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Phenom II 955 DDR2 800 1:1 Newbie Question.

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October 25, 2010 8:02:19 AM

Hello all you Gurus out there, :D 

I am still trying to understand the math...

I am building my first system and I plan to use these components:

Phenom II 955 BE (running at stock 3.2 GHz, OC if I really need to)

4 Gigs of Corsair XMS2 Xtreme DDR2 800 (5-4-4-12)

XFX Radeon HD 5850

All on an ASUS M4A77D -- AMD 770 Chipset MoBo.

My question is...

What is the easiest way of making the Phenom II and the DDR2 800 1:1 while maximizing the DDR2 800?
I have searched long and far on forums for the answer and it seems that most is opinion and no difinitive answer.

From what I have found so far, the Phenom II 955 has a FSB speed of 200 MHz with a multiplier of 16. The DDR2 800, if I am right, is at 400 MHz. This begs so many questions.

Here's where all you Gurus can help me out. :ange: 

It looks to me that the stock ratio of these 2 would be 1:2 (CPU:MEM).
If this is right, why would people want ddr3 if the ddr2 isn't even used to its full potential? To overclock would be my answer, but like I said, I am confused and in need of your help.

Also I understand that DDR3 is comperable in price these days to DDR2. I do not plan on upgrading this system, nor do I care if it is future proof. I just want the bare minimum to make the Phenom II 955 run 1:1 with memory (DDR2 preferably but DDR3 if for some reason it works better to achieve the 1:1 ratio). I have also read that it will run 1:1 by dialing down the memory, this is not what I want. I want to get full use of the DDR2 800, and I am willing to OC the CPU to achieve this, but it is not my first choice.

I plan on using this PC for 2 things and 2 things only:
WoW Cataclysm (Arenas and 40v40 PvP)
Propellerhead Reason/Record/Recycle (Pro Tools also if I need it).

Please, if you can break this down to lamens terms for me, you will be my new hero. BTW, when using the term FSB, please distinguish which FSB you are referring to (Frequency, Clockspeed, and which component the FSB is attached to). :sarcastic: 

Thank you,
Confused :pt1cable: 

More about : phenom 955 ddr2 800 newbie question

a b à CPUs
October 25, 2010 8:47:54 AM

The DDR2 800 Has a Memory Clock of 200MHz I/O Bus Clock of 400MHz
The Phenom is 3.2GHz and a multiplier of 16 which is when you divide 3200/16
Equals 200
So the Memory Clock on the Processor and the RAM is equal :) 
The Bus Clock on the RAM is For Dual Data Rate.... that is again Divided by 2 making it come to 200MHz per Data Stream.....
So actually looking at the basic Architecture everything works at 200MHz.
OC'ing it will lead to higher Clocks and Lower Latencies but to stabilize it a Minimum Latency threshold is required so as to not drop bits in the stream, thereby not corrupting the program and leading to BSODs :) 
So to answer your question , you will be Having a completely perfect balance with the above combo provided your Mobo does not cause a bottleneck (Yours doesn't) for the flow of data in a smooth way.

DDR3 has increased the Size of Data that A RAM can handle per second (Bandwidth) thus it has increased the overall HT capacity to 6.4GBps from 3.2 for DDR2 and 1.6 for DDR.
This just implies that the transfer pipelines between different components on the Mobo has become bigger and faster. Thus is your Processor supports 6.4GBps of data throughput and you have DDR on the board you'll get a bottleneck there.

It's all like a big watercycle :)  the better the pipes and the connectors and more powerful a pump is going to get more water pushed around the cycle faster and efficiently thereby allowing more water t be accumulated at the reservoir and more distributed to the houses on the hills :) 
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October 25, 2010 9:24:07 AM

Thanks for the quick response. :D 

So if I read you correctly, the Phenom II 955 BE HT would only be running at half of it's available Bandwidth with the DDR2 800 and the 770 Chipset Mobo?

So the DDR3 would push the Phenom to its full Bandwidth given a fast enough MoBo?

Another thing I read from a previous forum was that the i7 was the only new Processor that could use the DDR3 1333 and higher to its full potential, is this correct?

Given the same Processor, could you give me an example of a DDR3 build that would maximize both the Phenom II 955 and 4 Gigs of DDR3 (1333 or whichever works the best).

This is a big deal to me, and thanks for breaking it down so I can understand. :ange: 

ConfusedOne
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a b à CPUs
October 25, 2010 9:37:52 AM

No, the 770 Chipset offers a HT of 2.6GHz Bidirectional..... that's pretty close to the DDR2 Capacity but on the lowerside. So the system actually is not going to utilize the processor or the RAM to the fullest. But the mem controller will balance the whole thing for you.

