CPU speed vs memory bandwidth

Which is more valuable and why?

Thanks.

Which is better? You need both. You can usually get memory for cheap, so if your looking for a cheap upgrade go for memory.

It's like asking if a baseball or the baseball bat is better.

What I am trying to get at is whether or not it would be better to buy the XP 2500 and run @ 200FSB = 2.2Ghz or buy the XP 2800.

There is a significant difference in price.

Correct answer is: depends on your application,and how you use it. For applications where you are using both processors and are memory intensive (such as many scientific computing programs), then FSB and motherboard architecture matters more than most people would think.



You will still see CPU at 100%, even if memory bandwidth is the bottleneck. If you have a memory-intensive application, a dual Xeon, and a dual Opteron (or Itanium or Alpha), you can see this for yourself. THe Xeon will slow down ~25% when running two jobs (vs. running one job) because of memory bandwidth limitations. The Opteron (or Itanium or Alpha) will not.


If I were playing games on a single CPU, then I would probably go with CPU speed. If I were running quantum mechanics codes on both processors, then I think they are equally important.

"...What I am trying to get at is whether or not it would be better to buy the XP 2500 and run @ 200FSB = 2.2Ghz or buy the XP 2800.

There is a significant difference in price."

Well, I've got a an xp 2500 overclocked to 3200(200fsb) and to be honest with you the motherboard will be most important. If you go with a 2500 and a crappy mobo you won't be able to overclock at all. Here's what I'd recommend if you're building a system.

-abit nf7 v2.0 nforce2 motherboard with 6.1 soundstorm

-mobile xp2500, these have been known to overclock to 2700mhz and don't cost much more. I'm thinking of swapping mine out for one.

-pc3500(if you go with mobile chip especially)...2 sticks of 512mb so you can run dual channel

-the rest is up to you but these are the most important parts.

I just finished building a system with an Athlon XP 2500 overclocked to 2.09Ghz and 380FSB with 768MB of Kingston PC2700 in a Biostar M7NCD.