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Does faster RAM really make a difference?

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.

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pcauthority.com.au
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vitz33560d ago (Edited 3560d ago )

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.

-_-

The Matrix3560d ago

When I tripled my RAM count on my computer a while ago I only noticed probably a 3% speed increase.

SonyOwnsNextYear3560d ago (Edited 3560d ago )

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

darthv723560d ago

Oddly enough, you are probably correct. Considering the concord doesnt fly anymore.

DevastationEve3560d ago (Edited 3560d ago )

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.

moja3560d ago (Edited 3560d ago )

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.

DevastationEve3560d ago (Edited 3560d ago )

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.

ThanatosDMC3560d ago

Depends on how you use it.

"It's not the size. It's how you use it." <-- where was that from again???

ofx3603560d ago

The guy on you pic. HAHA *slaps knee*

ThanatosDMC3560d ago

HAHHAHA... he's my spray paint too on CS!

ofx3603560d ago

thats awesome. I just use the default...im a noob :(

DevastationEve3560d ago

that was great, agrees for everyone! double entendres and avatars...hahaha!

LeonSKennedy4Life3560d ago

Haha...I laugh every time I see that picture too!

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3560d ago
Magic_The_Celt3560d ago (Edited 3560d ago )

Only bother if your going for games.

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