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  • New vid card and ram

    I was thinking of getting a new vid card and ram and wanted to get some thoughts.

    I am planning on getting 4gb of ram (either 4 x 1gb sticks or 2x2gb sticks), I want to eventually get Vista 64-bit (and run 8gb of ram, though that isn't set in stone)

    I have a 8800gtx card right now and it runs everything ok, so I may just get the ram. The research on the vid card would be either now or when prices job next year, when I plan on getting a quad core cpu.

    I have a Asus P5N32-E board.

    I have a few questions basically:
    1) Is there a big difference between Vista Home Premium and Ultimate that makes Ultimate worth getting?
    2) I have seen some benchmarks that show the 4870 consumes alot of power (about 100W more during peak than the GTX280). Has anyone had any issues with the power and heat of the 4870?
    3) Does anyone recommend 4 x 1gb sticks versus 2x2gb sticks? I have heard that the 4x1gb sticks OC better but of course I can't do 8gb with the 4x1gb sticks.

    Below is what I've looked at so far:

    SAPPHIRE 100247L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

    DDR2-1066 (2 x 2GB):
    CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-8500C5DF - Retail

    CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-8500C5DF - Retail

    DDR2-800 (2 x 2GB):
    CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX - Retail

    CORSAIR XMS2 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C4DHX - Retail

    ddr2-800 (2 x 1 GB):
    CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX - Retail

    CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400PRO - Retail

    Thanks all.

  • #2
    Re: New vid card and ram

    I take it you like corsair?

    I would just save the money and the negligible performance increase and go for one of these kits:

    My understanding of the 4x1 vs 2x2 scenario is that the more slots you fill up the less over clocking potential your motherboard will have, due to it already being strained from all the ram modules. Not so sure about the less dense modules having more headroom than the 2gigs one though.
    |TG-12th| Namebot


    • #3
      Re: New vid card and ram

      Some limited input:

      For me, Ultimate simply includes Media Center and the ability to have that, and still be able to join on a Domain... and some other assorted small business-networky tidbits. Frankly, I wouldn't get "Home" anything. Ultimate or nothing.

      The theory is that with four identical sticks of RAM, a supporting board can use Bank Interleaving for a little extra performance boost.

      Don't bother with the 1066 sticks unless you plan on getting a processor soon that supports that speed, if you don't already. If you're going to wait more than 2-3 months, then wait or just buy the 800s to get you by for now. In that amount of time, prices will drop. I was going to leap for 1066 (my board supports it), but I have an X2 and am waiting about 4-6 months before I upgrade to a 2.6+ Ghz (45nm) Phenom. By that time the 1066 will drop.

      2 cents.
      "But way back where I come from, we never mean to bother. We don't like to make our passions other peoples' concern." -Dar Williams
      Former Captain of the 55th Infantry Division


      • #4
        Re: New vid card and ram

        1) If you go to the official Windows homepage, you can check out the various differences yourself.

        Mainly they are:
        Ultimate has (but Home Premium doesn't)...
        • Remote Desktop capability
        • Hard drive encryption (requires a special chip on the mobo)
        • 128-bit file encryption (just like XP Pro)
        • Support for more than 16 GB of RAM
        • Full enabled "shadow" automated backup system (similar to System Restore, except it backs up important designated files as well - depending on space limits)
        • A more full-featured networking toolset (like network monitoring)

        Personally, I chose Home Premium rather than Ultimate because I didn't need most of the various other features and plus I could save $80 on the OEM copy. The motherboards I had selected also did/does not have the TPM chip required for hard drive encryption to function in Ultimate. 128-bit file encryption is nice, but even in XP I ended up using a third-party program since encrypted files in Windows ceases to be encrypted when you have to move it across to the different OS (or not be able to decrypt and read the contents).

        I also thought ahead and 16 GB is more than enough for the next 5-8 years.

        2) Someone else will need to answer this since I have not heard or read this myself.

        3) I recommend 2 x 2 GB sticks rather than 4 x 1 GB. It'll allow you to upgrade to 8 GBs in the future thereby making the machine ideal as a home server (or semi-dedicated game server).
        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
        Former 9th & 13th

        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-

        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

        TG Primer and Rules


        • #5
          Re: New vid card and ram

          Do the 2x2GB as everybody says. It'll be cheaper to upgrade down the road and 4 sticks just doesn't make a lot of sense. There's no significant advantage to run 4 sticks.

          Keep the 8800GTX and wait another year to upgrade. It's still a great card and you stand to get a bigger performance boost by upgrading next year.

          - It's who you game with.


          • #6
            Re: New vid card and ram

            Few things:

            Vista home preimum has Windows media Center. I played with it, but not much, so I know it's on there.

            I think for the most part your 8800GTX is still a very good card. Sure it's not the latest newest thing, but it is till very fast. It should tide you over till the next version of ATI cards come out next year, and they are expected to be on a 40nm process. That is very exciting if you know about that stuff. It means a cooler and less power hungry card (always a good thing with gfx. cards) and they can fit more on a platter in production and therefor be cheaper to make and sale.

            I would hold off. Maybe around Christmas when everything is on sale if you really have to.

            As far a memory, I would go with the DDR2 800. But the motherboard you have, the 680i, you need to do some looking around on their website and maybe download the newest owners manual (it gets updated when they test new memory for compatibility). Some 680 boards I have hear are picky with memory and you need to make sure your company says what memory you are looking at has been tested and works. I really don't think 1066 would (as it is newer and DDR2 is the highest "official" standard speed), but I may be wrong. Just make sure you check. If you can't find it for sure I would even contact tech support and get it confirmed for sure.

            And go with 2x2gig kit. Some boards can get bottlenecked if you have 4 sticks of fast ram in with all the data trying to go through. I read a few good post on it after I bought my 4x1gig sticks of the Corsair Dominator 1066, and I sometimes wonder if I am running slower than I could be. I am running 1066 because my p35 Asus supports it, but if you dive into the realities of ram, you will find your CPU can't hand that speed of ram, so all that speed is just sitting around doing nothing. Only way to use it is to crank your FSB in the BIOS sky high (which overclocks your CPU). But to get it high enough to take full advantage of the 1066, I would end up needing to lower my CPU multiplier to like 6x (from 9x), allowing my FSB to be set higher. But then that would be like underclocking my CPU, just so I could have fast RAM. That doesn't make much since.

            Go with the 2x2gig OCZ or Corsair DDR2-800, as they both have lifetime warranties. Look at which ones have the best Newegg rating, and make sure the recent couple of dozen reviews don't have a ton of people all saying they had to RMA or had DOAs. (that got me and I had to send 1 kit back :()

            Of the ones above, this one:
            is going to be ever so tiny bit faster than the other one that looks like it due to the 4-4-4 timings.

            I have also recommended this one
            to a bunch of people. 5 egg review and really good price.

            One other side note. You mention you saw a review where the 4870 was using 100watts more than a 280. I'm not sure that was correct, you might want to check again. They are pretty close to equal I think. I know the 4870 X2 (notice the X2) uses about 100watts more, but then again it is also much more powerful and is like that because it is 2 4870 chips on one card, and a lot more ram to power. Still it uses less power than 2 4870 cards in crossfire though, so that is good.


            * *

            Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

            -Carlos A. Urbizo-


            • #7
              Re: New vid card and ram

              The corsair XMS 800 stuff clocks at 5-5-5-18 but you can change that to 4-4-4-12 with stock voltages through your bios I have 4x1 sticks right now and I like it a lot but go for 2x2 if you can
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