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Thread: DDR2 800 vs. DDR2 1200




  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default DDR2 800 vs. DDR2 1200

    Hello,

    I currently have DDR2 800 (aka PC2 6400) modules (2 x 2G). I was wondering if it makes significant difference if I swap them out with DDR2 1200 (aka PC2 9600) modules? But then again, we could debate on what "significant" means? I prolly should say "noticable", instead.

    1. My system is NOT overclocked.
    2. I am NOT interested in overclocking or otherwise tinkering with timings.
    3. I am NOT a game player.

    I AM, however, interested if the DDR2 800 vs DDR2 1200 would make a difference if I mainly use it for 3D animations/rendering, video and FX.

    Thanks
    PS: Antec EarthWatts 650W
    Mobo: Gigabyte EP45-UD3R rev1.0 / BIOS F9
    Chipset: N: Intel P45 / S: Intel ICH10R
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz
    CPU HeatSink and Fan: stock
    Memory: A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel
    Video Card: nVidia 7900 GT/256M
    DVD-Rom Drive: LG "HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GH20LP20"
    OS: WinXP Pro SP3 32bit

  2. #2
    Chike is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: DDR2 800 vs. DDR2 1200

    In general memory does not have a significant effect on performance.
    With a thumb rule of 1:3 FSB:memory rate you don't need more than DDR-1000.
    How noticeable the difference would be it is very difficult to tell, but you can experiment yourself.
    Underclock your DDR-800 to DDR-677 adjusting the timings accordingly. The noticeable difference between DDR-800 and DDR-1000/1066 wil not be bigger than the noticeable difference between DDR-667 and DDR-800.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: DDR2 800 vs. DDR2 1200

    The difference is very small. I did a little testing with some games myself on this.
    For some reason there are almost no benchmarks comparing the various DDR2 speeds on the internet...maybe because pretty much all hardware sites have ads from the big memory vendors on their sites? ;)

    Anandtech has a nice article about Core i7 DDR3 scaling. While it doesn't have any Core 2 benchmarks, it's interesting to see that the benefits of faster DDR3 are very small. In theory the Core i7 should benefit more from faster RAM than the Core 2 does, since it doesn't have the bottleneck of the FSB with its integrated memory controller. But even then the benefits are very small.
    AnandTech: Memory Scaling on Core i7 - Is DDR3-1066 Really the Best Choice?

    The applications you say you use may benefit though from additional RAM, so buying the same kit you already ahve may bring some benefit.
    Also, you would need to tinker a little bit with your BIOS settings to get RAM to run at DDR2 1200. DDR2 1200 isn't an official industry standard, so the board will not run any modules this fast by default, you'll always need to change some settings manually to get it to run at it's guaranteed speed. "Overclocking" RAM like DDR2 1200 is kind of like buying a CPU that's guaranteed by the vendor to run faster than what Intel rates it at.


  4. #4
    Chike is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: DDR2 800 vs. DDR2 1200

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickel020 View Post
    The applications you say you use may benefit though from additional RAM, so buying the same kit you already ahve may bring some benefit.
    Also, you would need to tinker a little bit with your BIOS settings to get RAM to run at DDR2 1200. DDR2 1200 isn't an official industry standard, so the board will not run any modules this fast by default
    Not by default or otherwise, as there is no multiplier to run DDR-1200 at 333FSB (3.66C will run as DDR-1219/)
    I think this alone should make you reconsider any thoughts about DDR-1200.

  5. #5
    kick's Avatar
    kick is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: DDR2 800 vs. DDR2 1200

    The ddr2 1200/1300 guaranteed system memory is v hard to find advertised now and is very expensive for minimal performance gain.
    The 1300 stuff seems to require waiting for good modules to be "binned".

    I have this mental pic of a guy in a string vest with a cigarette dangling from his mouth testing memory and tossing modules into plastic refuse bins labelled A,B,C and D.
    Current Systems:

    Asrock p67 Extreme6.............. Gigabyte EP-45 UD3 ...................... Gigabyte 73 PVM S2
    Intel i5 2500k 4.8ghz................ Intel Q8400 3.8ghz......................... Intel D820 2.8ghz
    Zalman 10x cooler.................... Coolermaster V8............................ HP cooler
    8GB Gskill ripjaw ddr3.............. 4GB Gskill PI ddr2.......................... 4GB samsung ddr2
    60GB ssd/500GB HDD .............. WD 1TB hdd.................................... Seagate 160GB hdd
    GTX 460 1GB x2 SLI ................. Msi 9600GT 512MB(died) ........... Onboard gx
    Win7 64 ,750w psu(ocz)............ Win7 64 ,520w psu,seasonic...... Win XP pro ,400w psu

    HEC 6A34 case . ....................... Jeantec R2 case............................ Packard Bell case

    hoping to upgrade to http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/41/habicase.shtml
    http://www.flixya.com/video/140325/Animal-launching

  6. #6
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    Default Re: DDR2 800 vs. DDR2 1200

    Ok, thanks guys. Based on the feedback, it seems I will just stick with the DDR2 800 modules. I was planning to get more (to have 8G) and just thought if it worth the DDR2 1200 then I might just get those.

    But this way at least they are cheaper, since I can get the same modules I already have for only 44 bucks from newegg.

    Thanks!
    PS: Antec EarthWatts 650W
    Mobo: Gigabyte EP45-UD3R rev1.0 / BIOS F9
    Chipset: N: Intel P45 / S: Intel ICH10R
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz
    CPU HeatSink and Fan: stock
    Memory: A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel
    Video Card: nVidia 7900 GT/256M
    DVD-Rom Drive: LG "HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GH20LP20"
    OS: WinXP Pro SP3 32bit

  7. #7
    Chike is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: DDR2 800 vs. DDR2 1200

    Quote Originally Posted by pentool View Post
    But this way at least they are cheaper, since I can get the same modules I already have for only 44 bucks from newegg.
    Just make sure they are the same modules, mixing different modules might cause some problems.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: DDR2 800 vs. DDR2 1200

    If your A-DATA's are the same I'm using (Extreme Edition CL4) you could very easy and without much volts OC them to 1066 with 5-5-5-15 (see my sig). Just ask if you need more details.
    But from personal experience with these modules, after testing them at 800, 1066 and 1200MHz there's not much gain in performance. Just synthetic bench's will show you a increase in performance, but not really noticeable in every day use.
    GA-EP45-UD3R (F12)
    Zalman CNPS-7000C-CU
    E8400@3.6GHz
    2x2GB A-DATA Vitesta 800+ CL4 Extreme Edition @ 1066MHz@2.0V (5-5-5-15)
    Asus EN9800GT Ultimate @ 810/2000/2200
    Seagate 250GB + WD 500GB + WD 640GB
    Asus DRW 1608-P
    BenQ G2010WP
    Thermaltake TR2 500W
    Windows 7 Pro x64

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