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Duo or quad, ddr2 or ddr3

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March 29, 2008 9:53:59 PM

I plan to build my first computer. I'm retired and have tons of photos
and video to organize for the grand kids. I'm not interested in gaming
and will install vista (home premium?). I will do a lot of video
editing and rendering while surfing the web, working with excel, media
player etc and eventually media center. I'm not limited by a budget but
not interested in wasting $. If spending a little more will provide a
noticeable improvement I'll do it

I'll use the Asus p5e3 deluxe MB. Either the Intel Q9450, Q9300, or
E8400. Would a slower Quad be more reliable and productive than the
faster dual. I plan to upgrade to the best performing video software.
Would the extra L2 cache in the Q9450 provide noticeable improvement
Over the Q9300.

How much and how fast a memory can I use. Would the premium for DDR3 or
faster DDR2 provide noticeable improvement over PC 6400 DDR2.

Would a 10,000 rpm HD for OS be advisable. Suggestions on a graphics
card and video hardware would be appreciated. I'm not interested in the
latest and greatest or skimping. I want the best bang for my buck and
something that will last. TIA, JMK

More about : duo quad ddr2 ddr3

March 29, 2008 10:14:31 PM

Get a Q6600 OC it wither way get a quad, esp. if you are video editing,etc.. Get some DDR2 800 4GB RAM (OC them too ;)  ), no need for DDR3 now. Get a 7200.11 HDD, which is as fast as a Raptor. For motherboard look in to a P35-DS3x or P35-P5K-x or any other good motherboards with X38/P35 chipsets. For graphics even a 8600 would be enough (since you will not game much).
March 29, 2008 10:28:52 PM

It sounds like you will do a lot of multi-tasking. For that, a quad and lots of ram would be best. I would think about the Q9300, and 4gb of memory.
The P5E3 deluxe is a ddr3 motherboard, and very pricey. If you need wi-fi, it is much cheaper to add a wi-fi card to a more reasonable DDR2 motherboard .

Right now, DDR2 memory is king. It is MUCH less expensive than DDR3.
4gb of DDR3 costs $540.
4gb of DDR2 costs <$100.
The C2D processors are not very sensitive to memory speeds.
Real world application tests(vs. synthetic benchmarks) show
no difference in performance between DDR2 and DDR3 memory. In fact,
there is less than 2% difference between the slowest and the fastest modules.
If you are trying for record overclocks, then all bets are off, and faster is better.
In my opinion, it is unwise to build a system around DDR3 today.
You are better served by starting with 4gb of DDR2-800 memory. Eliminating
just a few hard page faults is worth it.

Pick a 4gb kit in a 2x2gb configuration. It is usually cheaper than a 4x1gb kit, and you preserve the option to go to 8gb.

Your work will likely be more limited by the hard drive, than anything else. The 10,000RPM WD raptor is a fine drive, but is pricey for the 150gb that you get. I don't know your total hard drive space requirements, but you might get 2 or 3 drives, so you can have editing source on one drive, and the output on another. That should make the process much faster.

You may not be into games, but your grandkids might be interested. I would consider at least one of the lower priced cards from this list: http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/03/05/the_best_gaming_...

You did not ask, but consider using dual monitors. It is one of the best upgrades I ever made. The increased acerage is wonderful when doing multiple things. Get two identical units so you can match the colors and quality.
Related resources
March 29, 2008 10:31:34 PM

My recommendations:
Q6600 or other quad core
P35-DS3x P35-P5K-x (ie P35-DS3R)
4GB (2*2GB) DDR2 800 from a good manufacture (ie. Corsair XMS2, Patriot,etc)
500GB+ 7200.11
Vista x64 or Vista/XP dual boot (make sure OS is x64, so you can use all 4GB)
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 CPU cooler (much better than stock, and one of the best for OCing, and #1 on Frostytech.)
8600/9600(if gaming, the 9600 wins)
All of that should be about ~$800-900 total.
March 30, 2008 10:03:55 AM

Q 6600 , and oc it to 3 or 3,2 gigs

some fast DDR2 , 2 or 4 gigs
March 30, 2008 10:29:58 AM

hey shadow thanks for the heads up on the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 heatsink.

