Faster RAM or Lower CAS, which gives more performance?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Harry Muscle, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. Harry Muscle

    Harry Muscle Guest

    I'm trying to figure out which RAM to get. I can't afford the best Corsair
    PC3200 CAS 2 stuff, so I need to compromise somewhere. I can afford a nice
    brand name PC2700 C2 stick of RAM (example Corsair CMX512-2700C2 - $98) or a
    not so big brand name PC3200 CAS 3 (example Kingston Value RAM
    KVR400X64C3/512 - $98). So I'm wondering which would give me the bigger
    performance boost. Would increasing the Mhz of the RAM (and FSB) be better
    or would having a lower CAS latency be better? I'm gonna be running this in
    a Asus A7N8X Deluxe board, and will not be overcloacking anything more than
    a few percent (ie: 3%).

    Thanks for the input,
    Harry

    P.S. I'm open to other RAM suggestions, I just can't spend more than $100US
    and would prefer if it was on the Asus Recommend List.
     
    Harry Muscle, Aug 19, 2003
    #1
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  2. Harry Muscle

    Skid Guest

    If you're looking at PC3200, I'm going to assume you're planning to run an
    fsb of at or above 200. Though some high-end PC2700 will go that high, you
    can get more overhead for no more money with name-brand PC3200. PC3500, or
    3700 or 4000, is a waste on an AMD/NForce2 system, IMHO, and generally only
    gets you the same chips overclocked with lower timings for a higher
    pricetag.

    Get two 256-meg sticks instead of one 512 for best performance with
    Dual-Channel DDR.

    Timings make a difference, but not as much as you might think. If you skip
    the fancy but inefficient heatspreaders and CAS2, you can get good sticks
    that will go as far as your board can take them.

    My votes for best low-cost memory go to Crucial PC3200, which uses Micron's
    own JDEC-certified DDR400 ram; or Buffalo Technology PC3200,which uses the
    same Winbond 5ns modules as some much higher-priced brands. You can get
    2x256 of either for about $100.
     
    Skid, Aug 19, 2003
    #2
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  3. Harry Muscle

    Harry Muscle Guest

    SNIP
    Yes, I would be running at 200Mhz, I would simply reduce the multiplier to
    achieve only about 3% overclocking on the CPU (I know I can go higher, but
    right now I'm settling for max stability). The only thing that I would have
    against Crucial or Buffalo Tech is that they aren't on the Asus List for
    memory that works with the A7N8X board, however, that doesn't mean it won't
    work, it simply means that Asus probably didn't test it.

    I was wondering though if anyone has any experiences with TwinMOS memory. I
    read a good review of their PC3200 modules (and they're on the Asus List).
    Apparently they're rated at C2.5, but they have no problem running C2 upto
    212MHz, which is plenty for me. However, one review doesn't mean too much
    since it could have been just a chance that they got a good sample. So I'm
    wondering what others (general users) think of TwinMOS modules. Any
    experiences specifically with the A7N8X?

    Thanks,
    Harry
     
    Harry Muscle, Aug 19, 2003
    #3
  4. Harry Muscle

    Skid Guest

    At the risk of sounding like a Crucial salesman, they guarantee their PC3200
    DDR for life at 200 fsb on the Asus A7N8X. You can buy it from their website
    using this link for a discount:
    http://www.crucial.com/promo/index.asp?prog=share
    On the next page choose Asus as the system manufacturer and plug in the
    model number of your board. $54 each for two 256-meg sticks of PC3200 with
    free 2-day shipping, less a 5% discount = $102 and change.

    Wes already gave you the specs on Buffalo Tech, also an excellent choice.

    You can pay more if it makes you feel better, but be careful when comparing
    specs and claims. If you don't plan to OC the fsb, there is no benefit in
    buying anything above PC3200, IMHO.
     
    Skid, Aug 19, 2003
    #4
  5. Harry Muscle

    Kristi Guest

    I like Crucial, but it is CL3. It is rock solid, but others might be
    better. I would vote for saving your pennies for another month and getting
    the Corsair TWINX512-3200C2PT $144 shipped from googlegear or newegg.
     
    Kristi, Aug 19, 2003
    #5
  6. Harry Muscle

    Skid Guest

    Have it your way. But if you'd stop for a second to read the reviews I
    linked, you'll find that most of them had no problem running the Crucial at
    CAS2 or CAS2.5, needing CAS3 only when the fsb got above 220 or so. In case
    you didn't know, the JDEC standard for PC3200 class C is 3.4.4.8, and
    Crucial adheres to the standard for maximum stability across a variety of
    systems. As I've said before, you can tweak it a lot, depending on your
    mobo.

    I also pointed out that Corsair's PC4000 runs at those same timings of
    3.4.4.8, but somehow you seem to think it's a better brand because it costs
    twice as much. OK, fine.

    Here's just one review comparing these two with OCZ, TwinMos and Kingston
    Hyper-X.
    http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.html?i=1828
    The Crucial ran fine at 2.5,3,2,5 and all of the benchmarks were so close
    you'd never be able to tell the difference in real life.

    Your money, your choice. But you can save bucks by doing a little homework
    and not paying for more performance than you need or will actually get.
     
    Skid, Aug 19, 2003
    #6
  7. Harry Muscle

    Big F'N Deal Guest

    The thing is, the A7N8X deluxe is VERY picky about memory. There are quite a
    few postings on these boards where a person was having a large amount of
    problems and it turned out to be the memory. I spent the extra $$$ on
    Corsair TwinX CAS2 because it's tested and matched using the A7N8X Deluxe
    board! I mean how much more do you want for off the shelf compatibility. I
    say cut back on something else, but spend the money to get the TwinX memory!
     
    Big F'N Deal, Aug 20, 2003
    #7
  8. Harry Muscle

    Ben Pope Guest

    I think the ones to get are TwinMos with Winbond BH5 - they're the best as
    far as I know.

    Ben
     
    Ben Pope, Aug 20, 2003
    #8
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