value ram VS. fancy ram? is it worth it?

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dentaku
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value ram VS. fancy ram? is it worth it?

Post by dentaku » Thu May 10, 2007 7:10 am

I'm in the process of building a new system (if the Antec P182 I ordered from NCIX ever becomes available) and I'm at the point where I'm wondering about plain ram vs. fancy ram.

I'm not going to overclock my E6700/Asus P5B Deluxe and create more heat so I just want a pair of 1GB PC5300 DDR2-667MHz .
Would there be any reason to buy this Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2X1GB) PC5300 DDR2-667MHz ?
http://www.greenlyph.com/new/product_in ... cts_id=507

instead of just getting 2 sticks of regular DDR2 like this?
http://www.greenlyph.com/new/product_in ... cts_id=460
OR this amazingly inexpensive set
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=18583
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jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Thu May 10, 2007 7:13 am

I'm not going to overclock
AFAIUI if no OC then there is no disadvantage from getting ordinary "plain" RAM.

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Post by qviri » Thu May 10, 2007 7:22 am

If you can order right now, you cannot possibly beat the Crucial Rendition 1 GB at NCIX Surprise Specials for $40. I bought a stick and I don't even own a DDR2 motherboard yet.
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Post by derekchinese » Thu May 10, 2007 9:34 am

Fancier ram usually has a lifetime warranty whereas cheaper ram does not. With no overclocking, pc2-4200 ddr 533 is all you need for your core 2 duo.

Derek

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Post by qviri » Thu May 10, 2007 9:57 am

The Crucial I linked to enjoys lifetime as well...

"First 1 year limited warranty through NCIX.com. The remainder of the lifetime warranty is provided directly by the manufacturer."
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Post by smilingcrow » Thu May 10, 2007 11:16 am

You can achieve better performance with RAM that is faster or has tighter timings, but the cost quickly escalates. RAM is very cheap at the moment so the differential isn’t as large as normal. See here for a comparison: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory ... ide_6.html

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Post by thejamppa » Thu May 10, 2007 12:40 pm

G.Skill has also cheap memory modules with lifetime warranty.
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Post by ronrem » Fri May 11, 2007 11:32 am

Often the "value Ram" is what is sold in great quantity for many years. In certain cases,the fancy stuff adds to system performance-but staying basic is most apt to be stable,compatible,and even run with a bit less heat and power draw.

The deluxe stuff-when combined with other high end gear-is like a car built for racing. Such a car is not intended to drive all year with no mechanical attention. It is not expected to last 300,000 miles or get good gas mileage or run quiet.

It's good to have a pretty good sense of what the computer's main mission is and stay mostly with what's geared toward that.

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Post by Max Slowik » Fri May 11, 2007 12:17 pm

It is not expected to last 300,000 miles or get good gas mileage or run quiet
I don't know if I agree with that analogy; because enthusiast hardware is the less common/ higher quality binned silicon, it has the capability of flexibility that generic hardware doesn't have.

I mean to say that it's not faster/ hotter/ louder/ less stable; to be honest great ram is likely better at all of the above (quiet though? How did that work out?) It's just if you hand it to a speed enthusiast he or she is going to forgoe silence for speed, but the RAM has the flexibility, not the madate, to provide that option.

Remember that silent computing is a kind of enthusiast computing, and will tax RAM more than your average Dell workstation, given that it's going to be running hot (low airflow) or undervolted or both.

I'm not saying that if you're running a silent machine that you need Dominator RAM or anything like that. But if you want RAM you can undervolt (if that option is available to you) and tweak the timings, getting something from not-the-bottom-shelf has its benefits.

However, and I feel this must be said, the most you can gain between generic RAM and great ram is probably about 10% (before overclocking). So if you're looking to add performance, spend the money on a good motherboard, processor, and video card first, as you will see bigger margins there.
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Post by jaganath » Fri May 11, 2007 12:36 pm

Remember that silent computing is a kind of enthusiast computing, and will tax RAM more than your average Dell workstation, given that it's going to be running hot (low airflow) or undervolted or both.
generally non-OCed RAM puts out so little heat (<2W) undervolting is not required; also even the quietest fans will produce enough airflow to cool ram sticks. DDR2 is better than DDR in this respect, and no doubt DDR3 will be even better.

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Post by merlin » Fri May 11, 2007 2:07 pm

ronrem wrote:Often the "value Ram" is what is sold in great quantity for many years. In certain cases,the fancy stuff adds to system performance-but staying basic is most apt to be stable,compatible,and even run with a bit less heat and power draw.

The deluxe stuff-when combined with other high end gear-is like a car built for racing. Such a car is not intended to drive all year with no mechanical attention. It is not expected to last 300,000 miles or get good gas mileage or run quiet.

