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General Guidelines For Ram?

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I'm thinking about a new build and I'm at the "what-if" stage right now. I'll most likely build around an E8400 or a Q9450, and use a middle-of-the-road mobo, and I'll run WindowsXP. So, when choosing RAM, I'll most likely stay with DDR2, but should I go for 2GB of 1066 (or faster), or go with 4GB of 800, assuming they cost about the same??

 

Which is a better rule-of-thumb for RAM:

[1] more RAM, slower speed, or

[2] less RAM, faster speed

 

Don't forget that I'll run XP, so I may not be able to "use" all 4GB, but it still may be better than 2GB???

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The faster vs. more RAM is a topic we already discussed before. Don't forget to use the search engine ;)

Go see here.

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if you are going to overclock a lot id recommend pc8500. this is just so that you wont hit a ramfsb wall be4 ur cpu hits its top. if you plan on staying on stock or a 24/7OC (say 25%) pc8500 wont be that much faster then pc6400. so then take more memory

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Thank you, I followed your link, and it took me to a topic that is discussing the choice between DDR2 versus DDR3.

 

The subject of my topic is the quantity versus speed issue as it pertains to DDR2, I'm not even considering DDR3. It also brings into discussion the issue of using 4GB with WindowsXP, versus using 2GB

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Well it will depend on the MOBO, if you have 4Gb (4x1Gb) in Dual Channel Interleaved @800MHz compared to 2 x 1Gb at 1066 in Dual Channel the 4 units will beat the 2 but this is all going to be "significantly correlated" with your FSB and CPU you are using. No point running an AMD with PC2-8500 unless you have your FSB up there, AMD FSB apparently do not benefit from dividers from what I have read but Intel can. If you aren't going to get the FSB upto 533MHz why even consider the higher speed RAM!

Edited by Boldeagle

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Point taken, Boldeagle. However, I am not really considering 4 x 1GB, I would most likely use 2 x 2GB.

 

From my understanding of WindowsXP, the system will only be able to access about 3GB of the RAM, while "wasting" about 1 of the 4GB. If that is correct it makes me feel a little bit uneasy, but I imagine that utilizing 3GB is still better than using 2GB.

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Thank you, I followed your link, and it took me to a topic that is discussing the choice between DDR2 versus DDR3.

 

The subject of my topic is the quantity versus speed issue as it pertains to DDR2, I'm not even considering DDR3. It also brings into discussion the issue of using 4GB with WindowsXP, versus using 2GB

 

Since the difference between DDR3 and DDR2 is negligible, you can see it as more DDR2 vs faster DDR2... it was roughly the same idea.

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A 32Bit OS will still utilise most of the 4Gb here is one of the better articles on this point:

 

http://blogs.msdn.com/hiltonl/archive/2007...am-problem.aspx

Most people end up seeing just over 3 GB.

 

Personally I'd go with 4 GB of "slower" RAM over something rated at a higher speed unless I needed that extra speed for overclocking.

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Thanks, Thewacokid. Now, just to add to the discussion, let's say that I WILL be overclocking.

 

Let's assume an E8400 on air and a low-end Gigabyte mobo, and DDR2, no SLI or Crossfire, just a single video card. Again, let's assume that I want to overclock to somewhere between 3.5 - 4.0 Ghz.

 

Now, does that change the recommendation for RAM?? 2GB of faster versus 4GB of slower?

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