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Does make matter?

By vega · 18 replies
Jul 24, 2003
  1. Having seen the required specs for half life 2, I've decided to upgrade my current ram and purchase an AMD 2500 processor - my current system is a s follows, AMD 1700, 512 DDR ram (generic), softmodded radeon 9500 128 np, W2000k and a 40 gig HD, not top notch kit but enough to play any current game at optimal configuration.
    My question is this, my current 2100, 266mhz generic ddr ram works pretty much adequatly and has given me no cause for complaint but on checking prices, find that higher specc'd ram is'nt as expensive as I'd assumed - would purchasing 333mhz or 400mhz ram offer significant increase in performance or are these specs only relevant to hard core modders?
  2. Crybabytek

    Crybabytek TS Rookie Posts: 27

    333Mhz to 400Mhz, not much.
  3. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 829

    Make sure your processor can support all that you will be doing.

    Notes of advice:

    Don't get rams with MHz speeds faster than your processor FSB MHz.

    Barton's are mad overclockers, I managed to get my 3000+ (2.17GHz) to 3XXX+ (2.5GHz) with a good heatsink and an average strapped fan... it's pretty stable.
  4. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,310

    In the reviews that I have read some say that 400mhz DDR actually was a performance decrease over 333mhz but others say it is an increase. So, the suggestion I have for you is if your interested in 400mhz DDR is to buy two sticks of the exact same RAM, for instance two sticks of 256. If your motherboard and the RAM support dual-channel you can place these 2 chips (if they are the exact same type) in the blue slots on your motherboard and run in dual-channel which provideds a significant increase over just using one 512MB chip.

    Also, you are going to want to upgrade your video card. I would suggest a 9700 Pro or a high end GeforceFX such as the 5900 possibly. It depends on what you want to pay. You can get a Radeon 9700 Pro for about $260.

    Other than that you might want to upgrade your processor. I am also using a 2100+, though I have a Radeon 9700 Pro. I firmly do believe that I will be able to run Half Life 2 and Doom 3 fine @ 1024x768, but if you are one of those people that crave very high resolutions your going to need a better system. No one really needs to play games higher than 1024x768. Anything higher than that is just greed.

    *400mhz DDR may have mixed reviews on the net but running in dual channel has shown to provide the significant increase in speed that is needed. Although these numbers are still small over 333mhz, but nothing abnormal.


    Decent Performance @ 1024x768
    Two 256MB 400mhz DDR chips running in dual-channel
    Equivelant of at least the Radeon 9700 Pro video card

    High Performance > above 1024x768 res. (with all eye candy)
    Upgrade to Athlon XP 2800+ (or higher)
    Two 256MB 400mhz DDR chips running in dual-channel
    (or even upgrading to 768MB RAM may provide the performance)
    Radeon 9700 Pro or equivelant (but recommend the GeforceFX 5900)
  5. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 829

    But then again, acidosmosis here doesn't like reviews and doesn't actually 'belive' them.

    Also, I doubt that 400MHz has a performance decrease rather than 333MHz. So you are saying that the 400MHz RAM is going slower than 333MHz. Unlikely.
  6. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,310

    No it's not unlikely, there is an actual reason for it, which makes a lot of sense. It actually just depends on other things whether you see a significant increase or not. Do a search on google.

    BTW, I don't believe in benchmarks. Not reviews.
  7. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 829

    If I recall correctly you were the one who said: "Don't believe what you read..."
  8. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 564

    who gives a rip

    about his ram...........he wants to play half life 2..well, that shouldn't be too demanding..........but, titles like doom 3 and you'll suck big weenie with that 9500....................but, nonetheless, spend your money, on what counts.........the ability of your videocard to kick ***, when you play,....... or not :grinthumb
    by the way......the memory won't do jack...........unless you are thinking of overclocking, leave it alone, or add, like ram
  9. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 896

    Unlikely? Its likely to happen to boards that do not officially support 400MHZ DDR RAM ie those released around the 4th quarter of 2002 the same time when 400MHZ DDR RAM is new to the market. If you care to google for any relevant articles, you might be suprise that 400MHZ does not give SOME boards better performance than a 333MHZ RAM.
  10. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +15


