Running To 200MHz; Running On Empty?. . .

On Monday, Intel says “We want 200MHz!”

On Tuesday, AMD says, “Me Too!

Uhhh, since when did 200MHz become a snap?

By a “snap,” I mean little trifles like running at that speed at default voltage or at CAS2 so that it actually gives you some benefit.

I’m not sure any module out there now would meet both of those tests. Maybe the Corsair, but the price is a little rich for Michael Dell or any other OEMs blood, isn’t it?

These two announcements essentially will make 200MHz the standard come next spring, at what is the end of the road for DDR-I.

Not like 200MHz has been the more stable speed in the world so far, especially for multiple sticks.

A Paper 200MHz

Yes, this is a few months away, but I really don’t think we’re going to see lots of high-quality, cheap DDR400 floating around next spring.

Rather, we’re going to have “DDR400” which in reality will be DDR333 taking it very easy settings-wise at 200MHz, with performance little if any better than an honest 166MHz.

Expect to see a lot of CAS 2.5, even CAS 3 sticks on sale that will say DDR400 CAS3

The problem will probably be worse for Intel than AMD because if it’s rough finding good 200MHz RAM sticks, and rougher getting two or more working side-by-side, imagine what it will be like getting two (much less four) working together in tandem.

The Upgrade Got Steep

If clocking is a problem, just imagine overclocking a 200MHz chip.

In the case of Intel, I think it’s pretty much forget it for 200MHz until DDR-II comes out; overclocking will probably end up being restricted to 133MHz FSB CPUs.

Barton will probably not have a lower-FSB option, and at least a good chunk of the upgrade market goes away if people have to replace memory sticks, too.

Frankly, unless you are building a new system, I don’t think an extensive upgrade is worth it from either party. If you’ve recently spent a good deal of money on a recent system, live with it (Intel) or take the best CPU upgrade (AMD) you can get, and then wait to do a replacement right with the next generation.


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