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[Noob Q's] Frequency Problem: Memory and CPU

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February 24, 2009 4:25:32 PM

Hi, thanks in advance and apologies in advance as well, for this noob question I'm about to ask.

I'm buying a new PC since my last one died (burnt mobo). I'm planning on using this computer for everything: gaming (moderate), editing and ripping (moderate), office (highly), other stuff. Not really interested in the components themselves but I like very good performance, and high extension capabilities for the future. So far, my budget allows me the following:

ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe Wi-Fi AP
Intel Core2Duo E8500 (3,33Ghz, 1333Mhz FSB, 6MiB L2)
PSU CoolerMaster Extreme 600W Dual Rail
Thermaltake Soprano RS101
Seagate 500Gb HDD 32MB Buffer, 7200 rpm
ATI Radeon HD3650 512Mb (Sapphire)

And here's the issue: probably you noticed I'm missing the RAM modules. The thing is, I know I have to match frequencies. Yet, my conclusion so far is that: it's not possible with the chosen processor, right? The E8500 Intel's processor work with a real clock of 333Mhz, right? Now, I know the motherboard supports this processor since from ASUS' webpage:

Processors FSB: 1600 (by Overclocking) / 1333 / 1066 / 800 Mhz

Yet, for the DDR3 Memory: 4xDIMM, Maximum 16GB - DDR2 2000 (by overclocking) / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 Mhz.

And, now, to match the processor's clock I should be using DDR3-667, which is non-existent and not supported by the Asus mobo.

What should I do? Change the processor? or go with a DDR3-1333? How many modules (Considering 2GB or 4GB)?


a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 235 V Motherboard
February 24, 2009 6:15:05 PM

You don't have to match the CPU and memory frequencies, but DDR3 1333 would match it. Just get memory that's on the QVL and be done with it. I haven't seen a 16 GB kit (4 x 4 GB) of DDR3.
February 25, 2009 12:25:44 PM

Agree with ghislaing - you don't need to match frequncies, but, much more than 3Gb RAM won't really benefit unless you're using a 64 bit operating system.
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February 25, 2009 3:55:09 PM

Done then, I'll go then with 2Gb (2 x 1Gb) DDR3-1333, GSkill NQ Series... Then I'll upgrade those with another 2Gb, not for XP/Vista but for Ubuntu 64bits...

However, I'm still wondering... Is it better to have 1 x 2Gb or 2 x 1Gb?... Again considering that maybe I'll upgrade those later, let's say, by the end of this year... If I understand correctly, for Dual Channel to work you need two separate modules on the dual-channeled slots -the yellow ones on this mobo-, but I'm not aware of any "Quad Channel" stuff if you occupy the four slots at the same time... Any ideas?

:love:  :love:  Thank you guys, for your quick answer and your time. :love:  :love:  Again, I'm looking for your enlightenment here...
February 25, 2009 4:44:13 PM

oh hang on. I'm not sure how Linux deals deals with RAM or if has the same limitations as MS operating systems....somebody else may be able to help.

That I'm aware of, there are no quad channel systems.

Given the choice always use 2 sticks of RAM (instead of a single stick of the same total value). This is the only way to enable dual channel mode and get its performance advantage. Make sure teh sticks are purchased together in a pack as this is the easiest way to guarantee that they are matched pairs.

There are DDR3 triple channels available, but make sure your mobo can support it (I don't think the P5Q3 does, but feel free to confirm!)

hth
February 25, 2009 5:29:43 PM

You don't need DDR3 at all. Get a mobo that takes DDR2 and get 2 x 2GB DDR2 800 that runs at 1.8-1.9V. (You are right 333 is 1:1 with DDR2 667 not DDR3 1333.)

That will allow the E8500 to oc to 3.8G. If you need to go higher than that get DDR2 1066, but only if you need an OC above 3.8G.

I would also swap the E8500 with a Q6600. The price differential is negligible and the extra two cores will come in handy. I just did a virus scan with AVG and set the slider to "Fast Scan". I watched the performance tab in task manager and AVG was hammering all four cores on a Q6600 OCed to 3.2G, and this is in XP. The two extra cores do get used and the Q6600 OCs to 3G at the drop of a hat, assuming a P3x/4x chipset.

No matter what you decide to do, be sure to get the XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler with the XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket. Or you can get the XIGMATEK dark knight - S1283 (Includes Backplate). Make sure the case has clearance because it is tall. It fits the Antec 300 no problem so you can use that as a guide.

When applying thermal paste with the Xigmatek cooler, apply a thin layer across the CPU IHS (top) or across the whole base of the heatsink. The paste won't spread properly through contact because of the gaps between the heatpipes and the base.
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 235 V Motherboard
February 25, 2009 5:30:10 PM

You should go with 2 x 2 GB or 4 x 2 GB. They run in dual channel mode on your motherboard. Triple channel mode requires 3 or 6 modules on an X58 chipset motherboard and an i7 CPU.
February 26, 2009 4:49:20 AM

Well, then... I'll think about it.

