"Tom's Ultimate RAM Speed Tests" discussion


Mar 18, 2008
Article: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/toms-ultimate-ram-speed-tests,review-30648.html

Yet again Tom delivers a fantastically informative and thorough review; one that even us semi-noobs can understand and learn from. I am personally on the verge of buying new RAM so for me this couldn't have come at a better time. Still, there are a few things that I would like to discuss with you.

Point 1: The RAM market is very homogene in performance with a DDR2-667 performing within a 3% margin of a DDR3-1333. As a consequence, it seems the cheapest RAM block is pretty much the one to go for.
Point 2: DDR2 is, for the time being, by far the best choice for that.
Point 3: DDR2-800 or DDR2-1066 is the best of the DDR2 models, and while lower timings improve performance a little, it shouldn't be the deciding point in a purchase.

These three points greatly narrows the product list and makes a seemingly incomprehensible list of choices quite simple. Still, the question of brand vs. price is unanswered. If performance is as unvarying as it turns out to be, one could be prone to simply go for the cheapest product available - but how much impact do you reckon that have on performance? Over at Newegg.com you can get a pair of Team 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) with a $60 rebate which makes it a $84,99 total, or you could go with the appraised G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) for $149,99 which is a whole lot more. How much does this matter? Say I have a motherboard that enables me to clock CPU FSB without it affecting RAM, shouldn't I just go for the cheapest? Also, concerning this cooling hype that followed Corsair Dominator; how much do we actually need it? For all but the high-end enthusiasts (who just by the way won't get much extra for their efforts, as it turns out) a normal DDR2-800 looks pretty much perfect. As long as the product is stabile at the specs it claims, perhaps brand is less important?

What do you think?


Oct 12, 2006
i think i've built several computers, both with name brand and generic RAM. Name brand stuff has a lower probability of having errors and will oc more, if you want to do that. I have Crucial Ballistix Tracer modules now, and what made me choose them was a kick a$$ rebate plus the pretty light show they do.

the article pretty much points out that the long hours of agonizing over which components to choose are best spend on cpu, vga, motherboard, hdd, and not on RAM, cause it won't make a whole heck of a lot of difference in the long run.