View Full Version : Ram?
12-11-2005, 02:02 PM
Ok i've been slowly upgrading my computer (recently got new mobo and gfx card) now i need ram. What is the best type/brand of ram to get? I want to get some pc3200, but i don't really know what brands are best for gaming ram.
12-11-2005, 03:43 PM
Depends on your rig.
12-11-2005, 04:27 PM
2.6ghz Intel Celeron
Nvidia Geforce 6800gt
My motherboard can hold 2 gigs of pc 3200, i just don't know what type would be best for gaming.
12-11-2005, 05:10 PM
It mostly depends on your motherboard. Best place to check is the motherboard manufacturer. They often have a list of recomended memory in each motherboards section.
The usual name brands are: corsair, kingston, OCZ and a few others. If your board supports dual channel, you may want to check on matched pairs. I bought an OCZ 2 gig pair that I am using in my A-bit AMD rig that works great at a decent price(its the same that Fozzik has in the 2 higher end recomended builds - and his own comp as well). I believe they run around $200-250(total) at the moment. There is definately cheaper stuff around too so it also depends on your budget.
12-11-2005, 05:31 PM
Could you link what you might reccomend if i wanted to spend $160-$200?
12-11-2005, 05:39 PM
BTW this is my motherboard http://usa.asus.com/products4.aspx?l1=3&l2=12&l3=0&model=494&modelmenu=1
12-11-2005, 05:55 PM
Found this ram, it would work in my motherboard, correct?
12-11-2005, 08:11 PM
I think that would work, though I could not find that exact board on the OCZ site, and I could not find a recomended ram list on the asus site. The OCZ ram does seem to work with asus boards from what I have seen.
12-11-2005, 10:03 PM
What does dual channel mean? Does my motherboard support it? I really don't know much about RAM, lol
12-11-2005, 10:21 PM
Dual channel memory gets twice the bandwidth. It has a separate channel for each slot(or pair of slots if you have 4).So essentially it is twice as fast - if you have identical ram in both channels. I didn't see it listed for your board though.
12-11-2005, 10:23 PM
Dual Channel is when 2 seperate pieces of RAM join together in a single meeting point so to speak to increase performance, and it ONLY works if you have the exact same type of RAM, that means if you have a Corsair 512 with 3-3-3-5 timings, you need the exact model and make for dual channel. But thats a little advanced for now, dont worry about it. Personaly, with 160+$, i would scrape the RAM you have now since it sounds like 2 or more brands and uneven amount, and get 2 512 pieces of RAM in Dual Channel, you can usualy tell Dual Channel if the DIMM slots (Places where you put RAM) are the same color. Why you may ask? Isnt 1.7gb RAM better then 1gb? Technicaly, yes. And no. Each RAM lets say has 240 pins, each little pin has to go through the RAM, if you have 480 for 1gb, instead of 1,060 would perform better, wouldnt you think? Also, if all the RAM is different, thats bad aswell. Why? because its like mixing batterys. If one RAM is 201mhz 512, and you have another 512 thats 400mhz, your cutting performance by 25%ish. its like asking a monkey to write a 4 page essay, then asking a human to do the exact same thing, and turn it in at the same time. One RAM will hold the other back, causing the entire system to bottleneck. I have 2 x 512 Corsair RAM dual channel and 3 256 random RAM that i dont use because i keep OCZ 2x1gb Dual Channel, i could have easyly had about 2gb but just jamming in all the RAM i had, but my system would be half of what it really is.
12-11-2005, 10:55 PM
While the previous poster had some good information, im not sure if he read other posts, including the link to your particular motherboard.
Your motherboard does not support dual channel, it supports:
(this is from the asus site from that motherboard you linked)
2 x 184-pin DIMM Sockets support max. 2GB DDR400**/333 non-ECC DDR SDRAM memory
So, currently you have 1x 512 and 1x 256. You won't be able to take advantage of dual channel, but you can still get a dual channel kit, it functions just like normal memory if dual channel is not enabled. Here are the posibilities you may want to consider...
2 x 1GB modules to populate the 2 slots you have now (replace both existing modules) upgrading you from 768 to 2048 (2 gigs)
1 x 1GB module to replace the 256mb stick (you would have a 1gb module and a 512 gb module) giving you 1536 (1.5gb)
While it is "best" to have two similar modules as far as cas latency and other timings go, its not required. ASUS boards have great compatibility, so any brand name memory should work just fine(OCZ, Kingston, Corsair, GEil, mushkin.)
Based on the information you gave, and the amount your willing to spend, i would personally recommend that you do get 2 new modules, and might as well get a dual channel pair, that way your set later on if you upgrade to a motherboard that supports it. So.. your best bet is:
2GB kit (2x 1GB modules) PC3200(DDR400) from one of the major brands.. exactly like the ocz modules you linked earlier, or like the similar model fozzik linked in his $1,500/2,000 recommended systems
12-11-2005, 11:38 PM
Some good advice in this thread, but also some rather confused things... I'm too tired to be a stickler for details at the moment, so I'll just say that kit you picked out looks good.
