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  • SharkyForums.Com - Print: RDRAM?

    RDRAM?
    By LT November 23, 2000, 04:33 PM

    I know this isn't all that technical or anything but i've seen a lot of reliable people posting here so here's my question: What's the difference between PC600, PC700, and PC800 RDRAM? I have 2 possible choices in a computer, one with PC600 and one with PC800, what's the difference and will i lose performance with one or the other?
    Thanks in advance
    LT

    By voxman November 23, 2000, 05:05 PM

    Highly Technical Answer: Don't Buy Rambus!

    However, If you must, go with the PC800. Under no circumstances should you ever buy PC600. This grade of memory is actually slower than PC100 SDRAM.

    By RealBeast November 24, 2000, 05:42 PM

    With the poor price/performance of RDRAM, why not just settle for a 1GHZ P3 or 1.2GHz AMD and buy a bunch of fast SDRAM for less money? The ASUS mobos for those CPUs are great. You only need RDRAM if ur buying a P4 now (bad idea). 256Mb of Crucial CAS2 PC133 is under $200.

    By slipgun November 24, 2000, 07:44 PM

    Whatever you do, steer clear of RDRAM...

    By LT November 24, 2000, 08:48 PM

    May I ask? What's so bad about RDRAM? I have the $$$ to buy any computer i want.

    By Phoenix November 24, 2000, 08:54 PM

    quote:Originally posted by LT:
    May I ask? What's so bad about RDRAM? I have the $$$ to buy any computer i want.

    Because it costs more than SDRAM and gives you worse performance.

    By Arcadian November 24, 2000, 09:02 PM

    quote:Originally posted by Phoenix:
    Because it costs more than SDRAM and gives you worse performance.

    LT, Phoenix is correct in that the Pentium III runs most PC programs better using SDRAM on an i815 chipset, than using RDRAM on an i820 chipset. Unless you are planning on using your Pentium III for OpenGL programs, SDRAM will probably be better for you. Use the extra money you save to buy a GeForce 2 Ultra.

    By PiNoY2oo1 November 25, 2000, 12:02 AM

    i agree rdram is a waste of money, u can upgrade lots of other stuff with the money u save by buying pc133 cas 2

    By LT November 25, 2000, 08:28 PM

    I thought about getting a P4
    why's RDRAM so horrible? i dont think anyone has answered that yet, except for the cost, i got the $$$ i just want a kick ass machine that's gonna last me a long time (that's why i'm gettin a p4, for the long run as Arcadian says) i hope i didnt spell his name wrong

    By Arcadian November 25, 2000, 08:35 PM

    quote:Originally posted by LT:
    I thought about getting a P4
    why's RDRAM so horrible? i dont think anyone has answered that yet, except for the cost, i got the $$$ i just want a kick ass machine that's gonna last me a long time (that's why i'm gettin a p4, for the long run as Arcadian says) i hope i didnt spell his name wrong

    LT, you're probably going to hear a lot of negative hype about the Pentium 4 and RDRAM. However, I believe both to be very good technology. People have been burned in the past by RDRAM, because on a Pentium III, it actually costs more, and performs slower. On a Pentium 4, however, it is a better fit.

    Also, people have seen that the Pentium 4 performs slower on legacy applications, but they don't know that newer applications actually outperform all the competition.

    Check out this article from Tom's Hardware, and you will see a different picture.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/00q4/001125/index.html

    The end result is that if you have the money, go ahead and get a Pentium 4. If you are more mindful of cash, the Athlon has better price/performance right now. However, the story is likely to change over the next few months.

    By LT November 25, 2000, 08:49 PM

    quote:Originally posted by Arcadian:
    LT, you're probably going to hear a lot of negative hype about the Pentium 4 and RDRAM. However, I believe both to be very good technology. People have been burned in the past by RDRAM, because on a Pentium III, it actually costs more, and performs slower. On a Pentium 4, however, it is a better fit.

