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Old June 19th, 2004, 12:45 PM   #16
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I used to consider OCZ an off brand, but lately they have been getting a lot of good press and growing pretty fast.

They are a very popular brand with hobbyists, especially the speed freaks and overclockers.

In the past couple of months, I had to build a couple of machines for NLE's and compositing. I ended up using OCZ brand 1024x2 times 2 sets to get 4gb ram.

Performance appears to be just a touch better than the Corsair, but that can vary by system and manufacturer.

So far, we have been very pleased with the systems and they bench out well.
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Old June 19th, 2004, 03:35 PM   #17
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OCZ RAM is expensive! It costs significantly more than more resonable RAM such as Kingston HyperX, normal Kingston (CAS3), Crucial, or the cheapest stuff you can find.

PC4xxx RAM does not help performance unless you actually run RAM at that speed, which implies overclocking (which is ok IMO but may not be ok for clients).

As far as performance goes, I got to build a computer a few days ago and the Kingston RAM I used (2X512MB DDR400/OC3200 sticks rated for 3-3-3-8) is running at 2-3-2-5. Compare this to the best timings possible, which are 2-2-2-5 (for Intel P4). Only a few brands of RAM will hit 2-2-2-5 (Mushkin level II, OCZ PC3500 Platinum limited edition to name two). Most of the OCZ stuff will hit worse timings than 2-3-2-5, especially anything in the PC4000 and higher range.

OCZ I do not consider to be a good brand because from what I hear they have bad technical support. However they are probably good RAM that is less likely to be DOA.
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Old June 19th, 2004, 05:20 PM   #18
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<<<-- Originally posted by Glenn Chan : OCZ RAM is expensive! It costs significantly more than more resonable RAM such as Kingston HyperX, normal Kingston (CAS3), Crucial, or the cheapest stuff you can find.-->>>

I bought just your typical PC3200 registered memory and it is no more expensive than any other name brand like Corsair, Crucial, Mushkin or others. They all fall around 320.00-340.00 for a 1gb stick depending on dealer.

You mention "cheapest stuff you can buy", and I never recommend going with the cheapest money can buy.

90% of the system problems I see are people who skimped on junk ram and went for cheap over quality.


<<<--OCZ I do not consider to be a good brand because from what I hear they have bad technical support. However they are probably good RAM that is less likely to be DOA. -->>>

OCZ is getting excellent reviews from the various hardware sites on the web, which is the only reason I tried it. One site I read not too long ago did a shootout between OCZ, Corsair, Crucial and a couple of others, I think Kingston was one of them also, and OCZ really outperformed all of the other brands in the benchmarks.

If bad tech support was the only criteria to determining the quality of a product, Asus wouldn't have any customers. They have the absolute worst support I have ever seen.

However they do make a great product, as long as you never have to rely on their support.

The same can be said of a lot of companies.
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Old June 19th, 2004, 08:05 PM   #19
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There actually may not be a problem with buying the cheapest RAM around. As long as you test it with memtest86, you can get a stick of RAM that works and is very close in performance to everything else out there.

I have a stick of PMI RAM (my dad bought it in Hong Kong because it's cheaper there) that hits timings of 2-3-2-5 in single channel.

RAM is rarely dead on arrival so getting the cheapest RAM can be ok. (waiting for a good stick to come back, shipping costs, hours spent with tech support, hours spent troubleshooting the problem)

Very often people will get some fancy overclocking RAM (anything higher than PC3200) and find that it is incompatible with their motherboard.

Quote:
90% of the system problems I see are people who skimped on junk ram and went for cheap over quality.
That's news to me. Most people problem's are software-related (spyware, adware, and viruses being leading causes). As far as hardware problems go, bad power supplies seem to me to be the leading cause of problems.

Quote:
OCZ is getting excellent reviews from the various hardware sites on the web, which is the only reason I tried it. One site I read not too long ago did a shootout between OCZ, Corsair, Crucial and a couple of others, I think Kingston was one of them also, and OCZ really outperformed all of the other brands in the benchmarks.
"fastest" can mean different things, What tests did they do?
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Old June 19th, 2004, 08:33 PM   #20
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<<<-- Originally posted by Glenn Chan : There actually may not be a problem with buying the cheapest RAM around. As long as you test it with memtest86, you can get a stick of RAM that works and is very close in performance to everything else out there. -->>>


You might want to spend some time in hardware forums where people are building systems. System issues related to cheap ram is VERY common.


<<<-- Very often people will get some fancy overclocking RAM (anything higher than PC3200) and find that it is incompatible with their motherboard. -->>>

You seem rather fixated on overclockers ram purchases. Not sure why you keep bringing it up as it doesn't apply to what I am even talking about.

I'm not even talking about overclocking. I'm talking about your basic PC3200 memory.

<<<-- That's news to me. Most people problem's are software-related (spyware, adware, and viruses being leading causes). As far as hardware problems go, bad power supplies seem to me to be the leading cause of problems.

"fastest" can mean different things, What tests did they do? -->>>

Fortuantely I do not deal with end users with little understanding of computers. I deal with people who build their own, and the problems they run into on the forums I deal with.

Most of those people are relatively software saavy and understand things like that.

News to you or not, it's a fact that I see more than a few issues or help questions that end up with people who went cheap on the ram, or cheap on the power supply.

Having built network and computer gear for around 15 years now, I have seen enough to know that buying cheap ram for a performance oriented system like an animation station, NLE or compositing box is a very bad idea.

