RAM Frequency and FSB

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by aphirst, Jun 1, 2009.

Jun 1, 2009

RAM Frequency and FSB by aphirst at 12:59 AM (1,228 Views / 0 Likes) 12 replies

  1. aphirst
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    Member aphirst "Aren't girls with pee-pees just men?"

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    I'll keep this short.

    I've spent the last hour trying to understand how having a RAM frequency differing from the CPU frequency affects performance. In the laptop that I am considering buying, the CPU has a 1066MHz FSB, and the RAM is DDR2 800MHz. I am unable to make sense of how this affects timing, so if someone could explain this, I would be most grateful (I.E. How this laptop would behave with this CPU and RAM). (The actual frequency of the Processor, a C2D, is 2.4GHz).

    Thanks a million. [​IMG]
     
  2. Athlon-pv

    Member Athlon-pv GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    The thing is that Front Size Bus doesnt have to impact the ram but can.
    Im not to sure how stuff on Intel functions but basicly the difference in timing and impact from the different ram speed shouldnt be more then single digit percentage difference.

    So say with your current system you get 55 frames per second on your fave game, with faster ram you wont get to 60 fps anyway [​IMG].

    It could impact speed on stuff like heavy computing (running over weeks more then days), but then again most of these things these days have GPU clients. Still were talking single digit percentage increase nothing in the double figures.

    In theory your "miss matched" configuration wouldnt matter that much in daily use especially when you use it casually.

    Im sure that there some newbie websites like Anandtech or Tomshardware that can explain some of the "details". But like i expressed earlier it isnt going to blow your mind [​IMG]
     
  3. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    General idea: ram has a clockspeed from the frontside bus and timings. Ram is a very simple device ( http://tams-www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/...40-ram/ram.html ) when it comes down to it and timings do various things to help solve problems with the circuit being that simple ( http://www.techpowerup.com/printarticle.php?id=131 ), regardless of that though they are a multiple of the frontside bus.
    It should also be noted most computers/motherboards have an "unlinked" option these days so the ram and CPU do not have to be driven from the same clock (good for overclockers with weaker ram).

    Lower timings mean better access speeds, however if you look at old ram the timings are probably far lower than they are today (DDR vs DDR2 vs DDR3) but as the bus speed is that much faster it does not matter or they are even faster and probably even bigger than before.

    In short different clocks for the ram and cpu means when the CPU tries to access the ram it may have to wait a cycle as they are not perfectly matched. Frankly though the wait is going to be nothing compared to the wait the ram induces (by the time you skipped over the cache and into the ram you are probably already in the hundreds of milliseconds).

    edit: must hit reply faster.
     
  4. aphirst
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    Member aphirst "Aren't girls with pee-pees just men?"

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    I must say, your posts and links have made it make a lot more sense (I think I actually have a basic understanding of it now). So, in effect, while it would be possible to squeeze more performance out of the thing theoretically, it probably would be negligible, due to the inherent delays of the RAM itself (as FAST 6191 said: "the wait is going to be nothing compared to the wait the ram induces").

    So, thank you for clarifying this for me. [​IMG]
    I probably will end up getting this laptop (because it's custom-built, the prices seem to trickle down every couple of weeks, as the upstream prices drop slowly. Two weeks ago it was £661, today it's £635, by my birthday at the end of July, it might be around £590). Oh, and they give the option to not pay for Vi$ta. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Scorpei

    Member Scorpei GBAtemp Maniac

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    Might I suggest looking for something with a stronger graphics card? If you plan to do some gaming, the 9300M G is functional (I have it in mine) but it is far from great or even medium in modern games. Not sure how prices are over there but if I do the math it should be possible to get something more in the 8600M region.
     
  6. aphirst
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    Member aphirst "Aren't girls with pee-pees just men?"

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    (My, I'm attracting some celebrities to this thread!)

    The problem is, once you start getting to the 8600/9400 region, prices start to skyrocket. I only have a budget of just over £600. Plus, I don't actually play new games. I play UT2004 a lot, and Guild Wars in WINE (Freelancer, too). I'd probably play some WoW on a private server, or something. I still haven't played HL2 or any of the mods.