It's good to have a pretty good sense of what the computer's main mission is and stay mostly with what's geared toward that.
Interesting, just noticed you live where I used to.

I have to disagree with your analogy though. Most computers are nothing like cars. I expect a high end and powerful computer to last an extremely long time with full stability and efficiency. That is what I build and will continue to make every time. For example, I have some high end crucial ballistix ram that I am going to keep at stock 1.8 voltage for stability and less heat. My expectation is that it'll last at least 10 years running at such standard settings. Your analogy is much closer to people who are using extremely high voltage, water cooling, vapor phase change/etc. This is far beyond just buying premium ram, which should work just as efficiently and reliably.

I undervolt and overclock any processor and video card I have so that I can get extra performance, high reliability, and lower temps. I think you could call that the same as getting hybrid efficiency that is as reliable as a non-hybrid with full sports car speed. Sadly that's impossible with actual cars.
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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Sun May 13, 2007 6:40 pm

why bother buying crap ram? not the question of why bother buying better rested, higher quality ram modules.

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Post by lm » Sun May 13, 2007 10:55 pm

~El~Jefe~ wrote:why bother buying crap ram? not the question of why bother buying better rested, higher quality ram modules.
Define crap. In my system, memory is either a) working up to spec b) broken.

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Post by mr. poopyhead » Mon May 14, 2007 7:04 am

if you want a car analogy, here's the proper one, imho....

why buy a ferrari when all the roads have a speed limit of 100km/h max?

the moral of the story is, value RAM is great for everyday, non-OCing computing... just like a toyota corolla is great for everyday driving from A to B.
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Post by Mr Evil » Mon May 14, 2007 7:18 am

mr. poopyhead wrote:...the moral of the story is, value RAM is great for everyday, non-OCing computing...
Even cheap RAM can be good for overclocking, if you're lucky. For instance I bought some cheap KingMax DDR333 a few years back and it ran at 400MHz+, at a time when RAM specified to run at that speed was selling for ridiculous prices. More recently, my current cheap DDR2-800 will do over 1GHz at half the price of high-end stuff.

I think it's a bad idea to go too cheap though. Generic, unbranded stuff may be of poor quality and thus suffer from compatibility and reliability problems.

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Post by Lawrence Lee » Mon May 14, 2007 7:25 am

You don't even need to overclock your RAM at all to overclock your CPU. You can run your memory speed slower than the CPU and the difference is minimal. Just make sure it's made and warrantied by a quality company. The big names offer lifetime warranty on all their products.

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Post by zerok66 » Tue May 15, 2007 3:40 am

Hows about going for a branded value memory...

Example is Kingston's value memory. Lifetime warranty, good brand name, and not that much more than the basic generic value memory knocking about out there... I was thinking of going down this road.

Cheers

lm
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Post by lm » Tue May 15, 2007 5:23 am

mr. poopyhead wrote:if you want a car analogy, here's the proper one, imho....

why buy a ferrari when all the roads have a speed limit of 100km/h max?

the moral of the story is, value RAM is great for everyday, non-OCing computing... just like a toyota corolla is great for everyday driving from A to B.
IMHO it's not really a good analogy. RAM has far less parameters than a car. When RAM is working, you will not notice any difference in using either cheap or expensive RAM. But with a cheap car vs expensive car, you will notice a difference even when both are working.

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I've got your RAM

Post by Steep » Tue May 15, 2007 7:02 am

lm wrote:RAM has far less parameters than a car. When RAM is working, you will not notice any difference in using either cheap or expensive RAM.
I disagree, according to this website, the 2500/3500 RAM is supposed to be able to handle a more heavy-duty workload than the 1500 RAM.

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Post by Elixer » Tue May 15, 2007 7:07 am

If you're going to compare ram to something on a car I would compare it to the exhaust. If you have good ram you can increase your performance a little, but the CPU is where the real performance is. Generally it's only worth buying expensive ram if you're already running top of the line, if not your money is better spent elsewhere.

Generally I buy something that is a little bit more expensive then the bottom line stuff. For example you can find 2GB of DDR667 CAS 5 ram right now for ~$80 + shipping, but 2GB DDR667 CAS 4 is only $5-10 more. I would generally go for the CAS 4 for the slight speed increase/overclocking headroom/stability headroom at CAS 5/insurance that the ram will run at CAS 5 at 667.

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Post by Elixer » Tue May 15, 2007 7:11 am

Double Post

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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Tue May 15, 2007 9:03 pm

for 50 dollars more for a pair, and 20 dollars at most for a single dim, you can get 3-4% more performance. thats top end performance, those few frames or whatever you are doing that you enjoy doing better.