Yes the DDR3 will be able to make maximum use of the Phenom given a faster mobo.

The Core i's processors are the ones that make full use of TriChannel Memory whereas AMD sticks to Dual Channel thus , you can say that the i7 puts DDR3 to it's fullest use..... :) 

For the AMD build, I'm using a MSI790FX-GD70 with a Phenom IIX4 965BE and DDR3 1600...... :)  yes, it is maximum of everything being used without any heating up of any components...
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a c 124 à CPUs
October 25, 2010 10:28:43 AM

Quote:
The DDR2 800, if I am right, is at 400 MHz.


See #5 below.


1) My understanding is as long as your HT link speed exceeds that of your RAMs you are good-to-go. Think of the HT link as a conduit or *pipe* which connects the memory controller to the DIMM bank. As long as you have enough 'volume' in the pipe size you are fine;

2) The integrated memory controller (IMC) does not operate at the CPU clock speed. In your case the IMC is running 2000MHz, or 10x200MHz (A few of the original Phenoms run at 1800MHz).

3) As a general rule of thumb, memory operating in *dual-channel* mode is on average 5% faster than operation in single-channel. We can assume that triple-channel offers a similar increase, but from the benchies I've seen (they are out there if you look for them) there is little practical impact in overall system performance on the desktop from moving from dual-channel to triple-channel;

4) As above, the same rationale applies to DDR2--->DDR3. In your specific case, with DDR2 800MHz running 5-4-4-12 1T you ain't leaving much on the table compared to DDR3 at higher speed and slower timings. And as above in (3) will not effect performance in a very limited number of desktop applications;


edit: May as well keep going .... :) 


5) With AMD your RAMs are *double-pumped*. When CPUz reports your speed as 400MHz simply *x2*. 533MHzx2 equals 1066MHz - 667MHzx2 equals 1333MHz ....

6) The clock is 200MHz. The RAMs simply function off this clock, too, as a function of the memory ratio in your BIOS. As an example, your DDR2 800MHz may have a stock setting of 400MHz, 4:1, etc., in the BIOS. If you wish to OC *old school* and keep your RAMs at spec simply raise the clock and drop the memory ratio one notch ...

Stock: 200MHz clock at 4:1 divider = 800MHz RAMs speed
20% OC: 240MHz clock at 3.33:1 divider = 800MHz RAMS speed

7) Memory bandwidth and latency may be improved by increasing the IMC speed. For each 10% the IMC speed is increased, bandwidth is increased 3-4% and latency is reduced 3-4%. Moving from stock 2000MHz to 2400MHz is essentially a slam-dunk. 26-2700MHz is not uncommon, and 'enthusiasts' are now pushing beyond 3000MHz.


Do I need to keep rambling? I don't think you are confused at all. If you want to start tweakin' on that suckah just say the word ... :D 

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October 25, 2010 10:30:52 AM

OK, you're getting me closer to the answer I want. :D 

However there are still a couple things I need cleared up.

I took some time to look up the component specs you gave and compared them to the ones I posted to see the difference.

In your AMD build:
the Phenom II 965 BE looks to still be at 200 MHz times 17 (instead of the 955's 16 multiplier) stock.

The MoBo AM3 still says the HT is also 2.6 GHz according to iBuyPower, however I noticed that Northbridge was 790 compared to my 770, is that where is the extra bandwidth is comming from (since the 770 also is at 2.6)? Also it is CrossFire, is there a MoBo that is set up for 1 GPU that is just as fast?

Please break down the math for the DDR3 1600, as easy as I think it should be, I can't find much info for it at the moment.

I trust you know your math, I still can't fully understand how the build you gave me maximizes the system components (I believe you are correct, but I still lack the ability to calculate this for myself).

The AMD system you posted looks nice and not too much more expensive than what I had, if there is a MoBo that is just as fast as the one you posted but not CrossFire, it would be perfect.

Unfortunately this pushes me to the edge of my budget, which is why I was considering the DDR2 to begin with. :na: 

So if you could break the math down for your AMD system, it will help me to fully understand how you got to that conclusion.

ConfusedOne :pt1cable: 
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October 25, 2010 10:36:35 AM

Thank You for the reply WiseCracker. :D 


So if I was to stick to the DDR2 800 and the 770 AM2, I should downgrade the processor right?

If so, down to what, AMD is my pref.