    I'm simply after something that's more powerful that what I have now (a Mobility Radeon X1300, which was hugely average when it came out in 2006, was a bit limp when I got it in 2007; and is pretty much crippled in Linux due to ATI not supporting it in Catalyst any more). I've no intention of playing Crysis/Bioshock/Farcry 2/Cookie-Cutter-FPS (With too much emphasis on needing a Beowulf cluster to run it). Smooth Hardware-Accelerated PlayStation emulation would be nice. [​IMG]

    Of course, I'm not going to commit until the day I actually can buy it, so I'm still always on the prowl [​IMG]. I found a nice HP one, but its only available in the US (VAT + Duty + horrible US keyboard + limited warranty). I'll keep on the look out nonetheless. [​IMG]
     
  7. Athlon-pv

    Member Athlon-pv GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    You can estimate your videocards life cycle more or less yourself.

    Basicly you game at 1024*768 anything higher is nice , most likely your "new, faster" card will last on current games but new games the next year will probably slow down a lot more then you would like to see.

    Sadly game development these days just keep pushing towards the high end cards of today either due to bad engine usage or there way ahead of the curve.

    There some exceptions but in general it wont last much longer, i used to play WoW on my laptop but that was a good while ago. Swapped to desktop anyway.

    What it comes down to is that paying extra money is nice for the feeling of being happy with your laptop on purchase but that feeling is gone after half a year coz then new games are showing your aged GPU and you will feel you wasted a boatload on something which is not lasting the way you wanted it to
     
  8. aphirst
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    Member aphirst "Aren't girls with pee-pees just men?"

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    The problem is that looking on the UK market for laptops, for a better graphics card than the 9300M GS, that isn't an Acer or a Sony (I've had and seen a few particularly bad experiences), and has a screen size I like (14-16") you're looking at £980+.

    This is the cheapest model I can find, the processor isn't low-power, and it only has 2GB of RAM. Screw the 9650M GT [​IMG]

    So you see, in the UK, having a budget of ~£600 prevents you from playing "the games of today". Although, frankly, there are enough "games of yesterday" to keep me occupied for the 4 years I intend my next laptop to last. (Masses of emulation, Pre-2006 PC games, etc.)

    Obviously, Ideally, I would like the most powerful machine for my money. But, since the graphics card seems to increase the price exponentially, it's largely impractical.

    (Oh, and ATI Linux drivers suck balls, since ATI drop support for cards older than 2 years or so).
     
  9. Athlon-pv

    Member Athlon-pv GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    On Acer i bought the extra warrenty(Acer Advantage) , that is something that saved me more or less. Acer was one of the few that had AMD cpu atleast [​IMG]
     
  10. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The UK laptop market is not fun to play in but if the ferries in Hull are like those elsewhere in the country it may be worth your while to do a foot passenger trip, probably at a nasty hour/overnight or something, to mainland Europe (likely Holland. A quick scan of P&O says yes: £10 for a foot passenger tomorrow to Rotterdam). Not having been there I am not inclined to say but I did see a few places in France and Belgium geared towards such "tourism".
    If the Euro is good you may be able to get a decent deal (a quick scan of the UK and French Amazon says it is a good possibility).

    "only has 2GB of RAM"
    I am running my games, video and cad machine on 2 gigs of ram (no pagefile/swap space) and aside from memory leaks I am not really pushing it.
     
  11. aphirst
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    Member aphirst "Aren't girls with pee-pees just men?"

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    First of all, Fair enough, I do know that 2GB of RAM is basically the limit of what most people physically need. I will admit this [​IMG] I was just making points. I'm not really a RAM-whore [​IMG] I do, however, like to allocate a large amount of RAM to /tmp , and generally play with Ram Filesystems, just for convenience. So 4GB of RAM would please me greatly in this area. [​IMG]

    That Europe idea actually sounds quite interesting, I'll give that a good looking at over the next few days. So, how would you go about actually buying the machine? [​IMG]
     
  12. Athlon-pv

    Member Athlon-pv GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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  13. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I find myself close enough to the channel islands for when I do such a thing but there will be two scenarios:

    1) Big warehouse in Rotterdamn port area similar to the alcohol/tobacco shops in France and Belgium but for electronics.

    2) You get a bus into the city and find yourself the Dutch equivalent of PC World/staples or a slightly smaller shop (if you email in advance you might even be able to sort something out) and buy one off the shop floor.

    I doubt you will find anything on the ferry/port terminal duty free but it would not be the first time I was surprised by such things.

    Note that doing this is easy enough but some companies try to discourage this by fiddling with batteries and power supplies (I see it all the time with cars and a lot of consumer electronics), generic ones and/or adapters are cheap enough and if you are considering replacing a battery please say so as I want to make known occurrences of it it into double figures for people that have before the end of the decade.
     

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