768mb 2100 or 512mb 2700? Which is better?

By Darminato · 11 replies
Mar 22, 2003
  1. I recently bought a stick of 512mb 2700 RAM from crucial, thinking that my current stick of 256mb 2100 was 2700. But alas, it's not! :( Anyways, I know that my ram will only be as fast as the slowest stick, so I'm wondering if it would be better to have 768 of 2100 or 512 of 2700? Here's my specs:

    Windows XP SP1
    P4 2.4ghz.
    Radeon 9700 TX (the dell version)
    60 gig harddrive
    PCI512 Soundblaster (I know, it's ancient)

    By the way, my main usage on my computer is for playing video games. Just thought I'd throw that in.
  2. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    I believe 512MBs of 2700 would be better. I cant imagine windows or a video game wanting to eat more than 512MBs of RAM. If you went with 768 of 2100, I think you'd have a bunch of free, slow(er) RAM staying there not being used. Just my thoughts :rolleyes:
  3. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    I personally would go for the 512MB, since you're mostly gaming. In gaming situations, more memory bandwidth is better than more memory and less bandwidth. But, if you're doing video editing or something similar to that which deals with VERY large files, than more memory is always better.
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I would go for more memory. The speed shouldn't make an appreciable difference - Aside from perhaps benchmarking.

    It does make a difference, in respects to "aboslute" performance, but the benfit of having more memory (even more than 512mb), is noticable and quantitable by computer responsiveness.

    Furthermore, if the memories do work together properly, you can overclock your FSB to higher speeds to make up for skimping out on that 2700/333MHZ memory. It is very likely you can overclock your FSB (you don't even have overclock your CPU on many motherboards anymore) and reach 300MHz or more. So then you would get most of the benefit of fast memory, and also get the full benefit of having lots of it.
  5. Darminato

    Darminato TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Well, the machine I'm using is a Dell Dimension 4550. I've peeked around the bios and I can't adjust FBS or CPU speeds. As far as I've seen, overclocking is impossible unless I fiddle around with something on the motherboard (maybe?). Or maybe there's just something I'm missing?
  6. welder1978

    welder1978 TS Rookie

    on dell machines you can not overclock one bit. it is locked in the motherboard of the machine. dell does this because they have an agreement with intel. if you want to have a faster processor you have to pay for it, that is the way they think. as far as your memory goes, i have tried two sticks of different speed memory and i ran into problems where my machine would hic cup (i do not have a dell, though)and reset my game i was playing or sometimes it would reset the computer totally (soft boot). i would recommend just taking the 512. i think your video card has it's own memory unlike most dell's that share the main memory with the video so any gaming you do will have complete access to all the 512, which is still alot. later.

  7. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    id go for the DDR 2700 ram - it would make such a difference - games really dont need more than 512megs ram specially as u have a Radeon 9700

  8. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    It is according to your primary use for the machine and how much benchmarks matter to you. Personally, I would go for quantity because the speed difference is not really going to make much difference except to benchmarks. If you use a lot of memory intensive apps, you will want more memory rather than the little speed gain. Having copious amounts of RAM also lets you use tweaks which can help speed up your system response. Things like loading the OS kernel to RAM rather than disk, lowering or disabling pagefile, etc... There are many more arguments to quantity than to speed. the only argument for speed is benchmarking of games, it usually doesn't make enough difference to matter, unless you are OCing.
  9. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    Here's a different way to look at the choice since you can't overclock. I think even Dell allows memory timing adjustments. Pick the memory with the lowest latency at your FSB, as this is where you can gain the most out of your system.
  10. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 516   +12

    I would go with the 512MB 2700 DDR as I have 512 RAM and I can safely say that not one application, or many for that matter, has been able to use up all 512; and to be quite honest, I don’t think more RAM is going to be needed anytime in the near future. Although that is just my opinion for the type of computing I do, you may do other work which may require more RAM, in such a case, go with that. No matter what the outcome, I hope that you make the right decision for your situation, good luck :grinthumb !
  11. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    You must not do much photo or video editing. I have many times used well over that just editing video or rendering in Bryce or Poser. I personally would recommend that 512MB be a bare minimum if you do much of anything other than gaming and web surfing. Most apps today love RAM and the more you have, the better they run. With more and more people using their machines as photo labs and video studios, there is more of a reason to have as much RAM as possible. Any time you work with video, audio, photos, etc, you'll want as much RAM as possible. This will speed up your work as well as keeping you from using up all your resources.
  12. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I have actually run out of memory (512mb DDR here) doing my "normal" things.. NO video editing, graphics editing.. Just normal usage. Granted, it is a rarity, but it has happened a few times.

    I also recently put 1GB of memory into my system and I felt the different. Placebo? It really did feel more buttery to me. :)
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