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 Post subject: What's Best Ram? My system I'm gonna build.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 8:11 pm 
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What RAM is the best out there? This Geil RAM seems a little high on it's timings. It has the most reviews on newegg of any ram. What ram is the best?

Here's the system I am thinking of building so far:
  1. Abit NF7-S 2.0 motherboard (maybe AN7... probly NF7-S tho) modded with Zalman NB45J
  2. AMD 45W 2600-M with IQYHA & MPMW steppings
  3. Cooled with Zalman 7000 Alcu cooler and using this and this mod.
  4. Incased in an black LX-6A19 from directron.com (will mod it similar to coolcases version)
  5. Case cooled with two (front and back) evercool 120mm aluminum fans decouple mounted possibly with Bluefront's method.
  6. Back 120mm fan opening will be covered with a chrome grill.
  7. Power supply will be Fortron Source FSP350-60PN (already purchased).
  8. Hard drives will be Samsung SP1604N - IDE 160 GB 2MB Cache (already own) possibly connected via SERILLEL2 SATA Converter included with NF7-S v2
  9. Samsung SP1614C Sata 160GB or maybe instead Seagate ST3200822A - IDE 200GB 8MB Cache (not 100% sure which)
  10. Zalman ZM80C-HP passive cooler for my PNY Ti4200 64MB 500Mhz clock rate (already own) and possibly oc w/Zalman BR123 to possibly mount this fan over it, or alternately use ZM-OP1 (probly less silent)
This is going to be an big oc'ing rig, and "silent" hopefully. It's primary use is going to be 3D Gaming, so max performance is what I'm shooting for. I sleep about 4 feet from the computer, which is on most of the time... silence of this system is priceless.

I'd like to express my appreciation to all those on this forum that helped me in choosing the system components above. 8)

The missing component right now is the ram... I haven't really researched it yet. Any pointers on where to start? As I understand timing is one of the most important things, and also being stable for oc'ing.

What do you think of my system? Suggestions?

Thanks!

*** EDIT ****
Ok. I just ordered the Buffalo (ch-5) ram from Newegg, two sticks of 512mb for $99 each. Thanks for all the help guys! :D :D :D :D


Last edited by NetTechie on Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 8:39 pm 
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I used Kingston HyperX PC 3500 (DDR 433) matched pair of 256mb, in my Shuttle nFII Ultra mobo with outstanding results in dual channel mode.

I bought another matched pair and put all 4 in my MSI PT880 for a total of 1gig.

Kingston part number: KHX3500K2/512

I bought it on a hunch it would work in the nFII board as no compatibility info was available and at the time the matched set cost $150.

Your milage may vary and take those "customer reviews" with a grain of salt.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 8:42 pm 
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Is dual channel really that much of an improvement? Would it be that much better to get two 256MB now instead of one 512 and later add another 512 for dual channel when I can afford it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:03 pm 
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I am a big Mushkin or Corsair XMS user myself. Always been happy with their performance.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:05 pm 
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Dual channel is the only way to go. I planned on getting a "quad pumped" P4 board later and that was part of the decision.

It's all about the timings and what your mobo will support.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:13 pm 
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Do I have to get ram in a set for dual channel to work? Or can I buy two of the same ram individually (cheaper)? What are the problems you can run into if you get each ram seperately for dual channel?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:18 pm 
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You can buy them seperate, atleast from my experience, but I've heard otherwise.

Dual channel can run with the stick of 512 running on slot 1 and 2x256 running on slot 2 and 3.

I havne't upgraded to 1 gig of ram yet, so I don't know how much of an improvement that would be. But for the most part I just game and surf, so I see no need for it.

Most of the brand-name rams are very good (mushkin, corsair, ocz, kingston hyper-x) but most overclockers look for BH-5 or BH-6 ram. You can get very good overclocks with CH-5/CH-6 ram (which is mostly what you'll find on newegg and such). But you seem to be emphasizing OC'ing so I'd look for BH's

If you really want the best of the best I think www.extremeoverclockers.com has a list of BH-5/6 in their memory section.


Last edited by mynameisyoung on Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:20 pm 
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On P4, the dual channel makes a much larger performance impact than on K7 platform; it won't kill you to go single channel but the majority of boards will run your memory in dual channels just fine. Get a kit with two matched pieces. CPU Interface is far more important to keep activated (it sets RAM to 1T command rate; leaving it off switches to 2T); my own tests show ~135KB/s difference with it on vs. off on my AN7. Switching to dual channel virtually did nothing to improve benchmark numbers. On my P4 platform, however, dual channel is critical for performance to be at optimum.

