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DDR2 vs DDR3 RAM

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December 6, 2010 9:11:16 PM

I'm planning on upgrading a semi old pc into a gaming rig and it is currently using ddr2 ram. I'm thinking I'd be better off just upgrading the ram into ddr2 2x2GB of 800 at cas:4 timings: 4-4-4-12 at 80$. Or should I buy a new cheap mobo at about 80$ or so and get ddr3 2x2GB of 1600 at cas:8 timings: 8-8-8-24 at 55$? The rest of the rig is capable enough to play about everything at high at least but I'm not sure if the ram will make a big difference or not. Thank you.

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December 6, 2010 10:33:44 PM
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Most people now a days go with DDR3 because it's not very expencive and more boards support it as well as the later CPUs and GPU setups etc. Regardless of this though, I have (kinda slow) 800MHz DDR2 RAM in an otherwise high performance rig with a six-core at 4.0GHz and two GTX 260s, and have no issues playing all the latest games.

There is a big difference however when it comes to things like rendering or converting video. That type of process works so much faster with say 1333MHz or 1600MHz DDR3 than on my DDR2 setup.

An example..
I encrypted a 500GB hard drive. I had an X3 CPU at the time, with 8GB of 800MHz DDR2 RAM. The encryption took 9 hours to complete.

A friend of mine also had a X3 CPU at similar speeds, and he only had 4GB of RAM, but his was 1333MHz DDR3 RAM. He also wanted to encrypt a 500GB hard drive but it only too him 4 hours.

So really, if you're after games and performance computing I would suggest getting the DDR3 RAM, but if you don't mind falling behind in a few aspects such as loading times and rendering etc - DDR2 is still perfectly good as long as you have enough of it to go around.

Hope this helps.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 6, 2010 10:47:50 PM

DDR3 for any new build. It's now less expensive than DDR2
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
December 6, 2010 11:19:00 PM

A lot of it depends on the CPU in the system. For instance, a Core2 CPU cannot effectively use the greater bandwidth of DDR3 memory. So if you have an old Intel system, it is really not worth the motherboard upgrade.

Better to save up and do a complete motherboard, CPU, RAM upgrade.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 6, 2010 11:22:55 PM

jsc: yah. thats an upgrade. not all new build.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 6, 2010 11:51:18 PM

Just get the DDR2 RAM or save your money for a new build. I wouldn't get a DDR3 Mobo with a core 2 duo. You'll run into problems.
December 7, 2010 4:46:13 AM

Best answer selected by BirdzThaWord.
December 7, 2010 4:48:04 AM

acer0169 said:
Most people now a days go with DDR3 because it's not very expencive and more boards support it as well as the later CPUs and GPU setups etc. Regardless of this though, I have (kinda slow) 800MHz DDR2 RAM in an otherwise high performance rig with a six-core at 4.0GHz and two GTX 260s, and have no issues playing all the latest games.

There is a big difference however when it comes to things like rendering or converting video. That type of process works so much faster with say 1333MHz or 1600MHz DDR3 than on my DDR2 setup.

An example..
I encrypted a 500GB hard drive. I had an X3 CPU at the time, with 8GB of 800MHz DDR2 RAM. The encryption took 9 hours to complete.

A friend of mine also had a X3 CPU at similar speeds, and he only had 4GB of RAM, but his was 1333MHz DDR3 RAM. He also wanted to encrypt a 500GB hard drive but it only too him 4 hours.

So really, if you're after games and performance computing I would suggest getting the DDR3 RAM, but if you don't mind falling behind in a few aspects such as loading times and rendering etc - DDR2 is still perfectly good as long as you have enough of it to go around.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for the info. I guess I'll go with the DDR3. It's not that much more anyways. For the other guys, I have a Q6600.
December 7, 2010 11:37:52 AM

Thanks for the BA, much appreciated!
April 29, 2011 2:07:14 AM

jsc said:
A lot of it depends on the CPU in the system. For instance, a Core2 CPU cannot effectively use the greater bandwidth of DDR3 memory. So if you have an old Intel system, it is really not worth the motherboard upgrade.

Better to save up and do a complete motherboard, CPU, RAM upgrade.



I don't know much about computers, so bare with me. I have a Lenovo Thinkpad T60, core duo, 1.8Ghz and 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 80GM hard drive, that i use just for work and browsing. I purchased a 2GB Ram and 320GB 7200rpm hard drive. Is this enough to make the computer faster? I don't know how to update motherboards, but I am open to learning. Should I just buy a new computer or can I upgrade to higher memory and DDR3?I would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks,
!