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brucewtb

RAM advice needed for new system

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Hi guys, like many others on this forum I need some help with specs for a new PC. I was hoping to wait for new Nelahem chips but my current rig is starting to display some bizarre hardware related behavior something to do with dodgy capacitors, so it is upgrade time. I have most specs sorted (E8500 chip, 8800GTX card, Antec P182 case, drives, monitors from my current rig etc.) out but I am stumped when it comes to ram. I have read the debate over DDR2 vs DDR3 and understood little. So in simple terms what ram (and MB to suit) should I get? OS will be winxp pro and extreme overclocking is not a priority but I may dabble a little in that area and will be running FS9 and FSX.Any assistance appreciated.Bruceb

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Get the cheapest ram that is rated to run at 2X your projected FSB . . . and get 4 gigs of it. For instance, your proposed E8500 has a 9.5 multiplier. A FSB O/C'd to 400Mhz will drive the E8500 to 9.5 x 400Mhz = 3.8GHz. That's an adequite O/C for that CPU. A 400MHz FSB will also drive any ram stick in that mobo's ram-slot to 2 x 400 = 800. Make sure you buy ram that is rated to run at (least) at 800MHz. It will be called DDR2-800. That's all you need. There is nothing special about DDR3. It's simply DDR2 that is rated to run faster. Oh, and BTW, they changed the physical pin layout with DDR3. Eventually all mobos will have this new pin slot and obsolete an entire generation of still perfectly good DDR2 stuff. It's a marketing "Planned Obsolesce" scheme. By the time that happens, you'll be ready for a new build and DDR3 will be the standard . . . and cheap. All that timing stuff (5-5-5-15 vs 4-4-4-12) is meaningless to other than the die-hard computer hobbiest. It will have No effect on FS ops.Driving ram to rocket speeds has been the topic of unending debate. This debate has continued on without any definitive resolution because the results are Soooo small that it becomes a matter of "Beauty in the eye of the buyer." Only the spender of those big bucks can see it.And so it goes.Get a quality DDR2 mobo and 4 gigs of DDR2-800 ram. That will get you out past Nehalem . . . and think about a quad at 3.6Ghz for that same $200.

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Thanks that seems like pretty sensible and clear advice - just what I was looking for.Bruceb

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Btw. I did some testing with RAM speeds and timings... absolutely no effect. FS likes raw CPU speed.

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I would differ in opinion, and well I should! I've run the full gamut, and I can say today I am very pleased to be running FSX on a DDR3 platform. Textures are definitely most detailed with the current 4GB kit of DDR3-1600 running nicely at 7-7-6-18 1T, tRD 6 at 1580Mhz. I have tried many permutations of DDR2 (in fact, if you are still shopping and wish to go with DDR2, have I got a deal for you! Barely used Mushkin modules that run at tighter timings than stated), and got sucked into arguments for DDR3 when I clearly noticed FSX at 4Ghz CPU moved from 88% of perfection to 98% of perfection by running DDR2 well overclocked (something in this probably killed my DDR2 X38 board). I am now running a relaxed system with better latency and bandwidth than the best DDR2 performance I was getting. Wished I had gone DDR3 from the get go, but then again, I bought a Penryn QX . . .Here's the other side of the story: had I not read Nick's words on this issue I would have still been a happy camper with the DDR2 platform. Comparing them, it is no contest for me now, the DDR3 platform in a moderately pushed stated does better than DDR2 stressed to the max. The 4GB kit of DDR3 Mushkin was a whopping $400 tho . . .Noel

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And here's the next 10%: http://www.under-the-ice.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=62Each 10% increment raises the dollar cost by an exponential factor. At some point we more shallow pocketed players gotta just fold 'em and wish the da big dogs a good evening.(My fav is the Little Red Wagon. I could tow it behind my bike on my way to the next big game!)

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OMG Sam that is a frickin disease! I don't think my DDR3 cost me as much as that rig! Fortunately, you can get very nice performance with alot less money. Since I am on a 4-5y upgrade path I think it made good sense to get a platform that will maximize what the price QX can do, even at that price. My only hope is that the GD thing doesn't crash again.Sam tell me, what's your take on why Light Bloom incurs a heavier perf penalty? Is it a video driver & GPU issue, CPU or what? I am able to fly in most areas with LB on which I very much love, but it does take a toll in some areas.

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Can't help there, other than to suggest you find the component-types suggested here, that have been already loaded into a Dell (or something) and click "buy now." Parts are just a commodity to these folks. That's not bad, necessarily, but all the standard brand mfgs all buy from the same sources. Your budget will not allow a purchase from a top-tier mfg that will include the quality the $700 newegg purchase would provide (Falcon Northwest, etc). The little bit of knowledge needed to build you own is worth big bucks.

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OOps. So that's where that post went. Sorry 'bout that. That was meant for a different OP. The forum is haunted (i'd like to think!).Really don't know, but if that GTX280 don't cut it, we're gonna have to go with that 'ittle red wagon (If it comes with that cuttie-pie as my pit-crew, I'll take 2) BTW, the SM2/3 scores in 3Dmark06 were Not impressive. My 8800GT gets a 5500 SM2 score. The GTX280 gets 6500. They're getting lots of RPM, but not much torque. Sound familiar?

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