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4 x 512MB modules vs 2 x 1024MB modules

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello!
2GB of system RAM wanted - which way to go 4 x 512 or 2 x 1024?
But before you answer - read on .........

Two of my systems use OCZ RAM.
My AMD Barton system has:
OCZ EL DDR PC-3200 Dual Channel Platinum Rev 2
http://www.ocztechnology.com/product...platinum_rev_2

And my new AMD Opteron 170 system which has:
OCZ EL DDR PC-4800 Dual Channel Platinum Elite Edition
http://www.ocztechnology.com/product..._elite_edition

Now, my Opteron 170 is overclocked to 2700MHz - 10 x 270MHz with the RAM 1:1
This weekend I removed the RAM from both of these two systems and put the RAM from the Barton system in my Opteron system to check that it could handle the pace.
It could! (at the end of the day the PC-3200 and the PC-4800 is more or less the same)
I then put my PC-4800 sticks back in my Opteron system to see how far I could get with all four RAM sockets populated.
270 was definetly a no go - as half of the time it wouldn't boot properly.
260 would boot through the BIOS, but would load the OS.
250 was stable as long as I pumped 3.0v through the RAM.
246 proved to be stable at 2.8v.

But was the problem with the motherboard or with the CPU?
So I put the FSB back up to 270 and used a the RAM dividers to get the RAM running at lower speeds.
And it worked - so the CPU obviously didn't have any problems controlling 4 sticks of RAM while running at 2700MHz with even lower timings than 2 sticks of RAM @ 270MHz, so I presume the problem lies with the motherboard.

OK, so what's my point here?
I can achieve 2700MHz with the CPU two ways - 10 x 270 or 9 x 300.
But 10 x 270 proves to be faster with it's lower latencies. Obviously, @ 9 x 300 all that memory bandwidth just isn't utilized.
There must be a point when latencies start making a bigger difference than the memory frequency.

Now if I want 2GB of RAM and the ultimate in system performance I have three options:
1 - sell my OCZ PC-4800 RAM and buy a Dual Channel kit with 2 x 1024MB modules and continue to run at 10 x 270.
2 - buy another pair of OCZ PC-4800 modules and buy a new CPU that has a muliplier of 11 or better. (11 x 245 - which would give me access to lower memory timings), or
3 - sell my OCZ PC-4800 modules, buy 2 x 1024MB kit and buy a new CPU with a mulitplier of 11 or better and run at 11 x 245 or 12 x 225, depending on what CPU I would get.


So, can somebody tell me when the latencies take over from memory frequency when concerned with performance on a A64 system as obviously 300MHz as absolutely no benifit when compared to 270MHz and the lower latencies involved?

Thank you for listening.
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post #2 of 9
you would probably get the best performance out of 2x1gb modules that can run 270Mhz.

if you run 4x512mb you will have to run at 2T instead of 1T and your OC will typically be limited because 4 sticks stress the memory controller more so there is a good chance you won't be able to keep the same 10x270 OC you currently have if you add 2 more sticks.

with 2x1gb sticks you'll be able to run a 1T command rate and it will be easier on your memory controller and you should be able to keep your 10x270 OC... with the right 2gb kit.

2gb kits that will be able to run 270Mhz:
Crucial Ballistix Tracer - if you can find them... and they're spendy!
OCZ Platinum PC4000 - will do 280 w/ pretty decent timings - about $285
G.Skill HZ PC4000 - should do 280 w/ 3-4-4-8 timings - currently less than $200 from newegg


just a quick question... what version are your OCZ platinum rev. 2? 1.0 (or no version #) are TCCD and should be able to keep up w/ your other RAM and 1.1 is TCC5
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post #3 of 9
2x1GB is the best, the controller only has to deal with two modules instead of four.
plus AMDs work better with two, four is just more to deal with
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post #4 of 9
ncsa has done some big testing on speed versus timings and he came up with soem very good points. I will try and find the thread or sticky, it is very good reading indeed. I'm pretty sure that the speed wins out overall compared to lower speed better timings.
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2
if you run 4x512mb you will have to run at 2T instead of 1T and your OC will typically be limited because 4 sticks stress the memory controller more so there is a good chance you won't be able to keep the same 10x270 OC you currently have if you add 2 more sticks.
I know, as I said in my first post, my system is only stable up to 246MHz FSB when using 4 sticks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2
with 2x1gb sticks you'll be able to run a 1T command rate and it will be easier on your memory controller and you should be able to keep your 10x270 OC... with the right 2gb kit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 13 3 @ 7 l 3 13 0 y
2x1GB is the best, the controller only has to deal with two modules instead of four.
plus AMDs work better with two, four is just more to deal with
This thing with stressing the memory controller, is it really true??????
Cuz, as I said in my first post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaegRil
But was the problem with the motherboard or with the CPU?
So I put the FSB back up to 270 and used a the RAM dividers to get the RAM running at lower speeds.
And it worked - so the CPU obviously didn't have any problems controlling 4 sticks of RAM while running at 2700MHz with even lower timings than 2 sticks of RAM @ 270MHz, so I presume the problem lies with the motherboard.
With the FSB at 270MHz and the multiplier at 10 the result is 2700MHz for the CPU core.
The CPU is stressed to it point of stability, as a FSB of 272MHz causes my system to be unstable when using just 2 sticks of RAM.
And if the CPU is stressed so, shouldn't the memory controller be stressed too, since it's a part of the CPU?
So, if the memory controller is so stressed controlling 4 sticks of RAM, why did it work perfectly when the CPU core is running at 2700MHz? It was the RAM frequency I lowered, not the CPU. Shouldn't that mean it was the motherboard or the chipset rather than the CPU or the CPU's memory controller?
I mean, using more than 2 sticks of RAM is also placing extra strain on the motherboard too, isn't it?

