Will splashing out on expensive RAM make a real difference to PC performance? And if so, how much should you buy? PC Authority supply the benchmarks and lay the details bare.
No. Speed has no effect on how fast something goes. None at all. I can walk to England in the same time it takes a Concord jet to fly there. -_-
When I tripled my RAM count on my computer a while ago I only noticed probably a 3% speed increase.
Games do see a benefit from fast ram. All it is, is access times. crysis immediately comes to mind. granted the fps increase is minimal
Oddly enough, you are probably correct. Considering the concord doesnt fly anymore.
Logically, a computer sees memory as it is. So you can't say that having x of higher speed memory is like having 2x of lower speed memory. The biggest chunk x can handle is x, NOT 2x. When 3x needs to be loaded, it will read it in 3 chunks of x. Programs need room, so a nice empty warehouse is better than a studio in the city. Of course, there are uses for faster memory. Obviously graphics memory comes to mind. The framebuffer needs faster memory for reads and writes, and everything else that are just reads can be in slower memory. For system memory, the memory controller is what determines what kind of memory you can use. A 4x167 CPU is best coupled with 2x333 memory. Step the memory up a notch and what will happen is that the CPU will be forced to overclock. Stepping up to 2x400 (ddr2 800) will mean the CPU will be 4x200.
I think I understand what you're trying to say there, but I disagree on your last bit. Stepping up the memory a notch will not force the CPU to match - that's called OC headroom, and it's useless if you don't use it. Memory running faster than the bus/memory controller can't use that extra speed for the system unless the bus is brought up to match (which affects the CPU if multiplier isn't changed). That's why it's important to plan your overclock and component specs before building a system, as you always want to get parts that complement each other. For example, I have an E8400 spec'd at 9x333MHz -> 3.0GHz stock speed. My FSB can run from 333 (CPU default) all the way to 533+. If I just plopped some DDR2-800 in there and let the system match the CPU, my DDR2-800 would only be running at 667MHz. Instead, I bring the FSB up to 400 (800 FSB) to take advantage of the memory specs and squeeze more juice out of the CPU (3.6GHz). If I bought DDR2-1033 I would pump the FSB up to 533 and lower the multiplier of the CPU to around 7.5 (~4GHz), but the difference between 1033 and 800 really is negligible, so why not stick with 800 at CAS4 than pushing to 1033 with CAS5. So yes, you have the headroom but the CPU doesn't use it unless you tweak the BIOS.
I wasn't highlighting it as an advantage. And yeah, the memory would clock down to the CPU's speed, not the other way around. So I shouldn't have said forced, more likely that it won't run at its rated speed UNLESS you overclock. But that's basically the answer to the article's question. It's not going to make any difference in overall system performance. Since you're limited by what your FSB dictates. Do you overclock just so that the memory runs at its higher speed? The answer is no, buy matching memory speed for the CPU. If you PLANNED on overclocking, then the answer is go ahead.
Depends on how you use it. "It's not the size. It's how you use it." <-- where was that from again???
The guy on you pic. HAHA *slaps knee*
HAHHAHA... he's my spray paint too on CS!
thats awesome. I just use the default...im a noob :(
that was great, agrees for everyone! double entendres and avatars...hahaha!
Haha...I laugh every time I see that picture too!
Only bother if your going for games.
And loving it
Once the new intel chips come out (i7 i believe) ram speed won't be so important but for now, yes they make a difference.
I still use my Sinclair ZX81 with a whopping 16k RAM PACK to control all my Scientology Enterprises and the world.
If I could only upgrade 1 thing on any old computer, i'd upgrade RAM. CPU may boost speed of about less than 10 seconds, but RAM is always about a minute faster in load time, which is super significant. RAM is GOD!
It makes a difference. But CPU is much more important then RAM.
it cost more
RAM speed is relevant if you're a PC gamer with higher end hardware and a good CPU. The higher the speed, the higher the speed, the higher the interface with the CPU. I overclock my PC6400 RAM from 800MHz to 933 and it improved my 3DMark score by 500. Even though RAM speed might not be the big performance booster it helps in terms of CPU-RAM interface speed and could increase performance by up to 5%. It may not sounds like much, but to die hard PC gamers, every percentage counts. I also have 4GB all in dual channel mode. I love the way games run on my PC. Not to mention the reasonably low latencies.
