View Full Version : Should I Buy Now or Wait for DDR-SDRAM?

10-25-2000, 02:12 AM
OK, I've been a little slow getting to buying the new PC for home. Life interferes sometimes. Today, I'm thinking that I'd better get on the stick, as I need to install some new software for work that wouldn't run real well on Old Faithful. By happenstance, I come across an article that mentions in passing that DDR-SDRAM systems should be available "in a few weeks".

Now I hate "in a few weeks". Tell me a few months and I have no hesitation to buy now, but "a few weeks". I've bought enough PCs to know that I could be pertually waiting for that new technology that's just around the corner, but "a few weeks".

I'm not planning on buying a high-end monster, as I think I'll replace this new computer as soon as 64-bit machines get anywhere near a reasonable price, but should I wait a "few weeks" for DDR-SDRAM? Will it make that much of difference in performance for my typical business/Internet applications use?

What do you all think?


Paleo Pete
10-25-2000, 10:59 AM
Well, my opinion might be a bit jaded, or biased, but if you were to sit down in front of this 200MMX with 32MB ram for about a week, you'd be thrilled to have a lowly 400 with 64MB..

For most home and business applications, anything above about 400MHz with at least 64MB RAM should do the trick. I haven't had a chance to tinker with any newer systems with 700-800MHz CPU's, but I don't think the human senses can tell that much difference in speed once you get past a certain point. WHen the 333-350MHz machines were "hot off the press" I was building 200-266MHz systems that would keep up with them, and couldn't notice any difference, since the system in general couldn't keep up with the CPU any more. Maybe the newer systems with 100MHz and 133MHz main bus are a different story...

About the only advice I can offer is that often with new unproven hardware it's best to wait a while and let them work the bugs out. A perfect example is Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5.5. Soon as it was released, a horde of bugs showeed up, and lots of people found their machines crashing during the download/install, and didn't have a browser at all. It was a mess! AMD's K6-2 350 or faster at first had a major incompatibility problem with Windows 95, and AMD didn't admit it for a while, but finally released a patch. Cyrix 6x86 CPU's when first released were supposed to outperform comparable Intel CPU's, but had heat problems, and after buying one many people discovered it difficult to find a motherboard that supported the 75MHz main bus required to take advantage of some of the CPU's. More recently, people had the same problem with AMD's, it was hard to find a compatible board, and board specific drivers had to be installed. It's gotten better lately, I understand...

Just a couple examples...But I would think wait and let them iron out the kinks, and go with something that's recent, but proven.

If you had everything...Where would you put it?

Computer Information Links (http://www.geocities.com/paleopete/)

Will Rickards
10-26-2000, 12:32 AM
Stick with like 256MB PC133 SDRAM (buy a name brand) and like a P3 700Mhz chip... definitely 133MHz FSB and a Coppermine CPU.
The MAIN thing is to buy an IBM 75GXP hard drive. They just plain kick butt. And for your use the HD is the main bottleneck.

Will Rickards ~ wrickard@home.com

Charles Kozierok
10-26-2000, 09:55 AM
You can die of old age waiting for the "next big thing". Bear in mind that while DDR is faster than regular SDRAM, the entire emphasis placed on memory speed today due to the Rambus controversy is vastly overblown. Also, if you buy DDR when it first comes out you will pay a large "toy premium".
Simple rule: if you need it now, buy it now. Otherwise wait. http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/smile.gif

Charles M. Kozierok
Webslave, The PC Guide (http://www.PCGuide.com)
Comprehensive PC Reference, Troubleshooting, Optimization and Buyer's Guides...
Note: Please reply to my forum postings here on the forums. Thanks.

11-11-2000, 12:32 PM
The DDR-SDRAM will only make a difference if you run "high end" apps.
Like 3d Max, Phototshop with lots of filters,or do video editing.

If your just using Office 2000 or surfing the net then I wouldn't wait around for it. Buy what you want now.

11-11-2000, 03:59 PM
If i were to get 256MB of PC133 RAM right now and then upgraded my motherboard to one that supports DDR SDRAM later, could I use DDR SDRAM and my PC133 RAM together or would i have to use the PC133 in another machine?


11-11-2000, 04:13 PM
It will depend on if the MB supports both types ( like some MBs support PC100 and PC133). The thing to remember is that MBs that support more than one type of memory don't offer the same performance as MBs that only support one type of memory. That's why BX boards are so good. They only support one type of memory. Where as some boards made by VIA, which supports 2 types of memory, don't perform as well because of the built in Latencies needed in order to support a slower type of memory.

After rereading your question. No you can't use both types at the same time. If thats what you mean.

Hope this helps http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/smile.gif

[This message has been edited by scada (edited 11-11-2000).]