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DDR3 RAM Explained 200

Posted by kdawson
from the faster-and-then-some dept.
Das Capitolin sends us to Benchmark Reviews for an in-depth feature on DDR3 memory that begins: "These are uncertain financial times we live in today, and the rise and fall of our economy has had [a] direct [effect] on consumer spending. It has already been one full year now that DDR3 has been patiently waiting for the enthusiast community to give it proper consideration, yet [its] success is still undermined by misconceptions and high price. Benchmark Reviews has been testing DDR3 more actively than anyone. ... Sadly, it might take an article like this to open the eyes of my fellow hardware enthusiast[s] and overclocker[s], because it seems like DDR3 is the technology nobody wants [badly] enough to learn about. Pity, because overclocking is what it's all about."
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DDR3 RAM Explained

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  • by florin (2243) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @01:24PM (#23370354)
    This article was rather amusing, at times I wasn't quite sure if the author was serious, with statements like:

    One particularly important new change introduced with DDR3 is in the improved prefetch buffer: up from DDR2's four bits to an astounding eight bits per cycle.
    Woo I think I wet my pants there. But the author seems genuinely excited about this technology. I mean:

    DDR3 is very similar to the advancement of jet propulsion over prop-style aircraft, and an entirely new dimension of possibility is made available.
    Hahaha

    • by King_TJ (85913) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @02:25PM (#23370734) Journal
      Whether or not the author was really serious, I think about the only really worthwhile comments of his might have been related to the "uncertain economy".

      Right now, all too many people I know are finding themselves out of jobs, with no good-paying alternatives in sight. I just attended my girlfriend's college graduation ceremony yesterday afternoon, and the guy sitting behind us was a 40-something year old who decided to go back to school last semester, because he couldn't make it anymore in the construction business. He said he worked in construction for 18 years, and until 3 years ago, it was a good career for him. But in the last few years, things have gotten so bad, many people are resorting to selling off the trucks and equipment they used in their trade, just to keep the bills paid and to stay afloat. They're seeing their work dwindle to the point where they can do it as a side job, but can't guarantee they're always busy. Therefore, he finally decided to go back to school and start a new career path.

      My g/f is in a similar dilemma. Here is she. fresh out of school with a degree in psychology, and really can't do a thing with it except continue on to earn a Masters' in psych. After that, she could open her own practice (MORE $'s on top of huge student loan debt!), or possibly partner with someone else - with results varying depending on what part of the country you decide to live in. She's thinking about going for a double major, with the 2nd. one in business .... because at least the internships for MBAs seem plentiful and promising right now.

      Anyway ... my point is, most people just aren't going to be as "free" with their spending money as they were when they were sure their good-paying job was there for them. Playing with stuff like DDR3 vs. DDR2 amounts to "unnecessary entertainment" for the computer hobbyist, really. You can get a plenty fast PC running regular old DDR2 memory that will do whatever you need done. Buying into anything else, just for the sake of "overclocking" amounts to tinkering and computer hot-rodding for the fun of benchmarking and seeing how high a number you can get. It's not a practical activity when finances are uncertain or possibly very limited.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mobby_6kl (668092)
        Well, what the hell did your girlfriend expect to do with a psychology degree in the first place? ;)

        Back to RAM though, I don't see how this is any different than with DDR and DDR2. At first, the new technology was barely faster (sometimes not at all) then the old one, was not very widely supported, and of course cost more. I don't see why this should be any different now with DDR2 and DDR3. A slowdown in the US economy isn't going to bring technological progress to a halt.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheLink (130905)
          Actually I don't think DDR2 was (is?) significantly faster than DDR for normal PCs.

          The only reason to buy DDR2 over DDR is because it is cheaper (and compatible with more stuff you want).

          At the moment is DDR3 cheaper? No. The last I checked it's about 4X more expensive or more.

          Who cares if RAR is 10% faster (just making up figures ;) ), because you use DDR3? If it's so expensive, most gamers would rather pump the extra money into their video card where they get more bang _nowadays_ especially with the new A
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by MoriaOrc (822758)

            Actually I don't think DDR2 was (is?) significantly faster than DDR for normal PCs.

            The only reason to buy DDR2 over DDR is because it is cheaper (and compatible with more stuff you want).

            That would be a horrible reason to make new RAM, change the connection just enough without any improvement to the hardware. Not that I'd put it past some hardware makers.

