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Suggest Memory

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July 4, 2009 5:31:40 AM

Hi All,

I've decided to upgrade my mobo (GA-EP-45-UD3LR) and processor (Q8400).

Can anyone suggest which memory would be best for my HTPC setup?

I do alot of video converting, budget would be around $100. I'm currently running 2GB Corsair 6400. The mobo can support 1366,1066,800,667.

I do plan to overclock the Q8400.

I would prefer 8GB or 4GB which ever one is best. I just dont know which company i should go with(maybe G.Skill or OCZ?).

I want reliability and performance.

My current index score for the corsair memory is 5.4, I want it to go up to 6 or 7 (i know wishful thinking) if its possible.


Thanks all for your input.

More about : suggest memory

a b } Memory
July 4, 2009 9:08:49 AM

b_digital said:
Hi All,

I've decided to upgrade my mobo (GA-EP-45-UD3LR) and processor (Q8400).

Can anyone suggest which memory would be best for my HTPC setup?

I do alot of video converting, budget would be around $100. I'm currently running 2GB Corsair 6400. The mobo can support 1366,1066,800,667.

I do plan to overclock the Q8400.

I would prefer 8GB or 4GB which ever one is best. I just dont know which company i should go with(maybe G.Skill or OCZ?).

I want reliability and performance.

My current index score for the corsair memory is 5.4, I want it to go up to 6 or 7 (i know wishful thinking) if its possible.


Thanks all for your input.


For DDR2, the fastest memory you can buy is DDR2-800 (PC2-6400). Everything else, such as DDR2-1066, is actually DDR2-800 that's been rated at an overclock setting. You're looking for stability, which means you're probably not looking to play around with memory overclocking.
July 4, 2009 2:12:40 PM

+1^
In addition to that statement, all the benchmarks I've seen show very little performance difference between DDR2 800 and DDR2 1066. lower timings increases performance much more than faster speeds do. You should be looking for DDR2 800 at the lowest timings and at the JEDEC standard 1.8v.

Something like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
July 4, 2009 2:34:08 PM

Crashman said:
For DDR2, the fastest memory you can buy is DDR2-800 (PC2-6400). Everything else, such as DDR2-1066, is actually DDR2-800 that's been rated at an overclock setting. You're looking for stability, which means you're probably not looking to play around with memory overclocking.


Crashman,
I have been curious about that. It's the external data bus clock rate that drives the actual speed. If you drove a DDR2 chip at the old DDR clock rate it wouldn't perform any faster and might be slower. You seem to be saying that if you drove DDR2-1066 at the DDR2-800 clock rate it wouldn't run any faster. I think that is right.

  1. Name Memory clock Cycle time I/O Bus clock Data xfers/s Peak xfer MB/s
  2. DDR2-800 200 MHz 5 ns 400 MHz 800 Million 6400
  3. DDR2-1066 266 MHz 3.75 ns 533 MHz 1066 Million 8533


The DIMMs should have Serial Presence Detect capability so that the system's BIOS has the option of setting the external data bus clock rate to fit the available memory speed. In theory at least, the system could adjust itself to handle DDR2-1066's higher clock rate. Are you saying that in practice this doesn't happen unless you explicitly overclock it?
July 4, 2009 2:42:51 PM

ausch30 said:
+1^
In addition to that statement, all the benchmarks I've seen show very little performance difference between DDR2 800 and DDR2 1066. lower timings increases performance much more than faster speeds do. You should be looking for DDR2 800 at the lowest timings and at the JEDEC standard 1.8v.

Something like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


ausch30,
How would a DDR2-800 at the 4-4-4 timing compare to a DDR2-1066 at the 6-6-6 timing? What is the formula that gives you the transfer rate?
July 4, 2009 2:57:23 PM

MikeJRamsey said:
Crashman,

The DIMMs should have Serial Presence Detect capability so that the system's BIOS has the option of setting the external data bus clock rate to fit the available memory speed. In theory at least, the system could adjust itself to handle DDR2-1066's higher clock rate. Are you saying that in practice this doesn't happen unless you explicitly overclock it?


The thing is that JEDEC sets the memory standards and their standard voltage for DDR2 is 1.8v. Motherboards will read the SPD chip and set the memory to run at the correct JEDEC speed. All the settings at voltages above 1.8v are EPP (Enhanced Performance Profiles) settings and are guaranteed by the manufacturer to work with that memory but motherboards don't default to those higher settings.
July 4, 2009 3:03:20 PM

MikeJRamsey said:
ausch30,
How would a DDR2-800 at the 4-4-4 timing compare to a DDR2-1066 at the 6-6-6 timing? What is the formula that gives you the transfer rate?


