Here's the deal and I'm hoping someone can help me with it, pretty complicated as I've managed to confuse myself!
I'm thinking about upgrading to Windows 7 as I produce music on my current system, and some RAM intensive software synths (such as Omnisphere) need more RAM. I'm aware Windows XP is limited to using 3GB, so an upgrade to Windows 7 is the obvious choice.
Anyway, in looking into this more, I've realised I think I actually have a 64bit system, and have done since late 2008 without even realising it. Then, in looking into it even more, I've really managed to confuse myself with RAM speeds, etc. to the point I think I've been using RAM that's slower than I could have used and I'm even thinking ASUS have got it wrong!
So here's a few questions broken down into sections. If anyone can help I'd be very greatful!
Firstly, the specs and the sources of my confusion:
CPU - Intel Q6600, 2.4ghz. 8mb L2 and a 1066mhz FSB. It's also "Intel 64" according to Intel's website, which I presume means its 64-bit?
Mobo - ASUS P5W64 WS. This is where it get's confusing. The box I have in front of me says "1333/1066/800/533 FSB". However their website, which carries a picture of that very box, says the max FSB is 1066. Since writing this I've realised this doesn't matter as my CPU is 1066 not 1333, however, for memory it says "DDR2 800/667/533". Surely if it's got a CPU and FSB running at 1066mhz, it can use 1066mhz (DDR2 PC-8500) RAM, instead of the 800mhz (DDR2 PC-6400) RAM I've got in it? The box and website seems to suggest that PC6400 is the max. Why?
Memory - 2GB of DDR2 PC-6400 (800mhz). I've got 2x 1gb sticks. They're Corsair and have big heatsinks on them, which means they both look, and run, cool. In fact, by pure coincidence, the picture on the "DDR2 SDRAM" page on Wikipedia, is the exact same as I'm using. (File:High Performance RAM.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- If anyone is interested). But surely ditching this and getting some PC-8500 would be better? Surely using PC-6400 means the FSB, and therefore the whole computer, isn't being used to it's full capability?
I must also point out that this system is very stable regardless. I'm overclocking it to 3.11ghz using ASUS's handy (and safe) AI Booster software, currently set to the "Overclock 30%" profile. Noticably faster (getting 3.11ghz from the CPU) but perhaps not ideal given my RAM situation?
So have I got this all wrong?
I need to know if I can/should do the following:
1. Ditch the current RAM and buy 4, 6 or even 8GB of PC-8500 RAM? Or just buy more PC-6400? I need more RAM regardless.
2. Upgrade to Windows 7, giving me a fully functional 64-bit system.
3. Will my MOTU PCI-324 card and drivers still work on Win 7? It's an old soundcard and the drivers are 32bit. MOTU's website says most modern computers will be unable to use this soundcard, but I've not had a problem yet.
4. Cubase 5 and various other stuff I've got is 64bit, but will all my 32-bit software still run fine?
5. Will 64bit software such as Cubase run better on a 64bit system, or will it be counter-productive given most of my plugins are 32bit?
The last three questions basically concern the fact that I use a lot of 32bit software, and I'm hoping Windows 7 runs 32bit software as normal.
Thanks and sorry for the confusing post and lots of questions.