1. SPS Accounts:
    Do you find yourself coming back time after time? Do you appreciate the ongoing hard work to keep this community focused and successful in its mission? Please consider supporting us by upgrading to an SPS Account. Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a good cause, you'll also get a significant number of ever-expanding perks and benefits on the site and the forums. Click here to find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You are currently viewing Boards o' Magick as a guest, but you can register an account here. Registration is fast, easy and free. Once registered you will have access to search the forums, create and respond to threads, PM other members, upload screenshots and access many other features unavailable to guests.

BoM cultivates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We have been aiming for quality over quantity with our forums from their inception, and believe that this distinction is truly tangible and valued by our members. We'd love to have you join us today!

(If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you've forgotten your username or password, click here.)

Between 1 and 2 GB RAM... (updated)

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by chevalier, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    16,808
    Media:
    11
    Likes Received:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    ...How much is the difference? I've never been able to find out and I could probably come up with some benchmarks, but maybe between all of us, someone has actually found out what the difference is? As in same computer, first one gig and then two gigs?

    At the moment, I have a Pentium IV 2.6c 800 MHz bus HT, basically Northwood's last convulsion that turned out a competent CPU. Then comes a gig of RAM on two Kingston chips, 400 MHz DDR1. The graphics card is a new Radeon HD2600XT, an AGP version. Plus an ATA100 hard-drive and an Audigy ES soundcard. I'm pretty pleased with performance, especially as I get 80+ fps in NWN2 - that it's 1024*768 max with my 17'' monitor (unless I'm going to play at a refresh rate less than 85) is another thing.

    Since I'm probably going to end up working way more than 8 hours in my prospective new job, I'll probably have more cash for upgrades than time to play games, which is a good reason not to upgrade this computer, but rather to give it to my brother or sister and buy something new (a better new computer can be had for even 500 USD, so...), but on the other hand, it's also a good reason to wonder if I really need to spend any cash on hardware.

    I think there's no sense buying anything other than RAM and even that is out of line financially, since DDR2/800 costs half of what DDR1/400 does, so it really doesn't seem to make much point - or does it actually matter? If it matters any, I might as well get some RAM now and give it to brother or sister with 2 GB RAM when I get a new one. Plus, getting some kind of 3.4 GHz PIV - would that actually be worth it? They're hard to come buy now, but they're cheap and I don't think many games treat them worse than a Core Duo 1.8 or something. And I remember reading single-CPU systems were much preferred by games, so how about some Socket 478 DDR 1 AGP power? :rolleyes: There's always the possibility of getting a SATA drive too. And I've got a new PSU with a lot of reserve power (480W for this setup is a lot), so might as well OC some, except I don't care for the testing - not when I work 10 hour shifts plus academic stuff... And I definitely need a new monitor, but it conveniently happens that I prefer CRT over LCD (long story) and those are cheap now, so that's about as much of an expense as getting a gig of RAM.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2008
  2. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Messages:
    8,252
    Media:
    82
    Likes Received:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    Chev - RAM is dirt cheap right now, so it's probably a good time to upgrade. I did the 1 GB to 2 GB upgrade and it did speed up some games. It helped with Oblivion quite a bit.
     
  3. Merlanni

    Merlanni ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Media:
    23
    Likes Received:
    52
    Gender:
    Male
    New games like dragon age, fallout 3 and drakensang will come out later in the year, as late as q3 or 4 if things go as normal. So gamewise no reason to upgrade just yet. But on the other hand a kit of two 512 ddr1 costs around 52 euro at my closest webshop. Difficult to say at least, so I would say yes due to the reason that this type of memory will get harder to get as time goes on. If it fails, the other 1 gig will make sure it is still useable.

    In xp the 1 gig will be enough. Everything will go just a bit faster whit 2. Whit vista 2 gig is the minimum.

    The processor upgrade will postpone the retirement of the system but I would say no to that. New games multicore. Good Intel dualcores start around 170. New p35 gamersmotherboards around 105. But I can go on about prices etc etc but it will always add up. Video card, memory, power, it is always more. A good large enough Sata2 16mb cache HDD around 70.

    So it comes down to the question: What am I going to do whit my old system. The power unit can be used in a new. The case also. But the smiles on the sybling faces is always a deciding factor. The little guy whit the pitchfork on one shoulder points to the upgrade hinted above. The one whit the harp will say what you deep inside know If you cannot decide ask advice from Elan. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0068.html
     
  4. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    16,808
    Media:
    11
    Likes Received:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    Not planning to upgrade to Vista - I'll be passing this computer on with XP or staying on XP if I keep it - after all, this hardware won't run DX10 playably... well, sure, a Prescott 3.4@4 GHz with 2 GB RAM and some 7900GS probably could, but it just doesn't pay to put any serious cash in it...

