Thursday, August 25, 2011

Is faster RAM really worth the extra cash ?

When you build computers and purchase the peripherals by yourself you have to make several decisions. Will it be an Intel or AMD cpu for example, which hard drive will you choose from the hundreds available, which video card and which RAM. The newest hardware is normally the fastest but most expensive one and it is always a question if the extra cash that you had to pay for the speed gain is worth the investment.

RAM, Random Access Memory, puzzles a lot of buyers. There is DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 RAM, different clock speeds and those cryptic CL-5-5-12 (random numbers) information. The question if a buyer should go with DDR2-800 or DDR2-1066, DDR3-800 or DDR3-1066 with different CL settings is hard to answer. And that’s why Tom’s Hardware decided to test the available RAM and see how faster RAM affected the performance of a computer.

The results are somewhat disappointing for the faster is better crowd. The fastest RAM tested, the DDR2-1066 4-4-4-12 increased the performance of the system by roughly 10% over the slowest DDR2-667 5-5-5-12 RAM. And that was only in one game, all other tested games saw an increase of only 4%. I think it’s interesting to note that faster RAM is obviously not worth the extra cash.

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