March 30, 2008 11:10:25 AM

Get a quad core and stock your pile of DDR2, go 8GB if you like.
DDR3 is too expensive right now.

For XIgmatek HDT-S1283, I say go for Artic Cooling Freezer pro 7 for a cheaper but still a good one or Zalman cnps 9700 for a more expensive but better.
March 30, 2008 1:00:33 PM

Don't Consider DDR3.
A complete waste of money at this point in time for your needs/goals.
March 30, 2008 1:56:21 PM

jkohm said:
I plan to build my first computer. I'm retired and have tons of photos
and video to organize for the grand kids. I'm not interested in gaming
and will install vista (home premium?). I will do a lot of video
editing and rendering while surfing the web, working with excel, media
player etc and eventually media center. I'm not limited by a budget but
not interested in wasting $. If spending a little more will provide a
noticeable improvement I'll do it

I'll use the Asus p5e3 deluxe MB. Either the Intel Q9450, Q9300, or
E8400. Would a slower Quad be more reliable and productive than the
faster dual. I plan to upgrade to the best performing video software.
Would the extra L2 cache in the Q9450 provide noticeable improvement
Over the Q9300.

How much and how fast a memory can I use. Would the premium for DDR3 or
faster DDR2 provide noticeable improvement over PC 6400 DDR2.

Would a 10,000 rpm HD for OS be advisable. Suggestions on a graphics
card and video hardware would be appreciated. I'm not interested in the
latest and greatest or skimping. I want the best bang for my buck and
something that will last. TIA, JMK


hmmm,,the q6600 core2quad would be the best choice right now,and also offer real cheap futureproofing,also quite a few video editing and such like proggies are already multi threaded or going to be real soon,if you must run vista make sure that whatever hardware/software you end up with if fully supported,personally i wouldn't touch it with a barge pole,it needs more exposure to the market and user input,you would be better of with xp64 bit,for large memory use,and multi threading,,once you go 64bit you can use a lot more ram ,the best way to start seems to be 2x2 ,,as a few mobo's seem to have problems with 4x1,,also with 2x2 it's easier to get to 2x4..
as to your video,,,do not fool around get the best any 8800gt will do although at the moment it is more than what you might think that you will need,consider for 200-300+/-,,you are/will be getting a card that will give you 90% performance of cards co$ting 2x and more,right now it's the best single card on the market period it will eat up anything you will throw at it with ease and will future proof like there is no tomorrow,,as others have said"you may not play games,but what about the kids??"
in any event the bottom line as always with any computer purchase is all about future proofing like me at 60+ you play games or like my buddy also 60+ is into photography...:) 
April 1, 2008 7:24:58 PM

Shadow703793 said:
My recommendations:
Q6600 or other quad core


Why the Q6600? The Q9300 is about the same price, has more cache, is faster, and has the new SSE4 instruction set.
Thanks, jmk
April 1, 2008 8:07:56 PM

jkohm said:
Why the Q6600? The Q9300 is about the same price, has more cache, is faster, and has the new SSE4 instruction set.
Thanks, jmk


Depends on where you live and what sales are going on. I picked up my Q6600 for $199.99, but there aren't any Micro Center stores in TN. I'm sure there will be some more sales on the Q6's coming up as the Q9's make their full debut, but right now a Q6600 will run you $250.00 at most sites.
April 1, 2008 11:03:15 PM

jkohm said:
Why the Q6600? The Q9300 is about the same price, has more cache, is faster, and has the new SSE4 instruction set.
Thanks, jmk

Q6600 is $250 and Q9300 is $300 (both Retail and Newegg prices.)
April 2, 2008 2:40:53 AM

I agree with shadow on the Quadcore/ddr2 memory.
Even though your not limited my budget, can you give a ball park range? Do you need mice/keyboard/monitor included?
April 2, 2008 12:10:23 PM

SuicideSilence said:
I agree with shadow on the Quadcore/ddr2 memory.
Even though your not limited my budget, can you give a ball park range? Do you need mice/keyboard/monitor included?