I'm unsure of the formula but you're also talking about theoretical transfer rates which often differs greatly from real world performance (which is the reason I'm not a fan of synthetic benchmarks). In real world performance what you have listed would usually perform virtually identically but the actual performance would be determined by several factors including memory controller, FSB speed, multiplier or whatever method your system uses for communication between the CPU and memory.
July 4, 2009 3:57:35 PM

ausch30 said:
The thing is that JEDEC sets the memory standards and their standard voltage for DDR2 is 1.8v. Motherboards will read the SPD chip and set the memory to run at the correct JEDEC speed. All the settings at voltages above 1.8v are EPP (Enhanced Performance Profiles) settings and are guaranteed by the manufacturer to work with that memory but motherboards don't default to those higher settings.


Ah, to get the increased speed it is also required that you up the pressure on those electrons. I am going to look into this some more; just curious.
a b } Memory
July 4, 2009 7:55:14 PM

MikeJRamsey said:
Crashman,
I have been curious about that. It's the external data bus clock rate that drives the actual speed. If you drove a DDR2 chip at the old DDR clock rate it wouldn't perform any faster and might be slower. You seem to be saying that if you drove DDR2-1066 at the DDR2-800 clock rate it wouldn't run any faster. I think that is right.

  1. Name Memory clock Cycle time I/O Bus clock Data xfers/s Peak xfer MB/s
  2. DDR2-800 200 MHz 5 ns 400 MHz 800 Million 6400
  3. DDR2-1066 266 MHz 3.75 ns 533 MHz 1066 Million 8533


The DIMMs should have Serial Presence Detect capability so that the system's BIOS has the option of setting the external data bus clock rate to fit the available memory speed. In theory at least, the system could adjust itself to handle DDR2-1066's higher clock rate. Are you saying that in practice this doesn't happen unless you explicitly overclock it?


I'm saying that chips are rated at a certain cycle time, and that DDR2-1066 uses chips rated by the manufacturer at DDR2-800. If you have to crank up the voltage, it's obvious you're overclocking. If the module assembler tells you to crank up the voltage, its obvious they're telling you how to overclock.
July 4, 2009 8:06:51 PM

Crashman said:
I'm saying that chips are rated at a certain cycle time, and that DDR2-1066 uses chips rated by the manufacturer at DDR2-800. If you have to crank up the voltage, it's obvious you're overclocking. If the module assembler tells you to crank up the voltage, its obvious they're telling you how to overclock.


I went looking and found this:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21332718-DDR2800-vs-DD...

To use DDR2-1066 I guess you are overclocking. Thank you for the education.

July 4, 2009 8:38:28 PM

MikeJRamsey said:
I went looking and found this:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21332718-DDR2800-vs-DD...

To use DDR2-1066 I guess you are overclocking. Thank you for the education.

That is not entirely true. Originally DDR2 was 400, 533, 667 and 800. About a year and a half ago they added 1066 but all of them are at 1.8v. If you purchase RAM that lists it's speed at 1066 at, say, 2.1v then it's simply DDR2 800 that is guaranteed by the manufacturer to work at those increased settings.

This is an example of actual DDR2 1066
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Just so you know moving forward, the actual voltage for DDR3 is 1.5v. You will have a difficult time finding quality memory at that voltage but if you keep an eye on it over the coming year or so you will see the timings and voltages drop closer to 1.5v as the technology matures.

This is an example of actual DDR3 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is likely DDR3 1066 which is guaranteed to overclock to 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I say likely because it may be 1333 but just at higher timings at 1.5v, you wouldn't know until you bought it and ran CPUZ.
a b } Memory
July 5, 2009 1:30:30 AM

I have 3 kits of the G. Skill linked. I believe it's from Powerchip a Japanese chipmaker, but at any rate the kits do well in my systems and run at advertised specs. Recently installed 8GBs with my E6600/965 with Vista 64. Had 3 GB with Vista 32 before. Made a difference in overall system performance for sure. I have found G. Skill to be slow responding to RMA requests in the past. But, this is a very good product for the price.
a b } Memory
July 5, 2009 7:18:51 AM

The two have the same specs, but the Patriot requires more voltage to run at the same speed. The G. Skill is very good RAM. It runs as well some more expensive Micron chips I have. Never owned Patriot of any kind. No reason though. Crucial is good RAM and their Ballistic series are Micron chips as far as I know. Micron is the parent Co. of Crucial, Inc. I have had good experience with Micron RMA warranty service. Corsair was also prompt when asked to do a RMA repalcement under warranty. OCZ was also very good to work with when RMAing their products. Just my experience is all. For $50 the G. Skill should do you well. Although I just had some G. Skill PC28500 fail memtest and tried to RMA. It was a hassle. They blamed it on 'moving'. They are in Walnut, CA so I am a few miles away. I could have driven over and handed to them before they got around to answering my email RMA requests.

