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Ok, I have narrowed it down to these builds for my upcomining computer. Before I list them, however, I have a couple of questions. I know very little about RAM and how it works, sadly. Right now I have some inexpensive Rosewill pc3200 RAM picked out. It looks fine and the reviews are good, but my questions is, what sort of performance increase would I be looking at if I got the same amount of high quality pc3200 OCZ RAM? Would it be cost effective to think about getting high quality RAM. Now, for the builds
BUILD ONE

1) RAM: 1 gig (2x512) pc3200 pqi DDR ram (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=20-141-164&depa=1)
2) CASE: Aspire X-Superalien Case w/ 500W PSU
3) CD/DVD BURNER:Samsung DVD/CD burner (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=27-151-204&depa=1)
4) CPU: AMD 3500+ or 4000+ (undecided!!)
5) HARD DRIVE: Samsung 160gb HD (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-152-014&depa=1)
6) MOTHERBOARD: Soltek K8TPro, Epox 9NDA3+, or the Abit A8V
7) VIDEO CARD: Nvidia 6800ultra or ATI X800XT PE (undecided)

BUILD TWO
Same as build one, but the Asus A8N-SLI standard mobo and a 6800GT
pci-e video card.
Thanks for reading, any and all input is welcome! PLEASE, if you see ANYTHING wrong tell me!

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Last Post by rdzlyz
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The performance from inexpensive RAM is the same as it is from expensive RAM, basically. Lower 'latency' figures mean more responsive RAM or course, and better performance. But you can get CAS 2.5 to CAS 3.0 RAM in budget lines so go for that. Choose a reputable brand like Kingston, Kingmax, Corsair or Geil and purchase their budget line. Unless, of course, you plan to do some heavy overclocking. That's where the benefit of expensive, high performance RAM comes into the equation. It's not needed for normal use.

Good luck getting hold of an ATi X800XT PE. Far as I'm concerned that card doesn't exist, because just about the only copies ever distributed went to hardware reviewers ;) ATi will soon be releasing the X850XT PE, which they claim will be easier to produce and put in customer's hands, but it'll only be a PCI card and it'll be more expensive than any other gaming card, EVER!

The 6800 Ultra is a bit more obtainable, just as good, and with SLI beginning to become popular as a purchase option, I reckon the good NVidia cards will hold their value a bit better ;)

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if your thinking on the AMD 4000+ think of this the AMD FX-55 is only about $50-$100 more in some stores

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Catweazle: Heh, I know what you mean about the X800XT, and I was indeed leaning towards the 6800 ultra, thanks for the advice. I'm new to computer building and general, so I don't think I'll really be overclocking. My system is pretty high end, and risking my computer for a performance increase that I probably wouldn't even notice seems silly. I am still a bit confused about ram though, could you either give me a link or explain in more detail exactly how RAM latency and timing affects performance? Also, why is it better to go with a brand name like corsair or kingston rather than cheaper brand X ram?
rcrevolution: The 715 I would have to shell out for the 4000+ is enough already, since the performance increase the FX-55 has over the 4000+ is very small for the price margain.

Right now I am leaning towards build one because I am planning on upgrading in before in about 1.5 years to a faster mobo, CPU, and dual geforce 7 cards. Since I would be upgrading the mobo anyways, I see no reason for me to buy Asus SLI mobo and the slower 6800GT. Also, does anyone have a suggestion as to which of the 3 mobos I have picked out I should use? Thanks for the help!

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Risking your computer for a performance increase that you probably wouldn't even notice IS silly.


Best way I can simlify the effect of lower latency is this:

Take two vehicles an put them on the starting line side by side. Both have a top speed of 100 kph. One can get from 0 to 100 in 20 seconds. The other can get from 0 to 100 in 10 seconds. Then send them on a 100 km race, and stipulate that they have to stop at a checkpoint every kilometre! Which is going to get to the finish line first?

Your RAM works like that. It's accessed in myriads of miniscule 'reads'. The amount of hesitation before it has data ready to be read makes the difference. RAM speed is one thing, but the amount of time it takes to get 'out of the blocks' is another matter altogether!

Brand name is important primarily because of reliability and compatibility. Mix different brands or models of 'generic' RAM and you are far more likely to strike modules which have issues working with one another.

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RAM is random access memory. It is one of the most needed things for a personal computer. Mainly because when you run multy task's you need to store temporary data, thats what RAM does. So you can multi task. Have you ever had a few windows open and things began to slowdown and need to take a second or two to get back to normal? That is called laging/latency. When that happens that means you need to slow down what you are doing for the RAM to regain and clear out a little. Now when you reboot your PC, the RAM flushes out all of the data stored in side of it. That is why over the process of a couple days your PC might begin to slow down if you fail to reboot. So what Im trying to say it more RAM the better, Go for 2 gig's if you got the money!. I don't so im low on the mem.

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Ah, that makes sense ;) I guess the only choices I have left are these:
1) 3500+ or 4000+ CPU
2) Assuming the X800 PE EVER ever becomes available, which would be better suited towards 1) rendering, and 2) gaming Thanks for the help!
3) Still completely undecided as to whch of those 3 mobos to get, performance wise the Soltek and epox boards are neck and neck, slightly ahead of the Abit A8V. but the Abit board seems to be more stable. Any suggestions?

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If you want a gaming machine then google the dream machine. Then try to match its standard's. If its only for half life 2 then you can easily build a machine to be good for HL2, and be cheaper then the one your looking at right now.

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Sphyenx, what you describe certainly happens when not enough RAM is installed, but it has nothing to do with RAM latency ;)

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ya, my bad. WHat i ment was well a form of latency. You know system lagging. I was trying to make it so any one could interpret what I was saying. Much like a video game that requires 256 ram, and all your putting forth is 128 etc.

