DDR3 vs DDR2

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DDR3 vs DDR2

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:02 pm

I'm a college student and I intend to buy a desktop and a laptop in August 2008.

I want the desktop to be ideal for gaming and the laptop to be light and ideal for university work. I intend to get 4GB RAM for the desktop. My current intention is to get DDR2. However, due the rapidly dropping prices of DDR2 RAM , 8GB should be feasible by August.

Should I get 8GB DDR2 or DDR3 with less memory? DDR3 prices are sky-high right now despite the great increase in speed. So, any ideas?

Oh, and another thing, if I do decide to get DDR2, is there any motherboard out there that will support both DDR2 and DDR3 in case I decide to upgrade to DDR3 in the future?

Desktop budget: Less than $1000
Laptop budget: Less than $1500

Thanks in advance
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Re: DDR3 vs DDR2

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:06 am

Welcome to the forums.

Lews Therin wrote:I want the desktop to be ideal for gaming and the laptop to be light and ideal for university work. I intend to get 4GB RAM for the desktop. My current intention is to get DDR2. However, due the rapidly dropping prices of DDR2 RAM , 8GB should be feasible by August.
Whether you need 8GiB will depend on what applications you are going to use.

Lews Therin wrote:Should I get 8GB DDR2 or DDR3 with less memory? DDR3 prices are sky-high right now despite the great increase in speed. So, any ideas?
Only great increase in paper speed. Actual performance (with applications and stuff) is still nothing to write home about yet because of higher latencies and the memory controller not keeping up.

Lews Therin wrote:Oh, and another thing, if I do decide to get DDR2, is there any motherboard out there that will support both DDR2 and DDR3 in case I decide to upgrade to DDR3 in the future?

Desktop budget: Less than $1000
Laptop budget: Less than $1500
No point paying a premium for that. By the time DDR3 matters you will be looking at Nehalem (or its successor) and you need new everything anyway. Also, most boards I have seen are 2+2, with only a handful doing 4+2, meaning if you use that board to upgrade to DDR3 you will be limited.

Very good call in getting 2 machines for overall lower prices for each while satisfying your requirements (desktop for gaming, laptop for mobility). For some reason some people think they need a 4K laptop so they can do everything. The problem with that is the GPU will be obsolete fast while the notebook will not be that portable. ;)
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Re: DDR3 vs DDR2

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:51 am

DDR2 is cheap and there are many options. Take the money you save and invest it in something that will give you a very noticeable performance boost - a good video card.
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Re: DDR3 vs DDR2

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:05 am

How light of a notebook are we talking? You could theoretically get the EEE PC and it could work for note taking, but you may find it a bit too small. Assuming that you're a first year (you might not be, but since you're buying a notebook for AUGUST I assume you are), are you bringing the desktop with you? This of course, assumes you live in the dorms, which is where space and theft considerations must be thought of.

Also, what kind of university work are you intending to do? Just taking notes or hoping to play some games during down time (if you don't have the desktop with you of course).
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Re: DDR3 vs DDR2

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:29 am

Thanks everyone for the welcome and the advice. I am currently in Sri Lanka and will be coming to Canada in August to begin my medical course. I may use the laptop for gaming occasionally but not intensively. I intend to get 256 MB dedicated graphics for the laptop. More is not necessary due the desktop ( :D ). I have a younger sister and that is what first made me consider getting both a laptop and a desktop. She will have to use a computer as well so a desktop for her seems fine-incidentally if I just get some good RAM and graphics for the desktop then I can depend on that for gaming (assuming I have time at all for that!)

mortifiedPenguin wrote:are you bringing the desktop with you? This of course, assumes you live in the dorms, which is where space and theft considerations must be thought of.


No, I'm buying both in Canada. The desktop I have is dual core intel 3.0, Foxconn motherboard, 512MB RAM and 256 graphics. The motherboard supports a max of 2 GB RAM so that is quite pointless now. I intend to sell this off and get all new. :D

About laptop weight: I'm not too sure about typical weights....somewhere less than 3kg seems okay I guess. My friends showed me a laptop with 4GB ram, 512 MB graphics and all that but that is just unnecessary and bulky. I mean, after all, notebooks were made for mobility, right?