Edit for Writer's embellishments.
July 5, 2009 7:59:13 AM

Thanks badge, what is the windows index rating for the g.skill?
a b } Memory
July 5, 2009 8:11:24 AM

Well, I haven't run the 8 gigs with windows index yet on that machine. I installed Vista 64 on that E6600/965 machine last week. So far the machine runs much better with Vista 64 and 8 gigs of the G. Skill than it did with Vista 32 and 3 gigs of PC6400. I'm sure with Vista 64 and 8 gigs the windows index rating should be 5.9. I get 5.9 with 8 gigs of G. Skill in my other systems.

Q9450/x38 and 8 gigs of this.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also 5.9 in my AMD PII 940/780g and 8 GBs of this G. Skill.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My son gets 5.9 with a 4 GB kit you listed combined with a 2 GB kit of this G. Skill for a total of 6GB system RAM.

This RAM runs all day at 4-4-4-12 880+ MHz!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

a b } Memory
July 5, 2009 8:14:02 AM

Let me see if I can run the E6600/965 8 GBs of the gkill you listed and get a screen shot up.
July 5, 2009 8:24:53 AM

Thanks badge, someone has the patriot windows index score of 6.3, but the high voltage is really a turn off :( 
a b } Memory
July 5, 2009 8:33:20 AM


ok, this is the system i put together last week. 8 gigs of the pc26400 you linked. e6600 c2d. asus q965 micro. the mb is limited on the oc i can attain. i believe the memory would go to a 5.9 windows index with a better oc. i think my fsb is at 280mhz/2.5ish ghz. voltage adjustment available/voltage regulators limit the oc. i'm on my 40 in. monitor on my htpc without my cordless keyboard. won't work with vista 64. this keyboard was 2.95 and has a short cord. 8)


http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/3770/cropcrap.jpg
a c 105 } Memory
July 5, 2009 6:04:20 PM

For any ram you are considering, do your own homework.
Go to the ram vendor's web site, and access their configurator.
Corsair, Kingston, Patriot, OCZ and others have them.
Their compatibility list is more current than the motherboard vendor's QVL lists which rarely get updated.
Enter your mobo or PC, and get a list of compatible ram sticks.

Cpu performance is not very sensitive to ram speeds.
If you look at real application and game benchmarks(vs. synthetic tests),
you will see negligible difference in performance between the slowest and fastest ram.
Perhaps 1-2%. Not worth it to me.
Don't pay extra for faster ram or better timings unless you are a maximum overclocker.

Unless you are doing heavy multitasking, 4gb is enough. Very few programs are coded to use more than 2gb of ram.
4 sticks of ram may limit your ability to overclock. I suggest a 4gb kit(2x2gb) of ddr2-800 ram from a quality vendor.
July 5, 2009 9:37:43 PM

Sage advice, ancient poster geofelt.
a b } Memory
July 5, 2009 9:45:19 PM

b_digital said:
Thanks badge, someone has the patriot windows index score of 6.3, but the high voltage is really a turn off :( 


The highest Vista Windows Index score attainable is 5.9. Windows 7 may be indexed by a different method, set of values. Never ran Windows 7 Index. I have a measly AMD 64 4000 single core and 2 GBs OCZ Platinum PC3200 DDR on my current Windows 7 64 installation.
July 5, 2009 11:53:36 PM

thank you all for your input, I'm going thru the configurator now. I'll probably stick with the G.skill. runs cooler. only if directron had them i can pick them up locally

Thank you, for making my decision easier :D 

cheers!!!!
July 6, 2009 2:06:29 AM

badge said:
The highest Vista Windows Index score attainable is 5.9. Windows 7 may be indexed by a different method, set of values. Never ran Windows 7 Index. I have a measly AMD 64 4000 single core and 2 GBs OCZ Platinum PC3200 DDR on my current Windows 7 64 installation.


They did change the Experience Index with Win 7, it goes up to 7.9

@OP A friend just recently built an AMD based system using the Mushkin I suggested above running Win 7 RC 64 bit and at default settings he has a memory score of 7.3
a b } Memory
July 6, 2009 2:15:22 AM

Munchkin is another distributor I have never tried. I'm a little preturbed at G. Skill for taking three days to answer a legitimate request for RMA under warranty. On the other hand, OCZ replied the same day with an RMA authorization number for my PCP&C 610. Service is what I need. 8)
a b } Memory
July 6, 2009 2:18:04 AM

badge said:
Munchkin is another distributor I have never tried. I'm a little preturbed at G. Skill for taking three days to answer a legitimate request for RMA under warranty. On the other hand, OCZ replied the same day with an RMA authorization number for my PCP&C 610. Service is what I need. 8)


