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klm09

Real-world benefits of faster DDR2 RAM?

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From a music production point of view, is there any real benefit to be gained from using 667 MHz DDR2 RAM as opposed to 533 MHz? Yes, I'm aware of the fact that higher clock speed equals greater bandwidth, but since the bandwidth of essentially any DDR2 chip is greater by several times over than that of sustained read speeds from S-ATA HD's, is there any real performance gain to be had?

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I use PC3200 and it works flawlessly. For what I do, ram speed isn't an issue once things are loaded, since the shit pretty much stays in there till I'm done with the session. The only limitation I have on the speed is the hard drives.

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I'm aware of the fact that higher clock speed equals greater bandwidth, but since the bandwidth of essentially any DDR2 chip is greater by several times over than that of sustained read speeds from S-ATA HD's, is there any real performance gain to be had?

erm, you're kinda missing the point. harddrives are always going to be slower than ram.

the point of fast ram is for communicating with the cpu.. so the cpu isn't just sitting there waiting for instructions to pass thru the data bus and stuffs.

anyway, i have 667 ram and it works fine. but no big difference.

honestly my ram speed is the least of my concerns when i'm trying to make my studio better.

cheers.

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I'm aware of the fact that higher clock speed equals greater bandwidth, but since the bandwidth of essentially any DDR2 chip is greater by several times over than that of sustained read speeds from S-ATA HD's, is there any real performance gain to be had?

erm, you're kinda missing the point. harddrives are always going to be slower than ram.

the point of fast ram is for communicating with the cpu.. so the cpu isn't just sitting there waiting for instructions to pass thru the data bus and stuffs.

anyway, i have 667 ram and it works fine. but no big difference.

honestly my ram speed is the least of my concerns when i'm trying to make my studio better.

cheers.

True, RAM is always going to be faster, but I used that example here because for most audio applications, RAM is mostly used for data retrieval as opposed to data storage. Even though the processor might be working hard, it's usually not doing anything RAM intensive (in terms of putting new data in the RAM), but calculating something based on something already loaded in there from the HD, like samples or VSTs, with the result being put in the audio buffer.

Of course, the bandwidth is going to matter for said data retrieval, but, if I got my math right, you could stream 5038 tracks/samples at 44.1kHz 24bit resolution before you cap out the bandwidth for a PC2-5300 stick, which I think is a fair bit more than most people are going to ever use. I didn't take into account anything besides the data streaming, but even if only a tenth of the bandwidth was available for that, it'd still be 503 samples at the same time.

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Making your RAM faster isn't going to change the quality of whatever you make, it's only going to make things faster on a barely noticeable level.

And klm.. listen to analoq. You don't really seem to know what you're talking about. A processor needs fast ram to be able to access memory FASTER, not more of it at a time. Memory speed is a bottleneck for CPU performance, that's why we have things like different levels of cache on the CPU.

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Making your RAM faster isn't going to change the quality of whatever you make, it's only going to make things faster on a barely noticeable level.

And klm.. listen to analoq. You don't really seem to know what you're talking about. A processor needs fast ram to be able to access memory FASTER, not more of it at a time. Memory speed is a bottleneck for CPU performance, that's why we have things like different levels of cache on the CPU.

Yeah, you're right, it's the latency, not the bandwidth.. I realized the fallacy of my reasoning after I made that post, but.. I thought I'd leave it there none-the-less. :)

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Being an AMD junkie Im still sticking with my single core amd 64. The benefits of the new am2 chips with ddr2 arent there yet. A benefit would be if the makers of soft synths, vst's etc would write more powerful x64 driven apps. But I run a good single core with 3200 ddr and a decent sound card and Im fine so I wont personally be making a jump to ddr2 soon.

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Being an AMD junkie Im still sticking with my single core amd 64. The benefits of the new am2 chips with ddr2 arent there yet. A benefit would be if the makers of soft synths, vst's etc would write more powerful x64 driven apps. But I run a good single core with 3200 ddr and a decent sound card and Im fine so I wont personally be making a jump to ddr2 soon.

The AMD move to AM2 is pretty pointless imho, especially since Intel has released its Core 2 Duo line of processors. I am die-hard AMD but if I were upgrading in the next 6 months I'd go Intel unless I wanted to wait and shell out crazy $ for AMD quad-core.

Ah, the good life: AMD Barton. I'm running it at 2.4Ghz on air and benchmarking better than what used to be $300 AMD64 chips (before the Core 2 Duo caused price drops) all out of a $75 CPU. Good times. :D

Anyway, you're asking about moving between different CPU/motherboards, not getting faster RAM per se it sounds like, since AM2 requires a whole new motherboard and CPU, plus RAM. The benefits of getting faster RAM within a generation is for overclocking. Also, don't just look at RAM speeds alone - look at RAM timing, which can be nearly equally important.

So long story short: I wouldn't upgrade my RAM within the same mobo/CPU generation, but if you're moving up a generation then I probably would. (Except that I don't approve of the AMD > AM2 move.)

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