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I'm in the market for a new CPU, and being that I have a P3 right now I'll have to upgrade my mobo and RAM. So here's my question, which RAM is faster and future proof, Rambus-RAM or DDR-RAM?
It's up in the air really.
Intel is hedging it's bets, if DRDRAM starts to pick up in sales, they'll start selling more, of course, I don't think this will happen until SiS hits the block with their chipset and until Intel can make their own chipsets cheaper.
BTW, how far into the future are we talking about, when do you next plan to upgrade?
Unless you are getting a P4, RDRAM is out of the question. The DDR RAM is up to PC-3000 now at 370MHz. I know that isn't 800MHz like the RDRAM but you are limited to a P4 and Intel chipset motherboard with RDRAM.
I'm looking to upgrade here in the next couple weeks. So basically what ya'll are saying is, is that DDR-RAM would be the best choice to make?
If we're bringing uncertified/overclocked RAM into the picture, it's DRDRAM hands down. You can get 35ns Samsung DRDRAM with absolutely no premium. It hits PC1200 without a hitch and in the i850 or i850E chipsets, you can throw turbo mode 1 one and that'll lock your PCI and AGP clocks. A P4 rig of that kind would trounce nearly everything in any program. We've already seen what a FSB increase can do, it's made even more dramatic with DRDRAM to match.
What if I'm not into overclocking my hardware?
P4 runs faster with DRDRAM in almost everything, say 99%. Of course the performance benifit might not be worth it, unless you do a lot of streaming apps, like rips and encoding. I don't think there will be a big difference when it comes to games.
If you aren't worried about overclocking and now using a Voodoo card, right now your best performance will come from the fastest P4 Northwood CPU you can afford on a i850 chipset motherboard and PC-800 Rambus memory.
If you are worried about using the memory in the future on a different system, get a VIA KT-333 chipset motherboard along with PC-2700 DDR RAM.
I'm not sure if you have to worry about future use of memory, with DDR-II on the horizon, that'll likely leave only the first verision of Clawhammer and the K7 using DDR.
Thinking about this fact, I'm becoming more and more doubtful of AMD holding any noteworthy performance lead over the future P4.
At this point in the game, it really doesn't matter all that much either way. DDR memory is easier to get a hold of, and is a bit cheaper (though rambus has come down in price considerably). Rambus is probably a bit faster, more so in very specific applications, but has a considerably more uncertain future.
One thing to keep in mind with the opteron (I hate that name) is that in SMP configurations you have a seperate memory bus for each cpu in the system as the cpu actually has the DDR memory controller integrated. From AMD's processor architecture PDF, it looks like they are interleaving too. For single processor systems, the opteron may not hold much of an edge over the next Gen P4 stuff (though I don't think anyone really knows too much about intel's x86 plans atm, especially with the rumors of a 64bit intel x86 cpu being developed). On the other hand though, AMDs got some pretty impressive tech in place for doing highend multiprocessor setups with the opteron. If AMD can actually get the integrated DDR controller, hypertransport, and the new 64bit instructions in a CPU priced even reasonably close to what the current athlons and P4s are at, I think we'll start seeing a lot of 4 to 8 way AMD server boxes show up. It will be interesting to see if AMD can actually pull it off.
Long time no see. I'm not too interested in a multiprocessor or Opteron system. The only thing that concerns me and most of the people out there and even at Beyond3d is uni processor Clawhammer performance. This is the arena in which I think AMD might have some trouble.
Linthat22, if price is no problem, I'd go with a P4 over Athlon or "Clawhammer" for the single reason that you can get an Intel chipset.
This comes from a long-time Athlon user and VIA chipset victim...
Dunno about the new SiS offerings, tho, but I haven't been convinced by the reviews I've read so far. Just too early to say. So I'd skip (crash-)testing them myself.
If you go P4, I agree with others above that Rambus gives better performance than DDR and has come down in price. About future proof, I believe Intel will make sure Rambus memory stays around as long as at least P4... and it hasn't hit the promised 4 GHz yet :wink:
I used to build performance systems (from Athlon Classic 650@900 to current AXP email@example.com), but lately (old age, perhaps?) my one and only priority has been compatibility and stability. IMO, Intel still leads there. Well, the P4 + Rambus should give you performance enough, too.
I appreciate everyone replying to my quesiton, I really do. Gunhead, I am going to get a 1.9 Ghz P4, not for a bad price too ($162). I'm still debating whether to get an Intel motherboard with a built in LAN board, but the price difference between one with and one without is significant enough for me. So basically Rambus is the way to go then? Price is right for RAM nowadays, not liek how it was back in 91/92 when that one factory burned down and 4 megs of RAM was going for high dollars.
Heh, I used to do a lot of stochastic raytracing (still frame stuff), so I'm probably a bit more biased towards SMP systems than most people around here. :) It should be interesting to see how things playout. I
I understand your frustration, I've got a kt133a based board here at work and it's a fair amount more flaky than any of the boards with intel chipsets I've owned. Otoh, I just upgraded to an athlon on an SIS 735 based board at home, and so far it seems to be doing pretty good. Morrowind gives windows some grief, but I don't think that's the chipsets fault. Probably has more to do with me not reinstalling win98 after swaping dual celerons for an athlon. :) In linux it's been great.
Neat stuff. BTW, Morrowind blows wind when it comes to stability. It crashes like a mofo.
Intel chipsets > *
*cough* Execpt i820 + MTH *cough*
Nite_Hawk and Gunhead, I don't know if I’ve been lucky, or you have been unlucky, but I have absolutely no stability issues with my kt133 based KT7. Since I installed Windows XP five months ago, I can't remember it crashing once. And I use my computer for many hours every day, doing lots of different stuff. And I've gone through the bios and have set every option to its most aggressive setting, and still its rock stable. The only problems I have ever had have been with leaked drivers (under windows 98) and a bad stick of ram (that didn’t work right in an Intel machine either).
Edit: Had to disable Smilies.
It seems to be related to what videocard your using in the system. Alot of people have complained about the nvidia cards having problems with the via chipsets, but I'm using a matrox G450 at work and it also seems to be fairly unstable. Maybe the G450 drivers for X arn't as good as the previous ones, but traditionally the matrox cards have had pretty good xf86 support so I don't think it's that.
Anyway, glad to hear that it's working for you...
Thowllly, good for you! So far I've had Abit KA7-R (KX133), Abit KT7-R (KT133), and Iwill KK266-R (KT133A), and all have been flaky. Not having personally owned any Intel gear (yet), my "conclusion" is drawn from the totality of the tons of chipset/mobo posts I've read on various overclocking and general hardware fora over a few years. Not to mean that it's any final truth perfectly laid out out there, nor that you couldn't be perfectly rock-solid and happy with your particular system. Enjoy!
Oh yes, Colourless, the MTH embarrasment :lol:
Nite_Hawk, that's nice to read about the SiS. I've seen somebody post that it sucks under Linux -- glad to see a totally opposite report! And I'm sure you confused your already IQ challenged OS good with that swap :wink:
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