DDr or Not to DDR?

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  • Bing Fung
    Ultra Senior Member
    • Aug 2000
    • 6521

    DDr or Not to DDR?

    Ok, here is the dilema, The person that wants to buy my current MB, Pro, and memory wants it next week.

    I was holding out for an ASUS A7M266, DDR board.
    I know, processors that can take advantage of this increased memory bandwidth are rare. Regardless, it is the way PC's are moving for the next while.

    Here what I was going to get

    -Asus A7M266 DDR MB
    -1Ghz T-Bird E-chip/100/200 FSB
    -256Mb DDR 2100/266

    Now I have read the A7M266 Mb currently does not support bios settings of the core voltages, or multiplier adjustment, as well it does not have jumpers for this. This really brings me down, as I know I certainly will want to OC this thing.

    I was hoping Abit would have released their DDR board KG7A DDR, but that doesn't seem like anytime soon.

    So now if the fellow wants my old set-up next week, I will need to get something ASAP, this is what I thought I could get for the same Price..

    -Abit KT7A-Raid (I know, I have heard, But the KT7A is the reference board of OC'ers)
    -Or Asus A7V 133A
    -1Ghz T-bird 100/200 Fsb
    -512Mb PC133 cas 2

    So my question is, do I hold out for the DDR board, or just jump on a mature KT133A system that can be OC'ed to keep up for a while with the soon to be DDR systems?

    Currently they state around a 10% increase with DDR systems using the E series T-Birds (100/200) Once the C Series (133/266) come out that are optimized for the increased bandwidth of DDR, the gains are expected to be quite astounding (how ever much that is :? ).

    Does it really matter, or will it really matter?




    Bing
    Bing
  • JonMarsh
    Mad Max Moderator
    • Aug 2000
    • 15336

    #2
    Hi Bing,

    It really depends on what your priorities are. If you will use the system for applications which will benefit from memory bandwidth, ie heavy graphics (photoshop application with large files), CAE (circuit simulation, for example), PCB CAD using auto-router, or really intense high end games, the DDR may be useful for more than synthetic benchmarks. The optimization of the CPU for the Athlon is more dependent on L2 cache performance. DDR does buy you somethings (see the Anandtech site and Thomas Pabst), but for things *you* do, it may not buy you enough for the current agravation (cost, availability). Keep in mind, with a 1.2 GHz Athlon, you're already pushing the limits of what many components in your system can deliver- for higher gaming performance at high resoultions, you'd have to have at least an nVidia Ultra based board with 64 MB of ram. Likewise, the fastest available hard drive, ATA100 interface, etc.
    In designing a system, I try to select for balanced overall performance. Just having a fast CPU and "theortically" fast memory system doesn't do anything useful in the real world.
    For example, Thomas Pabst constructed some systems mirroring those offered by Gateway, Dell, and Micron. His b*tch was with Dell, who was offering a $1500 P4 system and a $2600 P4 system, but the associated components (particularly at $1500) were real limiting factors. The Gateway configuration (Athlon at $1500) and Micron (Athlon at $2500) cleaned the clock of the Dell systems on all benchmarks using application programs- inlcuding 3D gaming. In fact, the Gateway system equaled or surpassed the expensive Dell system in some cases.

    Balance is the key. Save the money you might spend at this time on DDR. I've built both KT7 systems and A7V; the KT7 is a bit fussier to sort out, but the hardware is quite good, very stable once running. The A7V was much less hassle. ThomasW hates his KT7, because of the compatibility problems he's had, but perhaps unfairly, I joke with hime that he just doesn't have good Windows Karma. He also clones systems much more than I do- I favor clean installs, and rarely have problems. But I did have to disable some .DLL's to get the KT7 working cleanly. They're documented on a Kt7 FAQ site- I'm in Germany without access to my home PC and resources. ThomasW can fill you in on details.

    Mit freundlich gruessen aus Deutscheland,

    Jon




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    • Jehan
      Senior Member
      • Aug 2000
      • 613

      #3
      Sorry Bing, caught this a bit late but what else can I say that Jon hasn't? Very sound advice and I completely agree with him, I don't think going with DDR at this stage would make much sense unless you are going to be doing a large portion of your work on very memory intensive applications (even then the second rig should be pretty zippy ).

      Comment

      • Bing Fung
        Ultra Senior Member
        • Aug 2000
        • 6521

        #4
        Thanks for taking the time from Germany Jon

        Thanks as well Jehan.

        The thing that I was looking for was maybe future performance and upgrading.

        Certainly the 133 system would be sufficent, but maybe the DDR system make outlast the 133 system buy another year or two, or I could be sweating the things that don't really matter.

        I don't intend to do alot of # crunching with it.

        I play the odd game, not a Quaker, wish I was but but I get motion sick from those 1st person games. Certainly like the Need for speeds

        I do run Autocad and Mechanical Desk top (3D rendering) at home as well as plan on exploring Photo editing as a hobby.

        In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter, for what's hot now will be yesterday's news next week.....

        I see what is in stock and determine it from there.




        Bing
        Bing

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