4X1GB or 2X2GB vitesta decision...

paulbretan

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Hi, I'm new to the forum, I searched for some similar threads but still have some not answered questions.
I am buying a new pc, with a q6600 proc and a x38 motherboard.
Regarding memory, I want 4GB, but don't plan to overcloak.
I have 2 choices and have no idea which one to pick:
2X A-Data Vitesta EE 2048MB (kit 2x1GB) 800+ MHz latency 4-4-4-12, priced around (4 modules = 90 euros) or
1X A-Data Vitesta EE 4096MB (kit 2x2GB) 800+ MHz latency 5-5-5-18, priced around (2 modules = 105 euros).
So if i take 4 modules it's cheaper and the latency is 4... any reason to go for the 2 with latency 5?
Except maybe the 2 less occupied slots :)...but i don't plan to upgrade memory for a while, is there any performance difference between them?
 

sailer

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By using a 2x2 set instead of a 4x1 set of ram, you get 1T timing instead of 2T. This appears to be more important in some instances at least then the CAS latency. I'm going the 2x2 route myself with Vista 64.
 

mis33

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Did you mean that you plan to OC, don"t get 2X2 GB?

I plan to OC my Q6600-G0 to 2.8-3.0 GHz. I just ordered 2X2GB memory.
 

hughyhunter

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I have a simular question... I currently am running 2x512 of old pc3200 ddr corsair valueselect ram. I want to upgrade to 2 gigs but dont want to spend much money as I am planning to build anew in the late spring. I have heard so much that filling all 4 banks up will drop timings to 2T. Is this true regardless of the situation or is that only in super old motherboards and old xp processors. I have an Athlon 64 3500+ right now. So will I even get a performance increase in games if I get an additional two sticks or should I only upgrade if I were to get 2x1?
Also could someone briefly explain to me why the command rate drops to 2T when 4 sticks are installed and should I be weary of this when I do decide to build in the future?
 

sailer

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If you are trying to save money and plan a new build shortly, either just get another 2x512 set or skip it entirely. DDR ram is getting expensive for what it is, and buying a 2x1 gig set will seem like money wasted if you're going to upgrade soon. I do take it that you mean DDR and not DDR2, as there is a substantial difference. If you mean DDR2, then go ahead and get a good set of 2x1 gig of ram, as it will transfer over to the next build and be no money lost.

Anytime you fill all 4 memory banks you will loose timing speed reguardless of the situation. Its a function of addressing all the slots, and not because of differences of the processors. There's always going to be compromises, like if a person desires 4 gig of ram and has a choice of a 2x2 gig set with 1T timing but slower CAS latency or a 4x1 set with 2T timing but faster CAS latency. The last I read, CAS latency is less important then 1T timing, but I may be mistaken on that.
 

caskachan

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Ok, then you all put me wondering , in my case i have 4X 1 gb sticks in my system and truly my timings are at 2T but her eis my problem

if i have 2 sticks i get 1T and 128bit addressing
if i have 4 sticks i get 2T and 128bit adressing but the 3th gig is wasted

if i switch to 3 sticks would i get 1T timing?, but then again i sure wont get 128bit adressing only 64.. and i sure dont want to have only 2 gigs

oooh the possibilities XD
 

hughyhunter

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Alright that makes more sense about memory timings. So if I do get an additional 2 sticks of 512 on top of the existing ones will it give a significant performance increase? Currently it takes me a solid 90 seconds to boot windows and an entire 5 minutes from the time I click on my battlefield 2142 icon until I'm in a map that is completely loaded. I'm sick of waiting and want to cut that time vurtually in half if not more.
 

sailer

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Adding ram won't make any difference in loading Windows or games. That's a function of the hard disc. Adding ram will help during gameplay, because more information is on the ram and the computer won't have to stop so often to use virtual memory on the hard disc.

If you want faster load time, you need a faster hard disc. This is one reason why so many people buy Raptors or use RAID 0, or buy two Raptors and RAID them.
 

hughyhunter

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ARe you sure that RAM has nothing to do with loading windows and game maps??? I spent quite a bit of time researching this and discussing it amongst others and they seem to be convinced that RAM is the answer to slow load times and boot times. I've heard that by having very little RAM it dumps some of the RAM jobs on the hard disk and that's why my load times are so long.
 

sailer

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I think you're confusing the issues. Having not enough ram does cause usage of the hard disk as the needed files are stored in page files on the disk, also known as "virtual ram". This slows the computer while it is being used, as every time a program needs some of the information of the disk, it stops and waits while the information is loaded from the hard disk.

