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  1. #1
    SwaggerlikeKillquick
    Guest

    What specs to look for in ram

    I want to go from 1 stick of DDR2 that holds 2 gigs to 2 sticks of DDR3 at 2 gigs each (or is 1 stick of 4 better?).

    Problem is when I look at the information past storage I'm lost on what I should be looking for, so any help is a appreciated.

  2. #2

    Before you even think of DDR3, check to see if your motherboard even supports it.

  3. #3
    SwaggerlikeKillquick
    Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by njitjk68 View Post
    Before you even think of DDR3, check to see if your motherboard even supports it.
    I already checked and it does.

  4. #4

    Then get 2 sticks of 2GB, can at least run them in dual channel instead of getting 1 stick of 4GB.

  5. #5
    SwaggerlikeKillquick
    Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by njitjk68 View Post
    Then get 2 sticks of 2GB, can at least run them in dual channel instead of getting 1 stick of 4GB.
    ok but what specs besides the storage size should I be looking for in a stick of RAM?

  6. #6
    A. Body
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    Leviathan

    The main spec is the rated speed for the RAM, which is often expressed as a couple of standards. DDR/DDR2/DDR3-xxxx and PC/PC2/PC3-xxxx.
    Basically, if you look at the DDRx-xxxx spec, it'll indicate to you which standard of DDR memory it complies, and it's max rated speed in terms of Mhz.

    Other specs to look at are CAS latency, timings, and in some cases voltage.

    IE, CAS Latency 8, Timing 8-8-8-24, Voltage 1.65V

    Latency/timing are simply a matter of the lower the better, though different specs will have different "good" numbers (DDR3 numbers are higher than typical DDR2 numbers, and so on). Lower latency RAM will, however, tend to cost a bit more.
    Voltage can come into play for motherboard compatibility (rarely), or for overclocking.

    If you are simply looking to put more memory into a basic, stock-clocked system, then don't worry too much about the specs other than buying the general speed/spec that your motherboard supports, preferably from a name brand. IE, if the standard memory speed for you board is DDR3-1066, then just buy some rated for that (or better) and you should be set.

    RAM in general tends to be a lowest-common-denominator deal. Pair up a high performance stick with a value stick, and you'll be running both at the settings that the value stick supports.

  7. #7
    SwaggerlikeKillquick
    Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by Isiolia View Post
    The main spec is the rated speed for the RAM, which is often expressed as a couple of standards. DDR/DDR2/DDR3-xxxx and PC/PC2/PC3-xxxx.
    Basically, if you look at the DDRx-xxxx spec, it'll indicate to you which standard of DDR memory it complies, and it's max rated speed in terms of Mhz.

    Other specs to look at are CAS latency, timings, and in some cases voltage.

    IE, CAS Latency 8, Timing 8-8-8-24, Voltage 1.65V

    Latency/timing are simply a matter of the lower the better, though different specs will have different "good" numbers (DDR3 numbers are higher than typical DDR2 numbers, and so on). Lower latency RAM will, however, tend to cost a bit more.
    Voltage can come into play for motherboard compatibility (rarely), or for overclocking.

    If you are simply looking to put more memory into a basic, stock-clocked system, then don't worry too much about the specs other than buying the general speed/spec that your motherboard supports, preferably from a name brand. IE, if the standard memory speed for you board is DDR3-1066, then just buy some rated for that (or better) and you should be set.

    RAM in general tends to be a lowest-common-denominator deal. Pair up a high performance stick with a value stick, and you'll be running both at the settings that the value stick supports.

    Thank you! You were very helpful.

  8. #8

    Ive always wondered with ram, and never really considered it a major part of my computer as a "performance factor" now this may have been a concern back when computers had 256, 512, or even 1gig of ram, but now that the norm is around 4 ive put less and less emphasis on it. there are many available benchmarks that show the slight differences between most DDR2 and DDR3.

    Now as Isiolia said if this is just for a stock system you wont need to worry too much about timings but mainly that it is in fact DDR3 (which is a different pin configuration from DDR2) and the speed at which your motherboard can handle (1066, 1333, 1600..+) I wouldnt lose sleep over scouring around for DDR3 with the lowest timings and best speeds as it makes fairly small differences from what i've seen. There are other factors that manufacturers like to add on and reflect in an increase in price such as fancy large heatspreaders/heatpipes/fans that are fairly unnecessary for the amount of heat ram produces and are more for looks.

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