Insanely confused on DDR2 and DDR3

TVisitor

Member
Jun 4, 2007
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I'm *this* close to building my new system, and I was originally going to decide on a ASUS P5K3 Deluxe and I realize that DDR3 is very expensive.

I figured that I could go to with a P5K Deluxe and DDR2 instead. The DDR2 will also be much cheaper. It doesn't seem that there is any tangible reason to choose DDR3 right now.

I game (I'm not a great gamer, but I love the eye candy and love playing new stuff at high res and "as fast as it will go"), and I do development work (C & C++ work, some embedded stuff and some VS6 and VS2005 stuff).

Here are 2 questions:

1. Let's say I switch to a DDR2 system. I'm willing to spend the bucks on some great DDR2 memory. "Great" is defined as something very fast, and something that could hold up to overclock if I desire it. Please suggest some good brands and part #'s.

2. Let's say I stick with DDR3. Is there any good *reason* to stick with it (given I can afford it).

I wanted to stick with this system build for, say, 2 years before I build my next rig.

Thanks.

 

Rike

Platinum Member
Oct 14, 2004
2,614
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Fast DDR3 is here and it makes a difference in performance.

AT on DDR3 1600

It's is also incredibly expensive right now. For DDR3 that's in stock at Newegg, prices are running $200-$250 per GB, regardless of speed.

On the other hand, low latency, high speed DDR2 will run you $50-$100 per GB or as low as $35 per GB after rebates which seem to be plentiful right now.

If money is an issue at all and you are building right now, I go with DDR2 and put the money I saved into a better video card and/or a faster processor.

If money is not an issue, heck buy the DDR3 and get out on the bleeding edge of tech. Just remember what the bleeding edge really means. It's the companies bleeding your wallet dry. ;)
 

lopri

Elite Member
Jul 27, 2002
13,209
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Don't spend money on expensive memory. Go with quantity instead of quality, and use the savings towards other parts that'll actually get you performance improvement. (Faster CPU, better GPU, bigger/faster HDD, etc.) I'm not telling you to get cheap generic sticks - but rather to avoid all the marketing hooplas. DDR3 is a waste of money, unless benching and reviewing is going to be the main use of the rig. This comes from a person who's dealth with more than dozen sets of various DDR2 sticks.

DDR3 shouldn't even be a consideration at this time for end-users, IMO.
 

BenchZowner

Senior member
Dec 9, 2006
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Exactly what lopri said.

DDR-3 heck even if we had DDR-15 wouldn't help really in real-life performance with the current processors.
What do we have here ? better check the other pages as well

A decent DDR-2 memory kit which rocks in overclocking as well can be bought for even 130$ nowadays using the legendary Micron D9GMH/D9GKX chips of course.
I have a list in another thread here with various kits from various manufacturers using D9GMH/D9GKX on them ( it's the recent thread with 7 replies, the last one being from JustaGeek, its the fourth or fifth thread in this section atm )

So...a decent board ( Asus P5K Deluxe for example ), paired with a nice memory kit of Micron D9 chips, a good VGA, is all you need now.
 

TVisitor

Member
Jun 4, 2007
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Thanks lopri & BenchZowner - While I don't mind spending the money, I am of course always into spending that money where it's best suited. I originally hadn't intended on a sound card (was going to use the MB's built in sound, or at least try and see how it was) but after reading other threads, I think that money I'll save will now go in part to a sound card, it sounds like people around here are into the Auzentech. I was always a Creative Labs guy (I have been buying them since the original SB!) but I'm always after something better.

Now all I need to go read is a good tutorial on all the various elements of memory. It's about time after all these years I understand what those x-x-x-x numbers mean (and I don't mean "this # means CAS latency..." i.e. what is does CAS stand for and physically what does it mean?)

BenchZowner: Thank you for suggesting that other thread, I'll now be on the hunt for one of those. Do you have any favorites? Namewise, my familiarity lies with Crucial or Corsair.



 

BenchZowner

Senior member
Dec 9, 2006
380
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If you like Corsair, you can't go wrong with any of the Dominators ( PC8500, PC8888, PC9136, PC10000 ), Crucial Ballistix PC-6400/PC8000/PC8500 are good also.
All these are using the D9GMH chips.
 

Acanthus

Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
19,915
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ostif.org
Originally posted by: TVisitor
Thanks lopri & BenchZowner - While I don't mind spending the money, I am of course always into spending that money where it's best suited. I originally hadn't intended on a sound card (was going to use the MB's built in sound, or at least try and see how it was) but after reading other threads, I think that money I'll save will now go in part to a sound card, it sounds like people around here are into the Auzentech. I was always a Creative Labs guy (I have been buying them since the original SB!) but I'm always after something better.

Now all I need to go read is a good tutorial on all the various elements of memory. It's about time after all these years I understand what those x-x-x-x numbers mean (and I don't mean "this # means CAS latency..." i.e. what is does CAS stand for and physically what does it mean?)

