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Thread: Computer RAM - is some faster than others?

  1. #1
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Computer RAM - is some faster than others?

    Does anyone know if there are some brands/models of RAM that are faster or have some features that are better than others? Someone on a computer forum pointed me to crucial.com's scanner feature which tells me compatible RAM options, but that didn't really answer my question about whether some RAM is faster than others. I want the fastest/best RAM for the best performance possible in editing. (since I only have 8GB of RAM [4 x 2GB] and my PC can max out at 16GB, I'm upgrading all ram so I will have 4 x 4GB)

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2

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    Re: Computer RAM - is some faster than others?

    In short, yes. I'm not the best when it comes to tech stuff, but if you need faster RAM, there are different speeds. Another factor is dual channelling if your motherboard supports it.

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    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Computer RAM - is some faster than others?

    Its not just whether it is the fastest, but how it is configured within the computer. Its no good having the fastest, if another bottleneck such as the graphics card slows it all down.


    I have built my own, with what appeared to be the best and most recommended combinations and still found it to be slower than expected. An integrated solution such as my current Mac Book Pro, upgraded on purchase to a good spec is certainly what I would suggest anyone looks at these days. However if your pocket is deep, then go further, but will it produce better photos? No. And dont forget the quality of the screen to be able to examine the results accurately.

    At the end of the day, as long as you are able to multi edit at a reasonable speed, what more do you need? An extra nano second off the processing speed really will not be worth the premium extra cost.

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Computer RAM - is some faster than others?

    Yes some RAM is faster than others but you need to select RAM modules that are compatible with your motherboard. If you have an I7 processor you will need DDR3 but if you have an older system it maybe DDR2 or some other type. Paying for RAM that is faster than your processor is highly unlikely to be of any benefit unless you start over-clocking(running the system clock speed above the guaranteed speed of the processor) which is fine for gamers and fanatics but not something I would recommend if you like reliability.

    Unless you are planning to upgrade in the near future and want to use the RAM in your next computer just get the same speed that you currently have. Paying a lot for RAM that is faster than your system is a bit like paying for a Ferrari and driving it on a 50 mile/hr speed restricted road.

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    Re: Computer RAM - is some faster than others?

    Although the answer is yes, I don't believe you'd notice any real change in processing speed by using faster memory.
    In addition, loading your PC up with 16GB memory won't necessarily make much difference either. You need 64bit Windows to be able to effectively access all that memory, otherwise it's wasted.

  6. #6
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Computer RAM - is some faster than others?

    You can search around for speed tests with different RAM. In most cases it makes very little difference (1-3%) in overall speed. In a few circumstances it can make a difference of over 6%, see here:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...g,3209-13.html

    The conclusion is to buy what you can afford from a good manufacturer (Crucial, G-Skill, Corsair, etc). Do not buy a no-name product and make sure it is compatible with your system.

    If you want a real speed up in your system you can buy an SSD and run applications from that. However that would likely mean reinstalling the operating system and/or all the programs onto the SSD. This will boost application load times but not change the speed once the application is running. To do that you would need a new CPU (+ motherboard + computer rebuild).

    A simpler way to speed up the system is to remove programs you do not use. There are lots of helper applications that launch at start-up and you do not need them. For example iTunes helper that detects when you plug in your iPod, CD burning helpers to quickly launch the CD burning utility, Graphics card utility to adjust screen resolution. Make sure these are all off. You can also disable background programs using the Windows Autoruns utility:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/s.../bb963902.aspx

    Be careful what you disable though, some items may be needed. However you can always re-enable them later if you find that something is not working correctly.

    Alex

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Computer RAM - is some faster than others?

    If you are adding RAM to your system, you should be aware of a few of other things;

    1. There is a limit to the amount of RAM an operating system addresses - 32-bit operating systems can't address more than around 3.2GB of RAM (that's why 64-bit OSes were introduced). Software suppliers do restrict the amount of RAM that can be addressed - Windows 7 - 64 cannot address more than 16GB of RAM.

    2. If you mix faster and slower RAM on the same motherboard; the slower RAM will be the fastest speed, regardless of the speed of the rest of the RAM.

    3. Check your motherboard specs - there may be an upper limit to the speed of RAM it was designed for. Generally, you can run faster RAM, but it won't necessarily be able to take advantage of it.

    4. Certain processors / motherboards need to use RAM in banks. For my i7 processors; if I want 16GB of RAM, I have to install 2 banks of 8GB each. A single 16GB module will not run. They also have to go into specific slots; again see your motherboard's manual.

  8. #8
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Computer RAM - is some faster than others?

    Thanks everybody for your help. This gives me a good starting point to look into the best ram options, and also some nice tools and techniques for improving my pc efficiency as well. Thanks!

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