The munchkins at Mushkin pride themselves on good service, and their memory is always among the best.
a b } Memory
July 6, 2009 2:19:36 AM

I've heard many good things. I will check into the company and will consider trying their products. Thank you.
July 6, 2009 2:26:24 AM

badge said:
Munchkin is another distributor I have never tried. I'm a little preturbed at G. Skill for taking three days to answer a legitimate request for RMA under warranty. On the other hand, OCZ replied the same day with an RMA authorization number for my PCP&C 610. Service is what I need. 8)


You should try them. I can't tell how refreshing it was, in this day and age, when I had a stick go bad and looked on their site and got a phone number. I called the number and an American answered (they're based in Colorado) who I could actually understand and was happy to help me with my problem. There is nothing I hate more than going through one automated menu after another just to finally get on the line with someone that speaks English as a 5th language and the only thing they know is how to read the sheet in front of them telling them what to say.
a b } Memory
July 6, 2009 2:39:16 AM

Haha! Yeah, today my wife called AT&T support to set up a secondary email account. Her call was outsorced to the middle east and She ws told her Vista 64 system she was at was not supported! What! Anyway, yeah American business has taken a real hit lately. Bailout after bailout. Good to know munchkin is doing ok and has people who are fluent in english answering the phone. I like that. Respect of some sort.

BTW, I forgot to ask Crashman and you...is there a way to know which Munchkin chips are made by individual chipmakers? Like which of Munchkin's RAM are say Samsung or Micron? Maybe one of you have a list of all RAM distributors show which chipmakers makes which RAM?
a b } Memory
July 6, 2009 2:46:08 AM

I think I found a list of chipmakers and RAM distributors use of.

http://ramlist.i4memory.com/ddr2/

Looks like Mushkin uses a lot of Micron chips.
a b } Memory
July 6, 2009 3:02:06 AM

From the list of DDR2 chipmakers, look like the 4 GB G. Skill kit F2-6400CL4D-4GBHK is made from chipmaker: Qimonda and proMOS. Who?
a b } Memory
July 6, 2009 3:07:51 AM

badge said:
From the list of DDR2 chipmakers, look like the 4 GB G. Skill kit F2-6400CL4D-4GBHK is made from chipmaker: Qimonda and proMOS. Who?



I'm not sure which G.Skill uses, but Qimonda RAM has been around a long time under the name Infineon.

If you don't know Infineon, you're a true newb!
a b } Memory
July 6, 2009 3:10:29 AM

I know infenion. That's why that G. Skill kit performs so well. It fools the noobs. Muchkin looks nice. It takes more voltage to run Micron D9's.
a b } Memory
July 6, 2009 3:24:01 AM

badge said:
I know infenion. That's why that G. Skill kit performs so well. It fools the noobs. Muchkin looks nice. It takes more voltage to run Micron D9's.


Lower voltage for Qimonda RAM could be a result of deep trench technology.
a b } Memory
July 6, 2009 3:26:06 AM

So, what is that technology and how does it allow lower voltage for the same speed/timings? Micron doesn't have the patent?
a b } Memory
July 6, 2009 3:45:36 AM

Google tells me that technology has been around for a while. Even if it were intellictual property, someone has no doubt stolen the technology by now. Never know which of these chipmakers are living in the dark. The marketing people are sharp. Ballistic, Dominator, Reaper, Red Line, Viper, Platinum. Nobody ever talks about what's new in cutting edge RAM development and technology. I thought RAM was going in the direction of 'hard drive/jump drive' likeness. Fast rewritable storage that can be plugged in like a flash drive. Easy interchangeable access. I haven't heard anything along these lines in a while.
a b } Memory
July 6, 2009 4:03:02 AM

badge said:
Google tells me that technology has been around for a while. Even if it were intellictual property, someone has no doubt stolen the technology by now. Never know which of these chipmakers are living in the dark. The marketing people are sharp. Ballistic, Dominator, Reaper, Red Line, Viper, Platinum. Nobody ever talks about what's new in cutting edge RAM development and technology. I thought RAM was going in the direction of 'hard drive/jump drive' likeness. Fast rewritable storage that can be plugged in like a flash drive. Easy interchangeable access. I haven't heard anything along these lines in a while.


You mean like magnetoresistive DRAM? I haven't heard anything in a while, last I heard they were still working out how to make it cheaper.
a b } Memory
July 6, 2009 6:26:31 AM
July 6, 2009 10:14:44 AM

Mushkin stopped listing the chips they used a year or so ago. All their XP line (black heat speaders) used micron D9's and most of the HP line (blue heat spreaders) were D9's as well but I don't know if that's changed now.
July 6, 2009 11:50:49 PM

If the Mushkin is as good as you say they are then I will opt for them since I can get them locally from Directron, no waiting for shipping :D 

Thanks all
cheers!!
!