The Kingston HyperX works well but the timings tend to be poor; I am using a pair of HyperX PC4000 pieces I bought from Best Buy (512MB each a steal at only $112 each!!!), but they will not run anything except the SPD 8-3-3 3.0. I change anything looser or slacker and Prime95 goes !@#$ on me.

I own several pieces of GeIL and have had nothing but good experiences with them (two 256MB pieces of Platinum PC3500 and one 512MB piece of Platinum Ultra PC3500); they get decent timings and I personally have not seen any incompatibility problems yet; they do like more voltage, however.

Avoid PNY Verto PC3500. I have two 512MB pieces and they're reserved for my weakest o/c machines; they didn't even POST when I tried them on my Shuttle SN41G2V2 a couple months ago.

-Ed

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:34 pm 
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Hey Ed, thanks for the response! I have a question, how do you like your AN7? In your personal experience, how does it compare with the NF7-S 2.0? It's got the ALC658 sound chipset, and three bios profiles. I was thinkin... it'd sure be nice to have those. I could use a profile for gaming (oc & high noise) and a profile for sleep (undervolt maybe). I'm going back and forth trying to decide between them. I like the NF7-S has a lot of options for it in third party bioses, utilities, etc... however... what do you think? I see you chose to go with the AN7. Do you like overclocking? NF7-S 2.0 seems the best overclocker and undervolter.

The Geil likes more voltage? What does this mean? (I've never overclocked, this is gonna be my first time).

Is there a Ram everyone kinda reveres as the best for overclocking?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:36 pm 
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mynameisyoung wrote:
...but most overclockers look for BH-5 or BH-6 ram. You can get very good overclocks with CH-5/CH-6 ram (which is mostly what you'll find on newegg and such). But you seem to be emphasizing OC'ing so I'd look for BH's

If you really want the best of the best I think www.extremeoverclockers.com has a list of BH-5/6 in their memory section.


Umm.... that link took me to an advert/search thing... Maybe link directly to the ram?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:42 pm 
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There's sveral types of RAM but the type you're looking at primarily is lower latency high performance RAM; something more like the OCZ EB (Enhanced Bandwidth) stuff. I haven't tried it but it's got me tempted and it looks fantastic. Optimal timing for K7 platform with the OCZ EB is around 11-3-2 2.5 (even 2.0!).

By more voltage, in the BIOS you can set the voltage to the memory; my GeIL can do better timings at 2.9 volts.

I owned an NF7-S 1.0 when they first came out and use an AN7 now. It's true that NF7-S 2.0 downvolts farther; the AN7 has five BIOS profiles, not three. I find the uGuru to be sort of gimmicky, but at the same it's very simple to use, particularly now that Motherboard Monitor 5.3.6.6 (beta) fully supports it. From what I've heard, NF7-S 2.0 gets better FSB overclock, but the AN7 takes the same CPUs to higher core clocks (at a sacrifice in FSB vs. NF7-S). I'm relatively happy with my AN7 and if I had to choose another board it would not be NF7-S 2.0, but the DFI Ultra Infinity II or the DFI Lan Party Ultra B. I also very much liked my Gigabyte 7NNXP but it was way overpriced and the DPM didn't do crap.

-Ed

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:53 pm 
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I just bought (2) x 512MB Buffalo pc3200 ddr with ch-5 chips at Newegg for $99/each, via info at PC Perspective/AmdMB. These may be some of the last WinBond chips available.

Once the limited quantities at newegg sell out, these will be gone forever. WinBond does not make chips anymore and these are the last that Buffalo has available.

I think you may not be able to find better ram for an AMD system. I hear the only ram that may be better is yet to be released 4ns Samsung memory. AMD XPs and especially 64s need lower latencies than PIVs. The current trend of memory for higher bandwidth in exchange for higher latency is not what AMD users want, it is Intel's PIV market share and marketing driving the market.

I have read at quite a few sites and forums that enhanced bandwidth is targeted towards PIV's needs and not AMD's.

This ram seems to be good for 2-2-2-11 at 220-240 with DFI or NF7-S.


Last edited by anton on Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:58 pm 
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correction: I just searched for my particular HyperX modules and found out they have been discontinued :!: :cry: :x :evil:

specs Link

I'm glad I got another pair b4 they quit making them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 10:15 pm 
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anton wrote:
I just bought (2) x 512MB Buffalo pc3200 ddr with ch-5 chips at Newegg for $99/each, via info at PC Perspective/AmdMB. These may be some of the last WinBond chips available.

Once the limited quantities at newegg sell out, these will be gone forever. WinBond does not make chips anymore and these are the last that Buffalo has available.

I think you may not be able to find better ram for an AMD system...