Why, in the name of all things holy... did you buy THAT motherboard when you decided to upgrade mobos? Was it just so you could keep using the processor you had?
EDIT: It's late, and I should be in bed. I may make a more official comment on this tomorrow, but I wanted to just mention something here...since this thread brings it to mind.
These forums are not going to be anything like many of the other "tech support" or "hardware" forums that many of you have probably read or taken part in. Don't come here and BS, because I will call you on it, perhaps making you look a little silly in the process. If you don't know what you're talking about, then ask...or sit back and just read.
The idea of these forums is to help folks learn. Incomplete and inaccurate information does nothing helpful for anyone. Bad information bothers me A LOT on most of the hardware websites I read. People come to these to get their questions answered, and they are probably going to spend money and time based on recommendations and advice they get. It's more important to get things right than it is to sound like you know what you're talking about.
I seriously do not want to hold up the free flow of ideas, and I love that more and more folks are contributing to these forums. I just wanted to mention something that bugs me on other forums, because here in my little corner of the world, I don't have to allow it. ;)
12-12-2005, 07:08 AM
doing a quick search I found that most people are recommending Mushkin for Asus mobos, but with the caviat that they are mostly talking about AMD SLI boards. Other than that it really doesn't matter, pick a good name brand and see what you can get on sale. As long as they are following the DDR400 specs they will all give you the performance that you need. ((overclocking aside, that is a totally different subject))
12-12-2005, 07:53 AM
Dual channel memory gets twice the bandwidth. It has a separate channel for each slot(or pair of slots if you have 4).
This is correct. It is very important to note the difference between bandwidth and speed. Having a larger pipe helps if you have the ability to fill it up. A dual-channel memory controller gives twice the bandwidth.
So essentially it is twice as fast - if you have identical ram in both channels. I didn't see it listed for your board though.
This is actually a situation where double the bandwidth does not come even close to making things twice as fast. Having the extra bandwidth does help, since two different sets of RAM get the use of a full-sized bus, but there is still only one memory controller, and only one processor. Because the information can only be used so fast, and the memory speed is fixed, the extra bandwidth leads to a performance improvement that's probably 20%, or maybe less.
As you mentioned, though...in this case it's not important since his board doesn't have a dual-channel memory controller.
Dual Channel is when 2 seperate pieces of RAM join together in a single meeting point so to speak to increase performance, and it ONLY works if you have the exact same type of RAM, that means if you have a Corsair 512 with 3-3-3-5 timings, you need the exact model and make for dual channel.
Careful, Merk. Although all memory that you stick in a particular motherboard does have to be able to run at the same timings / clock speed, it does not have to be identical. Even dual-channel controllers can usually handle different manufacturer's RAM. Dual channel kits are nice, because they increase the chances of stable operation (dual-channel kits usually are filled with memory chips that have come off the line at the same time and may even have been tested together). This does not mean that two sticks of regular, non dual-channel, memory won't work just fine in a dual-channel configuration. If they are decent brand, there would most likely be no problem.
memory is always going to be backwards compatible with slower controllers of the same type. DDR RAM designed to run at 200MHZ will run just fine at 133MHz, it's just slower (yes, I'm capt. obvious). There's always a chance that two sticks of RAM won't work together, regardless of size or timings or whatever...but I wouldn't say "identical" sticks is in any way a requirement.
12-12-2005, 02:27 PM
Oh? I didnt really know that! But wouldnt having Dual Channel with un-even speed ruin the point of having dual channel? You could just buy a cheaper piece of RAM at the same speed as the one you have and use Dual Channel and get the same speed, right? Inseatd of buying a more expensive RAM with higher speed and just forcing it to become lower.
12-12-2005, 03:52 PM
Well, it certainly wouldn't be the best as far as performance goes...just important to know that it would probably work in case someone wants to do it.
It is very true that the best stability and lowest latency will come from using matched pairs of RAM for a dual-channel controller. Sometimes, because of money contraints or whatever, the ideal just isn't possible.
12-13-2005, 06:15 PM
The only reason I bought this Mobo is yes, so I can use my current processor until i do a more pricey upgrade (Asus sli-premium and new processor) and because a friend gave me a graphics card (6800 gt) and my current mobo didn't have an agp slot. I actually picked out this ram http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145486 or should I stick with the OCZ?
12-14-2005, 12:23 AM
At a glance they are pretty much identical. Except, of course, that you pay less up front for the one, and the price difference after the rebate is pretty negligible. So just for the convienience of not waiting for the rebate, I'd probably go for the corsiar.
12-14-2005, 06:35 AM
Both are great brands, although Corsair has been a standard in stability and quality for a lot longer, and usually costs more for less speed.
In this case, the price and speed are basically the same, so either would be great. Yeah, I'm pretty much just repeating Spase. :)
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