Let me share my reasoning. I'm not interested in saving 50-80$ on an old q6600. I would consider spending an extra $100 for the Q9450 over the Q9300. I can afford to spend the additional $300-800 for theQ9550 or extremes but won't because I feel I'm being gouged and not getting much improvement for my $. I expect when all is said and done I,ll spend around $2000. I'm building because I've always wanted to and get what I want, not to save $. I have some existing hardware and software from my old old XP desktop. Thanks much. What would build?
April 2, 2008 1:05:44 PM

I was thinking DDR3too for some time, but with high prices and high latencies I've dicided to get 8Gb low latency DDR2 for half the price of 4 Gb DDR3.
If you would average out the latency/speed:

1333Mhz DDR3 at cl 7 = 800Mhz at cl 4.21 for 1/3 of the price.

(1333/7=800/4.21 I know it's not a correct statement and it depends on how big your bits of software are that need to be written and read but it's an easy way to compare averages)

But I might be wrong so if some-one can correct me pls do...
April 2, 2008 1:52:59 PM

The new 45nm cpu parts are faster clock for clock than their predecessors, perhaps about 10%. They also run cooler, making for a quieter machine, and better overclocks if you are into that. I understand that the unit cost of a 1000 unit tray of the Q9300 is $266, and the Q9450 is $316. You can determine if your retail price is a fair markup over that. I think you are on the proper track with the Q9450.

April 2, 2008 6:31:09 PM

I'm thinking of using the ASUS P5KC MB which can use DD2 or DDR3 but only has two slots ($140), or the ASUS P5K DELUXE/WIFI-AP ($200) with four slots (8gb) of fast DDR2 only and pass on future DDR3 upgrade. Or cheap DDR2 only MB that supports Q9450 (if such a MB exists) and throw out MB when I go to DDR3.

What does every one think? Any advantages or disadvantage or other options? I'm tired of waiting.
April 2, 2008 8:14:41 PM

I say pass on DDR3 for now. When Intel switch for Nehalm you will be forced to upgrade Motherboard, RAM (DDR3 by then, the prices will come down and performance/selection will increase) and CPU any way.
April 2, 2008 9:41:17 PM

stick with DDR2 for now. If you must, get DDR2-1066 or DDR2-1333 if you must. There really isn't much performance increase between DDR2 and DDR3 to justify the mass price increase.
April 3, 2008 4:26:20 AM

Intel Q9xxx is hard to find, just because it's new on the market. Just wait for it a couple of months (1-3 months).
April 3, 2008 4:27:41 AM

And yea...'lmost forgot....don't forget to wait for the latest BIOS if your mobo doesn't support these new procs.
April 3, 2008 4:50:59 AM

Q6600 oc it and use DDR2, both are the best bang for the buck. DDR2 is so cheap and the performance difference is negligible at best. I would rather have 4 gigs of fast ddr2 1066 for about $105.00. Actually it went up 5.00 today, probably because it's out of stock at Newegg.

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

April 3, 2008 5:16:46 AM

i agree with those who are recommending the q6600 and ddr2, its still a monster of a cpu, and the G0 stepping overclocks like mad. I would also go with one of the newer 7200RPM drives over the raptor. The WD 640GB Drive I Just ordered is awesome, 95MB/S Throughput, 12.6ms accesstime, not bad for 120 bucks.

April 3, 2008 10:45:46 AM

PSYCHoHoLiC said:
i agree with those who are recommending the q6600 and ddr2, its still a monster of a cpu, and the G0 stepping overclocks like mad. I would also go with one of the newer 7200RPM drives over the raptor. The WD 640GB Drive I Just ordered is awesome, 95MB/S Throughput, 12.6ms accesstime, not bad for 120 bucks.