Ok.... so this is the best ram there is?

Should I get two sticks to be sure I get them before their gone? Or is some new wonderful ram coming that will improve on these, hence the reason their not made anymore?

I'm getting the gist here that brand is not of any matter, but the chips on the sticks of ram rather... and their timings.

*edit* ok... so these would be called CH-5 chip based ram? I dunno, still getting the lingo here. What would be an example of ram using the BH-5/6 chips? I dunno... kinda lost here a little bit.


Last edited by NetTechie on Sun Jun 13, 2004 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 10:17 pm 
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Well if it's some @!#$#@$% brand that makes crap PCBs and/or programs the SPD like, in Engrish or something that the mainboard won't want to attempt comprehending, you could still be running into trouble, BH5/6 or not.

-Ed

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 10:43 pm 
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Edward Ng wrote:
Well if it's some @!#$#@$% brand that makes crap PCBs and/or programs the SPD like, in Engrish or something that the mainboard won't want to attempt comprehending, you could still be running into trouble, BH5/6 or not.

-Ed


Added the edit on the other post while you were writing yours. :lol:

Could someone explain what "BH5/6" means?

*edit*

Ok... guess it's chip on the ram........ how can I tell what ram has what?! I can't believe it... this Buffalo ram is gone forever if I don't buy it now... they only got shipped like 40 as I understand. eeps. I want to find out quick what BH5/6 ram might run me. Also.... I need to decide if I want two 256mb sims for dual channel, or if I should splurge and buy the 512 sims (kinda about 100 bucks overbudget) since their gonna be gone. I know what 1GB does over 512... the P4 loaner system had 512 and I upgraded it to a gig for the owner... my games load about twice as fast. Main, and possibly only change I noticed.


Last edited by NetTechie on Sun Jun 13, 2004 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 11:47 pm 
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Dual channel doesn't work at all if the ram is not identical?!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 3:29 am 
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First of all , in an AthonXP system , you shouldn't buy anything over PC3500.
All PC3700 and above have disgusting timings (3-4-4-8 anyone?) in order to get very high fsb.
That works for Intel systems (not that great) , but in an AthlonXP system , you will NOT be getting 260+ fsb , not in any easy way that is.
So you are sacrifising the timings you CAN use , for mhz that you CAN'T use....

For the absolute best , look no further than PC3200 or PC3500 Ram with 2-2-2-x timings.
I believe Mushkin and Corsair currently manufacture such modules.
They are very costly and are not really worth it , but they are the best.

Probably some cheap CH-5 modules ( you can identify them by searching for 2-3-2-x timings ) should be almost as fast , but almost half the price.

One final note , if gaming and memory performance matter , any Athlon64 with generic ram will SLAUGHTER any AthlonXP with any kind of expensive ram.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 5:15 am 
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Corsair XMS Pro gets my vote as the best DDR around, here's a link to their XMS page.

They even have DDR2 now which sounds interesting.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 5:16 am 
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You must two identical pieces on P4 platforms to achieve dual channel.

This is not the case for K7; I ran dual channel with THREE DIMMs on my K7 platform in the past (two 256MB pieces in the first two slots for channel one, and a single 512MB piece in the third slot for channel two). They were, however, all GeIL PC3500. Yes, you must have a chipset that supports dual channel. Both, AN7 and NF7-S have dual-channel support, so long as you have at least two DIMMs, one in the first slot and one in the third slot.

Indeed, for K7 platform, timings are more important than top end.

-Ed

EDIT: Adjusted for typo on K7.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 10:29 am 
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http://hardwareguys.com/picks/memory.html

I'd personally go with Crucial for compatibility and stability; their modules have conservative timings and CAS and are in perfect JEDEC compliance (up to DDR400 or PC3200). And since they make their own chips (well, parent company Micron) they know how best to use them?

My runner-ups are Kingston and Corsair.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 10:51 am 
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I always check the memory compatability chart for the motherboard first, although crucial are always very reliable and pretty cheap. Corsair are also good for low latency, this however, only gives a very marginal speed increase (say 1 or 2% if you're lucky) - I only bought mine because they we're on a half price offer! :)
The best way to spend your money I now think is get a reliable brand of memory such as crutial (definitely dual channel), then spend what you've saved elsewhere such as a shiney new vga card. NetTechie, if you haven't got the zalman heatpipe yet, don't bother, get the artic cooling vga silencer it's cheaper and better and gives you a queter system in the end. Sorry that was all a bit blunt :oops:

Edits: bad spelling

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 11:19 am 
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Best rams? Undubtely Mushkins Hi Perfomance sticks :wink:
They run at 2.9V at 2-2-2-11 timings and 216Mhz in the worst case :wink: :twisted:

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING can come even close to that.