Since I will be migrating with my family, I will be living in a house, not a dorm.

Thanx, 4GB DDR2 seems fine to me right now. I hope SLI graphics prices drop soon.
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Re: DDR3 vs DDR2

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:39 am

Lews Therin wrote:I intend to get 256 MB dedicated graphics for the laptop. More is not necessary due the desktop ( :D ).
Discrete GPU will use more power and add to heat production. If you are after true mobility you should stay away from it. Just don't get the "high end" notebook GPUs.

Lews Therin wrote:About laptop weight: I'm not too sure about typical weights....somewhere less than 3kg seems okay I guess. My friends showed me a laptop with 4GB ram, 512 MB graphics and all that but that is just unnecessary and bulky. I mean, after all, notebooks were made for mobility, right?
You are on the right track. I don't know how often you are going to carry the thing around and how strong you are, but for me >5lbs is going to be a bit heavy if you carry it around all day.

Lews Therin wrote:Thanx, 4GB DDR2 seems fine to me right now. I hope SLI graphics prices drop soon.
Unless you are going to buy a 30" LCD monitor with your system forget SLI (don't make me repeat my SLI speech ;)).
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Re: DDR3 vs DDR2

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:01 am

Thank you flying fox. Could you tell me more about SLI and why you dont recommend it? Or please give the link to the related topic.
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Re: DDR3 vs DDR2

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:15 am

Lews Therin wrote:Thank you flying fox. Could you tell me more about SLI and why you dont recommend it? Or please give the link to the related topic.
It's only 490 something posts to search from. ;)

According to my fellow gerbils, most of my rants against SLI are not very coherent. :P Anyway, here is my last attempt. The best is to search for all of it. You are welcome to compile a collection of these and help make us a sticky. ;)
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Re: DDR3 vs DDR2

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2008 10:12 pm

I would definitely stay with DDR2 for now. 4GB is plenty good, don't bother with 8, make sure to stay on XP Pro, and avoid vista, get a good video card with atleast 256 - 512 ddr/2/3/GDR, SLI is optional but definitely get a mother board that supports it, if you feel like there's not enough Umph in it add that second video card...
i think 2X250gb hard drives raided 0 would go great for gamin on the desktop. make sure to keep it cool and get an airdust can to keep it tidy inside. core 2 duo 2.16ghz or better for the desktop.

for the laptop, you should look at alienware small laptops, they're very portable and pack a ton of features. some even come with 256mb video memory and raid harddrives... but with your budget constraints... i'm more inclined towards making the laptop strictly for school and just keeping limewire/etc off of it to keep it running fast.
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Re: DDR3 vs DDR2

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2008 5:44 pm

I love my DDR3 and my SLI setup, that being said, I think my gf would much rather me take her out to nice fancy restaurants instead of making her look at the blinky lights on my system and wish she were looking at the nice soft glow of candles in some fancy italian joint. But as I point out to her, my system was not paid for with my money. If it was my money, I would have built a much cheaper system, and still not taken her to those nice italian restaurants. I mean come on, I can only be railroaded by soo many things, and a gf who has no legal right to my fortune is not yet a sound investment.

But enough of that. As has been argued in many SLI or no SLI forums around the world, I think it can be boiled down to this one fair statement: if you are doing resolutions lower than 1920x1200 and definitely below 1600x1050, then you do not need SLI. SLI does not give adequate performance boost for smaller resolutions, definitely not anything worth the cost.

For mobility those new little PCEEs and the like are pretty good. I have had several friends get them and they work well. They are ultra portable and do pretty much everything you need a portable pc to do.

For desktop, I would stick with DDR2 for now. I would even go so far as to say just get 2x2GB sticks of 800 or maybe even 1066Mhz RAM and nothing more expensive than that. That should leave your room to upgrade to 8GB if you want. I would also suggest not doing any SLI, as for most people it is not worth it, trust me, you want to be saving all that money to buy beer. You are a college student, spend your money on something that is going to kill brain cells and utilize your free health insurance while you have it, like beer and rollerblades.
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