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RAM


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#1
Decoys

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Hello,

Was pondering today about RAM and whether, in a higher-end desktop for gaming, which would be better: 4GB of "fastest" (overclocking already fast ram), or, 8gb+ of "slower" RAM.

Keeping in mind that all RAM in this scenario would be DDR3.


I've read that the more RAM you have, the less you can overclock it, as it adds stress on the memory controller. Is that correct?

General thoughts and comments regarding RAM in terms of performance and overall system performance are appreciated.
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#2
Neil Jones

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The speed differences between your DDR3 800 and your DDR3 1600 are theoretical. All DDR3 memory is faster than DDR2 memory, and again in theory overclocking it should improve performance but you do run the risk of effectively shortening the life of the RAM, which wouldn't be covered by any lifetime warranties you may have on it.

As to which is better between 8Gb and 4Gb, it depends what you're doing with the computer. Internet and writing letters to the local paper isn't worth 2Gb on its own, never mind 8Gb.
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#3
Decoys

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Hi Neil Jones,

As to which is better between 8Gb and 4Gb, it depends what you're doing with the computer.


Thanks for the feedback. The computer (a future build) would be for gaming, (think Crysis, and not Pong).

I heard that if you have a SSD then you should go for less, but faster, ram. If you have a regular HD, then it'd be better to go with more, slower.
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#4
DaffyKantReed

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The idea in any high end gaming machine is to avoid bottlenecks. In many cases this will be the storage sub system. Dollar for dollar an SSD is the biggest single upgrade you can perform.


Oh, forget about what you may have heard, faster RAM, as long as you have enough for running apps, is always superior to excessive amounts of slower RAM. Also, you will need a 64-bit Windows OS to take advantage of anything over 4GB.
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#5
Decoys

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The idea in any high end gaming machine is to avoid bottlenecks. In many cases this will be the storage sub system. Dollar for dollar an SSD is the biggest single upgrade you can perform.


Absolutely; I agree 100%. I've been eying up one of Intel's 160gb models. I can keep the OS and games around ~120-130gb, so I think that 160gb model should be adequate. I've never had to install programs on a second drive before, due to a lack of space and, therefore, don't know much about how one goes about actually doing it. Does performance take a hit under that scenario?

As for the the amount of RAM (64bit OS of course included), for high end gaming, is more than 4gb advised? Or, would it be better to keep it at 4gb, but overclock the RAM?
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#6
DaffyKantReed

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Crysis recommends 2GB of RAM. I am not sure if other games require more RAM, but I'm guessing 4GB should be fine. Buy the fastest timings you can afford and play around with the dividers if you like. In the main I like Corsair XMS and most Mushkin products.
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