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Thread: Ungrading CPU, MoBo, RAM- understanding DDR




  1. #1
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    Default Ungrading CPU, MoBo, RAM- understanding DDR

    It's been about three years since I did a major upgrade, so it's about time. My current specs:

    P4 1.6 Northwood
    Intel board w/ 845 chipset
    768 MB S DRAM
    ATI Radeon 9000 128 MB

    I am using my computer primarily for video editing, so I am going to stick with a Pentium 4, somewhere in the 3.0Ghz neighborhood. I am seeking a MoBo with 800Mhz FSB, probably something by MSI. It needs both EIDE and SATA support, for current and future drives. I don't need onboard sound or video.

    It's probably time for a new video card too, but I have about $500 and so the card can wait (I've got to get the wife to approve of this somehow...). I guess a PCI Express slot isn't necessary, since I will be buying a new video card soon, just not now. My logic is that when it is time to replace THAT card, it will be time for a new mobo again and THEN I can get a PCI express card/mobo.

    I think the thing that gives me the most confusion is RAM. I don't understand the nomenclature behind DDR. I'm thinking of 2GB PC3200 DDR (2 X 1GB), but if it's rated at 400 MHz, then wouldn't that bottleneck the 800 MHz FSB? I know I will catch some flack for the 2 GB, but Adobe Premiere previews to RAM, so the more, the better.

    I know its too early to touch DDR2, so I'm avoiding it, but what's up with Dual Channel?

    Hope you gurus can offer some clarification in all this. Last time I went shopping, it didn't seem so complicated...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ungrading CPU, MoBo, RAM- understanding DDR

    ddr 400 = 800mhz bus, d (double) d (dedicated) ram

    read this: http://www.ocztechnology.com/support/performance/


    At the moment PCIE hardly equals let alone out performs AGP so in my opinion that is a good call, I'm an Asus board fan so can't comment on your MSI preference.

    Personally I dont see the problem with 2gig of ram :P but I would suggest you ensure your m/board supports dual channel architecture to maximise your ram.
    E8600@ 4.25GHz~Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme~Foxconn Blackops~4GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1625 at 1700MHz (8-8-8-24-2N) 1.916v~Asus 9800GTX~18x Pioneer 212 DL SATA DVD-RW~320GB WD SATAII~Antec True Power Trio 650W~Thermaltake Soprano~Vista Ultimate x64 SP2/Win7 RC1

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ungrading CPU, MoBo, RAM- understanding DDR

    I think the thing that gives me the most confusion is RAM. I don't understand the nomenclature behind DDR.
    I'm thinking of 2GB PC3200 DDR (2 X 1GB), but if it's rated at 400 MHz, then wouldn't that bottleneck the 800 MHz FSB?
    Thats why you use 2 sticks, which gives you dual channel...and 2x400mhz = 800mhz, for a total bandwidth of 6.4GB\sec, same as the FSB bandwidth. If you really need the 2GB and want to sacrifice some RAM performance, then fair enough.

    I am seeking a MoBo with 800Mhz FSB, probably something by MSI
    Asus and Abit also make good 875 chipset boards, if you can fork out more. These also have a better feature set.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ungrading CPU, MoBo, RAM- understanding DDR

    Okay, so PC3200 can move 3.2 GB a second? Is that what the number means?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ungrading CPU, MoBo, RAM- understanding DDR

    Yup, PC3200 is the maximum bandwidth in mb\sec

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ungrading CPU, MoBo, RAM- understanding DDR

    Okay, after some looking, I found this. What do you think?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ungrading CPU, MoBo, RAM- understanding DDR

    It depends on your prefered manufacturer I spose, I am an Asus fan,(not that I'm knocking Abit) did you look at the board I have ? Pretty much the same specs.
    (I did have an IC7-Max 3 board for a while and the chipset fan died but that board was second hand and I dont know what had been done to it prior to my getting it so not blaming the board). One thing I was not real impressed with was the air ducting on it. My opinion only, have you tried Toms Hardware for reviews of the 875 chipset boards?
    E8600@ 4.25GHz~Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme~Foxconn Blackops~4GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1625 at 1700MHz (8-8-8-24-2N) 1.916v~Asus 9800GTX~18x Pioneer 212 DL SATA DVD-RW~320GB WD SATAII~Antec True Power Trio 650W~Thermaltake Soprano~Vista Ultimate x64 SP2/Win7 RC1

  8. #8
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    Post Re: Ungrading CPU, MoBo, RAM- understanding DDR

    Looks ok to me.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ungrading CPU, MoBo, RAM- understanding DDR

    " I am an Asus fan,(not that I'm knocking Abit) did you look at the board I have"

    Actually, I did, and it's on my list as well! I'm in the SoCal area, and we have a computer fair/swap meet type thing every month or so, so I'll see how they look then, price-wise. I also have a friend with a computer business, who will see about some parts he can get for me a little off wholesale, so we're looking good.

    Thanks for all your help guys, this has really clarified a lot. I prefer doing things this way instead of just buying what someone tells me - I'd rather know why I'm buying that. Teach a man to fish, and all that...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ungrading CPU, MoBo, RAM- understanding DDR

    Hey , My thought ... I have the IC7 Max-3 and it rocks .. i use an ocz 520 psu ..
    Vulcan chicks are hot .......... Cezch chicks are hot ............ my left palm is not

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