800Mhz or 533Mhz? How big a difference is there?

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Hello, everyone.
When it comes to RAM, I'm mostly in the dark. All these things about timings, and how they can be more important than clock speeds, and changing voltages and all that. Basically, I'm selecting components for a new PC to build from scratch, and I'm wondering how necessary it is to buy RAM with high clock speeds.

I'm currently looking at purchasing one of the following:
OCZ 800Mhz @ £144 for a 2x1GB pair, Crucial 667Mhz @ £125 for a 2x1GB pair, Kingston 533Mhz @ £94 for a 2x1GB pair. I'd like to know if it's worth going for the expensive 800Mhz RAM, in terms of performance, or going for the cheaper 533Mhz. Would I see a big difference? I'm building a machine for playing games, by the way.

Oh, if anyone knows of any better suggestions than what I listed above, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks,
Fraser.
 
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Hi Fraser,

for Core2 Duo (1066MHz-FSB versions anyway) you want to make sure that the memory you choose can hit quite high frequencies (i.e 400MHz-500MHz) with as low timings as possible. Out of the two its the frequency that is the most important because if the memory can't match the high FSB's needed for your overclock, thats the end of your overclock (although I think the 680i/650i can get around this due to allowing the memory to run slower than the FSB).

Its worth spending a little time reading up on the user feedback in these forums to get an idea of what memory can do what, most of it is overclockable but some more than others. I went for the Crucial 10th anniversary stuff and it does everything I expected it too, costs a bit more though!
 
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If it helps, I had shortlisted a selection of motherboards:

1. ASRock CONROEXFIRE-ESATA2 SKT775 945P PCI-E 7.1 channel audio ATX

2. P5l 1394 Skt775 I945p Atx - Snd+gln+u2+1394 Fsb1066 Sata In

3. ASUS P5B Pentium 4/Celeron/Pentium D/PentiumEE/65nm dual-core/Core2Duo/Core2EE

All these motherboards have a Max Bus Speed of 1066Mhz, but I'm not personally sure if this relates to RAM or CPU.

The main differences are that that the ASUS supports faster RAM, up to 800Mhz, and can hold up to 8GB (for about £78). The other two support up to 4GB, but only up to 667Mhz. These two are of course cheaper (around £60). I was also planning on using an Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.86ghz Socket 775 FSB800 2MB processor, which I plan to overclock to about 3.4Ghz. I'm not terribly concerned about overclocking my RAM, probably because I don't know how to do it, or because I think the performance increase isn't worth the effort.

As for RAM timings:

OCZ has: 4-4-4 and is CL4
Crucial has: ? Strangely, it wasn't even mentioned on the manufacturer website, but it's CL5
Kingston has: ? Not mentioned on manufacturer website either, but it is CL4

Given my choice of processor and selected motherboards, which RAM is most suitable and/or faster? Or which RAM has the best overclocking potential?

Thanks again,
Fraser.
 
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frasermcfarlane said:
I was also planning on using an Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.86ghz Socket 775 FSB800 2MB processor, which I plan to overclock to about 3.4Ghz
Thats not as easy as u may think!

I'm not familiar with any of those mobos, my money is in a P965 chipset but thats a bit overkill for a e4300. I wouldn't buy a e4300 now unless I also had a weaker chipset, then it makes sense, but if you can pay a bit more for a decent P965 mobo then I would suggest going for an e6300/e6400, but having said that these are gonna come with 4Mb cache for free in a few months, lol!

Sorry I don't think I'm being much help [gets coat!] :o
 
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LOL. Take your coat off and sit back down :p

Well, I had heard that the E4300 Processor could be overclocked using the stock Intel cooler it's supplied with. I just assumed that meant it was easy to overclock? Thinking about it now, though... I have no idea what's involved in overclocking a CPU! Oops.


This website also said that it was easy to overclock:
http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=2903


You said it comes with 2 extra MB cache in a couple of months. Well, i can't wait that long, sorry. I'm looking to have this PC built in couple of weeks, so it needs to be currently available components.
 
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the e4300 is easy to overclock compared to the e6300/e6400 but 3GHz is a good target and anything higher (stable) consider a bonus! If you get 3.4GHz stable you should be over the moon rather than just expect it.

Ok whats your budget for CPU, cooler, Motherboard and Ram?
 
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Right, down to the nitty-gritty numbers of cold hard cash.

RAM - Up to £150 for good quality 2x1GB
Mobo - Up to about £120. Really depends on the features it has.
CPU - The CPU is where I don't really want to spend too much, because prices rocket up for not much performance increase. I thought £120 for an overclocked 3Ghz E4300 was awesome value?
Cooler - ? Hadn't actually thought about it.

My overall system I'd like to come to about £700-750. So knock off about £220 odd for the graphics card, £60 for the PSU, £50 for the case, and that leaves around £400 for RAM, CPU, Mobo, and a cooler, apparently, lol.

But hey, I'm open to suggestions. I discovered a few minutes ago the Asus P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP Motherboard, which apparently is FANTASTIC for overclocking. I'm not a rich man, so buying components that can be cheaply overlcocked to give me more bang for my buck is an obvious attraction.

Thanks for your continuing help, by the way.

Fraser.
 
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RAM - Geil PC5300 4-4-4-12 @ 333FSB ~£111
MOBO - ASUS P5N-E ~ £82
CPU - E4300 @ 3Ghz (333x9) ~ £112 (use stock cooler)

3GHz for around £300. Nice.
 
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frasermcfarlane said:
I was also planning on using an Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.86ghz Socket 775 FSB800 2MB processor, which I plan to overclock to about 3.4Ghz. I'm not terribly concerned about overclocking my RAM, probably because I don't know how to do it, or because I think the performance increase isn't worth the effort.

That might be a wee bit optimistic. 2.8ghz wouldn't even be definate, but likely enough. Look for a good cooling solution - that will be important in your case, i think.

You may need to overclock your memory depending on the dividers on your mobo. There isn't much choice in dividers on most 775 boards, so many overclockers end up having to push their their memory a fair bit. If you can't overclock the memory, you might end up not being able to get the best overclock out of your CPU.

You might want to read up on this before you buy. Very best of luck :cool:
 
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