I am building a computer that need to last me through college (4 years) before upgrading. The main guts of my system build are the 8800GTX, Q6600 processor, and either 2GB DDR2-1066 or 4GB DDR2-800 all on a P35 motherboard which I have not yet picked out. I plan on doing some overclocking, but nothing too extreme. The only thing this computer will be doing is gaming.
My question to all of you is, should I get 2GB DDR2-1066 or 4GB DDR2-800?
I've tried to answer this question myself using google but no matter how hard I try I dont really understand all this multiplier and FSB speed and all this other OCing stuff yet. From that I understand, DDR2-800 is a little faster then a stock Q6600 needs and has a bit of OCing room before you reach stock memory speeds. Is the DDR2-1066 necessary?
I guess the best way you can answer this question for me is my showing that kind of FSB and Core speeds I can get before I hit stock DDR2-800 speeds, and then show me what I can get with stock DDR2-1066 speeds. I'll pick wether or not I think I will need it...
I agree, get the 4GB DDR2-800 if you're just doing a mild OC. Just make sure you get the 64-bit version of Vista so you can make use of it all
The DDR2-800 will let you get to a fsb of 400, which on the Q6600 is 9*400=3.6GHz, so if you aren't planning on OCing any more than that you'll be fine. With the P35 board (saw your other thread, I like the DSR3) you should easily be able to switch the fsb up to 333 to bring the processor from 1066 to 1333 (which is what the P35 motherboards are), and this would give you a 3.0GHz "free" over clock as you don't need to play with voltages or multipliers. Technically, you could get away with DDR2-667 in this case (fsb 333*9=3Ghz) but the way G0's seem to be overclocking on air so far, I'd stick with the DDR2-800 to see how easily you could get 3.2ish.
Get the GA-P35C-DS3R. I mean P35C and not P35 because you mentioned 4 years and in that time DDR3 should become interesting, you want DDR3 support.
Get 4 GB of DDR2-800 if possible; DDR2-667 is fine too if you can't get 800 (HP and Acer do that in their prefabricated Q6600 PCs).
You don't need DDR2-1066 or higher if you don't overclock.
I doubt that your computer will last 4 years if you overclock, especially since you've never done it before. Don't do it. Q6600/8800 GTX is already a monster combination, it can handle anything without overclocking.
Edit: post the whole list of parts please. I'm curious if the case you picked is big enough to fit the GTX and if the PSU you picked is 1st quality or 5th. Please tell me it's not a Rosewill
Ok. Take your ram's speed and divide it by 2, and you will get the FSB speed.
DDR2-667 = 333
DDR2-800 = 400
DDR2-1066 = 533
The Q6600 runs at a stock speed of 1066. Divide this # by 4, and you get 266. This means that, technically, all you REALLY need is DDR2-533 (= 266 when divided by 2) to keep the memory bandwidth maxed out at stock speeds. So Stromm, you will be absolutely fine going with DDR2-667. You can even do a little OCing if for some reason you wanted to give it a try (which you should, especially if you get the G0 stepping of the Q6600 - should be easy to hit 3.0GHz w/o barely raising temps or messing around with any settings aside from the processor's FSB [it's just 1 change ]). Also, for clarity's sake, at the processor's stock 1066 fsp speed, that's 266*9=2.4Ghz, the stock speed. The quads have a multiplier of 9, that's where that # came from.
Grunyon, yes DDR2-800 can run above 400mhz which requires overclocking the ram itself.. which will produce more heat/testing time - if you really want to push it beyond 3.6GHz I would recommend DDR2-1066 to get the extra OC room, and then you can try to tighten your ram timings a bit once it's stable. But even with a G0 stepping, you're gonna need some badass cooling (ie prolly water) to get stable beyond 3.6Ghz.
Thanks, just paying it forward! I've received my fair share of help from others on this forum too
The OS question is a tough one, especially when talking about 4gb of memory. The 32-bit versions of XP and Vista cannot make use of more than 3Gb, so if you were going to do be using one of those I would recommend you get 2x1gb and 2x512gb to get your 3gb so that they can operate in dual channel. Or you could just stay @ 2gb until you upgrade to Vista 64-bit.
I'm waiting until the first service pack for Vista comes out before committing. But if you need/want to buy it now (ie dont already have a version of XP you can use on the new computer, want to run 4gb of memory, etc) then make a list of the programs you regularily use (inc games) and do a google search for 64-bit compatible programs. As long as they all have working 64-bit drivers an/or no problems running in a 64-bit system you might as well make the plunge for the extra memory. But a deal breaker could be a program you use often having lots of known issues with Vista x64.
Anyway, thats a convo for the OS forums hehe. Good luck!
What about the OS? Do you guys get cheap copies of Vista from the college? I've read about that in some other threads. I got myself XP Media Center, it was cheaper than the XP Pro and the drivers are mature (not like Vista's).
I bet most of the time the 4th GB won't make a difference. I was encoding some DVD and some mp3s at the same time last week and total memory in use was under 2 GB. Maybe some huge game will eventually reach 2 GB (but some games crash when they do that)... I'd get 4 GB just because prices are low now and because adding a 4th GB 2 years from now might be difficult - what if they discontinue the model. So what if your XP only sees 3.2 GB out of 4, is that so bad? Actually, with the GTX cards the O/S somehow maps the 768 MB of video RAM to the OS space so you see even less, but I understand that 4th GB helps in that scenario.
G0 is a "stepping", as in "new version". If you are lucky and your Q6600 is a G0 and not the older version, then it will consume a few watts less, make a bit less heat, overclock a bit higher. The longer you wait the better chance to get a G0 because the older ones will be sold and Intel isn't making more of them.