I'll have to go back and locate the ram article. I generally don't catalog that stuff or save all the links as I read far too much stuff for that to be a reasonable endeavor.
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Old June 19th, 2004, 09:06 PM   #21
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On the forum I sometimes read (arstechnica.com) bad RAM comes up around as often as DOA motherboard, screws shorting the motherboard, heatsink incorrectly installed, and insufficient power supply.

Perhaps my memory is selective (no pun intended).
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Old June 19th, 2004, 09:10 PM   #22
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a bad chip perhaps?
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Old June 19th, 2004, 09:25 PM   #23
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I second Glenn's findings. Memory is not the first issue.

I do know that RAM issues tend to be in the overclocking arena. That is where the new OCZ is shining. Since BH5 and BH6 chips are no longer made (long day in the sun, cannot remember who it was who decided to quit making memory), there has been a gap. I know that the extreme Xeon over-clocks are working on the latest OCZ.

As for the number from MS. Video drivers are the number 1 issue for crashes. Memory pool corruption was about 17% and of that, it was 10-25% of that that was memory (it is hard to figure out, which is why MS has released their mem tester available at the Online Crash Analysis site http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp

BTW Glenn, I have Muskin Level II PC2700 in my box :D
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Old June 20th, 2004, 02:22 PM   #24
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Winbond stopped making the BH5 chips. Don't know about BH6. They were the only chips which could do 2-2-2-5 timings (most chips get stuck at 2-3-2-5). There might be some new stuff now that can hit 2-2-2-5 (OCZ?) as well as chips which are already using stockpiled BH5 (Mushkin and Kingston?).

Keep in mind the slightly faster memory timings make very, very little difference. Usually it would be less than 1 percent, and for some video rendering neglible (going from 3-4-4-8 to 2-3-2-5 with PAT enabled on Vegas makes no measurable difference). MPEG2 encoding is probably different, but that 1 timing makes little difference. Although for the performance slut inside all of us, it is worth paying money for! :) :) :)
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Old June 20th, 2004, 03:38 PM   #25
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Re: Building a budget NLE machine

<<<-- Originally posted by Ari Shomair :

In terms of budget, lets say $2000 CAN. Most (if not all) parts will probably be bought from http://www.canadacomputers.com . Not necessary to use the full budget obviously.

-->>>

I just live a couple of blocks from their downtown location and like you I want a machine for editing...I want to edit montages with stuff from http://www.archive.org/movies/prelinger.php.. using Premiere and After Effects.

However, I might go with an AMD system as i have about half your budget.

I don't know much about hardware...can anyone look over this list and tell me what they'd do with $1-1.5K ?

http://canadacomputers.com/systems.html
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Old June 20th, 2004, 08:58 PM   #26
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I live in Toronto and like Filtech Computers better than Canada Computers because the staff at CC (at least the owner Charles) is friendly and helpful. http://www.torontopcstores.com/
Prices between Filtech and Canada Computers are close.

Here's what I'd try to get:

the biggest hard drive you can afford- buffer not that important, flip a coin if you like.

CPU: A Pentium 4 makes the most sense and should fit in your budget. Get the "C" or Canterwood version (800FSB, hyperthreading) and not the A, B, or E (Prescott) versions.

Motherboard: Abit IS7 is not a bad board. It has firewire and you can tweak it to enable PAT.

DVD burner?

Case: Antec 3700AMB- good case and comes with power supply.

(optional): Artic Silver 5 thermal paste to lower CPU temps. You only need this if overclocking. $10 at Filtech when I bought it there.

RAM: 1GB is ideal, 512MB might be fine. I am not too familiar with Premiere but from what I hear it is a RAM hog. I'd get the cheapest PC3200 stuff you can find.

Video card: If you have the budget for dual monitors then go for it! Otherwise, look for a motherboard with on-board video and an AGP slot for future expansion.

Monitor: Get a flat mid-high end 17" CRT. i.e. NEC FE791SB. Other recommendations are (19") Samsung 955DF, 900NF, NEC P95f+
Recommendations are from http://arstechnica.com/guide/system/budget.html (scroll down)

Floppy: Nice to have. If you have another computer and a USB key then you can copy stuff onto the USB key and may be able to get away without having a floppy.

Mouse and keyboard: Whatever you like the best really. The Microsoft Keyboard and Mouse (OEM) aren't that bad.

Speakers: Don't mix on consumer speakers (they aren't accurate). If sound is important then you'd want to invest in decent monitor speakers and sound treatment ($600???). Otherwise you can try to get away with mixing on headphones and checking on a lot of different speakers.

Sound card: Don't get the Creative stuff unless you are gaming. Get a something like an M-audio Revolution or 2496 if you have decent monitor speakers. Otherwise you can live with on-board sound.

I don't know the prices of everything above.
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Old June 21st, 2004, 04:28 AM   #27
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I'm going to check out Filtech. I didn't know about them, though now I am guessing it is the store next door to the 7-11 that I pass many times but never go into.


Thanks, for the tips on what to get, and as you seem to be very knowledgeable, I am going to trust you and probably buy exactly what you've recommended (only mobo+cpu+ram as I already have a DVD burner and the dual monitor set up).
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Old June 21st, 2004, 07:01 PM   #28
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I don't really need much after-purchase service, hence the CanadaComputers.com . I've never had any problems there, but from the looks of http://www.torontopcstores.com/index.php?board=16;action=display;threadid=19 many other people have.

I guess When you really get down to it with these OEM vendors though its only a $5 or $10 differences in the end.
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Old June 21st, 2004, 10:34 PM   #29
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Roger, have fun building your computer! As far as my recommendations go, I didn't really explain them and I kept your budget in mind (so they may not be applicable to other people).

2- Bring cash or else you pay extra.
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