    If the CPU your going to buy has a 333MHz FSB, get DDR333 (2700)
    If the CPU your going to buy has a 400MHz FSB, get DDR400 (3200)

    Cha-Ching ;)
  11. DaveSylvia

    DaveSylvia TS Rookie Posts: 106

    In certain cases, yes, 400MHz RAM will be slower than 333MHz. The key is the CAS latency. If you have a stick of 333MHz RAM with a CL of 2.5, the 333MHz stick will be faster than a 400MHz chip with a CL of 3. Faster because the CPU doesn't need to waste as many cycles waiting on the RAM to respond.
  12. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 829

    You can change that stuff in the BIOS. Plus, if you're going to buy a motherboard, and you want to use 400MHz RAM,

    Who in their right mind will try to get 400MHz RAM to work in a 333MHz MAX supported RAM MOBO???????

    I hope that didn't sound harsh, I was trying to make a point.

    Took away the caps and the bold, many people found it offensive. Sorry, I will refrain from that method in the future.
  13. DaveSylvia

    DaveSylvia TS Rookie Posts: 106

    If the RAM is capable of only CL3, changing it to CL2 without lowering the MHz of the chip in BIOS will create stabilty problems and in some cases it just will not work. In some cases it will work but thats a crapshoot if the RAM is not spec'd for those speeds. There are only 2 reasons I can think of as to why someone would get a higher speed RAM when their chipset doesn't support that speed. One, they wanted to overclock and/or two, they want to attempt to "future-proof" their RAM purchase. The latter reason can always backfire because one cannot predict the changes in the marketplace. The first reason is a more of a sure bet. The first version of the nforce2 did not officially support 400MHz FSB. Thus a popular course of action was to buy fast 400MHz RAM and overclock the FSB to 400MHz. The original version of the northbridge of the nforce2 was very very capable of this.
  14. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 896

    Well agreed Dave.

    Please refrain from doing this in the future, typing in caps won't help a lot and may do the opposite. This may still offend some members.
  15. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 914

    No one except the thousands of overclockers in the world and the hardcore performance enthusiasts.

    A stick of 400mhz CL3 might be able to handle 333mhz @ CL2.5, and depending on the market at the time, the higher latency stick just might be cheaper. As to the overclocking aspects, a chip rated to operate at 400mhz is for the most part guaranteed to operate at 333 - 400mhz and all clock speeds in between. So say you raised your FSB to 366mhz, you can be sure that your ram can handle it just fine. There are a dozen reasons why one would want to buy memory rated faster then their board supports. I use PC133 memory in PC66 boards all the time, and DDR PC2700 in boards that only support PC2100. It's a very common thing.

    And as DaveSylvia noted, you may want to give yourself a little room for the future. Say a BIOS upgrade allows your board to support 400mhz FSB, or you buy a new motherboard in the future that does and want to use that ram. Or, even, your board DOES support 400mhz FSB but your CPU does not... later on you may purchase a faster CPU and would like the rest of your components to be ready for you when you do.

    Oh, and don't speak in all caps + bold, it looks really offensive.
  16. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 829

    Forgive me for talking in caps. Also, I didn't know you could overclock the FSB on the MOBO.
  17. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 4,909   +8

    I have told you many times so far - if you are not sure of your facts, then think about what you say before you say it. I've read many things you have written which are quite simply not true. Sorry, not having a go at you, I want you to improve.
  18. vega

    vega TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    Thanks for all the advice people
    Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to try out memory chips of varying specification and my conclusion? the 333 and 400hz chips ARE faster but not significantly so - paying over the odds for high specced memory cards are, I feel a false economy especially given the massive boost in performance you can expect from a new cpu or graphics card - if I were a total speed freak and wanted to squeeze every last bit of performance out of my setup, then yes, I would make the purchase but given that making the switch to 333 or 400hz is'nt going to rock my world, I'll just purchase some generic 333hz chips - at the moment, speed (or lack of it) is not an issue as my current setup is more than adequate to the task of playing my current fave - unreal 2 at max resolution and ALL tweaks on.
  19. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 829

    Yeah I know. Uh... that was an opinion and merely a question. I never claimed it was fact or I had a source for it, Phantasm.

    No screw up here other than the bold caps.
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