768 MB PC133 - CL3 vs. 512MB PC133 CL2

I've got 3 x 256MB sticks of pc133 ram here.. I've been using 512 (2x256)@ 133 MHz in CAS 2 with no problems. One stick is a Kingston ValueRAM series (samsung chips), and the other is identified as a Xerox brand (can't tell what brand of chips) by AIDA32. I'm able to run these 2 sticks in CAS 2 without trouble.

Today, a friend had a spare stick of 256 that he gave me.. its a Kingston, just like the one I'm currently using. When I put all 3 sticks in I can't load windows in CAS 2 unless I go down to PC100. Understandable.

I tested different configurations and rearranged the sticks switching up frequencies and CAS latencies in Sandra to try to find the best score. The best two scores were:

Kingston 256MB + Xerox 256MB - PC133 - CL2 = 1013/1011
Kingston 256MB + Kingston 256MB + Xerox 256MB - PC133 - CL3 = 1010/1007

So, my question is, will I get more performance from the extra 256MB, or from the faster timings, which gave me a 0003/0004 boost in sandra. I mainly use this machine for games - BF1942 and CounterStrike - and surfing the web. Occasionally I use Photoshop and Winrar (putting together binaries from usenet), but not too often.

**edit** btw, I'm using Windows 2000, and my mobo is a GA-7ZX VIA KT133 chipset.**

Thanks for any tips/help.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by LesPaul on 05/11/03 05:05 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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  1. OK, try setting the RAM timings to the fastest they will go. I have the options of SDRAM 8/10NS, NORMAL, FAST, TURBO.

    Yes I know CL2 and CL3, those are seperate settings. You will find if you go more agressive with your RAM timings, you get big performance gains. I gained 400 3DMark points by making my timings more agressive in CL3.

    If you can get max speed out of your CL2 setup, absolutely go with it, if not, maybe the CL3 ram will be fine.

    My setup:
    KT7E (KT133E)
    256MB Infineon CL2 133, 256MB Infineon CL3 133, 256MB Samsung CL3 133

    RAM Speed: 146 MHz
    RAM Timings: CL3 2-2-2
    SiSoft Rating: 1121/1110

    Water cooling is for the weak. Get liquid nitrogen.
  2. I wish my BIOS had the extra timings settings like yours, but unfortunately, even after a bios flash, the only memory performance options available are the frequency and the CAS latency. Before I updated my BIOS, my choice of CAS was limited to 3 or auto. With the update I was finally able to set it to CAS 2.
    Well, I guess I have some settings for the drive strengths.. not really sure what these do, my manual doesn't explain anything.

    * = default
    Memory data drive: 6 mA or 8 mA*
    SDRAM Command drive: 16 mA or 24 mA*
    Memory Address drive: 16 mA or 24 mA*
    CAS# drive: 8 mA or 12 mA*
    RAS# drive: 16 mA or 24 mA*

    I don't know if these are some kind of equivalent to what you were referring to, but I've never seen RAM settings measured in miliamps before.
  3. Nor have I, but I wonder if increasing those values will let you run that other chip as CL2, because those driving forces are what run the memory chip. If you have time and the motivation, I'd mess around with it a little, see if you can get something out of it.

    Water cooling is for the weak. Get liquid nitrogen.
  4. Or try upping the memory voltage to 3.6v (probably a jumper named "VIO" on the motherboard.

    *Dual PIII-800 @900 i440BX and Tualeron 1.2 @1.74 i815*
  5. JCLW: I wish I could adjust my voltages, but I can't do it from BIOS, nor have I found any jumpers listed in the manual or looking around the board that allows me to adjust them.

    Skli: All of the defaults are set to the highest values. I've messed around with them a little, but didn't notice any changes.
  6. Usually the lower latency will be more effective than the extra RAM above 512MB.

    <font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
  7. I ended up going with 512 in CL2. BF1942 kept crashing on me with 768 in, no matter what I tried. Ran perfectly fine in Sandra and Prime95. Not sure what was making BF crash, but it stopped soon as I pulled that extra stick. Soon as I find a new job I'm gonna upgrade my mobo/cpu/memory anyways (bout time after 3 years:P), so it won't even matter in a month or so :)
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