            Your statement about speed might have been true when DDR2 had just launched (wasn't paying attention back then), since the low-end DDR2 memory modules have the same transfer rate as high-end DDR modules, but DDR2 has topped off at a transfer rate of just over 3x DDR's limit. Most people I know have gotten the more reasonably priced

            • by TheLink (130905)
              Any benchmarks?

              I think there are only a few benchmarks/apps where the mem transfer rate becomes a big bottleneck. So far most of the real world benchmarks out there seem to indicate just like the DDR vs DDR2 days, DDR3 is not worth it.

              This is because once the data set is big enough - disk becomes the bottleneck. Whereas below a few MB, a lot fits in the CPU cache - processing loops in games etc, so you don't get such a huge hit in performance for having a slower channel. In fact when there's a cache miss, l
      • by mikael (484)
        Maybe she could go into research for computer user-interface/user-interaction research?

        That seems to be an important area now that every piece of hardwares seems to have a visual GUI.
      • by Zerth (26112)
        A bachelor's in Psych has always been useless. Either it is the second of a double major or just a stepping stone to shrinkdom.
      • Even before the housing bubble burst, psych majors couldn't get any jobs with only four year degrees. It's not the economy. A BS in psychology does not provide you with any particularly marketable skills.

        The US economy isn't in a recession (last GDP was +.6), but web journalism certainly is in the boom times of economic fear mongering.
    • by h4rm0ny (722443)

      It's not a bad article and covers all the relevant points of DDR3. Well worth reading by people not familiar with DDR3. It's not an unreserved sales-pitch for DD3 as it does detail the disadvantages of the technology as well. The only thing the article seems to gloss over in terms of negatives is the ratio of performance to cost. Right now, I'm seeing DDR3 chips starting at around double their DDR2 equivalents and then rising substantially for the very fastest. For most people, I would say that this is not
      • by Enleth (947766)
        A huge amount of memory is a charm if you are using virtual machines for some serious job. I've got 3GB of DDR2 as of now in my laptop and it's perfectly enough for VMWare with Windows Server 2003 that does the compilation and testing of cross-platform code I write. That amounts to about 1,5GB used when working, 700MB in buffers and ~800MB spare "just in case" or when I want to take a break and do something else for a while without suspending the VM and closing all the stuff I had open. However, add a secon
    • by Simon80 (874052) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @03:15PM (#23371174)
      The author of this article seems to think that since 1.5V is 17% less than 1.8, the power savings are 17%. Granted, the saving is more like 31% if the memory has the same resistance, since power usage is proportional to the square of the voltage, but it's not worth reading an article from someone who doesn't know such basic knowledge that is so relevant to the topic being written about.
    • by Zeio (325157) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @05:24PM (#23372172)
      I really like ECC memory. I've built a lot of machines here and there for various purposes and people and can safely say that ECC should be mandated. People oft talk of blue screens, panics, etc. A lot of these are due to bad memory. And these types of errors can often be hard to replicate. I believe EETimes had an article about how bad bad memory is.

      Anyhow, I'm on a 975X chipset with 4GB of DDR2 800 MHZ unbuffered ECC memory machine now. Not a single unforced error since I bought this machine and assembled it December, 2006. Nothing. This unit is primarily a gaming rig, the 3DMark 2006 score is 11500 with an 8800GTX, all with ECC memory.

      The most irritating thing for me is, looking at the great new CPUs available, is the utter lack of any unbuffered ECC memory in the DDR3 range. This to me is unacceptable. I refuse to compromise so I will wait. Intel has a motherboard featuring DDR2 800 fully buffered memory for the 'high end workstation' , D5400XS, this is $600+. Supermicro offers something similar.

      The X38 does DDR2 ECC, and for whatever reason the X48 took that away. I don't get why Intel wants to deny us DDR3 unbuffered ECC? Its really a selling point, a very good thing. If you overclock, its nice to have because it can tell you the limits minus the guesswork, not that I would bother with OC personally.

      Fundamentally, without ECC, do you even know if the memory works at all? My experience leads me to believe that without ECC present, the answer is no at all.
      • by Omnedon (701049) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @05:35PM (#23372270)
        I run memtest for a minimum of 48 hours on any new system I build and have never had any problem with RAM that has passed that. This is the best I can do without the premium of paying for ECC capable motherboards and RAM.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Nocterro (648910)
          And conversely; a reasonable number fail. Working as a system builder and memtesting every machine I build, I've seen around 15% failure rate in all brands of RAM.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Omnedon (701049)
            Failure at build is one thing. I have never had anything pass memtest and subsequently been passed on to the customer and *then* fail.

