform any better at all since it is "kinda, sorta, I guess" running at 533, which they also tested but got different results.

My conclusion. Confusion!
Actually, what I'm thinking is that while DDR2-800 with a 1066 FSB may not technically (according to the math done) give any better performance than DDR2-533, there must be some other factors that we are not talking about that do give the 800 better performance and benchmarks even with higher timings.
Again, may not be huge performance difference, but shocked that there is any at all or that the DDR2-800 with high timings isn't worse.

I really should do my own benchmarks here and see what my own computer is telling me.

Lastly, wouldn't of really mattered if I consulted about what to buy.
Because I had to buy 2 gigs of RAM regardless. And it was smart to buy 667 or above rather than going with 533 again (although 533 actually ran better than 667 in the test I mentioned, something about the 533 being more in sync, but the 800 I believe beat out both despite it not being 1:1.

And like I said the price was awesome. $90 for 2 gigs of Mushkin EM DDR2-800. Cool heat shields and all. And what it all boils down to is that it wasn't really any more expensive than 533 or 677, so I really don't think I lost out at all. Better brand of RAM as well than the 533 I had, now if I can just lower those timings (if they aren't already lower).
At least I do have plenty of headroom for OC'ing now!
June 14, 2007 11:13:55 AM

First of all you can't blame the RAM companies for you not doing your research, come on now, and the reason 800mhz+ RAM is so popular is because nearly everyone with a core 2 overclocks it, so just because it's common doesn't mean it's the right choice for you, do your research next time. RAM is so cheap right now anyway it's not like it matters that much.


If you can lower the frequency back to 533mhz you can tighten up the timings a bit, but it doesn't sound like that board will allow that.
June 14, 2007 8:42:52 PM

Not blaming the RAM companies, not so much. More so the fact that Intel supports and promotes this higher rated RAM which won't benefit the user of their boards at the present time. Not just DDR2-800, but not even DDR2-667 will benefit Intel boards with a max 1066 fsb support.
Even on the few boards that are slightly OC'able, the chances of somebody with DDR2-667 OC'ing to above 1333 FSB are slim to none. But still I can understand buying 667 RAM to get a little headroom to do a little overclocking.

But DDR2-800 or DDR2-1066, pointless on these boards.
All I'm saying here is that it is contradictory to be a mobo manufacturer that doesn't support OC'ing, but does promote and support RAM that needs unattainable OC's to have any benefit.
Sorry, I just don't see somebody upping an 800, 1066, or even a 1333 FSB to 1600mhz or 2132mhz on an intel board to fully utilize DDR2-800 and DDR2-1066.

And I'm not saying they shouldn't support it anyhow. But I think if they want to add support for RAM that can't be fully utilized on their boards that they should make a note stating as much where people can find and read it. I don't think its that much to ask.
Because this kind of thing is not "common knowledge" to everybody buying RAM, and some of the deeper aspects of this genre of issues certainly are not. I won't buy that for a second.

I'm sure most people, just as things used to be, are still under the assumption that if you get the best cpu and highest FSB that your mobo can support that it only makes sense to get the highest rated RAM the board will support as well.
It used to be that doing that yielded the best results. Now, not doing that can possibly yield the best results, or the same results for less $$.
At least in this case.

Just a simple disclaimer would do and I'm happy, and how about a disclaimer that also says that DDR2-533 with good timings on these boards (non-OC'ed) actually yields the best results out of any of the higher RAM (a little tidbit I learned from researching some benchmarks of intel boards, the C2D, and the 1066 FSB). Now you sure can't tell me that is common knowledge amont RAM buyers, even those that do their research.
RAM is complicated these days, you can do plenty of research and not turn up everything you would like to know.

Otherwise, if they are going to support RAM that needs OC'ed well past what their boards can achieve to get all the bang for your buck, then they should just simply make OC'ing more of an option and unlock some of the bios, then I would have no problem with that either. Right now I'm OK with what I'm working with, I'm kind of speaking on behalf of the people that don't know these things and they are out there buying higher rated RAM than what they can use and might actually be decreasing their performance in some cases.

Lastly, I'm not saying anybody is getting really screwed over by all this given that RAM prices have dropped to where $$ differences between 533mhz and 800mhz isn't that big at all.
But still, money not being an issue people still like to get just the right thing that will best jive with their system. And I simply don't believe the info people need to do that is out there enough.
June 14, 2007 8:53:52 PM

About the timing thing, I forgot to ask or mention this.

My board does seem to support my being able to change both mhz and timings of the RAM.
So would it be best to kick it down to 533mhz? And can something bad happen if I try out timings too small?

Actually, since I discovered that my PLL# is listed right in the drop down of clockgen (much to my surprise), I learned that I can in fact increase the FSB and hence cpu speed.
I can even OC some PCI thing, but I don't know what that slider is about.

I tested it, and it does work. Even the intel software shows the cpu and fsb at the OC'ed setting.

So what I might want to do here is perhaps knock the RAM down to 667mhz speed and possibly go for 4-4-4-12 timings or lower compared to the 5-5-5-18 I have now.
The 667mhz should allow plenty of room for a little OC, combine that with tighter timings on the RAM and I just might be good to go.

Looks like I am one of the luckier ones that am able to do this to this board or series of boards.
Doesn't look like I can change the voltage, multiplier, and whatever other stuff. But I wouldn't do that anyhow.
I always said that if I could OC, I'm doing it with my decent air cooling and will just go as far as I can without changing voltage. People seem to still have good OC'ing success with doing this with the C2D.

Anyhow, maybe this is best suited for another post in maybe the cpu OC section.
I would like to get some opinions on how far I can run with this and if I can screw something up if I OC too far or set the RAM timings too low, I could be wrong but its my understanding that my system will just restart or something along those lines without hurting anyhow if I did go too far. Would like help with this, or maybe I will go to the cpu section.
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