Geil rams are flakey, most users RMA them as they did not even get to the claimed timings on the clock (the Mushkins get the 2-2-2-11 as claimed, but need 2,65V - 2,75V to go at 200Mhz/400 for DDR timings).

Corsairs are good, but all the boast about extreme speed is more or less fake, their timings are mostly 2,5-3-3-11, what suxx somewhat :?

Kingstons are also not bad, but also mainly overhyped.

Rest of the brands mostly did not fall into the true speed overclockers thing, so are not worth mentioning.


BH-5 and BH-6 are ram chips. Most manufacturers do everything to hide what chips they using (how nice!), Mushkin admits that using sadly now the BH-6 chips, as Winbond stoped production of the BH-5 :cry: :cry: :cry:
What this is all about? Well the numer say the chip nS timing. So the BH-5 chips are likely the fastest ram chips for DDR made on this little planet up to todays. The BH-6 should be almost as good overclockable, however they need notably more voltage to run well...
...they "love voltage" :lol: :wink: Mostly is safe to run then up to 3.2V, and they hold the 2-2-2-11 perfornace crown up to aroud 250Mhz :wink: There are, of course, some crazy users that run the ram at 3.8V and gain 260 - 294Mhz with the DFI NFII Ultra Infinity of Lanparty B mobos :wink:

So, my recommendation is avoid the AN7 and NF7 and go with the DFI - both the Abits never go to such frequencies as the DFI ones, not to mention better options into bios and the double + gigabite network in case of the Lanparty mobo. I bought one myself and just waiting for it, so... :wink:

But I did my research - almost every overclocker pumped the mobo over 250MHz FSB in double channel mode (this is a must!) - so this must be a pretty nice mobo. Abit don't come near to this even with extensive efforts of overclocker, the Abit mobos do at best about 230Mhz and then cripple out. DFI simply stands out for the FSB and dude - FSB MEANS POWER! :wink: :P
BTW, what other mobo let you use 3.8V for memory w/o modding? :twisted: ...and best of all - stable for normal operation? :P :twisted:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 11:30 am 
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PS. yes, I stick to the Mushkins ram and using then even right now :wink: :twisted:

And the double channel performance on the K7 is underestimnated by Ed :wink: Quite franky, let me say it this way.

WITH doublechannel, even 2200Mhz (200x11) Barton 3200+ can play HDTV videostream :wink:

WITHOUT doublechannel is not enough simply NOTHING on the earth to play the HDTV mpeg2 stream, 1900 pixels wide, BTW :lol:

I curently have to live for a while on mobo w/o the doublechannel and even my CPU can go as high, at 2520Mhz (180x14) it just CAN'T get nowhere near to play the videos again. Just can't. Obviously lackign speed to do it... :? Lot's of speed.

So, into normal lame benchmarks targeted for just CPU and GPU power you mostly did not notice much performance gain, but in terms of heavy memory processing tasks, you as playing this SpidermanII HDTV preview:
http://206.159.116.24/public.htm (warning, overloaded server a lot, use news rather)
...you are forever lost w/o doublechannel and small memory timings for great bandwitch.

Or let me say it this way - get a Memtest 3.1a from there http://www.memtest86.com/ and run it from the floppy or CDrom. Look at the memory speed. Mine was 1662MB/sec when things running well :twisted: WHAT IS YOURS? :twisted:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 11:30 am 
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sorry about that link, it was late :\

here's the correct link:
http://www.extremeoverclocking.com


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 12:10 pm 
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Where can I find out more on timings? I don't even know what they are, how you determine them... nothing. What are timings of ram?

The DFI boards are better?! How come EVERYONE has an abit NF7-S 2.0? trados, were you reffering to the Infinity or Lanparty? Lanparty is a bit out of my budget ($145).... also considiring in a year or so I will be probly getting a new board anyway for 64bit chips.

As far as building an Athlon 64 for gaming, sure I'd love to. Problems are I can't afford it, I don't like the motherboards for it (i.e. no soundstorm, some still have querks to work out), and Athlon 64 is probly not going to be very silent either. Biggest thing is I can't afford them... and they don't seem to be in the price 'sweet spot' right now.

What would be en example of BH-6 or BH-6 ram (link to seller?). How about that buffalo stuff based on CH-5, are they real good? I notice a lot of you talking brand of ram... isn't the chip on it more important? The Buffalo ram has Winbond chips as I understand.

Is there any advantage on an AMD system to get an identical ram set? Or does it not really matter... that's more for the P4 users?