            I have yet to have a customer offer a contract for a full ECC system, but I expect that type of customer to be ordering in the dozens or hundreds. For one machine or 100 I would still give 48 hours of memtest. For ECC I would still give 48 hours of memtest.

            If you can recommend a better test, I am open to suggestions.

        • I run memtest for a minimum of 48 hours on any new system I build and have never had any problem with RAM that has passed that. This is the best I can do without the premium of paying for ECC capable motherboards and RAM.

          Memtest86 (and Memtest86+) do not do a good job of finding RAM that is borderline working. They are only able to find RAM that is definitely not working. By "borderline", I'm talking about systems that fail under moderate to heavy load in random fashion (usually bluescreens or random ap
      • by Khyber (864651)
        DDR3 is worthless anyways. I've only seen about a 5% or so increase in performance in various tests (Gaming, video editing, loading huge photographs,) not much to justify the extra 50% increase in price.
  • by PoderOmega (677170) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @01:30PM (#23370402)
    Great, now that I know how well certain DDR3 chips overclock, can I see how DDR3 compares to DDR2 in terms of raw performance and overclocking ability? I'm not an expert on how DDR2 works, so DDR3 could be better explained to me by showing me how it is better than DDR2.
    • by ruiner13 (527499) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @01:58PM (#23370570) Homepage
      I came here to say the same thing. The whole article can only be called a theoretical comparison between DDR2 & DDR3, as there is not a single benchmark that compares the two. Where is the latency, bandwidth, power consumption, etc charts for DDR2 & DDR3 when running at similar clock speeds? The author says that people are taking the latency increase too seriously, and that it doesn't come into play, but then under the "downside" discussion, they mention the latency. Also, when all the arguments they use preface concepts with "in theory" or "should" kinda makes you think they're just making this stuff up. I'm still waiting for an AM2+ chipset that will support DDR3, as the Phenoms (I think) have a memory controller that supports it. That should give the AMD chips a boost when compared to the current crop of Intel chips as the on-chip memory controller should allow for better usage of the RAM, but again, I'll wait until a benchmark confirms it. Intel motherboards, at least to me, seem to be 2-3x as costly as AMD varieties, and don't always offer the same BIOS flexibility. Not to mention the top-end Intel chips are 2x as much as the top-end AMD chips, and I still prefer AMD over Intel when building my own systems.
      • Actually the AM2+ chips don't support DDR3. However, the yet to be made AM3 chips which support DDR3 will also support DDR2 if you put them in an AM2+ or AM2 motherboard.
      • by MojoStan (776183)

        I'm still waiting for an AM2+ chipset that will support DDR3, as the Phenoms (I think) have a memory controller that supports it. That should give the AMD chips a boost when compared to the current crop of Intel chips as the on-chip memory controller should allow for better usage of the RAM, but again, I'll wait until a benchmark confirms it.

        From what I've read lately, Intel's Nehalem architecture, which features an on-chip memory controller and QuickPath interconnect (HyperTransport competitor), will be available around the same time AMD DDR3 platforms are available (maybe sooner). Therefore, instead of getting a boost from DDR3, AMD may get trumped by Nehalem.

        Intel motherboards, at least to me, seem to be 2-3x as costly as AMD varieties, and don't always offer the same BIOS flexibility.

        "2-3x as costly" seems a bit high to me, but I

    • by nick_davison (217681) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @03:49PM (#23371422)
      He's like a jet engine supporter immediately after World War II:

      "Jet engines are inherrently capable of much greater speeds than propeller engines!"

      "OK, so show me one that goes much faster than the prop driven spitfire?"

      "Well, uh, there's the Gloster Meteor!"

      "It does about 500mph*, right? That's not bad compared to the Spitfire XIX's 460mph. But there are tons of Spitfires out there, available cheaply vs. paying several times the cost for the Meteor for about a 10% speed improvement." *note: F-3 variant, not the "overclocked" tweaked versions that set speed records.

      "Well, but the point isn't that it's better today. It's a better technology! It'll be better in the future! Props will never go supersonic. Jets can potentially go several times supersonic."

