Originally Posted by SKAnk9915
does running a divider in any way affect performance, and if your really really super lazy, and you have money, wouldnt it be easier to just buy faster memory? or do the memory timings themselves make more of a difference?
As far as buying faster memory, there is plenty of DDR400 that will run at DDR500, Crucial Ballistix is one of them. It's just that DDR500 is guaranteed to run at that speed, it's a crapshoot with DDR400. I'm not sure I'm understanding your question right, but I want to make clear that DDR500 doesn't run at 250 FSB automatically, you have to set it to that speed in BIOS, if you don't it's gonna run at the same ole DDR400 speed. I don't know your experience level, so if it seems condescending for me to say that, I'm sorry.
As far as timings making a difference, DDR400 that will run at 500MHz usually does so at the same timings that rated DDR500 does. My experience with this has only been with Crucial, however. Others may vary. How much of an effect timing has I'm not totally sure,(I.E. will DDR400 at 2-2-2-5 prove better than DDR 480@3-4-4-8?) but someone here probably has an exact figure on how much faster you'd have to run memory to overcome the effect of timing on bandwidth. The consensus seems to be that MHz rule when it comes to memory, so if you can run high speed and tight timings then more power to you, but most here seem to prefer to run the RAM as fast as it will go, even if the timings are loose. I remember having seen memory bandwidth tests with SiSoft Sandra in some memory reviews, and higher speed always had higher bandwidth than slower speeds with tighter timings.
Running a divider doesn't negatively impact performance on an Athlon 64, but you don't get the added benefit of the higher FSB once you stop jacking it up. It is always preferable to run at a 1:1 FSB at the limits of your CPU, that way not only is your processor turning more clocks, but your RAM is transferring data faster, too. But if your CPU has the ability to go a little higher, but your RAM is maxed out, then it's time to look into running a memory divider, if it's that important to you. But if you had two identical setups, both at the same CPU speed, one with the memory at a 1:1 with the FSB at say 500MHz, and the other one running the memory on a divider at 400MHz, you would find that setup A running at 1:1 is indeed faster, and would score higher in benchmarks and the like.
P.S. I love your avatar, I'm a big Subie fan!!