Ram is about as important as the processor itself. Without it, you may as well not use the computer. At this current date, there are numerous ram modules to choose from, made by dozens of companies. Is it really necessary to buy the latest PC3500 rated module? Do you even need it? Let's see what it really means...
With faster CPUs comes a need for faster ram. If your memory can not keep up, you create a bottleneck, thus limited your performance. Today we're going to take a look at a PC3500 rated module from the folks at BuffaloTech.
Founded in 2000, BuffaloTech has been providing memory products for system builders and manufacturers all over the US. One of their newest modules is the PC3500 DDR SDRAM module, utilizing Winbond 5ns chips. Let's take a look at what it can do.
The clear plastic packaging is simple in design. As you can decipher from the label, it is rated at DD433, 512MB module. But what does DD, but rather DDR, really mean? DDR activates output on both the rising and falling edge of a system clock, hence the naming of DDR. DDR433 is actually 433 / 2, which results in 216MHz. But 216MHz? most CPUs can not even go that high?! But that does not mean you can't utilize this larger speed increase.
Often times, motherboards allow for CPU/Memory dividers. This allows you to seperate the depency of CPU bus speed in relation to memory. For example, if your motherboard has a 1:1 divider (ratio), that just means if your CPU is running at 133 MHz FSB (front side bus), your memory will run 133. But with DDR, this equals 266MHz, as explained earlier.
There are also other dividers like 3:4, which is often desired. It is desired, because it allows you to run the ram asynchronous to your CPU speed. For example, if you have your CPU running at 133 MHz FSB, using your 3:4 divider, you will get (133 X 4) / 3, which yields 177 Mhz, at double rate, this equals 354 Mhz. Operating your CPU at 133 MHz FSB, you can see why memory ratio plays a rather large roll in performance, just compare 354 MHz to 266 Mhz. If you overclock, the raising of the FSB will also raise the speeds of your memory. So having a ram module that can meet these requirements is definitely an important task in a high performance system.
These modules do not come with heat spreaders. What this means is, the manufacturers are not wasting their money and raising your price by adding on worthless pieces of metal. These modules are here to perform, not to look pretty.
Here are some quick specs:
- Winbond 5ns chips
- DDR 433 Support
- 3-3-3-7 Rating
- 256 or 512MB samples
- Lifetime Warranty
Enough of the technical talk, we want to see how well this module can do.