Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

More RAM or Faster RAM?

Last response: in Memory
Share
March 7, 2004 5:16:40 PM

Hi,

I'm building a new system which I want to use for Video encoding and as a PVR.

The base config is going to be:
Pentium 4 2.8GHz,
Asus P4P800 Deluxe (Intel 865.PE Motherboard)
36GB Western Digital Raptor SATA - system drive
250GB Maxtor MaxlineII SATA - storage drive
Plextor 708A 8x DVD-/+RW & Pioneer 16x DVD-Rom
Asus GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB (SVideo-in)
Canopus ADVC1394 Analogue-Digital video converter/encoder

My question directed especially at those of you that have some experience in video encoding is: should I go for 1GB RAm, or should I get 512MB but get really fast memory? I can't afford both unfortunately.

On my current P3-800, running XP, I never use more than half of my 384MB RAM, so I'm unconvinced about the need of 1GB, even though people often talk about it as a minimum.

I'm only interested in the context of working with video anbd general usage. I never play games, so I'm not at all interested in fast 3D etc.

Any advice will be really appreciated. Thanks!

More about : ram faster ram

Related resources
a b } Memory
March 7, 2004 9:39:29 PM

What speed RAM are you considering. If you don't plan on overclocking PC3200 is fast enough, but since some PC3200 doesn't work that well in dual channel, PC3500 would be more advisable.

PC3700 would give you enough room to overclock that CPU quite a bit, should you choose.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
March 7, 2004 10:46:55 PM

If I get standard PC3200, I'll go for a Corsair ValueSelect 1GB (2x512) DDR400 CL2.5 Kit.
If I go for fast memory, I was thinking of either 512MB (2X256) Corsair DDR400 TWINX512-3200 CL2 or maybe even some TwinX DDR500 - PC4000 Pro.
I wasn't planning to overclock to start with, maybe keep it as an option to future proof my system a bit. Frankly IU don't think I have the time to get into it.

I'm particularly interested in what you said about PC3200 not working well in dual channel mode. I've never heard of that, do you know what the cause is? Is there some info on the subject somewhere I could look?

Thanks!
a b } Memory
March 7, 2004 11:39:52 PM

Most companies set their RAM at the fastest stable times for the most stable platforms, which doesn't leave any room for more aggressing chipsets such as the nForce2, 865, or 875 series, in dual channel. Dual channel mode puts more stress on the memory controller when it comes to timings, which can push these modules over the edge. I've see LOTS of RAM that wouldn't run properly using SPD values in dual channel mode at default voltage.

PC4000 "Pro" adds LED's, the standard version is the same chip without the indicator lights. Do you really need a row of LED's on top of your RAM?

OCZ has their PC3700 Gold Rev. 2 that has the benefit of being priced at PC3700 levels, but supporting higher speeds than it's rated for. So if you plan on overclocking, you will probably find the PC3700 Gold Rev. 2 will save you money, perhaps enough to buy more RAM.

If you're not overclocking you don't need "fast" memory. At stock CPU bus, your RAM will run PC3200 speed, no matter how fast it's rated. PC3500 is less likely to require you to use advanced settings to make it stable, since it's basically PC3200 that's already had it's timings slowed in SPD.

One company actually uses slower timings than their memory can run, in order to assure stability on any platform. That company is Crucial, you end up paying Cas2.5 prices for Cas2.5 memory that's rated as Cas3. Or you pay Cas2 prices for Cas2 memory that's rated as Cas2.5.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
March 8, 2004 12:25:04 AM

That sounds worrying, though I've heard that Corsair value PC3200 will run stably in Dual channel mode (and this is actually a kit of two matched modules), so if I understand you correctly, that may be perfectly workable.

You're right, I don't need the LED's on the chips - that particular model happens to be very well priced at the web retailer I'm using - in fact its cheaper than the DDR400 CL2, almost the same price as the Corsair value RAM (DDR400, CL2.5). That alone tempts me, since I assume I can sun them at conventional PC3200 timings or take them up to 'DDR500'. As for OCz, they're about 50% more expensive over here.

As for overclocking, I don't think I want to get into it right now, unless it's really important. If I understood you correctly, PC3200 will be OK - or did you mean I should go for the 3500?

Thanks for all the advice, I appreciate it.
a b } Memory
March 8, 2004 1:38:47 AM

I'd go with PC3500, since it's more likely to be stable at stock (PC3200) speed without any advanced configuration.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
March 8, 2004 10:58:05 AM

I think I'll do that, thanks for all the detailed advice.
March 8, 2004 8:28:43 PM

More RAM, final answer

Mobile Barton 2500+ @ 2420mhz 11x220 1.7v
Asus A7N8X Dlx 440 FSB
1gb Geil GD pc3500 Dual Channel (2-3-3-6)
Segata 80gb SATA 8.5ms seek
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro(420/720)
March 9, 2004 1:18:40 AM

I have the same question:
My PC is a P4 2gig CPU originally installed with
a 256MB 266DDR. 266 is the speed of the ram.
OS I am running is Win2k.

Now I went and got another 512k 400DDR since they
only sell the 400 speed now.

My question is should I leave the 256MB in there
to have bigger grand total of ram like say 770MB+
or just get rid of the old 256MB for the sake of
performance?? I bought more memory in hoping to mainly improve gaming performance.

And are there softwares out there I can run tests to
see?
!