I know the whole 800 vs. 1066 issue has been brought up a number of times already, but I'm still a little confused. I don't completely understand all of the variables involved, so any advice in the situation below is greatly appreciated.
First off, the issue: I do a LOT of web design and programming. It's not uncommon for me to have Visual Studio 2008, Illustrator CS3, Photoshop CS3, Dreamweaver CS3, and many browsers open at once. This has started to become an issue with just 4GB of RAM. Plus, I'm not starting to run VMWare with a different OS for testing. I basically have to shut down everything else for it to run smoothly. So, I'm looking to up my RAM to 8 GB. I'm trying to reduce lag (and sometimes it's REALLY bad).
I've been looking at 1066, and the prices have come down quite a bit. However, I'm not sure how much the speed increase will really help me. I'm currently running some Crucial Ballistix (4 x 1GB) PC-6400 @ default settings (no OC--BTW, I've never OC'ed before). I can get 8 GB (2 kits of 2x2GB each) for a total of $40 which is a darn good deal. Or, I can double that to $80 or so and the same in 1066.
However, I really don't know if the speed will make that much of a difference for what I'm trying to accomplish. I've thought about getting the 8GB of 800 RAM and trying to OC, but I'm hesitant to do so since I've never OC'ed anything before. On the other hand, I've read that 1066 is just OC'ed 800, anyway.
Could anyone give me advice as to what would be my best option? If the 1066 wouldn't be much better for my needs than the 800 (either OC'ed or not), then I won't waste the money.
Here's my current system:
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R (v2.0)
E6750 Core 2 Duo
4x1GB Crucial Ballistix @ default settings
Running on Vista Business x64
With the applications you are using, a quad core processor would be worth it's weight in gold to you. A quad would be the best upgrade you could make, not going from 800MHz to 1066Mhz. RAM data transfer rate.
PC26400 800MHz. = 6.4 GB/second data transfer rate
PC28500 1066MHz. = 8.5 GB/second data transfer rate.
JEDEC standards only reach PC26400. ALL PC28500 is simply overclockable PC26400 guaranteed to run at 1066MHz. and it must be manually set to PC28500 speeds in BIOS. In BIOS, JEDEC standard will default PC28500 to the PC26400 800Mhz. standard.
a lot PC26400 can run at 1.8-1.9v. with 4-4-4-12 timings at or near 1066MHz. PC28500 requires more voltage, 2.0-2.2v and higher timings, generally 5-5-5-15. A quad processor is your best upgrade for what you are doing. Not the jump from 800MHz to 1066MHz. But eight gigs compared to four with Vista 64 is a jump up in performance too. Eight gigs would avoid writng to the hard disk in most instances.
Thanks for the explanation. I've thought more and more about upgrading to a Quad core, but I kept getting hung up on the fact that I "just built" this rig. Then again, it was actually 1.5 years ago, so I've had it longer than I thought. Ha.
I'll take a look at the cost of the upgrade to see what it might cost me. I've currently got a PC Power & Cooling S61EPS 610W Continuous power supply, and I'm wondering if I'd need to go for a larger one. I'm not doing much in the way of graphics acceleration (video processing or gaming), so my X1950PRO is just fine for now, so I'm not worried about powering a draining video card.
Your PCP &C 610w is fine, I have one as a backup. Yeah, a quad core makes a lot of difference when you are running as many apps as you are at once. That is one of MS's number one suggestions when determing if a dual or quad should be used on Vista 64. And eight gigs of RAM would also be a worthwhile upgrade for what you do. And RAM is cheap right now.
I have a Q9450 and Q6600. I like the multitasking capability over the e6600 and e8400. I have four Vista 64 systems. I also prefer eight GBs over four. With that setup the system performs effortlessly when multitasking. It spoils me. I enjoy it immensly.