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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Anthony Moore, Aug 7, 2002.
Which RAM is better when looking at a P4 desktop?
RDRAM, or DDR SD RAM?
RDRAM is the fastest in an absolute sense, but it's very difficult to justify the extra cost. The difference in speed is extremely close now, with the faster DDR speeds, and the price difference is still around 50%.
DDR is the best. RDRAM does run faster than DDR, but benchmarks still prove DDR beats RD both in performance and price. DDR is the way to go!
If you find a good enough deal, by all means, go RDRAM. Seriously though, the difference in real world terms is very slight. I'm on loads of RDRAM right now (1.5GB of PC800 ECC RDRAM on P4 Xeon 2.4Ghz), but from the pure cost/performance standpoint, it's a bit difficult to justify.
>>Of course, price is an issue to consider. Yes, RDRAM is more expensive. This may change in the near future. Right now there are quite a few boards coming out that are based on the RDRAM solution (from Intel). Also, SiS has announced a chipset for RDRAM, which should create more interest.
Sorry, but the whole argument is moot, particularly if this is for a home environment. Unless you're going to be running very memory-intensive applications like 3D CAD/CAM or computer animation/rendering, the speed of memory is negligible and should not even enter into the picture.
I worked at a major international engineering company (one that happens to be prominent in recent "corporate scandal" news) that is unbelievably heavy in 3D metalurgical and plastic component design and manufacturing, and they ran memory tests as well. The differences were ridiculously unimportant. I was not a part of these tests since I am a UNIX/Solaris admin, but I was made aware of the results. The extra cost of RDRAM versus DDR RAM could not come close to being justified, and this is in an environment that needs as much speed as possible.
For home use, comparing DDR RAM and RDRAM is like comparing two cars that are virtually identical, except one can go up to 180 miles/hour whereas the other can go 190 miles/hour an hour and costs $2000 more. No matter which one you buy, the speed limit on the roads in still 55/65!
Just make sure that you have more than enough memory for your system. If you will be running NT/2000/XP, I recommend 256 MB+. Beyond that you WILL suffer from diminishing returns. Do not go above 256 MB with Win 9x/ME as it becomes even more unstable than it inherently is. Of course, if you're looking at a system that can do DDR RAM, I sure as hell hope that you're not even considering 9x/ME!
I purchased a Dell 8200 Dimension P4 2.0 GHz and went with 128MB of RDRAM, figuring I could get extra memory cheaper elsewhere. I am looking at 512MB for $185 (bringing me to a total of 640MB). It looks as though I could also get 1GB for around $400 (bringing me to 1.128 GB). Is the extra 512 MB worth the money? I do not run CAD programs or anything that high-end, but I want to be sure my system is workable for at least 3-4 years.
I can just about guarantee you that I use my system more heavily on processor and memory usage than most people, and my system has yet to break the "300 MB of used RAM" barrier. If you just use your PC for games and Internet usage, you have no reason to go above 512 MB. Anything else will be a waste, unless you decide that you want a huge RAM disk of some kind.
I have 512mb of RDRAM in my new machine. It will cost a bit to upgrade when I need to but maybe by then the price will come down a bit...
That's good to know. When XP first came out they said that 256 MB was really the minimum you wanted to have, so I figured 512 (or 640) should give me a cushion.