Isn't it the case with any motherboard, whether AMD or Intel, the more RAM you use the lower the memory frequency has to be?



Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2
2gb kits that will be able to run 270Mhz:
Crucial Ballistix Tracer - if you can find them... and they're spendy!
OCZ Platinum PC4000 - will do 280 w/ pretty decent timings - about $285
G.Skill HZ PC4000 - should do 280 w/ 3-4-4-8 timings - currently less than $200 from newegg
I've bought Crucial Ballistix once before and it died. Sure, I was probably unlucky, but once I've had one bad experience with a brand or product then it's time to move on.
So far OCZ it yet to let me down, and is my natural choice.
I haven't tried G.Skill.


Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2
just a quick question... what version are your OCZ platinum rev. 2? 1.0 (or no version #) are TCCD and should be able to keep up w/ your other RAM and 1.1 is TCC5
All I know is is that it is TCCD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuchan
ncsa has done some big testing on speed versus timings and he came up with soem very good points. I will try and find the thread or sticky, it is very good reading indeed. I'm pretty sure that the speed wins out overall compared to lower speed better timings.
Cool, that'd be great if you could find it. Sounds like just the thing I'm looking for.
There must be a point when RAM timings vs RAM frequency equates to a dead heat in performance ....... I just want to know approx. where that point lies, as for me, 270 is faster than 300.
Though, I'll see what I can find myself, unless you report back first.
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2
what geil one are those? TCCD or BH-5? you can prob get lots of $ for those on ebay!
TCCD
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by splat00n
yeah man, 2x1 is way better, I regret buying 4x512mb modules , I can't overclock much at all haha oh well, so I'm looking for buyers! anyone!!!

Yeah, but, if you read my posts you'll find I can run 4 modules at 246MHz, and if I changed the CPU to one with a mulitplier of 11 or better, then I could run at 11 x 246 = 2706MHz. (Or 11 x 245, or somewhere around there, or 12 x 225 (if I have a CPU with a mulitplier of 12) )
So, it is still possible to overclock.

What I want it some sort of evidence showing which is better - higher memory frequency with high latencies or ....... lower frequency with low latencies.
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaegRil
Yeah, but, if you read my posts you'll find I can run 4 modules at 246MHz, and if I changed the CPU to one with a mulitplier of 11 or better, then I could run at 11 x 246 = 2706MHz. (Or 11 x 245, or somewhere around there, or 12 x 225 (if I have a CPU with a mulitplier of 12) )
So, it is still possible to overclock.

What I want it some sort of evidence showing which is better - higher memory frequency with high latencies or ....... lower frequency with low latencies.

http://www.dfi-street.com/forum/showthread.php?t=40178

Many people will tell you different things. The only way to know for sure is to test it yourself.
This are my results:


Setup 1
320HTT x9 (2.88GHz)
DDR 240 2-3-3-6 1T
AM3 87,813
SuperPI (1M) 30s
3DMark06 2,800

Setup 2
320 HTT x9 (2.88GHZ)
DDR 266 2.5-3-3-7 1T
AM3 86,699
SuperPI (1M) 31s
3DMark06 2,793

Setup 3
320HTT x9 (2.88GHz)
DDR 320 3-4-4-10 2T
AM3 85,025
SuperPI (1M) 31s
3DMark06 2,795

All tests were done with the video card at 594/600. I ran the tests 3 times each and took the average.
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melcar
http://www.dfi-street.com/forum/showthread.php?t=40178

Many people will tell you different things. The only way to know for sure is to test it yourself.
Cool! Thanks for the information. Much appreciated.

Yeah, I guess I should do a little testing with what gear I have now.
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