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1GB ddr400 OR 2GB ddr333


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#1
comanighttrain

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Hey guys, my current system is :
512 DDR400
3200+ AMD Athlon XP Barton 2
160GB hard drive
Nvidia 6600GT vivo edition(i just upgraded from my Geforce MX440, all i can say is wow)
ASrock motherboard (needs upgrading soon anyway)

I want the best perfomance for battlefield 2, battlefield vietnam, Cossacks 2 and other such games.

My next upgrade will be RAM, my motherboard can support 1GB DDR400 or 2GB DDR333, however, im hoping to upgrade the motherboard soon because the ASrock was just a gobetween so i could get my processor to work, the 6600GT handles all the highest settings except when you turn on anti alaising on the BF2 demo (hopefully the memory upgrade will fix that, as im sure my pc starts using Virtual memory when i turn this on).

What do you guys think i should do?

Thanks
Dave
P.S. This forum is a great resource for new and experianced users alike, keep up the good work :tazz: .
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#2
warriorscot

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Depends on other factors like the timings on the ram and the quality 1gb of good quality ram with low timings is better than 2gb of not so good memory with worse timings.
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#3
comanighttrain

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wow....i didnt know RAM had quality. i thought it was all the same. I can get Kingston, Elixar, Corsair or Infineon. Going by price, Corsair or Elixar are the best makes. How do i find out the timings and quality?
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#4
warriorscot

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Well quality you need to know what are the best manufacturers, the three main companies that are the best of the best are corsair, crucial and ocz all the best computers money can buy use one of those brands usually corsair. Timings are shown in the specs list. the best timings come in at 2-2-2-5 for the fastest memory corsair make to stuff like mine just above the value level at 2.5 -3 -3 -8, or the value stuff with even higher timings. Depending on what country you are from it affects the prices if you are in the uk then go here http://www.overclock...e_Memory_8.html thats the best selection of the best ram on any website i have seen. Also keeps the good value stuff as well.
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#5
ThunderT

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To address your original question, a good thing to do is to match the speed of your CPU bus with the speed of your RAM. I believe that your processor has a 400Mhz bus, so you should definitely get the DDR400 (a.k.a. PC-3200). If you live in the U.S., I suggest you check out www.newegg.com- they stock a lot of different RAM sticks (including Corsair, OCZ, Crucial, Geil), and they list the RAM timings with each one.

I definitely agree that you should go with fast high-quality 1GB over cheap 2GB - you will probably get better performance.
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#6
comanighttrain

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i can get a twinx corsair 1024MB CL2 kit (its two 512mb modules), or the value select version(i assume thats the crap one).
But i cannot run both at 400 untill i get my new mobo, but i dont think it would do any harm to run them both at 333 for the time being would it?
I really want the best but im on one [bleep] of a budget (my job doesnt pay too well atm).

I live in Scotland by the way, i think we are still paying a bit more for a bit less here.
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#7
ThunderT

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Clocking memory slower is fine with the memory. To make this change, it should be a matter of selecting the proper DRAM speed in BIOS setup. I'm not familiar with the make of your motherboard, but hopefully the motherboard offers the ability to set the DRAM at 166Mhz. This will run the memory at 333Mhz since it is DDR (you multiply the speed by 2 since it is "Double Data Rate" memory). On some motherboards, this setting is set up as a ratio DRAM:FSB. If that is the case, be careful to change it from its current setting of DRAM:FSB = 1:1, as this will cause the memory to run at 400 Mhz, and the system probably won't start (that's assuming your Athlon XP has a 400Mhz bus).
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#8
warriorscot

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Cool a fellow scotsman. Well overclockers and ebuyer are the places to go for ram here i got my ram from ebuyers after seeing it on overclockers mind you i only saved like 3 or 4 pounds but it paid for the postage so meh. Definately go with the corsair stuff with the good timings. It will definately improve your load times in BF2 although i dont think you will get much more anti-aliasing.
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#9
comanighttrain

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what could i do for anti alaising?

the reason i thought it would help is because i can hear my hard disk kicking in when it usually doesnt when anti alaising is turned on, so i assumed it was using virtual mem.

Thanks guys
Dave
P.S. im getting the corsair from World of computers in glasgow, if you know anywhere better let me know.

Edited by comanighttrain, 05 August 2005 - 05:42 PM.

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#10
ThunderT

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To me, it's not the lack of RAM that would cause your hard drive to be doing work while running anti-aliasing, but more likely the power of your video card. A 6600GT is a good mid-level card, but it doesn't have the processing power needed to run a game like BF2 with all the bells & whistles going at a high resolution. I'm sure a lot of other games run fine, but that one is particularly demanding.

Check out this VGA Chart from Tom's Hardware Guide as it shows (among other things) what anti-aliasing does at a high resolution in a game like Halflife 2. You'll see that the 6600 GT runs great without anti-aliasing enabled, but once it is, at 1280x1024 resolution watch as the 6600GT runs half as fast as the high-end video cards and barely at a playable frame rate of around 30 fps. For reference, BF2 is even harder on video cards.
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#11
warriorscot

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Is that a shop, from falkirk so not to familiar with glasgow, i would avoid shops like the plague rip of merchants they cant offer the same prices as the internet resalers, treat you like an idiot and are frightened by people who know the diference between a hard disk and floppy drive. For the most part some of them are ok, just rather sad people as they sit in there shop playin games all day.

The 6600GT isnt up for AA on BF2 it just doesnt have the clout you should have got a x800 instead. Although i wouldnt agree that 30fps is barely playable it is playable fine 20 fps if barely playible. Anyhting over the rate of capture of your own eye is playable it just happens that if your computer is playing it at 30fps it usually isnt good enough and stutters.
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#12
ThunderT

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I forgot to add:

If you want to run anti-aliasing in BF2, either reduce the video settings, or reduce the game's resolution or both. Also, try 2x anti-aliasing if the setting is possible (as opposed to 4x).

Your orginal statement was that you wanted best performance on those games - but I'm assuming you had some dollar figure in mind when you made that statement. :tazz: The way I see things, the only way you'll suddenly get top performance would be the addition of a higher end video card - I really don't think putting in 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB will benefit your system that much if your video card is the bottleneck.
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#13
warriorscot

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Will speed up your pc a fair bit though and it will be transferable if you get dual channel pc3200 if you ever upgrade the mobo and cpu.
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#14
ThunderT

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You're right, 30 fps isn't "barely playable"...I meant to say that 30 fps plays almost without any visual glitches. Personally, I don't like to see any lost frames, so 30 fps is my minimum standard to play a game. Note in the test, that they use an Athlon 64 4000, which is significantly faster than the XP 3200+ than comanighttrain's machine.
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#15
comanighttrain

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aww crap... btw i donno if it makes a difference, but its an NX6600GT Vivo majig.

no matter, Ill have enough to buy a top end one soon.

Edited by comanighttrain, 09 August 2005 - 10:17 AM.

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