    Also, people have seen that the Pentium 4 performs slower on legacy applications, but they don't know that newer applications actually outperform all the competition.

    Check out this article from Tom's Hardware, and you will see a different picture.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/00q4/001125/index.html

    The end result is that if you have the money, go ahead and get a Pentium 4. If you are more mindful of cash, the Athlon has better price/performance right now. However, the story is likely to change over the next few months.
    I just read your new post arcadian about the Tom's Hardware Revision and SSE-2 or whatever, i like the P4 even more now, always have always will, i HATE AMD (lol now all the AMD people are gonna flame me) actually they make good CPU's and stuff, but i just always stuck with intel. never game me any trouble
    oh yeah here's a good laugh for anyone that reads this
    My current System
    Pentium 233 MMX
    64 MB of SDRAM (66Mhz)
    6.4 GB HD
    24X CD-ROM
    3DFX Voodoo Graphics
    lol you like that don't you?
    i Get TEN frames per second in Unreal Tournament and i can't even run Quake 3 Arena, so that's why i'm gettin the absolute best thing i can buy at the moment, i've been saving for 3 years and well it's time to spend that nice amount of $$$

    By *-SiNcErE-* November 26, 2000, 02:45 AM

    I really don't know how so many people run into trouble with AMD systems.
    I've got 3 AMD systems at home that run totally stable. maybe get a BSOD every 4-6 months, but that's about it.
    and the AMD systems I build for customers are running perfectly also. so that's a perfect 14/14 AMD systems running with pure speed and pure stability.

    By stoo November 26, 2000, 10:30 AM

    Bad things about RDRAM:
    more expensive than SDRAM
    Higher latency than SDRAM
    upgrade in pairs for PIV
    bad performance on PIII, compared to SDRAM

    Good things about RDRAM:
    getting cheaper
    higher bandwidth compared to SDR SDRAM. (1600MB/s, 1064MB/s)
    upgrade in pairs for PIV
    better suited to PIV than PIII

    By Down8 November 26, 2000, 07:32 PM

    I'd agree with stoo on pretty much everything.

    RDRAM is getting cheaper as we speak.... 128MB for $100 is cheaper than the $130 I paid for 128MB PC100 SDRAM back in August.

    -bZj

    By cracKrock November 26, 2000, 10:31 PM

    The main claim-to-fame for Rambus memory is its high bandwidth. That's one reason (aside from contractual obligations) that the P4 is shipping with it. However, Rambus memory has insanely high latency problems which negates the performance benefits of the higher bandwidth.

    So, go with SDRAM. It's cheaper and gives you the same, if not better, performance at this time.

    If you can hold off your PC purchase at this time, you should be able to pick up a DDR system next year which will ROCK!


    quote:Originally posted by LT:
    May I ask? What's so bad about RDRAM? I have the $$$ to buy any computer i want.

    By RealBeast November 27, 2000, 12:08 AM

    Maybe by April you can get a good deal on a fast P4, mobo and 512Mb of RDRAM -- for now go with a fast P3/Athalon system and use good components that you can use in the next machine. Patience man, let others suffer at the bleeding edge for a few months.

    Performance aside, the biggest problem with RDRAM is the excessive license fees to Rambus for every RDRAM chip sold--it's called a patent and they have a bunch.

    By Fuzzball November 27, 2000, 10:36 PM

    The P3 and RDRAM are not a good mix. The P4 is only available for RDRAM so far.

    The current P4 platform is not good if you plan on doing any upgrading because their going to a new platform in a few more quarters. The current one is probably so they can get their foot in the door for X-mas. The P4 sucks in most of todays applications. The only one it will succeed in are ones that are written for SSE-2, which are not redily available.. It also does good in Quake III. Clock for clock, it doesn't compete well with today's apps. I don't see a reason to buy a P4 except for bragging rights.

