DDR RAM Questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JasenP, Apr 9, 2002.

  1. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    First off, what is the difference between buffered and unbuffered RAM other than the large price difference?

    Secondly, I have 256mb unbuffered can I add a stick of 512mb? Or do they all have to be the same?

    The main application of the additional DDR RAM is for video editing.
     
  2. CarlDJr

    CarlDJr Stunt Coordinator

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    This info from Crucial might help clear up the difference:
    Description:
    What is the difference between buffered and registered memory?
    Solution:
    DDR and SDRAM can be unbuffered or registered. EDO and FPM can be buffered or unbuffered. Buffered modules contain a buffer to help the chipset cope with the large electrical load required when the system has a lot of memory. Registered modules do not have a buffer but do contain a register that delays all information transferred to the module by one clock cycle. Buffered and registered modules are typically used only in servers and other mission-critical systems where it is extremely important that the data is properly handled.
    Two points to consider:
    1. Yes you can mix sizes of the same memory, but generally you will see the greatest improvement in performance with 512MB of memory installed. Above that you will get relatively small increases in performance. Note that W98 does not play well with more than 512MB of memory.
    Check the Crucial site and click on the Library tab at the top of the page for lots of info.
    2.After the upgrade to 512MB of memory, the next big improvement will come from upgrading your processor. The "sweet" spot for price/performance right now is at the Athlon XP 1800+/Intel P4 1.8 spot.
    You don't need to go that high, but unless you upgrade several speed steps you'll not notice much difference for the money.
    You can check prices at PriceWatch
    Check your motherboard to see whether it can handle whatever processor upgrade you might consider.
    Hopes this helps. Good luck.[​IMG]
     
  3. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    Carl

    Thanks for the info. I am Running XP Pro w/ an AMD 1700+ OC to 1.54ghz with 256mb of unbuffered DDR RAM. Are you saying that I wouldn't see a substantial increase in speed if I go beyond 512mb of memory? Video editing requires a lot of rendering and I would like to be able to max out my speed for this purpose.

    Thanks!

    -Jasen
     
  4. CarlDJr

    CarlDJr Stunt Coordinator

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    Jasen,
    From what I read on the Crucial site, no you wouldn't see substantial increases. They state that large file users "may continue to see improvement", but it seems to be in much smaller degrees. This Crucial article benchmarks installed memory in XP and AMD systems:
    Crucial
    512MB module is twice as much as a 256MB module, but the performance increase you would gain appears to be way less than the cost would seem to justify.
    Looking at some of the very thorough cpu reviews, they almost all use 256MB of memory in their setups.
    One good review that includes video encoding is at:
    http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/02q1/020107/index.html
    Again, with the system you already have, even upgrading the cpu would not give substantial improvements unless you went with expensive 2100+ or soon to be released 2200+.
    Since you have overclocked your cpu I'm guessing you have a fast hard drive, which would be the other area to look at.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Rusty Ray

    Rusty Ray Second Unit

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    Jasen, i just got an Athlon XP 1700+ with 512mb of ddr ram, but what did you do to overclock it? was it difficult?
     
  6. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Jasen,

    Yes you WILL see a large improvement with more than 512

    or even 1 Gigabyte of RAM when working with image editing.

    I am talking from experiance here. If you are working with

    large format graphics (1200 or larger resolution) in sizes

    lager than 1" x 1" you will need lots of ram as much as a

    full Gigabyte or two..

    I have 256 Megs PC2100 DDR and I crash Photoshop when I try

    and work with large format imaging. Some of these images

    can take up a full Gigabyte or more of your system ram.

    For most applications 512 may be more than you would ever

    need. But for anything image related or 3D design related

    max the ram out!
     
  7. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Cinematographer

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    To all my friends who are building PCs now I recommend they get atleast 512MB of RAM and as I consider all HTFers my friends I will do the same,

    Have atleast 512MB in your box, more if you can afford it.
     
  8. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    Rusty,

    It's not difficult at all, I just moved the FSB up a few notches in the BIOS. I belive it's now at 140mhz. I really haven't had the need to go higher, but I'm sure I could. I'm using an MSI MS-6380 board with the newest BIOS (1.90) and all my OC has been using the BIOS settings.

    My processor has been running hotter and my case is much hotter with the ATI 8500DV I installed a month ago. I'm thinking about getting a new heatsink & fan to cool my chip.

    I average between 45 and 56 degrees depending on what I am doing.

    I will be investing in some more RAM in the next month or so. Thanks for all the input ya'all!
     
  9. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Jasen,
    When you look at heat sinks for your AMD I am sure you will
    look at all the "regular players" in the field. Those players
    would be the ThermalRight SK6 and the PAL Alpha and the Kanie
    HedgeHogs etc..
    But my suggestion would be to check out the CoolerMaster
    Copper Heat Pipe HSF.. It's far cheaper than most of the
    other well knowns and it's been proven that it will outperform
    the best of them (like the SK6) by at least 10 degrees
    and it's half the price.
    www.coolermaster.com
    I have an H71 Coolermaster Heat Pipe HSF on order for my
    1.8A P4
     
  10. CarlDJr

    CarlDJr Stunt Coordinator

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    JasenP,
    Just came across this article comparing Athlon and P4 performance in different settings. It has a good comparison using PhotoShop benchmark which is directly related to your question.
    If you look at their test setup, it is using 512MB memory. They emphasizes the importance of the cpu in image editing.
    http://www.aceshardware.com/read.jsp?id=45000332
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Rusty Ray

    Rusty Ray Second Unit

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    I have the cooler master it the little pipe thingys and it works pretty good but it is quite loud.. imho. i may take it back cause it is so much louder than the one i had in there...
     

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