I bought patriot's best for my 939 amd. the timings are 2.5 3 2 5 at 1T timings, 2 solid gig chips running that speed. I probably could get 2 3 2 5 at 1T but I wasnt sure if that caused a reboot one day or whatnot. Anyways, value ram is ram that has something wrong with it and cannot do those sweet timings. That doesnt make me all that happy to know. Ram is the cheapest speed boost to a system that also is transferable to many other future systems. 20-50 dollars more normally doesnt normally get you a better processor, certainly not the better gpu card. Also, the best ram uses the same wattage (withing 0.5 watts of reason!). Consider it the best small mod to make to a silent system for a little speed upgrade.

ah, heres another reason I do it: I know that in the case of am2 vs 939, I didnt even need to consider the new socket as my 939 board's memory was going at equal pace to fast ddr2 memory. nice to know that. same thing will be with ddr3. if you have awesome ddr2 memory, feel confident that not much if at all of a speed boost will be noticed (if on amd of course)

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Post by EV10 » Tue May 15, 2007 11:29 pm

derekchinese wrote:Fancier ram usually has a lifetime warranty whereas cheaper ram does not. With no overclocking, pc2-4200 ddr 533 is all you need for your core 2 duo.
They give warranty on RAM because it very rarely breaks, unless you overvolt it (in which case warranty might be void, due to overheat signs).

533 is a bit slow, but inexpensive 667 or 800 is fine.
same thing will be with ddr3. if you have awesome ddr2 memory, feel confident that not much if at all of a speed boost will be noticed (if on amd of course)
It will be a LONG time between DDR3 at sensible price exceeds DDR2.

Well, there are people who have nothing better to worry about than whether their PC is top-of-the-line. There are ones who have. For the former, the choice is obvious, and for the latter, as well. Effects of fancy RAM are mostly knowing you have fancy RAM.

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Post by Mr Evil » Wed May 16, 2007 2:49 am

~El~Jefe~ wrote:...value ram is ram that has something wrong with it and cannot do those sweet timings. That doesnt make me all that happy to know...
There's nothing "wrong" with it, in the same way that slow CPUs are not sold as such because there is something "wrong" with them that prevents them from being sold as a faster class of CPU. There is merely a natural spread in the manufacturing process, plus quite often chips are deliberately marked as slower than they really are, just like with CPUs, in order to meet demand.

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Post by Sizzle » Wed May 16, 2007 7:33 am

I have some Ballistix Tracers in my box. The underlit blue led's look awesome. Granted, we get a big corporate discount with Crucial through work, otherwise, I would not of gotten that ram.
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Post by Saribro » Wed May 16, 2007 8:41 am

derekchinese wrote:Fancier ram usually has a lifetime warranty whereas cheaper ram does not.
True, my 'advertised as noname' (though the module is labeled as Transcend) 1GB DDR2-667 modules (running 2T 5-5-5-15) are only under warranty till 2017 :).
In any case, I've always bought value RAM, never had a problem with it with my non-overclocking desktop/media/gaming use of it. Though with that note, I've always bought my RAM from my trusted local hardware store. I trust their choice of 'value' more than just any webshop offering anything they can sell.

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Post by Thomas » Wed May 16, 2007 10:41 am

In a given budget, I think the amount of RAM also should be considered...

If I can get faster RAM for 10-20% more money, I'll consider it. But I'm not willing to pay double for RAM which in some situations, will increase system speed by 5-7%. In that case, I prefer to double the amount of RAM.

Personally, I go for wellknown brands, because I believe it's a kind of insurance for stability. Something like Kingston ValueRAM.
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Post by thegrommit » Wed May 16, 2007 1:03 pm

Draw your own conclusions. Same stick of "performance" RAM at various speeds/timings.

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Post by Erssa » Wed May 16, 2007 1:33 pm

~El~Jefe~ wrote:why bother buying crap ram? not the question of why bother buying better rested, higher quality ram modules.
Simple answer, because it's not worth the extra money to pay double price for a 2-3% improvement in performance.

It's amazing how cheap DDR2 memory is atm. You can buy a 2gb Kingston value ram kit for 65 euros here. I sure as hell would much rather pay 130 euros for 4gbs of ddr2-667 memory then pay 200 euros for 2gbs of ddr2-800.
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Post by ceselb » Wed May 16, 2007 1:44 pm

I belive this article tells it best.
Remarkable is the drop in performance going from PC4200 (533) to PC5300 (667), even with tighter timings PC5300 can not catch up with PC4200
PC5300 [...] should be avoided when running Core 2, except when you plan to overclock. PC5300/6400 will give you the extra headroom to increase the FSB while keeping memory synchronous.
But seeing as it's almost impossible to get a 533 stick in 3-3-3 timings from a good brand, I don't know what I should do.

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