    By Maco Shark November 28, 2000, 09:42 PM

    RDRAM is ok, the main reason we all hate it is because it is made by a company who wants to be a meanie, also, the latency is hoorible - last time I checked it was like 52 ms? Well anyway, dont get a P4 now. Wait nine months for the .13 technology and the 427 socket.

    I myself am a strong AMD supporter, and I love their products. The Pentium 4 is a very very nice processor and I have to say that Intel did a great job with this redesign. I have to say, if they wouldnt have used RDRAM, but instead used DDR, and went ahead and put the extra plastic and shipped everything with socket 427, then I would DEFINATELY buy it. Intels processors have VERY VERY good designs, but Intel is just out of touch with the consumer. If they were in touch, we would have DDR and a 2.4 ghz chip by them by now.

    By Arcadian November 28, 2000, 10:14 PM

    quote:Originally posted by Maco Shark:
    RDRAM is ok, the main reason we all hate it is because it is made by a company who wants to be a meanie, also, the latency is hoorible - last time I checked it was like 52 ms? Well anyway, dont get a P4 now. Wait nine months for the .13 technology and the 427 socket.

    Well, I agree that Rambus the company is taking the wrong approach for being an IP company. Law suits are meant to allow justice (in Rambus' case to maintain their Intellectual Property), not to try to get a royalty from every manufacturer on the planet.

    However, I have a few corrections. First, 52ms would make Rambus slower than many hard drives. If you mean to say 52ns, than that would make it faster than DDR. Actually, the latency is difficult to measure, and it is usually done in clock cycles of delay time. DDR has similar latencies to SDRAM, which number to 6 or 7 on page hit (60-70ns for PC1600). Page misses take far longer. The problem with Rambus is that page misses are even more costly than on DDR.

    Also, Rambus handles higher bandwidths than DDR. Rambus gets something like 90% efficiency when fully loaded, where as DDR sometimes can't get better than 60% utilization.

    Last correction: I believe you may have the numbers flipped on the .13u Pentium 4 pin count. I believe Northwood will be using a socket 472, not 427. Also, Willamette motherboards will also phase into socket 472 by the middle of next year to ease the transition.

    quote:Originally posted by Maco Shark:
    I myself am a strong AMD supporter, and I love their products. The Pentium 4 is a very very nice processor and I have to say that Intel did a great job with this redesign. I have to say, if they wouldnt have used RDRAM, but instead used DDR, and went ahead and put the extra plastic and shipped everything with socket 427, then I would DEFINATELY buy it. Intels processors have VERY VERY good designs, but Intel is just out of touch with the consumer. If they were in touch, we would have DDR and a 2.4 ghz chip by them by now.

    If Intel had their way, they would love to release 2.4GHz Pentium 4 processors on DDR memory. However, the market needs to adjust, and 2.4GHz is pretty much out of reach right now. 2.0GHz may be possible on .18u, but we'll have to wait and see if this comes out. As for DDR motherboards, it is rumored that Intel has several DDR designs in the works, but is looking to see if a) Pentium 4 can perform decently on DDR over Rambus for the high end, and b) if not, does the market really needs a mainstream Pentium 4 that manufacturing cannot currently support.

    Intel is right now trying to ramp up their manufacturing facilities, and how fast they do so will factor into how fast lower cost chipsets are released. There is also the issue with Rambus, and whether secret agreements between Intel and Rambus exist that may not allow Intel to release DDR chipsets just yet.

    By Down8 November 29, 2000, 08:08 AM

    quote:Originally posted by Fuzzball:
    The P3 and RDRAM are not a good mix. The P4 is only available for RDRAM so far.
    Here are 3 boards that use RDRAM for the Pentium!!!:
    Asus P3CE
    Intel OR840
    Intel VC820
    I would guess there are one or two others.

    -bZj

    By Bash November 30, 2000, 06:19 PM

    quote:Originally posted by cracKrock:
    The main claim-to-fame for Rambus memory is its high bandwidth. That's one reason (aside from contractual obligations) that the P4 is shipping with it. However, Rambus memory has insanely high latency problems which negates the performance benefits of the higher bandwidth.