      "That is cool. Doesn't really help me today though, does it? I'm still paying several times the cost for a small improvement, today."

      "Yeah, but if you don't buy jets now, how will their prices ever come down? How will we ever reach the heady perfection they're capable of?"

      "Again, not helping me today, is it?"

      "But! But! It's really cool!"

      Yes, the technology shows promise. But its future promise with only small increases today doesn't justify its current high cost.

      If more people bought it, the cost would come down over time and more investment would mean unlocking more of that promise. Which is great in the future but gives you very little today in exchange for that high cost.

      The argument he seems to be making is that everyone should adopt it right now, not because it actually gets them much for their money but because their investment will enable him to buy even faster stuff for a lower price later.

      Not really compelling.
      • by Aranykai (1053846)
        Nice illustration. Hits the nail on the head.
        +1 insightful
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        I don't get it. Are you saying that if you don't buy that DDR3 memory today, you might be shot down by a Mig-15 tomorrow?

      • The argument he seems to be making is that everyone should adopt it right now, not because it actually gets them much for their money but because their investment will enable him to buy even faster stuff for a lower price later.

        Over the years I've learned to let the other guy pay the R & D cost. I've watched the prices drop on several items of high tech. Instead of overclocking, I just wait.

        I waited until 4 banger calculators were under $100 before I bought one that ate 4 AA batteries in 6 hours. (Th
  • by Indy1 (99447) <spamtrap@fuckedregime.com> on Sunday May 11, 2008 @01:34PM (#23370418) Homepage
    DDR3 is still 5-10 times the cost of DDR2, and the performance gain is not big (maybe 10% at best) on overall system performance.
    • Exactly. I'm not buying a product whose only real advantage comes when you void the warranty.
    • by aztektum (170569) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @01:42PM (#23370462)
      And to take it even further, that's just the cost of memory. A quick NewEgg search for DDR3 motherboard came up with a whopping 10 boards. The cheapest are 150 for open box items. The typical price is over 300.
      • by MojoStan (776183)

        DDR3 is still 5-10 times the cost of DDR2, and the performance gain is not big (maybe 10% at best) on overall system performance.

        And to take it even further, that's just the cost of memory. A quick NewEgg search for DDR3 motherboard came up with a whopping 10 boards. The cheapest are 150 for open box items. The typical price is over 300.

        If you compare (using Newegg) otherwise identical motherboards where the only difference is DDR2 or DDR3 (e.g. ASUS P5K DELUXE [newegg.com] vs ASUS P5K3 DELUXE [newegg.com]), the price premium for the DDR3 motherboard is typically $50. Those "typical" $300 DDR3 motherboards are high-end enthusiast boards and their DDR2 equivalents are pretty darned expensive, too (typically $250).

        I'm not saying it's better to buy DDR3 now, but I don't think it's as bad as you and the GP make it out to be. One advantage of going with the newer mem

    • by Doppler00 (534739) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @01:51PM (#23370518) Homepage Journal
      Maybe DDR3 is the memory industries way of keeping people on 32-bit OS's interested in their product? Because you can't really use much more than 2GB in a 32 bit system, and that's selling for about $50 now for DDR2 (I paid over $300 a year and a half ago!).

      If you want real performance improvement get a 64 bit OS and 8GB DDR2 instead of 2GB DDR3. It will probably cost less and you'll notice the performance improvement as fewer accesses to HD (given you're OS knows how to pre-fetch intelligently).
      • by GotenXiao (863190)
        32bit Slackware.

        $ cat /proc/meminfo
        MemTotal: 8310468 kB
        MemFree: 5979288 kB
        Buffers: 38932 kB
        Cached: 1234492 kB
        -snip-
        SwapTotal: 0 kB
        SwapFree: 0 kB
        -snip-

        Normally the Cached value is sat around the 6GB mark. PAE is a dirty, filthy hack, but it works rather well. The main limitation is the 4GB per-process virtual memory space - but under 32bit Linux can handle up to 64GB of RAM.
  • by maz2331 (1104901) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @01:39PM (#23370446)
    Memory bandwidth is not problem right now. I/O is too slow. We need faster disks and LANs first.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by klapaucjusz (1167407)

      We need faster disks and LANs first.

      LANs are already fast -- when did you last saturate a GigE switch ? Right now, for most applications, the bottleneck is in the disk.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by kestasjk (933987)
        The bottleneck is the guy sitting at the keyboard.