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Buy the 3500+. The 4000+ is far too expensive for the extra performance you would get.

If you want stability, I would consider the Asus A8V Deluxe. For overclocking, I would go for the Abit AV8.

For rendering, the best route would be professional 3D graphics cards, which cost a fortune if you choose top of the range. Otherwise, I would just pick out a 6800GT. The only difference between it and the ultra is reduced clockspeeds. Plus you will easily get 1.5 years out of it.

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Buy the 3500+. The 4000+ is far too expensive for the extra performance you would get.

If you want stability, I would consider the Asus A8V Deluxe. For overclocking, I would go for the Abit AV8.

For rendering, the best route would be professional 3D graphics cards, which cost a fortune if you choose top of the range. Otherwise, I would just pick out a 6800GT. The only difference between it and the ultra is reduced clockspeeds. Plus you will easily get 1.5 years out of it.

Aye, I agree with you, the 3500+ is a much better deal. I used this article to compare the varius mobos. I am willing to spend the amount of money quoted in both builds (they will cost the same). The ultra is in fact quite a bit faster than the 6800GT, even the though the 6800GT may be a better deal.

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Looking at this, it seems that higher quality RAM gives you some big performance increases. Any arguments with this? Did I read something wrong?

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Looking at this, it seems that higher quality RAM gives you some big performance increases. Any arguments with this? Did I read something wrong?

Its always been a fact that more RAM means more power, also the qaulity counts. I mean you cant buy shitty RAM for 5 bucks and expect it to run like Kingston.

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Its always been a fact that more RAM means more power, also the qaulity counts. I mean you cant buy shitty RAM for 5 bucks and expect it to run like Kingston.

Naturally, but I always assumed that as long as it was the same clock speed, the latency didn't have a paticularily large impact. I never thought that corsair value ram would be outperformed(more than marginally) by high end low latency RAM unless you were doing a lot of overclocking.

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You're correct oeone. There is a performance difference but it's not dramatic at all. Most of the 'Value' lines of reputable manufacturers operate at CAS3, while the 'performance' lines operate at CAS2. That makes for a noticeable difference, but by no means a dramatic one. It is, after all, only one small factor in overall system performance.

Besides, if you purchase RAM modules which are rated a speed level ABOVE what you wish to run, you'll most likely be able to operate it at tighter timings anyway, when you clock it back a bit ;)

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You're correct oeone. There is a performance difference but it's not dramatic at all. Most of the 'Value' lines of reputable manufacturers operate at CAS3, while the 'performance' lines operate at CAS2. That makes for a noticeable difference, but by no means a dramatic one. It is, after all, only one small factor in overall system performance.

Besides, if you purchase RAM modules which are rated a speed level ABOVE what you wish to run, you'll most likely be able to operate it at tighter timings anyway, when you clock it back a bit ;)

However, as I was looking at the benchmarks, it looks like there are performance gaps of 13 fps. Not to mention that the memory they were reviewing was all very high end, so there would be even larger performance increases over the 'value' lines. From what I can see, higher quality RAM offers more 'bang for your buck' than a faster CPU or video card.

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Some links to the tests you refer to would be helpful, rogue-monkey. I'm sure you are misinterpreting what you've seen reported.

Changing to a better display card brings the most benefit for games. Changing to a better cpu can help, but isn't really worth doing unless you are looking at a processor performance improvement of around 50% or better.

Using lower latency RAM would bring the least game performance improvement of the three.

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Yar... I didn't quite have my wits about me I suppose. After looking around a bit more it seems that your quite right, RAM has a very limited affect. If I had memory at CAS 2.5 timings, and I made them a little more aggresive, to CAS 2.0, what issues with stability/speed might I have to look out for? Thanks.

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If you sett your RAM timings tighter than your RAM modules will handle, you'll experience freezes, lockups and so on. It's best to stick to manufacturer recommended timings unless you are fully aware of what you are doing and what the effects will be. There are tools you can use, such as memtest86, which allow you to test your RAM for stability.

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If you sett your RAM timings tighter than your RAM modules will handle, you'll experience freezes, lockups and so on. It's best to stick to manufacturer recommended timings unless you are fully aware of what you are doing and what the effects will be. There are tools you can use, such as memtest86, which allow you to test your RAM for stability.

Ok thanks, I'll just stick to the recommended timings, I'm trying to make a stable system. I was just curious ;) Basically my mind is made up, and I'm leaning towards the soltek mobo at the moment.

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Ok, I have narrowed it down to these builds for my upcomining computer. Before I list them, however, I have a couple of questions. I know very little about RAM and how it works, sadly. Right now I have some inexpensive Rosewill pc3200 RAM picked out. It looks fine and the reviews are good, but my questions is, what sort of performance increase would I be looking at if I got the same amount of high quality pc3200 OCZ RAM? Would it be cost effective to think about getting high quality RAM. Now, for the builds
BUILD ONE

1) RAM: 1 gig (2x512) pc3200 pqi DDR ram (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=20-141-164&depa=1)
2) CASE: Aspire X-Superalien Case w/ 500W PSU
3) CD/DVD BURNER:Samsung DVD/CD burner (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=27-151-204&depa=1)
4) CPU: AMD 3500+ or 4000+ (undecided!!)
5) HARD DRIVE: Samsung 160gb HD (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-152-014&depa=1)
6) MOTHERBOARD: Soltek K8TPro, Epox 9NDA3+, or the Abit A8V
7) VIDEO CARD: Nvidia 6800ultra or ATI X800XT PE (undecided)

BUILD TWO
Same as build one, but the Asus A8N-SLI standard mobo and a 6800GT
pci-e video card.
Thanks for reading, any and all input is welcome! PLEASE, if you see ANYTHING wrong tell me!

i love it go for it man

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