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DDR-2 Memory Investigation Guide - Making sense of memory settings - Final Thoughts

In our latest guide we investigate DDR-2 memory on the Intel Pentium 4 platform and the differences between high bandwidth and timings to figure out which offers the best system performance. What is better - higher clock speed or super tight timings? We discuss the reasons why one is better than the other and prove our claims through a range of different system configuration benchmarks.

By: | DDR-2 Memory in RAM | Posted: Apr 21, 2005 4:00 am

Final Thoughts


We can see from our test results that it is pretty clear the Intel Pentium 4 is not a latency craver, as its design simply precludes any need for extremely low latencies which the AMD Athlon craves. It is however, a bandwidth hog. Intel Netburst was originally designed to work hand in hand with RDRAM, which for its time managed to introduce some extremely high bandwidth in the order of around 3.2GB/s when DDR was only able to push out 1.6GB/s which should be a pretty good indication of our claims and what our tests proved.


DDR-2's higher latency over DDR doesn't make it such a bad choice now that speeds are starting to reach 667MHz and above which is much quicker than the speeds which DDR-2 was first released at 533MHz. DDR-2 is now starting to show its colours, and with Dual Core, PCI-Express now starting to take a chunk of the bandwidth, its certainly a good thing to see that bandwidth is now in abundance.


We can see that when we use the tightest possible timings, performance is improved a little in our synthetic tests but when it comes to real-world (games), there are hardly any performance increases, definitely increases which you won't notice.


So with everything in mind, when it comes to setting up your system (overclocked or not), we can see that for the Pentium 4 platform series, higher bandwidth is more important than tighter timings when it comes to overall performance. Tight timings are good but are far from crucial for the Pentium 4 - keep this in mind when it comes to buying DDR-2, especially expensive DDR-2.


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