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Will my RAM be a bottleneck?

Last response: in Memory
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May 17, 2010 8:25:16 PM

Hello,
I am planning to upgrade my CPU and motherboard.
CPU : AMD ATHLON II X4 630
Motherboard : Confused
Already have a 9800 Gt Geforce 1GB graphic card. I am also running Windows XP 32 bit.
500 W PSU in place too :) 

Now, i have read and come to the conclusion that the RAM speed will not drastically affect gaming speeds. But would still like to confirm before buying

I have 2 GB DDR2 RAM
(1 GB 667 MHz, 2x 512 MB 533 MHz)

Now, my question is : will this RAM be enough for decent gaming on 1600x900 resolution using the CPU + GPU config mentioned above (mind u, GPU has 1 GB RAM of its own ).
The thing is, i would like to put off spending a lot on the RAM since this will be a config which i intend to keep for only 2 years. Also, if at all i need an upgrade, i would like to stick to DDR2 since there's not much of a performance difference and i would like to save up a bit by buying a mobo that supports DDR2 instead of DDR3.

So guys, shall i upgrade my RAM to 800 MHZ ?

And regardless of this, could u please suggest a motherboard ( costing under $ 100) ??

I'll be really grateful for any help u can provide
Thanx in advance :) 

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May 17, 2010 9:00:59 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

No, isn't enough. If ur mobo support 2x2GB go with that configuration at 800MHz that is enough for a gaming rig.
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May 18, 2010 1:32:39 AM

RAM speeds may not be that much of an bottleneck but the amount surely is.. Games nowadays are generally coming with min requirement being 2gigs of ram wherein 4gigs is recommended.. For a build to last atleast a couple of years, you should definitely upgrade to 4 gigs of ram..
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May 18, 2010 3:31:03 AM

Thanx guys.. might go for 4 GB RAM as u said ..
That brings another question to my mind
So can i keep my current RAM and buy 2 GB of 800 MHz RAM ?? I know saint said 4 GB of 800 MHz .. but would still like to save up on those 50 odd dollars .. but then i'll have 1GB 533 MHZ, 1 GB 667 MHz and 2 GB 800 MHz .. but will it cause the other sticks to operate on a low frequency since my slowest memory is 533 MHz ??
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May 18, 2010 3:31:58 AM

Also, will a motherboard with Nvidia 630a as its northbridge be enuf ?
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a c 163 } Memory
a c 159 à CPUs
a c 296 V Motherboard
May 18, 2010 1:20:44 PM

Hi again.

The best option is go for 2x2GB, the problem with the configuration that u have (1GB+2x512MB) is that at least one of those stick will run in single channel because aren't of the same size.

If u want save a little money, u can go with 667MHz that isn't a big difference with 800MHz

Now, for the mobo if u only want install one nVidia GPU u can go with and AMD chipset mobo that is much better.

Bear in mind that DDR2 and DDR3 have very similar prices, the only difference is the mobo that with ur CPU is better an AM3 mobo for performance and power management.
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