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DDR2 and Vista

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May 24, 2009 9:18:29 PM

The question has been probed a bit before, but I haven't seen the ENTIRE question asked so far, so I will ask it. This question has several points.

I have Vista Ultimate, which gives me both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Vista, and I am building a new machine. Here are my options:

Vista 32: 4 gigs of DDR2 1066

Vista 64: 4 gigs of DDR2 1066

Vista 64: 8 gigs of DDR2 800

The motherboard I am using for this build is an Asus M4A79 Deluxe. The processor is a Phenom II 940 Black Edition. I am considering going with a Radeon HD 4890 for my 3d accelerator this time around. My power supply is a Corsair TX850W, and the case, an Antec 900. Not all of that is relevant, but I thought I'd post it just the same.

The AMD processor won't like all the memory slots populated at 1066. It will prefer 800 for that. Thus, the question.

Just which RAM setup will likely result in greater performance? Less memory but faster memory in 32 bit mode? Less memory but faster memory in 64 bit mode?

Or twice the memory but slower memory in the 64 bit mode?

This is a tough one without all the stuff over here to test it all. The timings on the various options end up being about the same, so that won't be an issue.

As a separate question, consider just which of these setups will have more flexibility when overclocking.

The computer itself will be my daily use machine. It will be used for gaming, however, and that is why I bother to build them. I'd like the setup to reflect it's best performance in games, rather than other things. This machine will be plenty fast for everyday tasks either way.

The computer will be replacing my last build, which is the machine I am typing this on.

Current rig:

Athlon XP 3200+
Abit NF7S V.2.0, with latest bios updates
EVGA GeForce 7600GT
Thermaltake TR2-430W
2GB OCZ Platinum DDR2 400
WD Raptor 140gb, SATA
Antec 900 case

This computer has lasted me one heck of a long time. It started with the first revision of the motherboard, packing a processor I can't remember. I eventually upgraded to a Thunderbird CPU, and that carried me through to the release of TESIV: Oblivion. Believe it or not, it ran decently enough once I replaced my Geforce 4 with a 6200OC from BFGtech. Then, on to the 3200+ and the 7600gt. I had to get version 2.0 of the motherboard to unlock the processor's potential, but still...

I consider it the same computer. It has lasted a long time. Right now, it runs Crysis great on medium, Oblivion, and doesn't really flinch. In all the years this machine has been running, it has never once had a BSOD. It has never once properly locked up. Sadly, it is time to build another one.

More about : ddr2 vista

a b } Memory
May 24, 2009 9:28:18 PM

Quote:
The AMD processor won't like all the memory slots populated at 1066.


Where did you come up with this? Currently run PII 940/780G/Vista 64/8 GBs PC28500 @ 1066MHz. What's not to like? :lol: 
a b } Memory
May 24, 2009 9:56:44 PM

2 x2 gig of 1066 dual channel , vista 64
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May 24, 2009 10:17:42 PM

kennith13 said:
The question has been probed a bit before, but I haven't seen the ENTIRE question asked so far, so I will ask it. This question has several points.

I have Vista Ultimate, which gives me both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Vista, and I am building a new machine. Here are my options:

Vista 32: 4 gigs of DDR2 1066

Vista 64: 4 gigs of DDR2 1066

Vista 64: 8 gigs of DDR2 800

The motherboard I am using for this build is an Asus M4A79 Deluxe. The processor is a Phenom II 940 Black Edition. I am considering going with a Radeon HD 4890 for my 3d accelerator this time around. My power supply is a Corsair TX850W, and the case, an Antec 900. Not all of that is relevant, but I thought I'd post it just the same.

The AMD processor won't like all the memory slots populated at 1066. It will prefer 800 for that. Thus, the question.

Just which RAM setup will likely result in greater performance? Less memory but faster memory in 32 bit mode? Less memory but faster memory in 64 bit mode?

Or twice the memory but slower memory in the 64 bit mode?

This is a tough one without all the stuff over here to test it all. The timings on the various options end up being about the same, so that won't be an issue.

As a separate question, consider just which of these setups will have more flexibility when overclocking.

The computer itself will be my daily use machine. It will be used for gaming, however, and that is why I bother to build them. I'd like the setup to reflect it's best performance in games, rather than other things. This machine will be plenty fast for everyday tasks either way.

The computer will be replacing my last build, which is the machine I am typing this on.

