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PC3200 or PC2700 for Athlon XP 2000+

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November 8, 2002 6:19:50 AM

I just recently purchased an Athlon XP 2000+ and an Asus A7V8X motherboard. With all the info on PC3200 and PC2700, I've gotten a bit confused about which to use. Is 3200 really that much faster than 2700 to justify the price:p erformance? And will my CPU even be able to take advantage of the difference? Also, is the performance difference between CL 2.5 and CL 2.0 noticeable with these components at 256MB of RAM? Thanks for any replies.
November 9, 2002 9:01:54 AM

The CAS factor is worth considering. You can get a fair bit of performance from the faster CAS RAM.

PC3200 should be fine. I recommend 512MB though.



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November 9, 2002 9:08:37 AM

Not really. I couple of factors to consider:

A. The system bus speed is still 133Mhz, running ram faster than that offers little except better latencies. PC2700 gave only a small bonus, PC3200 will do even less considering point B.

B. Running ram at 400mhz typically means more lax mem timings, and its been shown that a system with PC3200 can actually be slower than one with PC2700. The KT-400 chipset also has something to do with it.

C. Due to memory timing factors, only 1 stick of PC3200 can be used. Certainly limits your upgrade options.

My advice, get 1 stick of 512Mb PC2700 ram and run it at maximum memory timings. 256mb is ok for small stuff... but not for any decent gaming or apps.

<b>LHGPooBaa + Evil Hamster Sidekick: Serving Toms Hardware community for 2 years as of the 11th of November</b>
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November 9, 2002 3:04:57 PM

I agree with the Grand PooBah. 1 stick of 2700 cas 2.0 Ram is best. Also see if you can get single sided RAM (all the chips on one side of the memory stick) as single sided RAM has been shown to co-exist with other RAM/picky motherboards better than double sided.

The only thing I disagree with is the amount of RAM. If you are using Win 98 then 256 megs of ram is certainly enough. I would recommend 512 for win 2000/XP only.

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November 9, 2002 3:24:57 PM

Asus states that I can use 2 banks of PC3200. It also says that the FSB and memory bus is 200/266/333 Mhz.

Would it really matter then if I just got PC2100 then? That runs at 266 Mhz (133 clock * 2)
November 11, 2002 12:19:00 AM

If you wanted to save money then yes, PC2100 is a very good alternative, giving you 95% of the performance of PC2700.

Just make sure you get decend brand name stuff that can run with hard memory timings for maximum performance.

One thing to consider for the future though.
Your motherboard undoubtedly supports the soon to arrive 333FSB athlon CPU's. Should you wish to upgrade to one of those sometime in the future your best bet would be to get PC2700 now, saving you from having to upgrade later.


<b>LHGPooBaa + Evil Hamster Sidekick: Serving Toms Hardware community for 2 years as of the 11th of November</b>
November 11, 2002 5:49:50 AM

I would also recomend the 2700 CAS 2. But if you were planning to get an nforce2 corsair does make 3200 cas 2 i belive. But i doubt the performence increase is worth the price.

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