help with choosing ram

Discussion of all forms of processors, from AMD to Intel to VIA.

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Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2002 5:36 pm

greetings all,
ive got a 1.4 athlon running 2100 DDR i would be very greatfull if someone explained some stuff about ram and helped me pick now that im looking to buy...

what are the benefits of ECC and how significant are they? any negative implications? is it worth the $$?

also heard about buffering - how does that work? what are the benefits?

ive read about 4 layer/6 layer ram - what does that refer to? is 6 necessary for a 1.4 ghz athlon proc?

are there any performance differences b/w 2x256 mb and 1x512?

anything else i should know about DDR, RAM in general?

appreciate any help
thanks
wnstitw
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Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2002 9:11 pm

I use Micron DDR ram, it runs at CAS 2 very nicely(with fairly aggressive timings). ECC is useless for 99% of non-server applications, in fact it may slow your system by a couple percentage points. The difference between 4-layer and 6-layer RAM AFAIK is just two extra layers of insulation, I would greatly recommend going for 6-layer for stability and better overclockability(if thats your thing). Going with one 512 stick of DDR is probably best, with two you have to make sure they are from the same batch(possible timing problems) Plus it leaves you with an extra slot for later upgrades. Also it helps to use registed(buffered) memory if you plan to upgrade later(caveat: if your board supports it)...
Lao Tze
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Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2002 10:17 pm

One thing about buying a single stick of 512 instead of two sticks of 256 is that it is more expensive for just one stick. Also, most 512 sticks are CAS 2.5 not the faster CAS 2. If you can find a stick of CAS 2 512 MB stick, then buy it if you can afford it.

But you really want to buy RAM that uses Micron chips. I recommend either the Crucial or Corsair brand of RAM and make sure that they use Micron chips (I've heard rumors that Crucial sometimes uses Infinion chips but I haven't heard anything definate).

And your motherboard will also determine how much you can get out of your RAM. So make sure that your motherboard will let you select all the different timing values that your new shiny stick of RAM can handle. No use getting something really good and be limited by your motherboard.
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Postposted on Tue Feb 05, 2002 3:55 pm

Keep your eye out for tech Reports article coming up about OCZ333 DDR ram, I hear it is very impressive.
Ne0
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Postposted on Tue Feb 05, 2002 8:04 pm

I'm not a big fan of OCZ.

BTW, Crucial 2100 is all 2.5, but mine runs just fine at the most aggressive settings (2,2,2) and 1T.

If you are using an AMD board, you will have much better luck with registered. If you are running a VIA board, don't bother. Not only will you get worse results, but some of the boards only operate with ECC if all of the mem registers are filled.
Thresher
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Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2002 10:18 am

thanks for the help ppl,
ive got a biostar MBBIM7VIB which is VIA if im not mistaken.
can VIA take advantage of CAS 2 ram (i can change it in the BIOS, is that enough?)?

downloaded manual from biostar sais my mb supports 8 banks up to 4Gb for registered and 6 banks up to 3Gb unbuffered. why the difference? and how does registered differ from unbuffered exactly?
thanks




<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: wnstitw on 2002-02-06 14:38 ]</font>
wnstitw
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