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RAM - Lowest latency or Average?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by psmk31452, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. psmk31452

    psmk31452 Guest

    I'm building my first DAW and ordering from Newegg. Just not certain whether it's beneficial to get the lowest latency or the average one. Both are compatible with the board from ASUS...because I've already checked. I will be loading GPO, SampleTank 2XL and maybe a few more samplers. I believe that these samplers are loaded into RAM, rather than DFD. So, am I better off with the lowest or the average latency? I will not be overclocking, so that is not an issue. Any suggestions?

    Motherboard: ASUS "P4C800-E DELUXE" i875P Chipset

    Memory #1: Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 - Retail

    Model# TWINX1024-3200C2
    Item # N82E16820145449
    Specifications:
    Manufacturer: Corsair
    Speed: DDR400(PC3200)
    Type: 184 Pin DDR SDRAM
    Error Checking: Non-ECC
    Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
    Cas Latency: 2-3-3-6 T1

    OR

    Memory #2: CORSAIR XMS Xtreme Memory Speed Series, Xtra-Low Latency 184-Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 w/ Heat Spreader, Model TWINX1024-3200XL - Retail


    Model# TWINX1024-3200XL
    Item # N82E16820145522
    Specifications:
    Manufacturer: CORSAIR
    Speed: DDR400(PC3200)
    Type: 184-Pin DDR SDRAM
    Error Checking: Non-ECC
    Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
    Cas Latency: 2-2-2-5

    The difference in price is only $50.00, but do I need or would I get the benefit from the lower latency. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Paul
     
  2. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    The answer is both yes and no. CAS latency numbers are merely an indication of the lowest memory settings you can use in your BIOS and still maintain stability, if you go lower you risk BSOD or erractic behavior (the PC not you). Sounds good doesn't it, less latency means faster performance right. Not necessarily. When you lower CAS settings you also lower the clock speed of the RAM. This cuts into but doesn't eliminate the gains you just made with lower latency. It's a tradeoff and highly dependent on your CPU and MOBO. Of course all of this means nothing if you don't tune your PC for this type of RAM. Many people think they can just put low latency RAM in their PC and they are off to the races. It won't run any different than standard RAM if you don't tune your BIOS. Most BIOS's today come with the option of a setup for Performance or Stability and some will even recognize the RAM that's installed. The performance setting is a good starting point but I would suggest checking out the site below and reading up on tuning your BIOS for top performance. This guy really covers it all and will give you great info on what the numbers mean as well as all of your other BIOS settings.
    Altronics Amp

    Another great site for understanding and tuning Windows is.

    http://www.blackviper.com/

    I was looking at your other post and you're building a very fast machine. You asked if you would notice a difference, no you won't but your PC will. This is not something that will be apparent to you but it might mean an extra sample or plugin or two can be run. If you were to overclock you might see it but I wouldn't suggest OCing a DAW. To answer your question I would say if your willing to put a little time into tuning your PC, then yes the lower latency would be worth the extra $50.
     
  3. psmk31452

    psmk31452 Guest

    Hey Big_D, thanks for getting back to me. I will look into the 1 site that you sent regarding the BIOS. As for the BlackViper site...I've already saved it as 1 of my favorites. I'll definitely be doing a bit of tweaking on my XP after I've built and installed the OS. As I will not have a network setup or internet hookup there are certainly a few thinks that I can either disable or set to manual.

    Thanks again for the headsup on that BIOS guide site.

    Paul
     

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