I've just upgraded my CPU from an XP1700+ (266), to a 3200+ (400). Because my nForce2 motherboard can run the memory timings asynchronous in relation to the FSB, I was able to keep my 512MB of PC2700 memory running at 333MHz with my new cpu running at 400MHz. I realize I'm creating a bit of a memory bottleneck, but I'm not sure how much I'm holding back my computer. I figure the memory bottleneck can't be any worse then the 3200+ (333) I considered buying. Anyway....
Question: I've got about $80 to make an upgrade on my computer and I'm thinking about upgrading my memory. I'm a gamer and I've noticed some games have quite a bit of HDD caching going on and long level load times. I'm starting to wonder if 512MB isn't enough anymore. So, with my $80 I'm wondering if I should buy another stick of 512mb pc2700, or if I should scrap my old memory (give it to my sister) and purchase a stick of 512mb pc3200.
So, looking at my system specs, what whould you rather have if you're a gamer? 1024mb pc2700 or 512 pc3200?
GAMES: (important factors: FPS and level loading)
Half-Life 2, FarCry, Doom III, Morrowind, UT2004, Vampires BL, Sims 2...
MSI Nforce2 (K7N2) w/ Athlon XP 3200+
512MB PC-2700 Kingston Value
Chaintech 6800NU (355/755)
WD800JB 80GB, Maxtor 250GB
Sony DVD-RW, Pioneer 16X DVD, 15GB USB2.0 HDD<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by wrugoin on 12/19/04 00:16 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
In those games that need more than 512mb, 1gig at 333 will probably be better than 512mb at 400 (the other way around for those that can live in 512mb).
With that in mind, buy a 512mb stick of PC3200 now (and leave the mem speed at 333 - it should work fine), and when you have another $80 get another 512mb stick, giving the old to your sister, and changing your mem speed to 400.