    So, go with SDRAM. It's cheaper and gives you the same, if not better, performance at this time.

    This is true for the P3, but if you look at any memory benchmarks for the P4 RDRAM runs quite nicely. Just check out the memory benchmarks comparing the P4 RDRAM and Athlon DDR on Sharky's P4 review.

    -Bash

    By LT November 30, 2000, 11:13 PM

    is PC800 RDRAM dual Channel or what? i need info on this RDRAM stuff

    By Marsolin December 01, 2000, 01:54 PM

    The only difference between PC600, PC700, and PC800 is clock speed. PC600 runs off a 300 MHz clock, PC700 off 356 MHz, and PC800 off 400 MHz. They are all clocked on the rising and falling edge which results in the PCXXX numbers. Definitely go for PC800. It's latencies will be lower and the bandwidth matches the P4 system bus. I believe the 850 chipset only supports PC600 and PC800.

    Dual channel only refers to the pair of RIMMs that must be installed together. If you remember back to the original Pentium days the chipsets required this for FPM and EDO DRAMs. It doubles the available databus width to 32 bits and somewhat reduces latency. It is this latency reduction more than anything that results in 840's performance increase over 820.

    The royalties are not the primary reason for the cost difference, or at least they haven't been in the past. RDRAM royalties are only 2-3%. Tighter tolerances and the lack of volume to drive down prices accounts for most of it.

    On PIII and Athlon systems RDRAM is definitely slower than DDR, but I am not convinced this will be the case with the P4. Keep in mind that the P4 was designed with RDRAM in mind and it is also designed to reduce latency dependancies. Because caches lines are 128 bytes the chipset must always fetch at least this amount from main memory. Therefore, even though the initial latency may be longer than DDR, the back-to-back read latencies are less. This should bring them a little more even, but I'm not sure of any specific numbers.

    DDR is most likely to be faster on less demanding expectations, but it will still fall behind in applications that can make use of higher bandwidths.

    By ilsie December 01, 2000, 03:06 PM

    quote:Originally posted by Arcadian:
    Page misses take far longer. The problem with Rambus is that page misses are even more costly than on DDR.

    Wow, so combine costly page misses with REALLY costly branch mispredictions in a twenty stage pipeline and it looks like we've got quite the winning combination in P4/Rambus, folks.

    By LT December 01, 2000, 05:37 PM

    So if i was gonna get 512 MB of RDRAM...i'd get 2 256MB PC800's? and it'd be dual channel and have 6.4GB's of Bandwidth?

    By Arcadian December 01, 2000, 06:03 PM

    quote:Originally posted by LT:
    So if i was gonna get 512 MB of RDRAM...i'd get 2 256MB PC800's? and it'd be dual channel and have 6.4GB's of Bandwidth?

    No, each Rambus channel has 1.6GB/s memory bandwidth. Dual channel is 3.2GB/s. Quad channel would be 6.4GB/s.

    The reason why is that PC800 Rambus actually has a 400MHz clock. It is also 16bit wide (2 bytes) and it double pumps the data. So theoretically, you can get 400 * 2 * 2 = 1600MB/s per Rambus channel.

    By reve December 02, 2000, 12:54 AM

    Im confused, So i couldnt put 2 64 megs strips in, and 1 128 megs strip in, i would have to put 2 in???

    By Arcadian December 02, 2000, 02:52 AM

    quote:Originally posted by reve:
    Im confused, So i couldnt put 2 64 megs strips in, and 1 128 megs strip in, i would have to put 2 in???

    Each Rambus channel needs an individual memory module. So dual channel Rambus will need 2 RIMMs at a time. So 1 128MB RIMM will not work.

    By Down8 December 02, 2000, 05:43 AM

    Are there any non-dual channel boards for RDRAM, or are they all dual-channel? I thought I had seen boards with only 1 RIMM in them.

    -bZj


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