Confusing Ram Numbers

By Fakum
Oct 7, 2007
  1. I spent the evening trying to brush up on what all the numbers mean for purchasing memory. I am pretty compfortable with the Cas Latency and the other numbers such as “4-4-4-12” (lower is better is my understanding) What I don’t have a handle on is the other numbers e.g.

    OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

    DDR 800, what do I make of this number “(800)”? Do I try to match this with the Motherboard Specs if it says “Memory Standard
    DDR2 533/667/800 and up to 1200 MHz”

    And what about “(PC2 6400)” What does this all mean?

    I am putting a Christmas list together to do an upgrade,(budget = $1000) the following components are what I am considering for purchase. There is so much ram out there, it will make your head spin. This aspect seems to be the most difficult for me to figure out. I want to get the most bang for my buck. I am using this new PC for gaming, I don’t really dabble in overclocking, but it would be nice to go for it. Here is the list so far.

    MOBO option 1:EVGA 122-CK-NF68-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

    MOBO option 2: GIGABYTE GA-P35C-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard

    MOBO option 3: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard REV 2

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Q6600 GO stepping

    Video: EVGA NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB 16X PCI Express

    Power Supply ADD-ON: Thermaltake W0099RU PurePower Power Express 250W Power Supply
  2. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    Hello, Fakum, and welcome to Techspot :wave:

    Please take a look at the following threads to make your experience here as enjoyable as possible :)

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    With regards to your question, the "800" refers to the clock speed of the ram (in MHz). As long as your motherboard is compatible with it then i think you'll be ok.

    The rest of your hardware sounds good, you'll need more than a 250W psu though.
  3. Grafficks

    Grafficks TS Rookie Posts: 302

    A memory label reading "DDR2800" means it is DDR2 RAM running at 800MHz. As previously stated, this is the Clock Speed, which is just like the clock speed spec'd on your processor, GPU, etc. except this is the speed of your RAM.

    The PC26400 is the Bandwidth. A memory module spec'd at PC2-6400 means it is capable of a theoretical 6400MB/s (or 6.4GB/s) of data transfer.

    Memory latency is defined as the length of time between sending a request and receiving the response. Low-latency memory is more responsive than high-latency memory. You can determine a RAM module's latency values by a string of four numbers (also called timings) in its spec. It's enough to know that the four different numbers represent four different portions of the finding and retrieval process. For instance, a memory module spec'd at 4-4-4-12 would take less time to respond (would respond faster) than a module spec'd at 5-5-5-15.

    For the motherboard, I vote for option 3. The Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R uses the newer P35 chipset, and offers the best mainstream performance for a low price. It is the successor to the well-renowned GA-965P-DS3.

    Modern motherboards should support all the different DDR2 speeds, so there shouldn't be an issue with compatibility. Just make sure you get a good brand of memory, such as Corsair, Kingston, OCZ.

    Hope this helps. :)
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