More RAM or Faster RAM? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-20-2012, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm building my new HTPC and need to decide on RAM. For the music processing software I need 8 GB RAM. I have a dual core motherboard, ASROCK Extreme6, and my choices are:

4 x 4G DDR3 1600
2 x 8G DDR3 1600
2 x 4G DDR3 2400

What is the best way to go? Prices are similar for these options. For the music software low latency is critical as it is processing, XO and EQ, real time

Thanks for your advice smile.gif

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post #2 of 10 Old 07-20-2012, 03:39 PM
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If you have a family of 4 you do not need and 8 passenger minivan but you may want a larger engine in the 4-5 passenger vehicle you get instead. Also the faster memory is the best choice.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-20-2012, 03:53 PM
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http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-scaling-choosing-the-best-ddr3/8

Faster memory might be a bit faster in some applications, however, if you run out of memory then having more slower memory will be many times faster. I think it'll depend on how much memory your music application wants or needs.

Take my advice with a grain of salt, I'm a family of 4 with a mini van :P
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-20-2012, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antripodean View Post

I'm building my new HTPC and need to decide on RAM. For the music processing software I need 8 GB RAM.
What music software needs 8GB RAM.
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For the music software low latency is critical as it is processing, XO and EQ, real time
RAM speed is measured in MHz, i.e. fractions of a microsecond. It is not going to contribute to latency, which is measured in milliseconds.
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-20-2012, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwdutton View Post

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-scaling-choosing-the-best-ddr3/8
Faster memory might be a bit faster in some applications, however, if you run out of memory then having more slower memory will be many times faster. I think it'll depend on how much memory your music application wants or needs.

Good article, thanks! It seems 1600MHz is the sweetspot for RAM speed/value
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Originally Posted by CSMR View Post

What music software needs 8GB RAM.
RAM speed is measured in MHz, i.e. fractions of a microsecond. It is not going to contribute to latency, which is measured in milliseconds.
Ultimate Equalizer needs 4GB and I will also be playing movies at the same time, hence 8GB needed. Thanks for the explanation on RAM speed

Thanks also for your reply Walford

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post #6 of 10 Old 07-20-2012, 04:40 PM
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don't you need to overclock to go over 1600?

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post #7 of 10 Old 07-20-2012, 05:54 PM
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How much do timings improve memory performance? Like 8-8-8-24 in comparison to 7-7-7-24.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-20-2012, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackDiesel14 View Post

How much do timings improve memory performance? Like 8-8-8-24 in comparison to 7-7-7-24.

The only way your gonna notice differences in timing for ram is benchmarks. Other then that you're really just wasting your money (IMO). Buy more ram, it's more useful.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-20-2012, 08:37 PM
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That's one clock cycle or about 1nSec for 1000Mhz clock. CAS latency happens once every column address strobe. So you saved 1nsec assuming same clock rate between 8-8-8-24 and 7-7-7-24 after the initial start. It is a very small savings in actuality. Google's "blink of an eye' response is 500mSec, or 500 million times longer.

For CL=8 that's 8nSec. Twenty years ago CAC (column address access) was about 15nSec. So things haven't improved that much on initial access. But once the memory page gets rolling, you get subsequent data much faster, something like twenty times faster.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-21-2012, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antripodean View Post

Ultimate Equalizer needs 4GB and I will also be playing movies at the same time, hence 8GB needed. Thanks for the explanation on RAM speed
Try out both applications to see memory use in the task manager. I expect that they both use small amounts of RAM. My guess is for both applications combined between 50 and 300MB.

So: speed does not matter, and neither does amount of memory. Get at least 4GB of reliable (brand name) RAM.
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