Best brand of RAM to buy?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by BlackScarletLove, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. BlackScarletLove

    BlackScarletLove Status:In Post-Production

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  2. Tuffgong4

    Tuffgong4 The Donger Need Food!!!! Political User

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    that is one of the worst websites I've ever looked at trying to buy something, but any 512 from corsair, ocz, patriot, kingston, gskill, they are all good and you will find that the best price for that is best way to go.

    Do you already have 512 in your machine? if so you should try and match brands or if possible, model numbers, but no 100% necessary
     
  3. BlackScarletLove

    BlackScarletLove Status:In Post-Production

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    how do i determine what brand is already in my slot? does it say on it?
     
  4. Petros

    Petros Thief IV

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    Cpuz is a good way to find out your manufacturer.
     
  5. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    If you are adding a stick to an existing system the slowest of the two sticks will set the speed for the entire system so don't waste money buying a new stick that is faster. Aslso, don't waste money buying a new stick that is slower.

    You need to look at the speed (they name them two different way to confuse you).
    pc3200 is ddr400, and the timing, usually listed as 4 numbers like 2.5,2,2,7 etc. The lower the timing the faster it is. The higher the speed the faster it is.

    You can use mismatched speed memeory but the slower one will set system performance, and often you must put the slower one in slot one or the PC may not boot.


    PS Tuffgong forgot to mention Crucial as a good brand.
     
  6. BlackScarletLove

    BlackScarletLove Status:In Post-Production

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    I don't particularly understand. What do each of the 4 numbers signify? Is one the speed, and one the timing, and the other two are...? I'm confused.
     
  7. The first number is the CAS latency. The second number is the TRCD. The last number is the TRP. What on earth are these things and why do they affect my performance so much? That's exactly why I've written this article. Here we will try and explain to you what these different settings you see all the time do and try to help you have a better understanding of why these make your system go so much faster.

    Cas Latency

    CAS means Column Address Strobe. The Webster's Dictionary defines latency as "the interval between stimulus and response" just in case that word isn't familiar to you.

    This controls the timing delay (in clock cycles) before the RAM starts a read command after receiving it. Settings are usually 2 or 2.5 This setting has more affect on system performance than any other RAM setting. Since this is the number of cycles the CAS needs to find the correct address of the data that it is looking for. That is why your entire system runs quite a bit faster when the data can be fetched in 2 cycles rather than 2.5.

    I'll pull a quote from a guide from Corsair who BTW makes the XMS line of memory that I certainly approve of for high speeds and good timings.

    "To understand this let's walk through a simplified version of how the memory controller actually reads the memory. First, the chip set accesses the ROW of the memory matrix by putting an address on the memory's address pins and activating the RAS signal. Then, we have to wait a few clock cycles (known as RAS-to-CAS Delay). Then, the column address is put on the address pins, and the CAS signal is activated, to access the correct COLUMN of the memory matrix. Then, we wait a few clock cycles -- THIS IS KNOWN AS CAS LATENCY! -- and then the data appears on the pins of the RAM."

    RAS to CAS Delay (TRCD) This field allows you to set the number of cycles for a timing delay between the CAS and RAS strobe signals, used when DRAM is written to, read from or refreshed. Lower settings result in faster performance. 3T, 2TBank Interleave

    TRP indicates how fast SDRAM can terminate one row access and starts another one.

    From here:
    http://articles.networktechs.com/1-p1.php
     
  8. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    Speed is PC3200, or DDR400. These refer to the fastest clock speed ram is designed to work with. How long it actually takes to read or wrote to ram depends on how many clock cycles are required to actually get data in and out. The number of clock cycles is defined by the ram timing.

    There are multiple steps in reading and writing to memory. Only 4 numbers are generally listed and are refered to as ram timing and account for delays in the 4 most common (time consuming) steps in reading and writing.

    It gets very technical and if you are interested I can drop a link, or just hit wikipedia, their description is accurate.

    Bottom line your MB and CPU will determine the maximum clock speed (DDR400 / PC3200). The quality of the ram will determine the best system timing that you can get from that fastest speed. Better timing numbers can double the cost of ram without that much of an overall performance boost. So match the timings and clock speed to what you already have. CPUZ.exe will tell you everything you want to know about the RAM you have.
     
  9. BlackScarletLove

    BlackScarletLove Status:In Post-Production

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    Those last two posts were very good, very comprehensive, although the one thing I was confused about on the post by Unleashed is there are four numbers, but he only explained CAS latency, TRCD, and TRP. So I still wonder what the last number signifies.

    In any case, I used cpuz to find the specs on my existing ram, (report screenshot attached) and I find that my CL is 2.5. Since modules with different CL can be mixed on a system, but the system will only run at the highest (slowest) CL, that means I need to get ram that is 2.5.
    This is proving very difficult to find. Almost everything I see is 3, and these sites are retardedly difficult to navigate...
    There are certain pieces that look interesting, but don't mention the CL, such as
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=637682&CatId=1600
    and
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=17800&vpn=RM12864Z40B&manufacture=CRUCIAL TECHNOLOGY

    I am looking for a gig of pc3200 ddr ram for a total cost (including shipping) of not more than $165CDN. Of course, I'd rather only be paying around $80 before shipping, that sort of range, some of these prices I see are ridiculous...

    From looking at the attached report about my existing ram, does anybody see any of those specs that I should also be keeping in mind to match while shopping, besides the CL?


    Since hardware is not my strongpoint, this is a very overwhelming and pressuring venture for me, wanting to get the best for my system at the most reasonable prices, when I only have a very lingering grasp of what the best for my system is, lol.
    Any help on this would be appreciated, and thank you to those who have input info and advice previous.

    ~Scarlet
     

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  10. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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