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PC133 vs. DDR vs. RAMBUS
By CPU-zilla
Category : Memory
Published by Jimmy Tang on Wednesday, 9th May, 2001


Although this article is not intended to give you a definite picture on which
is the best chipset, it does offer an insight to which chipset could contribute
better memory bandwidth performance. DDR technology is certainly going to stay
and it will probably dominate the memory market with its attractive price and
availability. We saw how much PC133 SDRAM could deliver and we're pretty sure
that it will phase out in time to come although its lifespan may lengthen considerably due to market demands. However, if you're on a tight budget,
PC133 SDRAM would certainly make a good choice since you will only suffer a drop of about
5-10% in performance with PC133 SDRAM as compared to DDR SDRAM. If you're still
aiming for a Pentium III or Celeron system, you should go for PC133 SDRAM since
there is little to gain with VIA's new Pro266 chipset based on DDR technology.
We believe that there's still a lot of room for improvement on the VIA Pro266
chipset.


On the other hand, if you're building an Athlon system, you should go for a
DDR system since the amount you save on the processor could easily pay for slightly
more expensive DDR SDRAMs. Otherwise, a VIA KT133A board with PC133 SDRAM would
give you quite a lot of performance at a budget price.


As for RAMBUS, if prices can be made more attractive, we believe it would be
an interesting alternative. It is, however, still the most expensive memory
available today. If you're going for a Pentium 4 system, you would be required
to use RDRAMs. Otherwise, there are currently no chipsets available for other
platforms that support this expensive memory technology. For now, we'll give
the Intel 850 (and RDRAM) the crown for holding the highest scores in memory
performance. But only time will tell if RDRAM will survive in this difficult
economic climate. We all learned from CBS' Survivor series that one has to depend
on wits to win and performance/strength is only secondary. Let's hope RAMBUS
learned this important lesson too.

Testbed Configuration
Processor P3-1GHz, P4-1.7GHz, Athlon-1GHz
Memory TwinMOS PC133/PC800/PC2100
Graphics Card Creative GeForce DDR 32MB

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