I am planning a new build for editing (no gaming) around a quad-core Q6600 CPU and a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 mobo which claims DDR2 1066 support. I'll be running XP PRO for the OS. I have some questions about memory configuration.
1. Is there a significant speed advantage of using DDR2 1066 (PC 8500) vs DDR2 800 (PC 6400)? DDR2 800 is a lot less expensive (about half).
2. Is there any significant advantage of 4 GB vs 2 GB since I'll be running XP?
3. If 4 GB is preferable, could I start with a 2 GB (dual channel) now and add another pair later? Any disadvantages to such an approach?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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1. Probably not. If you wanted to overclock your system, then it might become more important. That MB also supports 800 and 667Mhz memory. I run DDR2 800 at 1000 - 1100Mhz on two systems without problems.
2.Not really with XP. If you are using a 32 bit OS, you are limited to a bit more than 3GB anyway. More memory can be helpful with some programs that hold large files in memory for manipulating, such as Photoshop. I don't know if it makes much difference with video editing, but someone else may have some expertise to answer that question properly. And I don't know the implications of running a quad processor when encoding concerning memory use. Most times when I encode, it uses less than 500MB RAM, and that seems to be stay about the same whether single or dual core processors are used.
3. Yes, you can use a 1GB X 2 setup, then add another pair of the same later. Dual channel works with a pair of 2 exactly matched modules.
Adding a second pair of modules in a second channel, they need to be the same or better than the first pair. But they only need to be exactly matched to each other, not the other original pair. But you would want the second set to have the same speed and timings or better, or the MB will default to the slower speed. And you would not be too likely to find a second set within the same serial numbers as the first and hand matched to the same characteristics. It may be out there, but I haven't seen 4 modules matched together anyway, just pairs.
Just my advice, but I would be tempted to buy just a dual channel DDR2 800 set equal to 2GB (Two 1GB modules) and decide later if you want faster or more memory, and also hope the price goes down by then. Then you could pick up 4GB of two matched pairs at a faster speed and use the old memory for other purposes.
Persoanlly I think you DDR2 1066 (PC 8500) should fast than the DDR2 800 (PC 6400) .
Check the forums on the 1066 support. Early MB adopters may be flakey. Back in the day when DDR 400 came out some of the early MBs said they supported it but it was unstable.
1066 is obviously faster than 800. Will you notice it? Hard to say. I'd rather double it to 1600. 800 is rather nice and very stable. If you want fast memory try looking for modules with a low CAS latency. Hard to find with large DIMMs, 1GB modules seem to be CAS 5, there some 4. Absolutely no 2.
FYI if you overclock the CPU, the memory speed decreases. So if you get 1066 and decided to overclock your CPU you might end up with memory at 800 or 667.
Big thing to remember is XP 32 Bit is limited to a little bit over 3Gb, it depends on the chipset too. So get 2 1Gb and 2 512Gb and run 3Gb if you think you'll need that much memory. I'm sitting here on a computer with XP Pro & 1Gb and sometimes it gets a little slow, the Other computer with 2Gb and XP MCE 2005 doesn't seem to suffer that problem.
Hope that helps.