PDA

View Full Version : Buying Ram


seeker
05-09-08, 07:45 AM
I want to buy a couple of sticks of 1GB ram, but there are some questions that I hope that someone can help me with. First off, just how important is the QVL (Qualified Venders List) of the MB manufacturer? The list for my motherboard is pretty short, but then I have been told that most ram of the proper specs will work okay...true?

Secondly, some ram is offered as individual sticks, and others as kits or dual channel, which I think means the same thing. I know that some manufacturers require both sticks of a kit to be returned, if a RMA is needed, which would not be convenient. If 2 identical sticks of the single stick variety are used, is there any difference in performance?

Thirdly, Since I need the regular DDR400 memory, the prices for some of the better name brands are a bit steep. Are these prices justified in terms of actual performance?

Lastly, often the more expensive ram has higher CAS values than the cheaper. This I do not understand because lower CAS is supposed to be better. Is there some other reason that the expense is justfied?

bob saget
05-09-08, 02:21 PM
yea, i am also on the older ddr400, and its not cheap. I think i paid 150 for 2 1 gig sticks of OCZ gold. I would try to just stick with what you got until the next upgrade...unless its too slow.
Unfortunately, when i forced more then 4 gigs on my mobo, i lost/loose all connection to internet...so i got 2 sticks in my room, just sitting there gathering dust.

seeker
05-09-08, 04:28 PM
Unfortunately, I cannot. The 2x512 that I was using bit the dust, and I had to use an old single 512 that I had lying around. I do not intend to do a total upgrade, because I want to stick to my 939 AGP system, so new ram is a must.

I'm curious, how is the internet connection effected by the amount of ram that you used?

Absolution
05-09-08, 08:17 PM
Unfortunately, I cannot. The 2x512 that I was using bit the dust, and I had to use an old single 512 that I had lying around. I do not intend to do a total upgrade, because I want to stick to my 939 AGP system, so new ram is a must.

I'm curious, how is the internet connection effected by the amount of ram that you used?
I'd say 90% of ram has a lifetime warrenty. May want to check up on it.

seeker
05-09-08, 08:45 PM
I'd say 90% of ram has a lifetime warrenty. May want to check up on it.
That is true, but the question is not about warranty, because that only deals with defects. I was thinking in terms of compatability.

bob saget
05-09-08, 09:42 PM
i have not a clue dude. My mobo has been absoluetly PERFECT except for this little error. Whenever i select the 4+ gigs in bios, it completely does not see the internet connection anymore. I posted here and on several forums, and even DFI support. If you are just browsing the computer/files/music. everything is very very fast. I have been meaning to spend some time this weekend, try to get at least 3.3 gigs working. Problem is, when i had 3.3 gigs, all my SOURCE engined games would cut out on me. This (the internet cutting out)is a VERY rare problem, i wouldnt worry about it. And all my purchases for OCZ ram (3) have been awesome.

seeker
05-09-08, 10:26 PM
Not that I would know the answer, but what type of internet connection do you have?

bob saget
05-10-08, 03:56 AM
i just use the wire, not wireless. works completely fine. I do have wireless too though.

dxx
05-10-08, 04:43 AM
I want to buy a couple of sticks of 1GB ram, but there are some questions that I hope that someone can help me with. First off, just how important is the QVL (Qualified Venders List) of the MB manufacturer? The list for my motherboard is pretty short, but then I have been told that most ram of the proper specs will work okay...true?


Correct. RAM is built to spec, incompatibilities are an exception when something goes slightly wrong, and either the module or the motherboard aren't quite capable of handling the deviations. It's rare that you'll find an incompatible module.


Secondly, some ram is offered as individual sticks, and others as kits or dual channel, which I think means the same thing. I know that some manufacturers require both sticks of a kit to be returned, if a RMA is needed, which would not be convenient. If 2 identical sticks of the single stick variety are used, is there any difference in performance?

Kits, you may note, are almost always aimed at the enthusiast market, and come labeled with silly marketing terms, often have useless gimmicks (like heatsinks, which simply are worthless), and are almost always more expensive than two single modules, flying in the face of all retail tradition, where 2pack = cheaper. This is because they're designed to appeal to the gullible and fairly naive gamer market, who will gladly lap this stuff up. In reality, you can mix modules to your heart's content, and only in rare circumstances will it cause you any bother.


Thirdly, Since I need the regular DDR400 memory, the prices for some of the better name brands are a bit steep. Are these prices justified in terms of actual performance?

Nope. Brand names work like this: Company A manufactures the modules, Company B manufactures the PCB, Company C sources out the cheapest on offer, and pays Company D to assemble them and pays Company E for their marketing and branding savvy. In some cases, Companies C D and E are a single entity, but only in about three cases are Companies A B and C single. These cases do not include any of the 'top tier' memory companies. They're like the Dell of the memory market, in the sense that they just put other companies' products together, stamp their logo on it, and charge a hefty markup for their name. It's the same gear, just a different label. Stick with the generic stuff.



Lastly, often the more expensive ram has higher CAS values than the cheaper. This I do not understand because lower CAS is supposed to be better. Is there some other reason that the expense is justfied?

No. CAS latency is just one of the many things that make physical memory so painfully slow, and knocking it down by a single notch (or half a notch) doesn't do a great deal of difference. Have a look at this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/unstoppable,459-6.html . It's a 6% difference in a pure memory bandwidth test, which isn't something that's going to have a colossal effect on real-world performance. In fact, you'll be lucky to scrape more than a single per cent difference. So, stick with the CAS3.

In short, don't believe marketing fluff.



Edit: For what it's worth, my systems all use mixed RAM. Kitchen has a DDR400 and a DDR333 of different brands, the livingroom has two different brands running in dual channel on an nForce3 mobo, media centre PC has only a single 1GB module (but that I plan to add to soon), and my own system uses two PNY 2GB modules bought seperately, and two Aenon 1GB modules, also bought seperately. The Celeron sitting unused in the spare room uses a couple of 128MB modules acquired years apart and from different corners of the globe, and that never crashes either.

seeker
05-10-08, 06:56 PM
dxx,

I never received an email notification of your post, so I read it just now, after ordering some ram a couple of hours ago. I guess that it wouldn't have changed things too much had I read before ordering, because what I bought was a Corsair Value Select kit (2x1GB) from TigerDirect. I made the decision based mostly on price, because when I looked at the individual sticks they actually cost about a dollar more for a pair than the kit. Like I said, the disadvantage is if something goes wrong with one stick, I may have to RMA both, which would be quite an annoyance.

I still very much appreciated your response, because it confirmed what I suspected in the first place.