Those 500 points are how much in percentage? 5%? Generally speaking, high-end RAM blocks are not worth their money. They cost double or more the price of regular RAM blocks and bring at most 10% performance boost, if at all. That's 33 fps instead of 30. Useless. Size matters more than speed.
500 is from the scoring system that 3DMark uses. The average PC with a relatively new video card might get around 5-6000. My score in 3DMark was 14028. I don't know what 500 is as a percentage, but just from that slight OC I got a boost of 500. Not bad just for changing a value in the CMOS. And the RAM I got isn't what I'd call high end. I'm running 4GB of Corsair XMS2 in a 4x1GB configuration in dual channel. You can get these matched pairs for 45 dollars on Newegg. I wouldn't call that expensive considering I originally paid 100 dollars per pair over a year ago.
500 / 15000 ~ 0.03, so we are speaking about 3% performance increase. That's certainly nice, if you get it for free, like you did, but like I said, it's a waste of money to buy high-end RAM. Better buy twice as much value RAM. And don't even get me started on latencies...they affect performance even less than the RAM's frequency.
Well of course buying high end RAM is only worth it if your system would benefit from it; ie. a high end PC with a 1000 dollar CPU and a hugely powerful video card. Having decent speed, mid-grade RAM is easily good enough. I have RAM that's on the higher end of the mid-range spectrum and it works very well for me. It even has an SLI profile should I decide to utilize 2 video cards. But for the most part, you're right. High end RAM doesn't ultimately mate value to performance. Good call, man.
I want 128MB of Ram. lol j/k that is ridiculous
I suppose this article got so many hits because it seemed console-related. It's refreshing to hear some PC talk now and again. I have 4GB DDR2-800 in my Vista64 machine, and I was agonizing at first over getting DDR2-1033 for OCing the FSB, but realizing that many 800 kits can OC around the 1000 mark with relaxed timings. With DDR, timings were everything, but with higher speed/capacity RAM it matters less, as the bandwidth and size make up for any loss (as shown with benchmarks). As a general practice, I get RAM with a lower latency just to give myself that OC headroom later. My 2x2GB CAS4 kit works just fine, and cost the same as many CAS5 kits. I will be interested in how high they can push DDR3.
Article has nothing to do with ram speed, its comparing performance of different amount of ram on 2 platforms, but not speed of ram. Quite recently I did update to my PC and I feel noticable difference in performance after swithing from 2 [email protected] to [email protected] on same specs and operating system. Just wanted to say as PC gamer, speed and amount, are same important.
The type of Memory that you have can effect speed, and speed can effect the performance of you PC or Console. The more Memory you have the more the CPU has to work with. Of course SRAM is the fastest memory you can get(which is what the the CPUs use for L1,L2,and L3 cache) and is very expensive. PCs use DRAM which is slower than SRAM but is less expensive. The more RAM(DRAM),DDR3, you have the faster the CPU can work, as long as the Front Side Bus and RAM speed doesn't have a bottleneck. Also with DMA; Hardware, such as video and other expansion bus's can use RAM, so it is always good to have a lot of RAM so your performance is good. As far as the consoles go such as the 360, Wii or PS3 the ps3 has an advantage with XDR memory. That stuff is blazing fast! On the other hand the wii and 360 use DRAM, which is slower than XDR.
when im behind your mom and im lacking that essential ram needed to finish. Cialis anyone?
Is very important. People who KNOW computers KNOW why. Noobs, get your explanations on wikipedia. If your a [email protected]$$ and you dont really know anything, please dont comment on it. That is all.
The only time I see an increase in speed, is when I play video games, but other than that, it's pretty much the same.
This is very misleading. If you post this on a gaming site, this article may confuse some people. For games and probably photoshop or videos, increased ram will help. For other normal things probably not. I'm talking from the stand point of Windows XP. I hate MS but with all the tricks and tips that are out there it is a solid OS if you still want to play games. Otherwise forget Vista go to Ubuntu.
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