Current rig:

Athlon XP 3200+
Abit NF7S V.2.0, with latest bios updates
EVGA GeForce 7600GT
Thermaltake TR2-430W
2GB OCZ Platinum DDR2 400
WD Raptor 140gb, SATA
Antec 900 case

This computer has lasted me one heck of a long time. It started with the first revision of the motherboard, packing a processor I can't remember. I eventually upgraded to a Thunderbird CPU, and that carried me through to the release of TESIV: Oblivion. Believe it or not, it ran decently enough once I replaced my Geforce 4 with a 6200OC from BFGtech. Then, on to the 3200+ and the 7600gt. I had to get version 2.0 of the motherboard to unlock the processor's potential, but still...

I consider it the same computer. It has lasted a long time. Right now, it runs Crysis great on medium, Oblivion, and doesn't really flinch. In all the years this machine has been running, it has never once had a BSOD. It has never once properly locked up. Sadly, it is time to build another one.

At this point in time, there is no noticeable difference between 4Gb and 8Gb in gaming applications. I would go with 2x2 Gb, mainly because 4x1Gb/4x2Gb kits are quite a bit more expensive.
May 24, 2009 11:45:31 PM

Only reason to go from 4 gigs to 8 gigs would be if the would make games native to 64 bit a 32 bit process still can only use up the 3.2 gigs even in a 64bit environment. Only reason to get more then 4 gigs now of days if you do high end photo or video editing that will fill up a ton of ram, video and otherwise.
May 25, 2009 5:16:13 AM

badge said:
Quote:
The AMD processor won't like all the memory slots populated at 1066.


Where did you come up with this? Currently run PII 940/780G/Vista 64/8 GBs PC28500 @ 1066MHz. What's not to like? :lol: 


Yeah, but just what speed are they running at? :)  As well, just what is the processor doing to it's data streams internally? I have read, both from Asus and AMD, that once you populate those slots, the memory automatically drops back to 800. As well, I have read that the processor itself will do some things in response.

Having not experimented with it yet, I don't know if one can up the specs back to 1066 after the fact. I also don't know whether or not going back to 1066 will cause it to actually run that way, considering what the processor may or may not do.

There is a whole lot out there detailing the issue, but nobody seems to be discussing it in any detail. I like to know why things are the way they are. Someone thought it was important enough to be printed in the manual, on the website, and spoken of by the people that work at both those companies, but that someone didn't see fit to explain why. :) 

They likewise haven't explained what you can do after installing the RAM. They insinuate that there isn't much you can do about it. It is printed as if once you install the RAM, the settings lock at 800 until you take them out.

Hey, don't knock me, I'm not the one that printed the manuals. I thought it was a it off when I read it.
a b } Memory
May 25, 2009 5:56:08 AM

IMHO
windows 7 32bit and 2 2gig sticks.

There is no performance gain in gaming after 3gig, thus no the need for a 64bit os with it's few remaining issues. The smaller the sticks and the less sticks makes for easier overclocking. Win7 is much better than vista and it's free till the middle of next year.
a b } Memory
May 25, 2009 6:24:32 AM

Quote:
Yeah, but just what speed are they running at? :) 


The RAM runs at 8.5GBs/sec. data transfer rate, 1066Mhz

Quote:
As well, just what is the processor doing to it's data streams internally?


The processor is at 3.6GHz. The PII 940 is processing the Random Access Memory data at 8.5GB/sec.


Quote:
I have read, both from Asus and AMD, that once you populate those slots, the memory automatically drops back to 800.


Nope. PC28500 is simply overclockable PC26400. When the BIOS detects the PC28500 BIOS is programmed by the RAM's JEDEC standard of which there is no PC28500 standard. There is a PC26400 standard. Any DDR2 rated by the Mfg. to clock higher than PC26400 will default to PC26400. The higher speed the Mfg. 'guarantees' will have to be set manually in BIOS. Short of setting the RAM speed in BIOS, the system RAM will run at higher speeds if the system BUS is increased. All the system hardware is run as part of the system BUS including the RAM.

Quote:
As well, I have read that the processor itself will do some things in response.


Nope. The established CPU transfer rates are seperate from the RAM transfer rates.

Quote:
Having not experimented with it yet, I don't know if one can up the specs back to 1066 after the fact.


If you have PC26400, some issues will clock to near PC28500 levels or 1066Mhz. Some will not. It's not that easy to just simply 'up the specs' of 800Mhz. rated RAM to 1066MHz. However, if you are using the PII 940 CPU multiplier to overclock, the RAM will not go to higher clock speeds if you overclock the CPU with the Multiplier. Better to have PC28500 in this case. Overclock the CPU with the multiplier and set the RAM to 1066MHz. in BIOS.

Quote:
I also don't know whether or not going back to 1066 will cause it to actually run that way, considering what the processor may or may not do.


The PII 940 will not 'fail' or have a coneption fit if you up the RAM transfer rates to 1066MHz. It will act naturally like the song saays. :lol:  I don't know where you are getting your information, but you are on the wrong path, wrong thinking like this. :ouch: 


Quote:
There is a whole lot out there detailing the issue, but nobody seems to be discussing it in any detail.


