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512 DDR5 vs 1gb DDR3

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 22, 2010 1:26:03 AM

I am asking this question for a specific card, but perhaps this could spark discussion about the general topic of DDR3 and DDR5...

Which is a better purchase...

$70 240 GT w/ 1gb DDR3
$80 240 GT w 512mb DDR5

I have seen some big advantages from DDR5, but at this level of card does it really make that much of a difference? Also, I know that in some games I play like GTA 4 that 1gb of memory helps, but are there many games out there that it really matters in?

I play games like COD, GTA, SF4, Battlefield, L4D, etc...

More about : 512 ddr5 1gb ddr3

a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2010 2:29:29 AM

Hey, jrgreed,

The GT 240 with DDR5 is significantly better than the one with DDR3. The difference is worth more than $10. I'll try to find a benchmark somewhere, but the difference is enough that Tom's almost always benchmarks the DDr5 version in tests.

Is there a reason you have settled on the GT 240? I can suggest other competing cards in this price range if you post your system and power supply.

Edit: I didn't really answer your question: DDR5 is faster than DDR3. If you have multiple monitors, or a very high resolution the extra ram might help, but if that were the case you would be better off just getting a more powerful card.
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a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2010 2:37:37 AM

Here we go:

This is from the AnandTech review of the card.



However, the ATI 5670 and Nvidia 9800GT are very competitive choices in this price range that would be more powerful. A L4D benchmark from Tom's: (i dont know your resolution though)

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a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2010 2:40:28 AM

For $92, you can buy a 4770, which performs equal to an 8800GTS 512mb.

That would make it better than a 9800GT.

4770 > 9800GT ~ 4830 > 9600GT > GT240 GDDR5
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February 22, 2010 2:41:11 AM

AMD Athlon 64 X2 2 GHz (3800+)
2GB DDR2 SDRAM
300watt power supply

I need to keep it UNDER $100...
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a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2010 2:43:24 AM

I was sticking in the $80s price range, but in the $90s a 4770 is a decent choice. The better value would be a 4850 at the $99 mark though.
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February 22, 2010 2:45:58 AM

What about a 4850? Those I hear are great for under $100... But I really thought I may need the higher memory card since I wont have the extra funds to throw at my memory for a while...

I can get a 240GT 512mbDDR5 at $80, and a 240GT 1gbDDR3 at $70. I figured for the money that those were some great deals that may allow me to throw an extra 2gb of memory in later...

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a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2010 2:47:32 AM

Ahh... the 300w PSU is your real limiting factor here. It would be wise to upgrade it, but if you dont want to:

The GT 240 and 5670 would be your best choices to run on a 300w psu safely. I would lean toward the 5670.

Example system power use: (for relative comparison only)



A good choice: $89 free shipping. (or you can get the $86 on and pay $5.99 shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 22, 2010 3:01:03 AM

The 5670 is $90, while the 240 DDR5 is $80 and the 240 DDR3 is $70

My main concern at this point is memory, and the DDR3 vs DDR5 thing.

My thinking is that my slower PC may bottleneck any performance gains that I would see from a slightly more expensive DDR5 card... And at the same time I am also thinking that my limited on board memory (2GB DDR2 533) would be better supported by a gfx card with 1GB as opposed to 512mb... But then again, I dont know what I am talking about or looking for, so this is just random speculation...

I want to keep this video card under $100, and will probably throw another $30-$40 in it for a memory boost further down the line. Beyond that, I am just trying to keep this PC holding on for a bit more untill I spring for a new PC build all together. This isnt something I plan on carrying into the DX11 era...
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a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2010 3:01:11 AM

Hmm.. I think this graphics card upgrade should be the last one to your computer. It will give you a good boost for gaming, but after that it may be time to start saving for a new one...

If you are using windows XP 2gb of ram is enough (if its vista or 7 the ram might help) but I think your processor is actually the weak point in your system.
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February 22, 2010 3:07:30 AM

So will my computer just bottleneck a card like the 5670 or the 240 DDR5? Should I save the money with a 240 DDR3? Or will I like the gains of the other cards enough to justify the upgrade?

And yes, I am already saving for my next PC, but with a slew of new funs games coming out, I figured I would take $100 or less and throw a card in what I have going. (I have been out of gaming for a while mind you. I have a x1550 256mb DDR2 lol)
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a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2010 3:58:15 AM

Hey, (Sorry we keep posting at the same time and overlapping)

There is wide disagreement on toms as to what exactly quantifies a bottleneck, as you can see in the below threads. Even if your processor slows the card down some--having a good card will help with performance a lot. Overclocking your processor to a higher speed may help negate that.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/246128-33-would-athlo...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/247459-33-figure-limi...

Overall, I think you are concentrating too much on ram-- ram on graphics cards doesn't matter as much as the cards overall performance benchmarks. The only compatibility that really matters is that it has a PCIe x 16 slot -- past that only the cards performance benchmark matters.

Tom's does a monthly best cards for the money article that might help you. the last page is an overall graphic hierarchy chart to let you compare any card. This will give you an idea how your current card compares. Even a low end card is a big upgrade for you.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-graphic...

Right now newegg has a great deal on a $62 4670 512mb that would still be a great upgrade from your current card. It would be better than the Gt 240 ddr3.
Toms rates the 4670 as "Good 1680x1050 performance in most games."

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

Otherwise I think the ddr5 GT 240 is a good choice.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 22, 2010 4:17:10 AM

Yeah, that HD4670 is a nice deal and definitely your best buy for a 300w PSU at the moment. That said I wouldn't really expect "good" performance if your monitor is 1650x1080 but it should be pretty good for up to 1280x1024.
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February 22, 2010 10:28:34 PM

Thanks for all the help guys...

I wound up finding a HD 4670 1GB (same price as 512mb) and had enough money to add another GB of memory to my rig as well. I just installed Windows 7, so I figure these will be some big improvements over what I am running now...
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a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2010 11:12:51 PM

Nice :-) Yea-- that ram will really help for windows 7 performance.
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February 23, 2010 12:04:25 AM

Best answer selected by jrgreed.
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