        I'm typing this, and by the time I release the key I'm pressing for the current letter the computer has already received it, sent it to the right app, which put it in the right text-box, updated the undo buffer, re-rendered the window, checked if it completes a word, and spell-checked the new word if it does (and readied a list of likely corrections if it isn't correct).

        It's hard to get enthused about x% lower memory latency when it still takes me 100m
        • by kestasjk (933987)

          (I know there are exceptions, and some software will benefit, but it's becoming rarer and rarer)
          What I meant to say is that it's becoming rarer and rarer that your average user uses these pieces of software. I know I don't use any software that would benefit appreciably from lower memory latency, or even lower disk latency.
      • Build a good load balanced web cluster some time. It's easy to saturate a GbE connection to the back-end storage boxes.

  • An for wanabees. Real enthusiasts get hardware that performs without the risk of data corruption and untimely death. DDR2 is perfectly fine at the moment, especially as the impact of faster RAM is pretty small for most applications. Say up to 10% of the raw speed gain, if you are very, very lucky. That is not worth paying anything more for it, except in servers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by PenGun (794213)
      Uh the Opteron 165 in this machine is supposed to be running at 1.8Ghz. It's been doing 2.4Ghz for several years now with no problems at all. It will do 2.6 no problem but I like to back off a bit from what is possible.

        Every machine I have had since my 120 Pentium Doom special o/c'd to 133 has been overclocked with no problems. Once you have everything stable there is almost always at least 10% with room to spare.
      • by h4rm0ny (722443)

        Yeah, but that's Opterons. You could probably smear them with jelly instead of thermal paste and they'd still work. ;)

        But for most users, people would prefer the "certainty" of running under a manufacturers specifications to the "risk" of overclocking their CPU.
    • Seems you have the same priorities like me :-)
      Performance wise, a mid-level PC does fine for me (my latest one is an AMD dual core with a Nvidia GT8600 GPU). But the reliability better be above average. That means
      -no overclocking
      -reliability enhancing extras where they are not too expensive (ECC RAM is one of those)
      -choosing vendors that have a history of good quality rather than flashy features
      -not necessarily the very latest technology, as older stuff is often more mature

      Of course, this will not solve sof
  • by kclittle (625128) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @01:55PM (#23370550)
    ... really careless[ly] written submission[s] that the editors [have] to fix [up] before they can be [read] by us[?]
  • Teenage enthusiasm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by klapaucjusz (1167407) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @02:01PM (#23370584) Homepage

    It's always nice to see a tech writer full of teenage enthusiasm, but this article goes a little over the top.

    It's supposed to be an article about a performance enhancement, and there's barely any performance values at all (except for the theoretical peak throughputs on page 3, and we know how much that means).

    I think what the guy really wanted was to write about planes, not about computer hardware.

    DDR3 simply picks up speed where DDR2 left off... which is as accurate as saying an airplane picks up where a kite left off.

    DDR2 technology is no better prepared to reach higher speeds than a propeller airplane is capable of breaking the sound barrier;

    DDR3 is very similar to the advancement of jet propulsion over prop-style aircraft,
  • by DJStealth (103231) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @02:04PM (#23370596)
    I was asked to purchase 4 of the fastest desktop PC's I could find (just less than a year ago) for a contract placement; I ended up going with the QX6850 and for 3 machines DDR2-800, and with the extra money on the 4th machine, going with a capable motherboard and DDR3-1333; hoping for at least some speed difference.

    First of all, as the technology was brand new at the time, the motherboard, although capable of 1333mhz ram, it only detected it as 1066 (we double checked they sold us the right stuff), so we manually set the RAM in the BIOS to run at 1333.

    After all the setup, on otherwise almost identically configured machines, we found absolutely 0 performance gain on the DDR3 machine over the other 3 DDR2-800 machines. Although one might argue that our applications we were using to test were not so memory intensive, the fact is it was a computationally intensive task that regularly accessed about 200-300mb of data from ram. I would think that even if everything would be pre-fetched into the 8MB CPU cache before it was used, we should at least see some small difference.

    In the end, it seems that we spent an extra $800 for no noticeable performance gain.

