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- Posted on
October 11, 2006, 1:21 am
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the RAM is a bit old now. My max RAM, I believe, is 1 GB. I have two
512 DDR RAM modules, one is a Kingston 3200 (200 Mhz), but the other is
a SpecTech, Inc. (probably stock) at 2700 (166 Mhz).
Since RAM is somewhat cheap these days, would I notice anything by
upgrading to another 3200 RAM module (brand name)? If this might make
sense, what's a good brand, Kingston, Crucial, something else?
I'm a gamer so I do care about performance. A totally new system will
have to wait a bit due to budget limitations, however.
Thanks so much!
Re: RAM speeds, problematic if different on same computer?
If you are referring to changing out the PC2700 stick for
a PC3200 stick, the couple percentage point difference in
performance will be invisible. A visible change comes from
speeding up the CPU, but overclocking prebuilt computers is
complicated by the lack of features in the BIOS. And while
there are nice programs like Clockgen and SetFSB, for changing
the clock feeding the CPU, these programs have to be set up
to deal with the clock chip on your motherboard, and there
are simply too many different motherboard designs in the
world for programs like that to handle them all.
This article is comparing the performance difference
available with different CAS values. Your change from
PC2700 to PC3200 should be similar to the changes seen
The Crucial web site can give you more info on what memory
will work in the computer. Apparently there are two
different versions of the 4550 - one with FSB400 and one
with FSB533 - referring to the front side bus speed of
the processor they were equipped with.
To give you an example of the difference performance
makes, I just overclocked my P4 2.8C machine to 3.2GHz.
I couldn't get it Prime95 stable above 3.2GHz, and it
did not appear to be Vcore limited. Almost like my
stinking motherboard was preventing it from going higher.
I play the BF2 demo, and the difference in clock speed removes
some slight hesitations in the game. The clock difference
was not enough to allow changing to a higher resolution or
turning on more detail. Changing the RAM would be less
difference than my overclock, and would be an unobservable
Your next improvement, would come from getting a
Conroe/Allendale based system, for maybe a 50% improvement
in performance. If you time your purchase right, by waiting
until after Vista has been shipping for a while, you can
purchase a new computer with a DX10 video card in it, and
be ready for the next generation of games. I would wait
for the second wave of DX10 cards to come out, as the
first ones might have their issues with the new standard.
You have plenty of time to save up for a new computer :-)