BenchZowner: Thank you for suggesting that other thread, I'll now be on the hunt for one of those. Do you have any favorites? Namewise, my familiarity lies with Crucial or Corsair.

Just fair warning, right now Creative + Windows Vista = Disaster.
 

TVisitor

Member
Jun 4, 2007
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I'm going to run XP for now. I will install Vista on another partition for things that I may need it for (I am also a developer, and occasionally need to use Vista to test something), but from everything I've read/experienced, there are just problems across the board - unoptimized nVidia drivers, etc. Just out of curiosity, is Azuntech better on that front?
 

Acanthus

Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
19,915
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ostif.org
Originally posted by: TVisitor
I'm going to run XP for now. I will install Vista on another partition for things that I may need it for (I am also a developer, and occasionally need to use Vista to test something), but from everything I've read/experienced, there are just problems across the board - unoptimized nVidia drivers, etc. Just out of curiosity, is Azuntech better on that front?

Im not sure on azuntech, but nvidia has dramatically improved their drivers in the last month or so for both x86 and x86-64.

If you install vista without a key microsoft lets you run it unactivated for 30 days, you might want to give that a shot rather than rely on 3rd parties running goofy beta drivers and/or basing their opinion on old beta copies. I have had very very few problems with vista.
 

lopri

Elite Member
Jul 27, 2002
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What kind of disaster did you experience with X-fi (or Audigy for that matter) did you experience, Acanthus? I know they are not functioning as intended but I didn't know it was wrecking havoc, either. Yes I'm aware that EAX3/4/5 won't be available but it doesn't sound like OP is paying attention to wind blowing sound behind his back while playing games. Vista's sound driver model has improved tremendously over XP, IMO. Onboard sound will give just about everything an average user needs. And in all honesty, an expensive sound card is a waste without a high-end speaker system, anyway. (One of the many reasons I get pissed off at Creative - when my computer-illiterate friends with desktop stereo speakers insists on a $100+ sound card.) With Vista's improved sound scheme, Only thing one would miss at the moment is surround sound in gaming only. If s/he has a surround sound system, that is. Creative's driver support wasn't exactly spectacular in XP, either. It's just that game devs had no other alternatives, which in turn caused nightmare for many mobo manufacturers. Yes, I admit that I've been never too happy about Creative's product as well as their support so I'm biased. :p

BTW One can 100% legitimately try out Vista up to 90 days. And 99% legitimately up to 1 year - just need to dig in the registry for a couple mins. :D
 

Acanthus

Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
19,915
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ostif.org
Originally posted by: lopri
What kind of disaster did you experience with X-fi (or Audigy for that matter) did you experience, Acanthus? I know they are not functioning as intended but I didn't know it was wrecking havoc, either. Yes I'm aware that EAX3/4/5 won't be available but it doesn't sound like OP is paying attention to wind blowing sound behind his back while playing games. Vista's sound driver model has improved tremendously over XP, IMO. Onboard sound will give just about everything an average user needs. And in all honesty, an expensive sound card is a waste without a high-end speaker system, anyway. (One of the many reasons I get pissed off at Creative - when my computer-illiterate friends with desktop stereo speakers insists on a $100+ sound card.) With Vista's improved sound scheme, Only thing one would miss at the moment is surround sound in gaming only. If s/he has a surround sound system, that is. Creative's driver support wasn't exactly spectacular in XP, either. It's just that game devs had no other alternatives, which in turn caused nightmare for many mobo manufacturers. Yes, I admit that I've been never too happy about Creative's product as well as their support so I'm biased. :p

BTW One can 100% legitimately try out Vista up to 90 days. And 99% legitimately up to 1 year - just need to dig in the registry for a couple mins. :D

EAX3/4/5 support is the issue that makes creative cards worthless in vista. Integrated sound supports EAX 1/2... and like you said the clean SNR doesnt even present itself until you start talking about mid range to high end home surround stereos.
 

TVisitor

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Jun 4, 2007
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Actually I do have my sound card hooked up to a receiver and speakers - I hate the dinky little desktop speakers, and if I do need headphones to prevent waking others up, they get plugged into the receiver.

Back on the original topic, memory - I just looked on newegg. Yikes - Corsair Dominators are EXPENSIVE...!

Any idea what the difference between Crucial Ballistix Tracer (http://www.newegg.com/Product/...?Item=N82E16820148070) and Crucial Ballistix is, besides $20? :)
 

TVisitor

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Jun 4, 2007
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Considering I'm the guy who has his PC in the bedroom, and HATES light when he sleeps, I have all possible LED's disconnected that are active all the time or suddenly start going on (Hard drive light, Power Light, etc...) I think I'd pass on the bling. I even have the LED's on the LAN connector blacked out as they reflect against the wall. Yeah, I'm a freak :)

As far as my comment on the Dominators being expensive, that was for the faster than PC 8500.