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Which is better, 2.5 GB of DDR 400 or 2.75 GB of DDR 333?

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a b B Homebuilt system
May 8, 2012 2:44:24 PM

My friend has an old socket 939 system (Athlon X2 4400+) with windows XP, and I have some an old 256 MB stick of DDR 333 RAM that I was thinking of putting in there. Would the extra 256 mb be worth the speed decrease? I kinda think not, but I thought I'd see what you all thought. Thanks!

Augray

More about : ddr 400 ddr 333

May 8, 2012 3:31:05 PM

No. 256MB of ram is too low to do anything. Going to 2.5GB of ram to 2.75GB of ram will not do much.

If he wants more performance, he needs a new platform.

FinneousPJ was correct though, why try polishing a turd, if it's still going to be a turd?
May 8, 2012 3:37:50 PM

It would only matter if he was using the full 2.5GB with whatever he was doing.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 8, 2012 3:48:32 PM
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Quote:
You know what they say about polishing a turd... no.

LOL, so true! so true!

@OP
the largest thing the hurts performance (on any machine, but especially older ones), is the movement between system memory (which is RAM, and relatively fast), and virtural memory (which exists on your HDD, and is extremely slow). If an extra 256MB of ram keeps you from tapping into virtural memory then it would be worth the relatively minor speed decrease from 400 to 333, but in all reality 256MB is very small these days.
To gain better performance try the following:
1) msconfig->startup items-> deselect anything that you do not need (everything except for windows, antivirus, and driver related software)
2) use a lightweight antivirus such as MS Security Essentials
3) Remove programs and files that you never use, and defragment the HDD once a month to keep your files to the edge of the platter, and more sequential reads instead of random IO (not an issue for win7 which has an auto defrag)
4) Run a good registry checker such as the one in CCleaner
5) Reformat and reinstall the OS (this should be done every year or two on WinXP anyways for best performance)
6) Upgrade to 4GB of ram (winXP will only see ~3.5GB of it though)
7) Upgrade to an SSD with Win7, it can really release the processor of any CPU bottlenecks
8) Upgrade the whole platform; Sometimes a system is just too old to save, and even a new entry level machine($3-500) would be a huge step up.

Try the first 5 things first as they are free and can help a lot depending on how well/poorly maintained the system is, but if that does not do the trick then it is time to invest in a bit of new hardware.
Hope it helps!
May 8, 2012 3:56:31 PM

Put the two and a half gigs of ddr 400 and do what CaedenV said
a b B Homebuilt system
May 8, 2012 4:15:27 PM

Best answer selected by Augray37.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 8, 2012 4:36:11 PM

CaedenV said:
LOL, so true! so true!

@OP
the largest thing the hurts performance (on any machine, but especially older ones), is the movement between system memory (which is RAM, and relatively fast), and virtural memory (which exists on your HDD, and is extremely slow). If an extra 256MB of ram keeps you from tapping into virtural memory then it would be worth the relatively minor speed decrease from 400 to 333, but in all reality 256MB is very small these days.
To gain better performance try the following:
1) msconfig->startup items-> deselect anything that you do not need (everything except for windows, antivirus, and driver related software)
2) use a lightweight antivirus such as MS Security Essentials
3) Remove programs and files that you never use, and defragment the HDD once a month to keep your files to the edge of the platter, and more sequential reads instead of random IO (not an issue for win7 which has an auto defrag)
4) Run a good registry checker such as the one in CCleaner
5) Reformat and reinstall the OS (this should be done every year or two on WinXP anyways for best performance)
6) Upgrade to 4GB of ram (winXP will only see ~3.5GB of it though)
7) Upgrade to an SSD with Win7, it can really release the processor of any CPU bottlenecks
8) Upgrade the whole platform; Sometimes a system is just too old to save, and even a new entry level machine($3-500) would be a huge step up.

Try the first 5 things first as they are free and can help a lot depending on how well/poorly maintained the system is, but if that does not do the trick then it is time to invest in a bit of new hardware.
Hope it helps!


Thanks for the detailed answer dude! it's an interesting situation we're in. We're kinda poor and we're just trying to make the best of what we have before he moves away, but he's got some good parts in there. The motherboard was a beast in its day, the CPU is at least a dual core that OC's well and 2MB of L2, plus its got a GT 430, two SATA II HDDs and a 64 GB SSD boot drive, 200mm side fan, all for $180. Upgrading the RAM and OS would be awfully expensive and kinda pointless for this system, I realize that, so we're just trying to make the most of it. I put AVG on there already, as well as ccleaner, etc. And it's not a turd by the way, it may score low in the benchmarks, but it'd knock the snot out of most laptops even today.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 9, 2012 1:16:20 AM

Augray37 said:
Thanks for the detailed answer dude! it's an interesting situation we're in. We're kinda poor and we're just trying to make the best of what we have before he moves away, but he's got some good parts in there. The motherboard was a beast in its day, the CPU is at least a dual core that OC's well and 2MB of L2, plus its got a GT 430, two SATA II HDDs and a 64 GB SSD boot drive, 200mm side fan, all for $180. Upgrading the RAM and OS would be awfully expensive and kinda pointless for this system, I realize that, so we're just trying to make the most of it. I put AVG on there already, as well as ccleaner, etc. And it's not a turd by the way, it may score low in the benchmarks, but it'd knock the snot out of most laptops even today.

Turd is a bit of an exaggeration, but you are still talking about a processor that came out in 2005 (and one of the last truly good CPUs they made), and running on DDR 1. There are a lot of improvements that can be made (and already have been done; like the SSD, extra drives, big quiet fans, and a 1/2 decent GPU), but when it comes down to it, the current gen Atom CPUs are as fast as this processor (or perhaps faster on some workloads). I'm not saying it is awful (It would kick the but of my netbooks, and many computers I work with at schools), but you have got to be kidding yourself to say that the CPU is up to snuff for today's day-to-day workloads. Upgrading the mobo/cpu/ram to a modern i3 system, while keeping the rest would be a mind-blowing experience, but for $180 I think you got yourself a good deal, and a good base to work from.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 9, 2012 6:21:14 PM

CaedenV said:
Turd is a bit of an exaggeration, but you are still talking about a processor that came out in 2005 (and one of the last truly good CPUs they made), and running on DDR 1. There are a lot of improvements that can be made (and already have been done; like the SSD, extra drives, big quiet fans, and a 1/2 decent GPU), but when it comes down to it, the current gen Atom CPUs are as fast as this processor (or perhaps faster on some workloads). I'm not saying it is awful (It would kick the but of my netbooks, and many computers I work with at schools), but you have got to be kidding yourself to say that the CPU is up to snuff for today's day-to-day workloads. Upgrading the mobo/cpu/ram to a modern i3 system, while keeping the rest would be a mind-blowing experience, but for $180 I think you got yourself a good deal, and a good base to work from.


Don't get me wrong, I know its incredibly old, but I still think the SSD and GPU take enough load off the CPU to make the system very capable, more so than an Atom PC anyway. In actual processing speed, it might be a small gap, but most net books and laptops don't come with an SSD or a discrete graphics (not for less than 700 bones at least). I could be completely wrong, but let's put it this way...it's handled everything I've thrown at it without slowing down.
!