LessConfusedOne :pt1cable: 
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a b à CPUs
October 25, 2010 10:59:48 AM

You will cause brain-fry trying to work all this out... There is no need to "match" CPU to RAM, you will not get any noticeable performance benefit. We're talking about operations that happen at the microsecond level here.
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October 25, 2010 11:15:47 AM

I see your point Herr_Koos. :D 

I guess there is something I should clarify:

The reason I'm trying to get a grip on this is because, I am trying to be as cost effective as possible.

I don't want a component that is too overpowered than the rest of the system and not able to work to its max.

I realize that any of these components will work if put together, but I hate the idea of a mix and match system.

If you could lead me to a good resource, I can fry my brain without having to involve you Gurus. ;) 
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a c 124 à CPUs
October 25, 2010 11:30:22 AM

ConfusedOne said:
I see your point Herr_Koos. :D 

I guess there is something I should clarify:

The reason I'm trying to get a grip on this is because, I am trying to be as cost effective as possible.

I don't want a component that is too overpowered than the rest of the system and not able to work to its max.

I realize that any of these components will work if put together, but I hate the idea of a mix and match system.

If you could lead me to a good resource, I can fry my brain without having to involve you Gurus. ;) 



Herr_Koos is correct in that you are really suffering from **Paralysis from Analysis**.

If you intend to transcode video snag a Phenom or Athlon quad. If you want to game, snag a Phenom x2 555BE or Athlon x3.

Does that help?


(sorry ... I'm waiting for the caffeine to kick in ... :lol:  )



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October 25, 2010 11:41:30 AM

Thanks for the Edit Wisecracker. :D 

It was very helpful.

Since this will be my first build, I probably will do a lot of guessing and checking. And I look forward to it.

Thank you to all who have answered me thus far.

I will be ordering this baby soon enough.

Now to decide if I want to splurge or save a bundle.

Going back and rereading all of these threads in context cleared up earlier misunderstandings.

Like tons of people out there I am mind boggled with all the choices, and am on a mission to figure this out for myself for future builds.

ConfusedOne :pt1cable: 

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October 25, 2010 11:48:37 AM

The Phenom II 555 BE actually was my first choice after finding out that it was simply a quad core with 2 core locked still with the L3 cache of the bigger brothers.

Since the only game I care about is WoW, perhaps this is the way to go. Do you think it will be adequate a few years from now when WoW becomes more resource hungry?

One :pt1cable: 
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a c 124 à CPUs
October 25, 2010 12:17:15 PM

Okay ... let's step back a little

If you wish to be somewhat *forward-looking* and do not have any DDR2 in your possession, you should choose an AM3/DDR3 combination.

If you are not video transcoding, a fast dual- or triple-core CPU will work well for you. An Athlon quad will help with your video transcoding because of the additional core.

You should look at L3 cache as the cherry on top of your banana split. It's nice to have, makes things better, but in the big scheme of things only adds a little to the overall sugary goodness.

A faster hard drive trumps that cherry. And going with DDR3 allows you a future move to AM3+ with your CPU and RAMs --- which brings to the table a future upgrade to Bulldozer Zambezi when the cash flow permits.
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a b à CPUs
October 25, 2010 12:28:51 PM

Ok, My other config which I use to Play Games on and work most of the time, it's been on 24X7 for the Past Year now, is a Phenom II X2 555BE (Of Course this was later Added used to have a Athlon II X4 620 in it)
Been using my DDR2 800 on the board..... it's an Asus M3N-HT Deluxe Mempipe edition.....

Ok, now for your DDR3 1600 question,
The MemClock is again 200MHz The I/O Bus Clock is 800MHz and the Peak Transfers are at 12800MBps...:) 
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a b à CPUs
October 25, 2010 12:46:54 PM

ConfusedOne said:
The Phenom II 555 BE actually was my first choice after finding out that it was simply a quad core with 2 core locked still with the L3 cache of the bigger brothers.

Since the only game I care about is WoW, perhaps this is the way to go. Do you think it will be adequate a few years from now when WoW becomes more resource hungry?

One :pt1cable: 


My honest opinion is that the time is right to move on from dual-core CPU's on the desktop. Multi-core support will only improve going forward, so don't limit yourself by buying a dual-core now.
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October 25, 2010 6:06:56 PM

Thanks a bunch you guys!! :D 

I have a much better understanding than I did earlier today.

I like the idea of the Phenom II 965 BE and 4 Gigs DDR3 1600.

The XFX 5850 might be overkill for WoW, but it is sexy. :na: 

With the amount of effects processing I do with Pro Tools, I think I can put the quad core to good use.

Lastly, can you suggest a Mobo to handle these like the MSI 790FX-GD70 (Alyoshka mentioned) that is just as fast but not CrossFire.

