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Old 07-15-2009, 12:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I thought ddr3 wasn't that much better than ddr2?

When I began building computers a couple of years ago I tried sticking with ddr2 memory. From my understanding, while ddr3 was theoretically faster, because of latency problems (I think) from a practical point of view the increase in speed from ddr2 was small, wasn't cost efficient.

But I'm reading 'Upgrading and Repairing Pc's' by scott mueller, which was recommended elsewhere in this forum. In this book, they are very positive about the advantages of ddr3 and make no mention of latency problems.

What's going on here?

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Old 07-15-2009, 05:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I thought ddr3 wasn't that much better than ddr2?

I'm not the best at explaining things.
Back in the days of the Athlon XP, Pentium 4 and even the Athlon 64 cpu's and DDR and DDR2 memory the biggest problem was generating enough Memory Bandwidth. The cpu and memory system was more or less bottlenecked so to speak. Since were limited on the memory bandwidth the best way to increase performance is to decrease the latencies, which makes each read and write request faster.

But today we have the Phenom, Core 2 Duo and the i7 cpu's and DDR3 memory. Compared to the systems of old these setups generated a lot of Memory Bandwidth. And while faster latencies is still good, there just not as necessary because the bootleneck has been virtually eliminated.

Think of it like this. Two years ago when you ate dinner all your plates were only sized for a single serving. So you needed a plate for each food item and they were scattered around you. When you wanted something different you had to pick-up a plate, move it, replace with desired plate.
Today your Plate is supersized and everything fits nicely in one plate. When you want something you just casually fork it and eat it. You no longer need to shift your plates around. And if you do need to grab another plate it's big so you only need to move one, whereas the same task two years ago usually required multiple plates.

I don't know if this helped, but I'm hungry

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Old 07-15-2009, 06:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: I thought ddr3 wasn't that much better than ddr2?

Yeah im still in between on the whole ddr2 vs ddr3 thing.

Im happy with ddr2 for now.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I thought ddr3 wasn't that much better than ddr2?

Well the latencies seem to be getting better and prices also are coming down with them, the price/performance gap is shortening and eventually it will be worth getting the ddr3 for amd systems. Think about ddr timings compared to ddr2, it was the same thing back then. Latency vs speed will be one of those battles that will always exist in the computer world.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: I thought ddr3 wasn't that much better than ddr2?

You won't see a huge performance boost with DDR3 unless you are using it in triple channel. AMD so far doesn't have a triple channel DDR3 board that I know of, so Intel is your only bet if you really want to see the DDR3 shine.
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