How would it work out for me if I got two 256mb sims for now (512) and later got a 512 to put in the other slot... can that sometimes cause problems to have differing capacity ram sims?

Would I be better off with an Artic Cooling VGA Silencer, over the Zalman passive cooler... for silence I mean?

I want to thank you all for jumping in and helping me here. I really appreceate it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 12:37 pm 
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NetTechie wrote:
Where can I find out more on timings? I don't even know what they are, how you determine them... nothing. What are timings of ram?


Here's the easiest to understand presentation I've ever seen.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 12:40 pm 
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Timings of ram? Well, it's basicaly (VERY BASICALY), how fast the ram respond the requests from ram controler.

2 T(CAS) - 2 T(RP) - 2 T(RCD) - 11 T(RAS)

Lower = better, of course. With one exception. nForce2 chips like the T(RAS) 11 more that 5, dunno why. Just the performance is better then :lol:

Yea, the DFI mobos are far better in terms of overclocking, less bios problems, etc. Most the NF7 mobos need modded Tictac bioses to get close to 230Mhz FSB, that should say you something :?
And when I learn that the modded bios also cured the impossibility of use multiplier 10 and 10.5 - I deleted NF7 from the list of the mobos I ever want :x ...also my friend mentioned that the voltage measurments are that way off the true voltages, that it is not even funny, so... :? Maybe some things get fixed in later revisions, but I did not count on that. There is no person with NF7 and FSB over 270Mhz, while plenty of then I found on OCWorkbench forum (the forum is ugly, don't even bother to visit :lol: ...long live SPCR! Thumbs up, Ralphie! :twisted: )

The Ultra Infinity and the Lanparty? Both are same. I get the Lanparty, because of the gigabite network. These are same, ppls even using the latest Lanparty mobo bios ( http://www.dfi.com.tw/Upload/BIOS/N24LD505.zip ) into the Ultra Infinity - you just have to disable the gigabite network :wink:
(recommended bios, BTW! detect even mobile CPUs, witch all other mobos can only dream about...!)
...the lanparty price are mostly for the UV compoents. They make me almost vomit, but I hope they did not glow trough my solid steel case, othervise man, Im in trouble :oops: :P :lol:

A64 is not IMHO for gaming for at least year worth the price - there is no 64bit optimized game so far - and even they are, the speed differenced aren't good enought yet... :?
...but the integrated memory controler show it's power and the future is K8, no dubt about :wink: Of course you WILL NEED nice memories for this :twisted:

BH-5 rams are not sold anymore, af far as I know. I woul buy them for almost any price, but they are not... :cry:
BH-6 example is there: http://www.mushkin.com/epages/Mushkin.s ... iew/991154

The CH-5 chips aren't that bad, I know one user that run then at 260Mhz, but it took 3.8V and active cooling - and he still not get to the nice low latency, what mean the bandwith... :roll:

And well, yea, chips is the basic to make a good ram, but not everything :? It can be screwed up by bad PCB design, lousy wires and so on... :? And since the chips are bellow the heatspreaders, glued to them, I recommend you first search for guy who is mad overclocker and have the ram you want to buy. I do this same way :wink: You learn from him and see, what the ram is worth the money or not...
Mostly you can't get wrong with Winbond chips on ram, but... mostly :wink:

Identical ram set? If you are talking about the double channel (most companies scare you that you need EXACTLY same, best preselected from them chips - not true, any with same capacity and timings will do it, even from different vendors - i tried :wink: ) then pld read more my posts about how this IS important on the AMD too more cerefully :wink:

No, better get 2x 512 - you can't get doublechannel with 2x256 AND 512 dimms!!! In doublechannel you are restricted to TWO sticks to two sockets - use sockets 1 and 3 or 2 and 3 - nothing else, one remain free. That it is.
Don't go bellow 1Gby of ram. It make FarCry UNPLAYABLE!

For silence choose the Zalman passive cooler - no moving parts :twisted: However it heat up your case, so... There is the price :roll: Depend what GFX card you are planing to run... I mean... the Ti4200 is todays, erm, ehm, a pretty weak one. Did you say something about gaming? :roll:
I moved to the watercooling and recommending you FX5700Ultra with the DDR3 chips - yea, no performance increase over the DDR2 I got, but man... the DDR2 - they are so overheating! :shock: :x :?
DDR3 running cold... Of course until you overvolt them and run them over 1Ghz :lol: :wink: :twisted: Mine do 970Mhz only, after I removed the stock aricooling thing :roll:
...and use watercooling for CPU/GPU :P

_________________
"It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong." - Voltaire
...just keep folding, just keep folding... :) my config - my caps


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