Buying Dual Channel Ram

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by leedogg, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. leedogg

    leedogg Gojyone kawaiiiiiiii!

    Messages:
    820
    Ok I've decided to upgrade my ram and cpu. I have an A7N8X mobo and I'm looking to get some dual channel ram. What are the important things to get here? I'm not looking to spend more than $150 on this.

    I will be getting either an amd 2800+ or a 3000+ processor and I'm wondering what the optimal memory would be.

    If I should get more memory i.e 2x512 with higher latency (cas 2.5-3) or speed (i.e pc3000) or if I should get less 2x256 with faster timings (cas 2) and higher speed (pc4000). Where does memory bandwidth come into play? i.e 4.0 GB/s vs 3.2 GB/s

    I guess what I'm asking is how would you guys rate the importance of each of these factors.

    right now I have my eye on the following:

    Geil Golden Dragon Dual Channel 184 Pin 512MB(256MBx2) DDR PC-4000 - Retail
    Specification
    Manufacturer: Geil
    Model: GD4000-512DC
    Speed: DDR500(PC4000)
    Type: 184 Pin DDR SDRAM
    Error Checking: Non-ECC
    Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
    Cas Latency: 2.5 7-4-4
    Support Voltage: 2.55V-2.95V
    Bandwidth: 4.0GB/s
    Organization: two 32M x 64 -Bit
    Special Features: Wafer Level Chip Scale Package


    $125

    Does this look good?

    Comments/suggestions/recommendations would be appreciated.

    /edit heres another alternative

    Mushkin 184 Pin 512MB(256MBx2) DDR PC-3200 Level II Dual Pack - Retail
    Specification
    Manufacturer: Mushkin
    Speed: DDR400(PC3200)
    Type: 184 Pin DDR SDRAM
    Error Checking: Non-ECC
    Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
    Cas Latency: 2-2-2
    Support Voltage: 2.5V-2.75V
    Bandwidth: 3.2GB/s
    Organization: two 32M x 64 -Bit


    $149

    Mushkin 184 Pin 512MB(256MBx2) DDR PC-3200 Level One Dual Pack - Retail
    Specification
    Manufacturer: Mushkin
    Speed: DDR400(PC3200)
    Type: 184 Pin DDR SDRAM
    Error Checking: Non-ECC
    Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
    Cas Latency: 2-3-2
    Support Voltage: 2.5V-2.75V
    Bandwidth: 3.2GB/s
    Organization: two 32M x 64 -Bit


    $119
     
  2. dreamliner77

    dreamliner77 The Analog Kid

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Red Sox Nation
    I've always been under the impression (and have yet to have it fail) that you don't need to buy 'Dual Channel" packs. I usually just buy 2 identical sticks and have at it.
     
  3. Tuffgong4

    Tuffgong4 The Donger Need Food!!!! Political User

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Chicago
    yeah I have to agree I think that is closer to a marketing ploy than anything...although I don't know if less faster memory would be just as good as more slower memory
     
  4. breezie

    breezie OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    126
    i wouldnt get dual channel 256's... u'll want 1gb one day maybe so if you're planning on getting 512, just get ONE stick now and wait for later... since u're gettin AMD, its a pretty small boost in performance with dual... almost unnoticable

    btw with those prices, go for some OCZ or Corsair XMS ^_^

    geil is nice too up there~
     
  5. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

    Messages:
    5,291
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    The dual channel packs apply if you plan to run the RAM at max speed (400 MHZ and low CL). The single packs work if you aren't trying to push the envelope.

    The performance tests don't seem to show much difference between top speed and bargain basement. The AMD CPU family is getting FSB limited once you go to Dual DDR at 266 mHz. At 266 CL2 the bandwidth double. At 333 or 400 you don't get a doubling anymore. I think the limit is around 5600 so for reference 2x2100(266) = 4200, 2x2700(333)=5400 you're topped out, 2x3200(400)=6400 beyond useable limit for AMD.

    What is best for you depends on how you use your computer. If you do 3d rendering go for high memory. If you rip media a lot go for speed (or both). If gaming is your thing put the money into a top video card. etc.

    A question. Have you made sure the chipset you have supports what you want to upgrade to? There are about 5 NF2 chipsets out now some support 400 FSB, some support 400 mHz RAM, some don't support dual ddr. Check before you buy.
     
  6. leedogg

    leedogg Gojyone kawaiiiiiiii!

    Messages:
    820
    ahh thanks leejend. this mobo supports up to 2800+, 333fsb, memory it says dual channel ddr400 support. I already have a stick of 512 2700 ddr so your saying if I add another 512 2700 ddr this should just about reach my memory throughput limits?

    I'm looking at the following 2 to pair up with my 2700 now:

    OCZ Performance Series 184 Pin 512MB DDR PC-2700 (Revision 3.2) - OEM
    Specification
    Manufacturer: OCZ
    Speed: DDR33(PC2700)
    Type: 184 Pin DDR SDRAM
    Error Checking: Non-ECC
    Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
    Cas Latency: 2-2-2-5 1T
    Support Voltage: 2.5V
    Bandwidth: 2.7GB/s
    Organization: 64M x 64 -Bit
    Special Features: Ultra Low Noise shielded PCB with Copper Heat Spreader

    $94

    OCZ Performance Series 184 Pin 512MB DDR PC-3200
    Specification
    Manufacturer: OCZ
    Speed: DDR400(PC3200)
    Type: 184 Pin DDR SDRAM
    Error Checking: Non-ECC
    Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
    Cas Latency: 2-3-3-6
    Support Voltage: 2.6V
    Bandwidth: 3.2GB/s
    Organization: 64M x 64 -Bit
    Special Features: Ultra Low Noise shielded PCB

    $96
     
  7. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

    Messages:
    5,291
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Yes. And the first one looks better, faster latency cancels out the speed advantage of the second one and it has a built in heat spreader. See if they have a picture of it though to make sure there is enough room to put it next to the other DIMM. (Heatspreaders increase the thickness.)

    Those look a little pricey. Were you buying local or on the net?
     
  8. leedogg

    leedogg Gojyone kawaiiiiiiii!

    Messages:
    820
    I've been looking at newegg..

    instead of ocz i might get this mushkin for a few bucks more...

    Mushkin 184 Pin 512MB DDR PC-2700 Black Hi Perf Level II - OEM
    Specification
    Manufacturer: Mushkin
    Speed: DDR333(PC2700)
    Type: 184 Pin DDR SDRAM
    Error Checking: Non-ECC
    Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
    Cas Latency: 2-2-2
    Support Voltage: 2.5V-2.75V
    Bandwidth: 2.7GB/s
    Organization: 64M x 64 -Bit

    $99

    You think this is expensive? Have u seen this cheaper?
     
  9. NiSMo

    NiSMo OSNN Junior Addict

    Messages:
    15
    Hey leedogg,

    if your where planning on overclocking or anythin like that the best ram out of those which you chose would be the

    Mushkin 184 Pin 512MB(256MBx2) DDR PC-3200 Level II Dual Pack - Retail for $149

    because it uses winbond bh-5 which is one of the best overclocking ram....it can acheive such timings and overclockings as 250@2-2-2-11@2.9 volts...

    these memory timings (2-2-2-11) are the sweet spot for amd motherboards :)...

    i hope that helps you....
    cheers, NiSMo