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DDR2 400MHz vs DDR2 800MHz vs DDR3 1600MHz?

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July 29, 2011 9:05:45 PM

Hello again. I've been wondering lately, is there really an increase in speed (for gaming) with DDR3 memory as opposed to DDR2?

My current RAM is DDR2 @ 400MHz. I suppose I could upgrade that to 800, but would it be worth it? And my motherboard does not support DDR3, so is it really worth it to buy a new mobo and upgrade to DDR3?

I mostly play games, and I don't care about memory elsewhere.
So would there be any noticeable FPS increase if I were to upgrade to DDR3?

I mostly play games like…Battlefield 2, BF: Bad Company 2, Crysis, Far Cry 2, etc…
Basically, do RAM speeds do anything for gaming?

Right now I have 4GBs of DDR2 RAM @ 400MHz. I am upgrading that to 6GBs later this month.

My specs:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 2.83GHz
ATI Radeon 4850 (Also upgrading this to a 6850 later this month)
4GBs DDR2 400MHz
PSU 800W
Windows Vista

etc…

Anyway, so assume I had an ATI Radeon 6850 and 6GBs of DDR2 RAM and the CPU above. Would upgrading that RAM to DDR3 have any impact on gaming? Or is DDR2 fine. As much as I know about hardware, I never have looked into memory…
Thanks, and sorry if I made this post unnecessarily long.
a c 347 } Memory
July 29, 2011 9:30:23 PM

There aren't many 'good' comparisons of DDR2 vs DDR3 -> http://www.anandtech.com/show/2232/7 the differences are primary due to both your GPU and CPU. If you use a high-end GPU on LGA 775 the 'wall' aka bottleneck is primarily the CPU.

You'd be wasting money on your RAM, and only a FEW MOBO's have both DDR2 & DDR3 DIMM slots - so there's probably no way to use DDR3. If you upgrade the MOBO and RAM then you might as well start from scratch and build an LGA 1155 system.
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a c 80 } Memory
July 29, 2011 10:24:22 PM

Quote:
Right now I have 4GBs of DDR2 RAM @ 400MHz.
You probably meant 800MHz since the clock speed of double data rate (DDR) memory has to be multiplied by 2.
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a c 347 } Memory
July 29, 2011 10:29:59 PM

^+1 maybe.

If you're looking at CPU-z http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html Memory tab and are seeing DRAM Frequency = 400 MHz then indeed it's actually running at 800 MHz.

Example DRAM Frequency = 533 MHz I/O bus clock (MHz) x2 = 1066 Data rate (MT/s).
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a b } Memory
July 30, 2011 12:50:22 AM

I have never heard of DDR2-400, likely you have DDR2-800.
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a c 347 } Memory
July 30, 2011 1:07:46 AM

^Google PC2-3200 ; I'm not the Psychic Network.
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July 31, 2011 6:15:17 AM

Oh, my bad. I never can get memory info right. :p  CPU-Z does say the DRAM frequency is 400MHz so I guess it is 800. Thanks for the replies! So I guess it really wouldn't make a difference if I upgraded to DDR3 (1600MHz)?
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a c 80 } Memory
July 31, 2011 1:50:59 PM

Performance would improve by 2-4% at most.
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a c 347 } Memory
July 31, 2011 2:50:31 PM

Look at my first post "the differences are primary due to both your GPU and CPU."

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September 20, 2012 12:37:31 AM

CaptainIcy said:
Oh, my bad. I never can get memory info right. :p  CPU-Z does say the DRAM frequency is 400MHz so I guess it is 800. Thanks for the replies! So I guess it really wouldn't make a difference if I upgraded to DDR3 (1600MHz)?

it's a DOUBLE data rate (DDR2)... which means if it's 533MHz it means it's running on 1066MHz & on & on... :) 
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