What issue? Using 8 GBs of PC28500 with a PII 940? ;) 


Quote:
I like to know why things are the way they are.


Me too. That's why I married a doctor and depend on her to tell me when to jump. :lol: 

Quote:
Someone thought it was important enough to be printed in the manual, on the website, and spoken of by the people that work at both those companies, but that someone didn't see fit to explain why. :) 


You have been talking to evil people who apparently managed to get off the bus ride to hell. :pt1cable: 

Quote:
They likewise haven't explained what you can do after installing the RAM. They insinuate that there isn't much you can do about it. It is printed as if once you install the RAM, the settings lock at 800 until you take them out.


Hardly so. Incorrect thinking. :D  RAM voltage, timings and speed are adjustable in system BIOS, if that's what you were inferring.

Quote:
Hey, don't knock me, I'm not the one that printed the manuals. I thought it was a it off when I read it.


I hate when that happens. :( 
a b } Memory
May 25, 2009 6:33:44 AM

many motherboards wont let 4 sticks of RAM run as fast as it will 2 sticks .

This is a limitation of the motherboard chipsets . Even when this isnt the case you are likely to be able to overclock higher with only two sticks .

Advice in this thread that this isnt the case is incorrect
a b } Memory
May 25, 2009 6:36:46 AM

I added these pics of my PII 940 system. Maybe it will help to see how 8GBs PC2 8500 runs at 1066MHz. Note my PC28500 G. Skill is detected as PC26400.







a b } Memory
May 25, 2009 6:41:03 AM

Outlander_04 said:
many motherboards wont let 4 sticks of RAM run as fast as it will 2 sticks .

This is a limitation of the motherboard chipsets . Even when this isnt the case you are likely to be able to overclock higher with only two sticks .

Advice in this thread that this isnt the case is incorrect


Motherboard mFg's state how much RAM the MB (chipset) wil support. True, chipset dictates RAM capabilities and I agree if extreme OCing is your intention, 2 DIMMs will provide a better config to achieve that mean.
May 28, 2009 5:59:38 PM

"Due to AMD CPU limitation, DDR2 1066mhz is supported by AM3/AM2+ for one DIMM per channel only. For system stability, when all four DIMMS are installed, all DIMMS will run at DDR2 800mhz as the default setting."

Directly from the Asus manual.

I have found that apparantly the DDR2 controller on the CPU die itself is not rated for 4X1066. In some cases, it may be possible to do it anyway, depending on how you make your adjustments. Sometimes, apparently, you cannot do this. Now, that little quote seems to imply that you can simply run it right back up, but many people say this is not always the case, and nobody seems to have bothered to find out. I intend to.

I know how to overclock, I know how to operate a Bios. I was moving jumpers and leading silicone when most overclockers were watching fraggle rock. The greatest thing to happen to overclocking was AMD and Abit, back in the day. Heck, I remember the day I first installed a separate math co-processor. I've run Cyrix in the past and loved it. I remember my shock when I first heard a door open in Wolfenstein with a Sound Blaster. And I was drooling over Falcon Northwest when they were still using putty colored cases.

I've got the first issue of PC gamer, as well as all their others, from when they actually made a good magazine.

I've ordered the RAM so it isn't an issue anymore. My problem was the documentation and apparent limitations of the chip itself. I'll get the 8 gigs soon as well, and I'll see just what this is all about.
June 1, 2009 7:48:46 AM

Well, on Vista 64, she seems to love the 4 gigs. The machine runs like a champ, slick and fast as can be. Just for kicks, I threw Crysis on here tonight, not expecting too much after only a mild amount of tinkering.

I set everything to high, and found that there were no issues at all. Smooth as silk. So, biting the proverbial bullet, I set everything to very high, object detail and all. The performance didn't change, everything was still good...

So, I went and cranked AA all the way up, and will you guess what happened?

Nothing at all. Everything is still fine.

This thing flies! :D 

Quiet as a mouse, too.

So, if anyone ever stumbles across this post looking for a straightforward answer to a complex question that nobody seems to bother trying to understand, know this:

4 gigs is indeed plenty. If it will blast through Crysis like this, it ain't bad at all. It was interesting to note, as well, that the levels load incredibly quickly on this machine. I am very happy with it.

Vista has been behaving very well, on top of that. If it keeps up like this, I may have to change my tune just a bit on that subject. It seems to boot just as fast as XP on this machine, if not a bit faster, actually. As well, it feels snappy and fast, and not boggy at all.

Overall, I think this is going to turn out to be one heck of a build.
!