    • by DJStealth (103231) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @02:15PM (#23370668)
      Sorry, just wanted to append some details:

      - We were using XP Pro x64 edition
      - I believe there was 4GB RAM, possibly 8GB
      - I tested exactly the same program that we wrote and compile with the same input data and timed it between the DDR2 and DDR3 machines.
      - The processing took exactly the same number of seconds on both platforms. (Approx 20sec). Testing on older Xeon 3.6 gave me approx 50sec, and Pentium D-3.2 at 30 seconds.
    • by jmv (93421)
      Although one might argue that our applications we were using to test were not so memory intensive, the fact is it was a computationally intensive task that regularly accessed about 200-300mb of data from ram. I would think that even if everything would be pre-fetched into the 8MB CPU cache before it was used, we should at least see some small difference.

      It all depends on how the memory is accessed. If you keep accessing elements at (seemingly) random locations in the data set, then it's likely that you'll h
  • by plusser (685253) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @02:28PM (#23370752)
    The problem with sales of DDR3 is probably down to the fact that most computers are being sold with versions of Vista 32. To really make a difference with faster SRAM would probably also mean having a larger amount of SRAM. But the problem is Vista 32 only addresses just under 4GB of SRAM. As many computers for the home market max out by being supplied with 4GB of SRAM as new, the computers are effectively un-upgradable unless a different operating system is used. This leaves an interesting situation:- 1. Run Vista 64 - but then a large portion of hardware and software will not work as you cannot sign unapproved drivers. 2. Run Linux 3. Buy a MAC And there is the problem, the alternatives to using DDR3 are in fact called using a different operating system and adding standard DDR2 memory, which is more cost effective that paying the extra for the DDR3 SRAM. The only area I could possibly see DDR3 technology in the commercial hardware is in cutting edge graphics cards, where performance is everything. Unfortunately, as Vista 32 is already at is technology limit and that many potential users of this technology will baulk at the price, I can see games console manufacturers adopting this technology before the general PC market.
  • I haven't bought in to DDR3 yet for one simple reason...I was an early adopter of RDRAM, and look where that went.
  • by pnis (664824) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @05:25PM (#23372182)
    This article seems to be paid advertising, with some bending of the facts.
    And the fact is that the double prefetch buffer is the sole reason for the double bandwith and the double latency. As a matter of fact the speed of the individual memory chips on the ram module are the same as on ddr2 (see that table in the article, just divide the ddr3 clock by 2 to get the corresponding ddr2 speed) - but instead of reading 1 bit from 4 chips at once into the prefetch buffer (that is four bit prefetch buffer), they are reading from eight at once (so that's the 8 bit prefetch buffer), so double the amount of data can be read in the same time (hence the double bandwidth). However because the memory chips are the same speed as in ddr2, the time needed to program the individual chips stays the same - so because the clock is double the speed, it takes twice as many clocks to tell the individual chips which bit we want to fetch. And that bullshit about lower latencies is also not quite right: ddr3-1600 cl6 is the same latency as ddr2-800 cl3 - and such modules have been sold for years.

    Of course ddr3 is better, because it has higher bandwidth, and absolute latency is not worse than ddr2's. Also there are in deed technological advances (e.g. the lower voltage). But this article is still not exactly honest.
  • When Nehalem comes out, with its new socket, motherboard manufacturers are likely going to mandate the switch to DDR3. Right now, it's pretty easy for motherboard manufacturers to push hybrid solutions or redirect consumers to DDR2 1066MHz (which is equally useless unless you're OCing something like a Wolfdale). They won't have that excuse in the new motherboards and I seriously doubt they will stick with DDR2, especially if prices come down by then.
  • When I was building my latest system, several months back, I initially wanted to go with DDR3. Money wasn't an inhibiting factor for me. But, I ended up going with DDR2 anyway. Here's why:

    I couldn't find DDR3 memory confirmed to work with the motherboard I wanted!

    There are so many stories in the reviews sections of NewEgg and other sites with people complaining that boards like the Asus Maximus fail to work with many and various brands of DDR3 memory.

    The only brands I could confirm to work, were "out of
  • "...overclocking is what it's all about..."

    While I understand it might be your particular hobby, it's not the case for most others.

    I used to upgrade my computers every 3 years, which would roughly give me a 3x improvement in raw processing power (not to mention video, etc.).

    IBM AT, 486-33DX, P-90, (AMD)P300, (AMD)P1.2GHz, P4 2.7 GHz.

    That last one is something like 4-5 years old now (I forget) and it's only reaching the end of it's value as a cutting-edge game machine. I haven't found a lot of persuasive ev

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