Why the Q6600? The Q9300 is about the same price, has more cache, is faster, and has the new SSE4 instruction set.
April 3, 2008 11:12:07 AM

^ The Q6600 is a matured and well respected CPU that's why.
April 3, 2008 3:19:38 PM

the 9300 only has like a 7.5 multi too.
April 3, 2008 8:09:42 PM

I'm sorry but I have no idea what 7.5 multi means. Also can I assume you don't know of anything wrong with the Q9300 or that it would be a bad choice?
April 3, 2008 10:12:41 PM

sorry, you arent going to be overclocking are you? The multiplier is used in overclocking, your front side bus X your multi is your cpu clock. If you will be leaving it at stock, i would definately go with a q9300, no problems there.
April 4, 2008 1:29:05 AM

Thanks, maybe some day soon I'll play with that. Built my first computer in 1961. Taper pined wires from pin to pin on inverters and flip flops. Chased ones and zeros around a 30' x 6' x 3' mainframe with oscilloscopes (Control Data 3600 at Mich State U). This is my first build since then.
April 4, 2008 4:05:37 AM

If considering DDR3, I'd do this, for the reasons described in the article:

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3229

Not that you need such a great overclocking board. I just love the power regulation and "beefiness" of this board. I keep machines for 4-5 years just moving them down the work chain. A new box goes to a CAD Operator and after 18 months it goes to an engineer and after another 18 months it goes to a secretary.

There is a glut in the market as everyone tries to dump their stock of DDR2 as huge numbers of DDR3 boards are coming out of the gate. DDR3 is therefore not really expensive based upon historical figures, DDR2 is just ridiculously cheap ATM. With that in mind DDR2 is just about "over". I just bought some 184 pin memory and the old buggers were about twice the price of a DDR2, so I expect DDR3 will drop and then DDR2 will rise as they market shifts. So the question is "How long you gonna keep this machine ?"

If you gonna keep it 1 -2 years, I'd say DDR2.....if it's 3-4 years, it's hard for me to argue that the investment now is a bad one. Personally, if I was doing a build today in your budget range, it would be with the X48 based ASUS P5E3 Premium or the 790i based Asus Striker II Extreme.

DDR3 can be had (4 GB) for as low as $280 and dropping every day
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

tho I'd prolly go with $375
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The 10k drives on the market right now are on shall we say "well past retirement age". IF speed is your primary thing then I'd get the Samsung F1's (118 Mb/s - 3 year warranty). The Seagate 7200.11's are a bit slower but come with a 5 year warranty. Given what you have described budget and needs wise, I'd get a Samsung F1 for my computer and get a Netgear Ready NAS duo for storage ($399 for unit and 1 HD, $105 for the mirror at 500 GB). Of course you can opt for 750 Gb or 1 TB drives instead of the 500 GB ones....but they come at an increase in cost.

http://www.netgear.com/Products/Storage/ReadyNASDuo.asp...

That's a 2 drive version....there's also a 4 drive version called the NV+ which is a bit more expensive.

You don't mention a monitor but again, given your usage, I'd make sure NOT to get a TN type panel. While not as good as the best CRT's, S-PVA type LCD's are very good for movie and photo work. The 22" Lenovo L220x id $464 and gives ya 1920 x 1200 resolution which is makes it HDTV capable.

As for CPU choices, it would seem that your machine is being optimized for movie editing using specific software....I'd visit the software forums and see what people are saying.

