Is DDR RAM a bottleneck?
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Thread: Is DDR RAM a bottleneck?

  1. #1
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    Is DDR RAM a bottleneck?

    I've recently been reading about computer hardware like RAM, the CPU, and the FSB. The book I have says that the FSB is a big bottleneck between RAM and the CPU, but with the current AMD processors having a 1000mhz FSB and PC3200 (400mhz) RAM is the fastest available, how is this the case? Also, won't dual-core processors like the AMD x-2 have huge problems with the FSB being a bottleneck, as they have 2x the processing power but the same FSB width? Thanks for the help,
    Jared
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi Jareds FSB = Front Serial BUS, that is the motherboard, The processor is generally much faster as is the RAM. Actually there is RAM faster than 400Mhz

    At the moment the MoBo is the bottleneck, BUT please remember that the actual speed of the peripherals also counts, like PCI = 33Mhz, AGP = 66Mhz etc.

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    Nihil,
    I just looked on newegg.com, pricewatch.com, and bestbuy.com, and the fastest available RAM was DDR2 PC-6400, which runs at 800mhz. Please explain how the 1000mhz FSB is the bottleneck if it's faster than all (readily) available RAM.
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    I'm not really sure how to answer your main question, but I needed to clear something up. AMD X2's are NOT 2x faster than a regular version of that processor at the same speed. It's dual core, which doesn't actually make it 2x faster.
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi Jareds411

    I am afraid that we are looking at a veritable "moving target"..............not that long ago 333Mhz was your fastest FSB, then it went to 400Mhz and so on..............at last look 800 was the fastest memory I have seen, and actually own.

    Now you say we have a gigahertz FSB?...........these things leapfrog eachother? It is the old story of the weakest link in a chain.

    At the moment I think that your fastest peripheral connections are 100Mhz or 133Mhz, so that is where the hardware bottleneck has now moved? But don't forget that there are a lot of boxes out there that have an FSB speed of 333Mhz or less. In other words, we are speaking hypothetically here?

    As I have said in several other posts, my personal opinion is that hardware has outstripped software at the moment, so it is probably software that is the current bottleneck on high end kits.

    If software is not written to take advantage of dual core, multiple processor, 64 bit hardware, then all you have bought is "bragging rights"
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
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  6. #6
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    That last line is a bit off. If you have certain dual core systems, it doesn't matter what support the OS has for it, the splitting of the load is at the hardware level.
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi The Grunt

    Yes, I was actually thinking more in terms of applications than operating systems.



    EDIT: Incidentally, it is nice to have a theoretical discussion in "Hardware", makes a change from the usual "doom and gloom"?

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  8. #8
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    Originally posted here by nihil
    Hi Jareds FSB = Front Serial BUS,
    Ehhmm.. It's Front Side Bus.

    http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/f/fsb.htm

    It's the bus the processor uses to communicate with the rest of the hardware, IO and memory.
    And yes, it's THE bottleneck (there are a few others like the PCI bus). This FSB bottleneck is the reason why there's first and second level cache on your processor.

    Please explain how the 1000mhz FSB is the bottleneck if it's faster than all (readily) available RAM.
    Because the processor runs 2-3 times faster then the fastest RAM available. They can make the actual RAM chips as fast as the processor (the cache in modern processors runs at the same speed as the processor) but the problem is in the connection between the processor and the memory.

    This has to do with physics.. Electricity travels at about half the speed of light. With these extremely high frequenties, electrons can't travel fast enough to cope with the physical distance involved.
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