    As for case and power unit, it'll go with the whole computer. For new stuff, I'll want something designed with superb cooling in mind and I'll deck it out.

    See, part of the reason I'm holding on to this computer is that while parts have changed, the mobo, the case and the HDD have been around since 2004. But I won't be getting old tech for high prices just to postpone the retirement, I think.

    My current plan is to stick with it until I can get a Vista system that will play games fluently in DX10 since for DX9 this system and XP does just fine or even mighty fine. Perhaps I'll only heed your advice and get some more memory before it starts costing really much.
     
  5. Wordplay Gems: 29/31
    Latest gem: Glittering Beljuril


    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2002
    Messages:
    3,453
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have been using 1GB of DDR RAM for three years now and so far it has been enough, but upgrading to 2GB is a good choise. It's not expensive either, so why not?

    In my case the second slot is blocked by the cooler, so I have to wait until my next comp.
     
  6. iLLusioN' Gems: 16/31
    Latest gem: Shandon


    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    3
    eh this summer I'm upgrading my mobo CPU and RAM, going from the 2 gig I have to 4 gig. It makes everything so much faster.
     
  7. Cap'n CJ

    Cap'n CJ Arrr! Veteran

    Joined:
    May 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,389
    Media:
    4
    Likes Received:
    35
    Gender:
    Male
    Upgrade to 2gb - You wont regret it.
     
  8. Stu Gems: 20/31
    Latest gem: Garnet


    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    5
    Just back to the original question (how much faster is 2gb vs 1gb), it really comes down to the game. Some games don't require much and the difference will be negligible, whilst others will run a lot faster since the game isn't forced to use the hard drive. It might be a good idea to look at the games you play and look at the 'recommended' system specs.

    Also, I've heard good things about running with 3gb (windows is meant to load significantly faster as it can load it all into ram). So yeah, it might be worth looking into.
     
  9. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    16,808
    Media:
    11
    Likes Received:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    Guys, one more thing. Apart from what we tell people, that they need to buy exact same chips etc etc, what exactly do I really need the chips to be identical in, if I want Dual Channel? E.g. the one's from Goodram, the other's from Kingston, I'd tell a friend or family member to buy two from the same, but is it really so necessary? Won't even a faster chip slow down to the speed of the slower and work in Dual Channel after that anyway?

    Hmm... And yeah. Perhaps 3 GB after all. Will see.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  10. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    7,899
    Media:
    74
    Likes Received:
    96
    Gender:
    Male
    Hmmm...that goes in to the deep depths of RAM technology that's just plain confusing. Between DDR, DDR2, DDR3, CAS latency, clock rates, maximum voltages, and a bunch of other things, I've always been told to use the same 'type' of RAM for each bank.

    To me, that means same speed, same amount, and to a certain extent...the same brand to ensure compatibility and minimize the chance that something won't work right.

    But as for *why*...It's best not to ask. Just do as the Geek Gods tell us. :p :rolling:
     
  11. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    16,808
    Media:
    11
    Likes Received:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    Well, so far got myself a 19'' CRT monitor for 12 euro, lol....

    Edit: Scratch that. The monitor sucks. Teaches me a lesson about cheap monitors. Even if I got a Philips 107B for 9 euro for my brother two months ago. My old Samsung SyncMaster 710s feels 100000 times better than that Belinea 106020.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2008
  12. Merlanni

    Merlanni ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Media:
    23
    Likes Received:
    52
    Gender:
    Male
    Depends on the motherboard. How many slots? If 4 slots two identical ones in 1 and 3 two identical ones in 2 and 4. The slowest pair sets the pace.

    One of my older motherboards a socket A amd, had 3 two in dual, one in single. I had 2 512 in the duo slots, and one gig in the single slot. The single one was a lot newer and faster but scaled down. But you have a intel board.

    Try a program like cpu-z or everest to evaluate your system. That way you might find out precisely what type of mem you have.
     
  13. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    16,808
    Media:
    11
    Likes Received:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    I know what I have. Just wonder if using two slightly different chips in DC slots can make DC not work. The ones I have now are identical CL3 Kingstons (DDR1/400 MHz), although they were not factory-matched. I wonder if I can take e.g. a CL2.5 Kingston and a CL3 Kingmax and make them work in Dual Channel at CL3.
     