P.S. Alyoshka, I noticed your twin 5750s in CrossFire. Given that your system is made to max your components, were the Sapphires all you needed, or would you upgrade them if you got the chance?

EnlightenedOne :pt1cable: 
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a b à CPUs
October 26, 2010 6:30:32 AM

The MSI 790FX-GD70 is (IS) Crossfire but not SLI capable.
I had bought the HD5750's a year ago don't feel the need to upgrade them for the time being.
But if I manage to get the dough by the end of the month I want to go for the 5970 or Ares...... but they are going to cost me a kidney and a car... :) 
So yes, I think I'd like to give those two cards a go...... but that's just me.....
You know there's a little something that hides in your personality, when you know you own one of the worlds fastest graphics cards:D 

Here's a list of the single PCIe Slot boards that have good specs.... but the Brands aren't the ones I'd opt for.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Here's a list of boards That I would go for Asus & MSI I trust as being worth the money and more..... :) 
Asus
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
MSI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

My next buy will certainly be
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

And for you I'd suggest this board......
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 26, 2010 8:33:07 AM

Thanks for all of your help Alyoshka!! :D 

You Computer Gurus truely have an invaluable skill.

--> The mechanics of the future.<--

I plan on purchasing this in a few months around Christmas time. A little late for WoW, but they will need to patch that crap anyway before it becomes truely fun.

I agree, there's something about driving a 150 mph sports car slowly around town, and knowing that at any moment you can stomp on the gas. :na: 

Also, THANK YOU Wisecracker and Herr_Koos!! :bounce: 

It's nice to see good opinions in context. Tom's worked for me.

P.S. That is an Ugly Warhal pic I have decided. :ouch: 

One :pt1cable: 
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October 26, 2010 8:56:10 AM

Best answer selected by ConfusedOne.
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June 12, 2011 11:32:17 PM

alyoshka said:
The MSI 790FX-GD70 is (IS) Crossfire but not SLI capable.
I had bought the HD5750's a year ago don't feel the need to upgrade them for the time being.
But if I manage to get the dough by the end of the month I want to go for the 5970 or Ares...... but they are going to cost me a kidney and a car... :) 
So yes, I think I'd like to give those two cards a go...... but that's just me.....
You know there's a little something that hides in your personality, when you know you own one of the worlds fastest graphics cards:D 

Here's a list of the single PCIe Slot boards that have good specs.... but the Brands aren't the ones I'd opt for.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Here's a list of boards That I would go for Asus & MSI I trust as being worth the money and more..... :) 
Asus
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
MSI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

My next buy will certainly be
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

And for you I'd suggest this board......
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Hey there,

Less than a year ago I had a ton of questions about my first PC build that you helped me with greatly. I was the guy who was interested in understanding architecture so I could make a 1:1 PC so all of the components were used fully, with no bottleneck.

I just thought I'd hit you back to show you what I ended up with.

I built this PC last November with a budget of $1400.

Cooler Master HAF 922
MSI 890GXM-G65
Phenom II 965 BE
Sapphire 5850 Toxic
2 x 2GB Ripjaw 1600 7-8-7-24 (8-8-8-24 is as fast as it will run stable on my AMD system)
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 6.0 Gb/s
Gear Head DVD Burner
Cooler Master Silent Pro 600 Watt
Geminii S Heatsink
Acer S211 21.5" LED backlight LCD Monitor
Win 7 Home 64 bit OEM

Everything runs at stock clock until I have a reason to OC it.

This was my first build. I went from thinking of buying an Alienware, to discovering iBuyPower, to discovering Tom's Hardware, to discovering Newegg. Needless to say, I'm glad I abstained from impulsively buying a money pit from Dell, and doing some research.

To clarify, iBuyPower was a stepping stone, I didn't purchase anything through them. They simply led me to Tom's. I constructed this PC myself.

Thanks to your help, I built the PC that was right for me. :D 



One
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a c 124 à CPUs
June 13, 2011 10:58:20 AM

I think yah done good ... you gained the satisfaction of doing it yourself. and learned a great deal along the way. When you are up to some system tweaking check out the AMD forum, read through Ryan's over-clocking guide, and feel free to post any questions.

And without knowing, you are a genius in your own mind :lol: 

Your MicroStar 890GXM-G65 will support the next generation 32nm AMD Bulldozer when you feel your 965BE is holding you back.

Good call!



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a b à CPUs
June 13, 2011 10:59:16 AM

Great to see our advice being put to good use. :-)
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a b à CPUs
June 13, 2011 4:47:57 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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