Memory speed and its impact on performance?


I thought I would finally ask a question thats been bugging me for a while. Last week, I bought a new case, new gigabyte board, and a wolfdale processor. I built a new system using the 8800GTS card with 2GB (2 sticks) of 667Mhz RAM. Now everything in the system is new, except for the RAM. The RAM is pulled from a Dell XPS system. Now before I get heavily criticized, the RAM is brand new. They are 2 1GB sticks I bought from Dell a month before I built a new system. I was going to initially just upgrade the Dell system before I discovered the processor could not be upgraded. I don't know the timings or anyhting about the RAM and Dell just says its OEM. It worked fine in my new gigabyte ga-p35-ds3l. But I'm wondering if I should step up and get faster RAM? Is it worth it? All the games I play now, (TF2 and UT3) are running solid with my new build. However, my 3DMARK 06 score is only 11,000 with a E8400 and 8800GTS 320MB. Some of the similar systems have older Conroes with the same GPU and they have scores at upto 14,000. So is my RAM too slow or something? I might just keep the RAM i have now, but I did build a brand new system, so I guess it should have its own RAM that does not bottleneck anything.

Thanks for reading.
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More about memory speed impact performance
  1. Overclock your system and you will get closer to that 14,000 score, I'm only using an E6600 (@ 3.5) ghz and an XFX 8800gt (oc'd to 718/1020) and my RAM is only 667 kingston value ram.. and i can score 13,542 on 3dmark06

    The performance increase from say 667 / 800 ram is around 5% difference? (could be wrong)... but I know its not a very noticeable difference without synthetic benchmarks.

    DDR2 is at an all time low price point right now so if you want to OC the **** outa your CPU then by all means get some 800mhz rated ram make sure they use (micron d9)'s though.

    If not like I said, overclock your current setup.. u can easily push that ram upto around 800 speeds

    good luck my friend
  2. that 3d mark score is about where it should be, with my set up (no overclocking) I was at 12310, and those other people might have been overclocking their video cards, or using different settings to achieve a better result, dont believe everything you see. I haven't run 3dmark again since overclocking but mine is only a little better than yours because you have the older generation 8800GTS. Your ram shouldn't be slowing you down too much, but it does look like it might be your current bottleneck. But like they say, if it aint broke dont fix it. Keep it going for a few more weeks and see if the ram is actually holding you back so much that you can notice. If you really think it's holding you back, pick up some DDR2-800 and that should be great for you.
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