What ram to use?

Im looking to build my first pc. Nothing to fancy just something that I can do some gaming on. Im looking to put the computer together as cheaply as possible. I was on newegg looking at an asus 785g motherboard and it says the memory standard is DDR3 1800(O.C.)/1600(O.C.)/1333/1066/800 ECC,Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory. I'm planning on getting an anthlon II x2 250.

-Does this mean the memory I get has to be ddr3 or can I use ddr2?

-If given the choice, would getting the ddr3 be a better investment than the ddr2?

-And finally, how much does ram speed affect performance? What would you guys suggest for ram?
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  1. has to be DDR3 and yes i'd say DDR3 is the better investment as it's the next step up so to speak. as for what ram to buy? i've always been a sucker for the XMS Corsair ram, but others on here might have more detail on what ram is better/faster since i've always just gona w/ Corsair.
  2. On your system, no matter what speed you get the performance will be basically identical.

    Motherboards are generally designed so that the fastest RAM will, in most situations keep up with the fastest CPU. It's a bit complicated but the bottom line is you have nothing to worry about.

    You should make sure that you get:
    1) quality RAM (doesn't have to be expensive)
    2) 4GB (2x2GB; no more, no less)

    Go to places like NCIX and get RAM with good reviews. You can also Google a particular model if you wish. Don't get the very cheapest RAM with no reviews; a lot of annoying problems can crop up because of RAM issues.

    I'd get 1333MHz. You don't need the fastest, but it's nice to have a little overhead in case of overclocking. Timings are often more important than frequency (it's quite confusing unless you are a tech. Still, you can't compare 400MHz to 1600MHz).

    I'd get something like this:
    http://www.virtual-hideout.net/reviews/Crucial_Ballistix_Tracer_4GB_PC3-10600/index.shtml

    Seen for about $100 at NCIX
  3. If you want a lower price, with some slightly higher timings, $80 seems to be the magic number at NewEgg. The G.Skill Ripjaws have been recommended a lot in these pages and just because RAM options aren't confusing enough they have at least 3 options available at this price point. There have been new models recently in a marketing push to coincide with the new Intel i5/i7 release. Here are some examples, all of these are 4GB (2 x 2GB) and all are $80:


    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - CAS: 9
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBRL - CAS: 9
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231274

    G.SKILL DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK - CAS: 8
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231189


    I recently bought the first set but have not had a chance to install them yet. At the same price I think it's a no brainer to get the first one over the second one. The first is listed on sale at $5 off which I suppose is why you get higher bandwidth for the same price (1600 vs. 1333).

    Comparing the first to the third is a little more interesting. Here there is also a difference in the timings, with the third being slightly faster than the first. I chose the first after receiving some advice from these forums that the first could actually be faster. My research seemed to find that at this level there would be very little actual (real world) noticable difference between the two. Even most synthetic benchmarks show slight advantages. But I'll leave that to others to comment on.
  4. So should i definitely get 4gb of ram or would I be ok with just 3? I dont want to be spending more money than necessary and I would need a 64bit os for all 4 gb to be recognized.
  5. You can get as much ram as you want, but as you pointed out unless you have a 64bit OS 4gb isn't really worth it then, unless you're planning to update your OS.
  6. As I understand it, the sticks work best when they are paired with "like" sticks. And pairs totaling 4 (i.e. 2x2gbs sticks) are easy to come by these days. But you've haven't mentioned how many sticks of RAM you were going to buy. And I have not priced out RAM totaling 3gb so if it is that much of a price difference between 3 and 4 then it might make sense to go with 3, in your case.
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