And with your intended use, I'd want a cool (as in temperature not style) case, say Thermaltake or Antec 190 and a decent, not necessarily "top notch" PSU. CPU's do suffer from thermal loading over time. Luckily Extreme Overclockers don't generally keep them long enough to wear em down but again, if you are keeping the machine a long time, I'd add a 3rd party CPU cooler.....top end is a Thermalright IFX-14 w/ Scyth fan if you are willing to tackle the installation.....check the TH Cooling Roundup from about a month ago for other options. Note that the better they are, generally the harder they are to install and the heavier they are. The latter is gonna be an issue as you don't want to ship a machine with one of these buggers in place.
April 4, 2008 4:50:05 AM

samsung F1's 118mb/s sustained? Link? or screeny if you have one. The WD 640GB is the fastest(throughput) drive on the market.. and it only does mid 90's
April 4, 2008 5:08:30 AM

I would consider a ATI 3870,3850, 3650 GPU for a non gaming rig. The home theatre and normal video playback options are very strong with these cards. HDMI / component output, HD sound, UVD and CCC also has some very good software options.
April 4, 2008 5:10:04 AM

jkohm said:
Why the Q6600? The Q9300 is about the same price, has more cache, is faster, and has the new SSE4 instruction set.
Thanks, jmk


Same cache, Lower Multi, Higher FSB.
April 4, 2008 1:53:36 PM

acidpython said:
Same cache, Lower Multi, Higher FSB.


Looks like, compared to the 9300 ($300, 2.5 ghz, 1333 fsb, 6mb cache)

Q6600 $250, 2.4 ghz, 1066 fsb, 8mb cache, 65 nm

Q9450 $380, 2.66 ghz, 1333 fsb, 12 mb cache

I think I'll go for the Q9450. If I don't spend it my kids will.

I expect JackNaylor PE is right in his assessment of DDR3, but I won't decide until I order in 2-4 weeks. I need to decide on mother board and video card next (HD output is important to me) next.

Thank you all for all the help and education. Your time won't be wasted.
April 4, 2008 3:11:34 PM

remember, with a Q6600 you can have 3.0ghz "Free" on a board that officially runs 1333fsb, Just go into your bios and set the bus to 333.. no other changes needed, and your q6600 will be at 3ghz. Just a thought
April 4, 2008 5:07:26 PM

PSYCHoHoLiC said:
samsung F1's 118mb/s sustained? Link? or screeny if you have one. The WD 640GB is the fastest(throughput) drive on the market.. and it only does mid 90's


Read the review in the Tom's Hardware Storage section.

I haven't seen any detailed reviews but I expect with a similar areal density (WD has 320 GB per platter) to the Samsung F1 (334 GB per platter), they should run pretty neck and neck, except where the F1's 32 MB buffer provides the edge. I know the previous single platter 320 GB version of this drive had abysmal access times and don't know if it will hold true for the 640 as I haven't yet seen it published independently.

In the end, the WD640's undersized 16 MB buffer and poor reliability rating of it's predecessor knock it out of consideration for me.

http://www.storagereview.com/WD7500AAKS.sr?page=0%2C6
"According to filtered and analyzed data collected from participating StorageReview.com readers, a predecessor of the Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS, the Western Digital RE2 WD5000YS , is more reliable than 4% of the other drives in the survey that meet a certain minimum floor of participation."
April 4, 2008 7:43:29 PM

jkohm said:
Thanks, maybe some day soon I'll play with that. Built my first computer in 1961. Taper pined wires from pin to pin on inverters and flip flops. Chased ones and zeros around a 30' x 6' x 3' mainframe with oscilloscopes (Control Data 3600 at Mich State U). This is my first build since then.

WOW! That must have been a REALLY long time back. Tec has changed a lot since then.
April 5, 2008 2:03:06 PM

Now you got me nostalgic. History repeats, nothing is new. MSU upgraded to the CDC 6500 in the late 60's

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CDC_6000_series

It was a dual CPU 6400, Water cooled with 25 gpm of 45 degree water (3-15 ton chillers), and about 1/3 the foot print. This started the era of Easter Egging. No longer finding a bad inverter but, replace a module that was a complete register. If that didn't fix it go to the next module. To bad we didn't run bencmarks. I expect a $1500 desktop would hold its own against the $3,000,000 6500.
April 6, 2008 10:59:23 PM

I see what you're talking about, you're looking at the max transfer i was talking about sustained, or average.

