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Can P4 handle DDR3?

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April 11, 2011 6:58:18 AM

Hello there,
I was wondering if a Pentium 4 processor with FSB800 can work on a motherboards that pretends to support DDR3 @800MHz and if there will be a significant notice in performance relative to using a motherboard with DDR1 @ 400MHz.

More about : handle ddr3

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April 11, 2011 7:12:02 AM

The P4 will easily handle the DDR3, but any speeds over 667MHz~800MHz will be overkill. The performance difference from 333MHz~400MHz to 800MHz though will be appreciated in games, wil quicker load times and overall better PC performance detectable.

It really depends on the motherboard, but it comes as logical that a slow CPU with fast RAM won't help your PC along at all, specially if the CPU has an 800MHz FSB and the RAM runs at anything over 667MHz~800MHz.

Then you should know that DDR1-333/400 is really old. You'd probably have your motherboard as the limiting factor instead of your CPU/RAM here, so if you are still using DDR-333/400... Respect for your patience... :D 
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April 11, 2011 7:14:34 AM

The P4 has no memory controller in it. I suppose you could put a socket 775 P4 into a 790i motherboard that supports DDR3, but it won't make the system any faster. You would be so constrained by your P4 that the extra memory clock cycles would be wasted.
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April 11, 2011 7:32:39 AM

To be more precise:
my old system has a P4 Prescott 541 on a Intel Grand County D101GGC motherboard witch support only DDR1 400.
i intend to upgrade to a MSI G41M-P23 motherboard witch can support DDR3 800 and dual channel controller and still use the P4 for now.
cand it work? and say with at least 20-30% performance boost?
or the faster buss speed will just fry the CPU witch also has and old dusty stock cooler ?
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April 11, 2011 7:35:56 AM

Yes, if there is a mobo with a northbridge which communicates between the P4 cpu and DDR3 RAM, then it will work. But the cpu is a major bottleneck and you see no performance gain using DDR3 with P4. Why do you ask this question? Buying a current generation mobo, cpu and RAM and build a new system with much greater performance is cheaper. But if you mush, here it is a mobo which supports DDR3 and P4

G41 board with 775 P4 and DDR3 is common but for 478 P4 it is rare

http://itzr2010.en.made-in-china.com/product/tbVQCKdYfX...

Also make sure that the board support Pentium 4, not to be confused with the later Pentium revival in the C2D generation.,
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April 11, 2011 7:39:42 AM

Ok scratch that 478 bit, I was searching for a 478 P4 board with DDR3 and did not refresh and missed that bit about you have a 775 P4.
April 11, 2011 7:43:07 AM

Yes , the socket is LGA775 ... but i just realised that i might have trouble getting DDR3 800 memory modules...
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April 11, 2011 7:44:55 AM

Why? DDR3 RAM is everywhere.
April 11, 2011 7:47:51 AM

So it doesn't need to be exactly DDR3 @800MHz...i could be DRR3 @1066,1333 or 1600?
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April 11, 2011 7:58:25 AM

The RAM just underclock and usually works. But if you absolutely want compatibility, then get some 800 RAM. What country are you in?
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April 11, 2011 11:12:53 AM

Switching the motherboard will not increase speed. As I said, the extra clock speeds found in DDR3 will be wasted by the slow P4. You will probably see slower speeds due to increased latency in the DDR3 ram. Any time you have a P4, and DDR1 you are looking at a complete system upgrade. Buy a mobo and some DDR2 or DDR3 ram if the board supports it and continue to use your P4. You won't get a speed increase until you get a C2D however.
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April 11, 2011 12:01:58 PM

Seconding 4745454b, you will see NO performance increase from upgrading only the motherboard and RAM.
Better to save your current upgrade budget for a modern CPU, Motherboard and RAM upgrade.
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April 11, 2011 12:12:10 PM

dyngoman, I agree 100% to 4745454b 's last post. A rebuild is much better choice. A lot of people don't want to change computer because of the hassle of reinstallation involve, but you are changing a mobo so a fresh reinstall is needed anyway. You need to buy RAM and mobo for what you plan for. For a rebuild you need one more component, the cpu. But it is better for you to get a more modern mobo which can support future cpu upgrade. You don't have to buy the best cpu there is yet. If you can manage with a P4, the least powerful snadybridge i3 will do it better. Where as if you get the G41 board, that means the best processor you can upgrade to is a C2D which is already 2 gen old (now we have 2nd gen of i series). I just hope to talk you out of buying the G41 board instead of a full system upgrade.
If you think your old system going to waste, well the truth is it doesn't have to be. Your current setup is not totally useless. You can throw in a newer gpu to offload HD x264, a bluray player, large HDD, TV tuner, wireless keyboard and mouse, a 3D monitor and some extra ram (3-4gig) and you got yourself a very good backup/HTPC (bluray and 3D monitor are optional, I didn't put it in my P4 HTPC)
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April 11, 2011 1:06:46 PM

Thing is, whilst P4 isn't the most powerful CPU on the market anymore, and whilst it's components are all old and outdated, it's still PERFECTLY capable to use for a media centre. Video and audio processing takes very little resources, and with a half-decent graphics card you'll be able to create excellent visuals on a nice TV/projector.

So, I'm recommending exactly what Pyree said. Having a PC for a media centre instead of a media controller is so much more awesome as you have all the control in the world you'd want, and it's probably more fun to use as well.

Hope I'm not just copy-pasting with different words LOL :) 
April 11, 2011 5:42:36 PM

Thank you for the advices. So.. guess I will have to change this lasy old P4 after all. One last question : if I choose to replace it with a cheep DualCore 6700 on the MSI G41M-P23 motherboard , will it behave good with the DDR3 RAM?
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April 11, 2011 6:57:42 PM

DDR2 or DDR3, shouldn't matter. Get whichever is cheaper. You might want to get the DDR3 if you will be upgrading to a newer platform in the next year or two. DDR3 should still be used then.
!