Haven't here in forever - too busy with college applications and my final year of high school. Now that its over, and I am off to college, I need to get a new laptop. Sadly, though, I am way out of the loop with parts. I've noticed that DDR3 seems much prevalent than it was when I built my last computer 22 months ago, and that one key point of differentiation between many laptops is whether or not they include DDR3. I've noticed some correlation between overall price and inclusion of DDR3 - more expensive laptops typically have DDR3, whereas cheaper models have DDR2. My question is this: is DDR3 noticeably better in performance than DDR2, or at least worth the price premium (as a part of the package with other, higher performance, parts)?
IMHO, decent DDR2 vs. DDR3 doesn't make a significant performance. Modern CPUs have such good caches that the impact of memory performance is a lot less than it used to be.
That having been said, a valid reason to buy a DDR3-capable system is for future-proofing down the road. If you plan to keep your laptop for more than a few years it may become more difficult or more expensive to find DDR2 memory. Anyone who doubts this just has to look at DDR vs DDR2 memory availability and pricing today.
In some time, DDR3 will be alot cheaper than DDR2. This has all to do with production volume. The low prices of DRAM memory can only be maintained with large production quantities. As the demand for DDR2 will shrink when both AMD and Intel have abandoned DDR2, its price will increase. This also happened to SDRAM and also DDR1.
So if you buy DDR2 now, just buy enough for the lifetime of the product and don't think oh i'll buy later. Now is a good time to buy DDR2, it will only get more expensive from now on.
Thanks for the information. I'll take it into account when shopping. I'm also considering getting a cheap laptop (600-800) and nice desktop (1200-1400) that is based around a Core i7 920, rather than just a laptop. If that is the case, then I'll just look for DDR2 in the laptop, and save the DDR3 for the desktop.