  14. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Messages:
    8,252
    Media:
    82
    Likes Received:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    Chev - Yes, it will defualt to the slower speed. But you will have to try them to see if they will even work together in DC mode. Also, if your chipset is the Intel 865PE, DO NOT fill all four slots. Even though the chipset supports all four memory slots (they will work), it may actually slow your system down. That is a known issue with that particular chipset, regardless of who is the mainboard's OEM.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2008
  15. Merlanni

    Merlanni ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Media:
    23
    Likes Received:
    52
    Gender:
    Male
    I found a 1gig kit of two (512)modules ddr 400 lat 3 Kingston valueram for 49. I also checked the german branch of this firm and got the same price.

    To be sure. DDR means double date rate. Your mem is single channel. DDr2 is the same, but on dual channell.

    DDR1 or DDR cannot be used on the same board as DDR2! The little notch in the middle is spaced different.
     
  16. Erod Gems: 14/31
    Latest gem: Chrysoberyl


    Veteran

    Joined:
    May 21, 2005
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    3
    DDR can be used in dual channel.
     
  17. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    16,808
    Media:
    11
    Likes Received:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    Awch. I do have 865PE. :S
     
  18. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Messages:
    8,252
    Media:
    82
    Likes Received:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    Well, I was thinking that by this point in time, there may very well be a bios update to fix some of the old issues. I would choose a game, like Oblivion, or HL2, and benchmark it with your current amount of RAM. Then I would purchase the configuration with the 2 extra sticks and check the BMs again. If you like the results keep the RAM, if not, then return the additional sticks for the same configuration in two sticks of RAM, and then check to see if there was a noticable change in FRps.

    The reason I remember this is because of the HL2 benchmarks when the game first came out. All the benchmarks with four slots filled-up on the Intel 865PE were slower than with two, even though the total amount of RAM was greater (which led to even more scrutiny of the 865PE memory controller). The AMD configs were faster in that particular game than Intel's at that time, regardless of the RAM's configuration. Maybe you remember all the intense testing of HL2 and its benchmarkds that went on right around the time of the game's release....
     
  19. Merlanni

    Merlanni ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Media:
    23
    Likes Received:
    52
    Gender:
    Male
    After reading my post I turn red. Yes it was me and how can I be so stupid. Two dimms ddr1 work in dual channel. Thanks Erod I needed that.

    But still a ddr1 dim has 184 pins and a ddr2 240. So no compatibility between the two.
     
  20. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    16,808
    Media:
    11
    Likes Received:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    Well, so it looks like my best buddy is willing to sell me a gig from the 2 GB CPU/mobo/RAM combo he's selling. I currently have 2 * 512 in Dual Channel. He has 2 * 512 and 1 * 1024. I wonder what's better for me: buying the 512's and closing my four banks (so RAM's a closed matter) or the 1024 MB stick?

    I think Dual Channel works in pairs, so I get no benefit from having 4 sticks of the same kind, as opposed to two different pairs. I also think my buddy's better off with a Dual Channel set of two 512 sticks that match - he will sell it more easily that way. In the meantime, I should at some point be able to pin down an auction with a matching 1024 MB stick and close it at 3 GB - probably before passing the computer down the family line, but that's about it.

    Given that I have a chance of getting a *verified* stick, which hasn't been tampered with, and to pay my buddy instead of a noname guy, skipping commissions and the like, and the fact that indeed it'll look better selling his old CPU and mobo with 2*512 rather than 1*1024, while I don't predict problems getting another 1024 stick - which is also cheaper than 2*512, it looks like the 1024 is my choice.

    So I guess I just test it out and buy it if I don't get a performance drop in 3DMark from the infamous memory bank/controller problem you mention.

    Sounds like a plan... or do I get something wrong?

    Edit:

    Well. I got the 1 GB stick. It slowed me down by several hundred points in 3DMark03. In fact, the first time it was 500, the second one 300. I removed my own 512 sticks to see how the single 1 GB one would fare. That was also slow. Then I tried the 512 sticks from my buddy, which were conveniently identical with mine. I got 100 points more in 3DMark05 with four sticks than I would get with two. So I bought them. The system seems to run faster and smoother and I suppose loading times in games will reduce as well. With four banks occupied, RAM is off my head now. And I have four identical chips, which is not bad. Kingston 400 MHz DDR1 CL3, so no big deal, but still. Now I think I'll try setting them to a lower frequency but a lower CL as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2008
Sorcerer's Place is a project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of our time and funds on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!

Sorcerers.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.