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Honda_Boy

Deciding On Ram For The New Rig

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I was recently browsing Newegg for RAM for my new rig that's coming along. I had picked out one set finally a while back. Then I found another that was the same with an extra feature and is the same price still. Well, now I found another but I have questions and need help picking.

First off, the motherboard is an ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition.

OK, I had first picked out 2GB of DDR2 800 Crucial Ballistix RAM with 4-4-4-12 Timing then I found the Ballistix Tracer version which both decorative LED's and an Activity LED. I picked these because of the very high rating and they were on the list of compatible modules for my motherboard.

2GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800

2GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2 800

Well, I stumbled across 2 other choices. Both are 4GB packs (2x 2GB) and both have 5-5-5-18 timing.

First is some Corsair XMS stuff that I know will work in my new rig. In fact the box the mobo came in had a Corsair logo and said it was recommended in the board. I have some Corsair XMS in my current rig but recently their ratings haven't been as high with their DDR2 memory but this one is 5-star rated but with only 25 reviews.

4GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800

Up next is some A-DATA. I've never used A-DATA before but this stuff is highly rated. I can't tell if it's on my compatibility list or not. This stuff is really cheap compared to all the others cause of the sale price but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

4GB A-DATA DDR2 800

OK, so the Crucial is compatible and is fast, but there is more of the Corsair and A-DATA that's a little slower. First off, would I notice the timing differences? Second, would a 32 bit version of Vista detect all 4GB of the Corsair or A-DATA? I know 32-bit XP won't. If 32-bit Vista can't read all 4GB of the stuff, then how well does 64-bit Vista handle games. I've had a friend say he hasn't had trouble playing his games on 64-bit but from what I remember, 64-bit XP couldn't game for crap.

Any input is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Edited by Honda_Boy

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This is for 32bit Vista, The rules change for the 64bit version.

The BIOS would see all 4gig. But depending on your hardware. You might only see 2 to 3.5gigs of ram showing up tops.

Depending on your motherboard, on-board verses hardware Graphics board.

Vista will allocate Ram to different hardware during boot and will show what is left that is usable. If you use on-board graphics, you would see less available Ram. As Vista turned a portion over to graphic control. Thus Vista will never show the full 4gigs on any display or monitor you use. The 4gigs of Ram is there. But you will only see what's not being used by the PCs Hardware.

Vista 32bit will also only allocate up to 2gigs of ram to any said program usage. Meaning if you run a graphic intense program, only a total of 2gig will be sent to control the need. leaving the other 1 to 1.5 gigs for other necessities.

As for the speed of your ram verses the cool look. With the 32bit version, you probably wouldn't notice a difference. Slight if any. So if you want the cool sticks with the LEDs. And you have a see-through case. Go for it.

Remember, This is for 32bit Vista, The rules change considerably for the 64bit version.

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OK, so does the 64-bit version handle games correctly? Also, I won't be using onboard graphics. I'll be using twin GeForce 7600GT's (256MB GDDR3) at first then I will changing to a single 8800GTS G92 (512MB GDDR3).

The Crucial with the LED's is just the same as the Crucial without it, it's just they are only 2GB with faster timing versus the 4GB of either Corsair or A-DATA with slightly slower timings.

If the 64-bit version handles games fine (CoD4, BF2, HL2, CS:S, NFS: Pro Street, Stepmania), then I'll just get the 64-bit version of Home Premium and get the 4GB of Corsair probably.

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Vista 64bit can use way more total Ram. If your motherboard can handle it. You could slip in 4 sticks of 4gig Ram sticks and still upgrade to more. I can't remember the total amount the 64bit version will support. It gets restricted by the motherboard specks. But it will handle a large amount.

Vista 64 has a way of utilizing 32bit apps. A lot of things that would not work on XP-64 will work on Vista-64. So far only one Firewall I tried failed because of the 32/64 bit incompatibility. Also there is no restrictions on the amount of Ram the system will allocate to a program. If your running a intense 3D poser program. Or are into heavy graphic rendering. Vista-64 will give it what it can. If it want 10gigs to run that program. It will get it, if you have the Ram resources.

I have heard differences on gaming. There are list of what 64bit will play as in games. And it's a good list. (just google). All the new games are listed.

There are a couple games that they say to install under XP in "compatibility mode" to get better performance.

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OK, then I'm going 64-bit and I guess I'll just get the Corsair unless I can find better RAM for a decent price.

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