Avant-Garde: Four boards for AMD's Athlon 64 FX

Memory Matters: Registered DDR

2x 512 MB, PC3200, CL2, registered. The memory from Corsair used for this test is currently one of the models to be recommended.

A system with Athlon 64 FX is not exactly cheap. The processor is without a doubt the highest priority, but even buying memory conceals a few additional costs. The FX actually needs so-called registered DDR DRAMs (double data rate). They cost somewhat more than conventional unbuffered modules. Registered modules need to be supported by the memory controller, or more precisely, they are even prescribed above certain capacities. The purpose of these modules is to discharge the memory controller electrically by boosting the signals, above all when several benches have to be supplied with large capacities.

Many memory manufacturers have already prepared themselves for these more costly DDR types and provide DIMMs in small quantities.

These timings correspond to the specifications of Corsair’s memory modules.nForce3 150 Versus K8T800 : AGP As The Deciding Factor

Even before this brief test comparison was run it was obvious that the VIA chipset offers better performance. But not because it is that much better than nForce3 - rather, because the latter does not run the hyper-transport channel between the processor and the Northbridge (AGP interface) at full speed, for security reasons. It had to be the graphical interface - and on a graphics specialist like nVIDIA as well.

Whatever the reason, this is how it stands : only 8 bits downlink and 600 MHz speed on the AGP port instead of the otherwise common 16 bit and 600 MHz. In most benchmarks that doesn’t matter much ; but the more ambitious the graphics tasks, the more noticeable this secure mode becomes.