I have a 7200.11 32mb cache drive and the WD6400 640gb as my main drive, and the 16mb isnt hurting it.. its faster than my 7200.11 in just about everything.

JackNaylorPE said:
Read the review in the Tom's Hardware Storage section.

I haven't seen any detailed reviews but I expect with a similar areal density (WD has 320 GB per platter) to the Samsung F1 (334 GB per platter), they should run pretty neck and neck, except where the F1's 32 MB buffer provides the edge. I know the previous single platter 320 GB version of this drive had abysmal access times and don't know if it will hold true for the 640 as I haven't yet seen it published independently.

In the end, the WD640's undersized 16 MB buffer and poor reliability rating of it's predecessor knock it out of consideration for me.

http://www.storagereview.com/WD7500AAKS.sr?page=0%2C6
"According to filtered and analyzed data collected from participating StorageReview.com readers, a predecessor of the Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS, the Western Digital RE2 WD5000YS , is more reliable than 4% of the other drives in the survey that meet a certain minimum floor of participation."

April 7, 2008 1:08:04 AM

I would recommend that Asus P5K motherboard, the P5K Deluxe has the built-in wireless, and only a few more functions. I am using that board, and like it very much. DDR2-800 is the way to go
April 7, 2008 3:55:01 PM

PSYCHoHoLiC said:
I have a 7200.11 32mb cache drive and the WD6400 640gb as my main drive, and the 16mb isnt hurting it.. its faster than my 7200.11 in just about everything.


I haven't seen any published reviews with actual data other than anandtech's which wasn't finished. They made the point about slow access times and the cache hurting under certain circumstances. But regardless of performance the warranty and reliability history are my major concerns. The fact that 96% of all drives were more reliable than that WD drive's immediate (same drive, bearings, etc ..... different platter density) predecessor is not something that instills confidence....especially when the WD one before that, 95% of the drives proved more reliable than that one.
April 7, 2008 5:12:02 PM

Q6600 vs Q9300 vs Q9450
If you plan on overclocking, then the Q6600 most likely the best bang for your buck. When people mention the multiplyer, this is a spec for the CPU that you only need to worry about if you are overclocking.

If not, then the decision becomes harder. The Q6600 is often $230 or less. If you can find one at Microcenter in store, it is $200 right now. It actually has MORE cache than the Q9300 (8MB vs 6MB). So, while the Q9300 should have better performance, it is unclear if it will be worth the extra cost.

The main difference in the Q6600 and the Q9xxx's is the new SSE4 instruction set. If software uses this, then it may show greatly increased performance. I know that DivX already has an option to use this new feature and it lets you encode much quicker. I can easily see the good video and photo editing software making use of this in the near future.

DDR2 vs DDR3
The higher speed RAM does not make that much difference in performance. It is NOT worth the added cost. In fact, if you are getting 64 bit Windows Vista then I would say get 8 GB of DDR2 over 4GB DDR3 and you will still be saving a ton.

Video Card
People on this site are video card CRAZY. I honestly have no idea why someone would recommend $120 to $200 video cards for a non gaming machine. I have a $55 ATI HD 3450 512 MB card driving my system. This is quite possibly overkill for my system since I don't game on it. It is driving two 22' 1680x1050 monitors with Vista 64 with no difficulty. Honestly, a $20 - $30 card or even onboard graphics would be fine for you. If you have doubts, get a discrete card but don't waste too much on it.
April 7, 2008 5:47:42 PM

Microcenter has the Q9450 for $299 right now, just picked it up.

You can order online, for $349, with a instant $50 off, for $299.

I got it over the 6600 for less heat, and better benchies.


DDR2-800 is the sweet spot on Ram, just get 4-4-4-12 or better.

And the WD-640 does kick hiney.
!