An example of this would be having a program that takes up 1.2 gig of ram, but you only have 1 gig of physical ram. So the .2 gets stored on the hard disk. Every time something is needed from the .2 on the hard disk, the programs stops while the information is found, retrieved, and used. Then the program has to stop again while the new information is put back onto the hard disk. This is one of the reasons that computers sometimes develope lags. The cure is to increase the physical ram so that the whole program can be stored in it and the hard disk's virtual is not used.

When loading Windows, all the information is on the hard disc and it is being transfered to the ram. If you open the taskmaster, you will find literally dozens of programs, also known as processes, running at any given time. I just checked mine and it shows 50 are running and they take up 565 mb of the physical ram. The speed that Windows is loaded does not depend on the amount of ram, but upon the speed of the hard disk. This is why over the years we have had hard disk speeds increase from 5400 rpm to 7200 rpm to 10,000 rpm and even 15,000 rpm. Back in the days when programs were small, a 5400 rpm hard disk worked fine. Now that programs exist that are over a gigabyte is size, faster hard disks are needed to load the massive programs. This is the main reason that Raptors and using RAID 0 is so popular, increased speed to to lower hard disk access times. The same is true with loading programs. The load speed is dependent upon the hard disk speed, not on the ram size.

Again, the main advantage to a larger physical ram size is having the entire program held within physical ram, which is very fast, rather than placing part of the ram on the hard disk in virtual, which is comparatively very slow. Only during actual game play does the size of the physical ram matter, and that size determines whether the game play is smooth or if it lags because it has to stop and access the hard disk at times.
 

hughyhunter

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Alright... that all makes very much sense to me. However I never do have lag during gameplay. The only time I have lag is when I'm loading a game map and then for about a minute into a game, then everything smoothes out and I never experience it again. So basically what you are saying is that more ram will help reduce lag because it will quit dumping it back onto the hard drive right? I do know much about the raptors but I really didnt think that it increased game load times that much. I would be interested to find out how much faster one would be. If you had 150 bucks would you get one raptor or two 7200 rpms in raid 0?
 

sailer

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Correct, more ram helps reduce lag because it isn't dumping information back on the hard drive.

As for the hard drive to buy, I choose to go with a Raptor. While two 7200 drive in raid 0 might be as fast, possibly even faster, the chances of failure wiping everything out is too great for me. When running raid 0, if one drive has a problem, both drives are rendered useless and all information is lost. If a single drive has a problem, you might be able to do a repair and save the infomation on it, but often not so with raid 0, since both drives are tied together. In the end, it's an individual choice, with some people willing to spend the extra money on the Raptor and others willing to chance the failure potential. I can only say what I choose.
 

hughyhunter

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Alright... very logical response. What would be the best way to protect Raid 0? Is it doing a Raid 0+1? I'm new so I dont really know. Anyhow assuming that Raid 0+1 is how you would back up your stripped array what would be faster? Would a single raptor be faster than two 7200 rpm drives say with 16 mb cache (dont know if cache makes a difference... does it?) in RAID 0? Or the other way around. Assuming that is the case that the RAID 0+1 configuration would be faster than I know that it is probably cheaper... way cheaper getting 3 160 GIG hard disks than getting a single 150 gig raptor.
 

sailer

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I haven't personally worked with Raid 0+1, so I can't tell you about it. As to the single Raptor verses two 7200 drives, the cache size doesn't affect the two drives as far as I know. The 16 mb cache only seems to show its advantage when dealing with a single drive, say 16 mb verses 8 mb for instance. Of course, the older drives had an even smaller cache. As for speed of one Raptor verses two 7200 drives in a raid configuation, that gets heavily dependent on which 7200 drives are used. Some of the newer ones are very fast, and the perpendicular ones in raid 0 may be faster than a single Raptor. Of course, this is one reason that the new generation of Raptors being developed may have their speed raised to 15,000 rpm.

My personal drive setup is a Raptor 150 for C: drive, which holds the OS and games, and a 320 gig 7200 drive for D:, which holds all my permanent data. I back the D: drive regularly, but don't worry too much about the C: drive. With music, picture files and movies starting to take big chunks of disk space, I may be adding another disk, but I'll deal with that when the time comes. Its not a big deal to add a third disk.
 

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