Zorg, I can't promise I'll change mobo, memory and processor at this time, but I can promise I'll think about that option at least in a near future. The main idea is to have a PC that can (and will) be changed over time -3yr life span-... I'll probably won't stick to the C2D E8500, I can use it on my other PC, and buy a QuadCore when I'm ready for it... Yet again, with the i7 out there, I don't know if that would be the best idea... And what's worse, If I have to buy a QuadCore I'll try going with something higher than a Q6600, something 45nm and with a higher clock, like Q9550 but is WAY out of my budget right now...

[Maybe OFF-TOPIC]
The problem with the Core2Duo vs QuadCore is the main use of the PC... For that matter, being a Systems' Engineering Student, to be honest, I use the computer for everything... From office apps, to programming, 3D rendering, video & audio edition, math app, home server configs and, of course, when bored gaming... So, as far as I know the best option would be to go with a QuadCore and just simply OC'it, but I'm not quite confident with OC yet. However, the mobo I'm choosing would give the same option to OC later, when I'm ready or enough brave to do so, maybe I'll adquire Quad Extreme from QX's Series, who knows?... In the meantime, I'll like to try with a simple option that I know may work without too much tweaking...
[Maybe OFF-TOPIC]

Thank you, once again, ghislaing, Fruity and Zorg... I appreciate all your help and time...
February 26, 2009 5:06:25 AM

The Q6600 is about the same price and definitely the choice for what you are doing. The DDR3 is a waste. You can OC the Q6600 to 3G in your sleep with the S1283 to cool it.

It's your rig, so get whatever makes you happy.
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 156 V Motherboard
February 26, 2009 6:02:58 AM

Zorg said:
The DDR3 is a waste. You can OC the Q6600 to 3G in your sleep with the S1283 to cool it.


Yes. If you are not running an i7 CPU, there are better things to do with your money - like upgrade to a Q9550.

A Q6600 with a good HSF can easily be OC'd to 3.3 GHz. A Q9550 can easily reach 3.4 GHz.
February 26, 2009 4:36:46 PM

Thank you for all the time and help you've spent on me...

I have rearranged completely all the original configuration, so now, I'm spending a little less, and gained maybe a little performance by doubling the total memory and going for a QuadCore, yet a lower video card. The new configuration I've chosen is:

- ASUS P5Q-E. U$S 205.
- Intel Core2Quad Q9400 2,67Ghz 6MiB L2 1333Mhz FSB. U$S 320.
- PSU CoolerMaster eXtreme 600W Dual Rail. U$S 105.
- Case Thermaltake Soprano RS101 (VG7000BWS). U$S 125.
- HDD 320Gb WD, 16MB Buffer, 7200rpm. U$S 69.
- 4GB DDR2-800 (2 x 2Gb), GSkill Pi Black Series. U$S 86.
- ATI Radeon HD3450 256mb (Sapphire). U$S 79.
=================================================
TOTAL: U$S 989,00

And, yes... Do not be amazed by the pricing, I live in Argentina so all the prices have taxes and importation stuff which raises everything a little bit... :cry:  :cry: 

What do you think? Is it a good configuration for a 2yr-life-span PC, with OC capabilities, extensible configuration over time? Should I go for it?

PS: I'm forced to apologize If a mod sees this post, maybe I've gone a little bit off-topic since the start of this post, sorry about that.
February 26, 2009 5:12:03 PM

It's your thread, so there's no off topic for you.

Your list looks good.

I'm not really a fan of the Cooler Master eXtreme. Do you have any Corsair 550VX or 650TX available?

Or maybe Antec Earthwatts?
February 26, 2009 9:18:35 PM

He, he, he... Thanks...

Zorg, no... I looked out for those here, and apparently there are no local resellers... Brands available are: CoolerMaster, PowerCooler, Thermaltake, Vitsuba, XFX, Satellite, Vantec, Sentey, etc... And, of course, dubious generic ones...

The one that I checked before, for U$S 137 it's the PowerCooler PS-550TR Ver. II that's modular... Yet, more expensive... On the other hand, I could get the PowerCooler PS-550TR Ver. II PLUS the Thermaltake Soprano RS101 case, for U$S 250, as a promotional price on the same place...
February 26, 2009 10:27:12 PM

I haven't even heard of PowerCooler. Unfortunately, it looks like you are severely limited. Oh, well.
February 26, 2009 11:29:39 PM

LOL, believe me... I feel the same way...

Zorg, thanks for your advice, and your time once again... I appreciate it. :love: 
!