Is Fast Memory Really Worth It?

Memory vendors have become excellent at marketing their latest high-end products: DDR3-2000 speeds are currently considered state of the art for enthusiast Intel platforms based on Intel's P35, X38, X48 chipsets or the new Nvidia 7 series. But how much sense do these products really make?

While mainstream DDR2 memory has reached almost ridiculously low price levels - you can get two 2 GB DDR2-800 DIMMs for less than $80 - DDR3 memory at 1600 speed or faster easily costs five times as much, without delivering even double the performance. In fact, for the vast majority of users, the difference between mainstream and high-end memory turns out to be extremely small.

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Gorgon3903d ago

which is why I think Sony made a mistake by including XDR memory in the PS3. In the real world of game coding, all that speed will be useless. They should have sticked with GDDR3, which is way cheaper and more than capable to move the needed data to the Cell, and with the extra money that would save they should have added another 512 MB of general mem to the PS3.

But well...

DaddyDC6503903d ago

MS and Sony should have used DDR1 ram if they used your logic.

Gorgon3903d ago

Except that you just didn't get the slighest notion of what I said. If you had been a PC gamer and overclocker for the last 20 years instead of just playing consoles than maybe you'de have a chance.

JsonHenry3903d ago


Agreed. Any developer will tell you more RAM is better than less but faster RAM.

The PS3 could have blown the 360 out of the water day one even with sloppy ports and coding if they had spent the money on more, cheaper, RAM instead of less RAM even if it is as fast as the Rambus RAM they have in it.

GutZ313903d ago

I dont think any of you understand what makes the speed of memory work in the first place.

Heres a little fact about memory and the applications its used with.
Memory can be the fastest thing on your hardware, but if the motherboards threading bandwidth is small, then you only get what your motherboard allows.

So 2GHz Memory on a motherboard capable of 800MHz bandwidth, you will only be able to use your memory at 800MHz.

Your misunderstanding of the workings of the PS3's memory are widespread, so don't think your any deferent from the next guy/girl.

The PS3's memory is EXACTLY the same speed as the bandwidth needed to operate, and is actually able to go faster with software alterations to the basic structure.

PS3 XDR memory is 2.4GHz, the Cell broadband engine is clocked at 2.4GHz, this means that full optimization is being taken from the memory, rather then being slowed down by a crappy motherboard, as the memory has a direct link to the Cell rather then being threaded before reaching it.

The Cell, XDR Ram Bus, and the RSX Video Card all "plug" directly into one another.

If you need more information, PM me or at least leave a response.

Gorgon3903d ago (Edited 3903d ago )

It doesn't really work like that. Take the example of Intel processors. Even if you raise the front side bus by overcloking, and consequently raise the speed of the cpu, most of the time you still won't be getting as much out of the enhanced ram speed itself as your getting from the enhanced cpu speed. The reason is that the cpu will choke with the data processing faster than the ram can feed. The extra ram speed and higher transfer of data will be waisted simply because the cpu won't be abble to handle all the data you are feeding it. The bottleneck will most of the times be with the cpu, not the ram speed. Thats why most heavy work workstations don't even bother having more than DDR2 667 ram. In fact, one of the main selling points of XDR ram is not its ultra-high speed, but the fact that it takes less board space because it uses fewer lanes for bandwidth (which makes it attractive for small high-bandwidth user electronics like consoles) and by consequence it further benefits cost control on PCB production.

"PS3 XDR memory is 2.4GHz, the Cell broadband engine is clocked at 2.4GHz, this means that full optimization is being taken from the memory, rather then being slowed down by a crappy motherboard, as the memory has a direct link to the Cell rather then being threaded before reaching it."

Its not just a matter of having 1:1 speed match beteween components. Its a matter of the cpu actually crunching the data at such a speed in a way that it actually makes use of the available ram speed connections. The Cell will never be starving for data for lack of ram speed. By the contrary, with game code, it will choke first before using all that speed. Thats what happens in most PC setups and what will happen with the Cell too. Certain types of code are dealt with fast. But game code is very resorces intensive. It will be like beying abble to give 20 hamburgers per minute to someone who can only eat one per minute.

And by the way, don't patronize me, I've been a PC gamer for the last 20 years as well as an overclocker, I think I know pretty well how memory works...

JsonHenry3903d ago

Wow, Gorgon! There are people on that know more than what PR crap is fed to them by Sony and MS.

Bubble for you mate!

sloth4urluv3903d ago

OMG!! my cordless phone runs at exactly 2.4Ghz too!! can it interface with the cell aswell!?

ravenguard883903d ago

Sorry dude, Gorgon is correct. More RAM is better than faster RAM (when they are somewhat comparable, anyways.) In addition to the XDR having a 1:1 ratio with the Cells clock rate, you need to take into consideration any multipliers, and the memory latencies. A 1:1 ratio would be perfect in a no-latency world, but unfortunately, the RAM cannot process requests quickly enough for the CPU to have much benefit from a 1:1 ratio. In fact, many overclockers will tell you that ratios other than 1:1 will yield better performance results.

Gorgon3903d ago

Thanks for the bubbles mate. I just want to make clear that I'm not bashing the PS3, I have one and I love it. There may be some factors leading to the use of XDR that I'm not aware of, but from a mem speed/data rate point of view, more GDDR3 would have been more usefull than less XDR and, in my opinion whithout knowing Sony's business details, cheaper.

Keep on gaming.

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DaddyDC6503903d ago

the problem I see with your original comment is that you're NOT a game coder so you really have no idea as to what you're talking about when it comes to the PS3 not needing XDR ram. Do us all a favor and stop pretending that you know what you're talking about.

ravenguard883903d ago (Edited 3903d ago )

I agree whole-heartedly with Gorgon. More RAM is 90% of the time better than faster RAM, as long as they are somewhere in the same ballpark, or unless there are CPU limitations. It is definitely true, the XDR will be able to feed the Cell much faster than it requires in almost every case.

DaddyDC6503903d ago (Edited 3903d ago )

I never said that faster ram was better than more ram. What I did not agree with was that XDR ram was not needed and that Sony should have used slower but less expensive ram. For all we know, XDR ram was probably cheaper than having 1GB of GDDR3 ram. We don't know for sure but Gorgon seems to think he does. I for one would have loved to have more ram than faster ram. 1GB of ram in the PS3 would have been amazing. Hopefully next time Sony decides to throw in 2+ gigs of ram in the PS4.

Gorgon3903d ago


I don't know, but from your comments it seems that you are angry at me for saying something "bad" about the PS3. Why the hate, mate? What I said is an opinion, I don't know what business Sony has why other electronics manufacturers. I doubt that XDR was as cheap as using GDDR3, but who knows, maybe they have some kind of agreament that made it more attractive to use.

My point is just relative to the benefits between having less XDR vs more GDDR3, and GDDR3 is enough to feed the cell in a game code enviroment and is cheaper than XDR as far as I know. So its logic that they could have used maybe another 256MB of GDDR3 for a total of 512 MB main memory instead of the current setup and probably for the same price. Not to mention that they could have made the GDDR3 memory unified. Obsviously, I don't know what businesses Sony has, so maybe it came at the same price or there was some benefit I'm missing right now.

What I don't just understand is you apologetic position regarding a critic of the PS3. Man, I have a PS3. I love it. But its not perfect, just like the Cell is not a miracle wonder.

Peace and game on.

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