New versus old

In an ideal world, a 'new' product or technology would outclass its predecessor on every front, and by a hefty margin too.

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  September 13, 2007

In an ideal world, a ‘new' product or technology would outclass its predecessor on every front and, at the risk of sounding greedy, by a hefty margin too. Unfortunately, in today's world things aren't quite as straightforward.

Case in point is the new DDR3 (Double Data Rate) platform that you can use to build, at present, an Intel-based rig. The main components of this updated platform are new processors, core-logic chipsets and of course the memory. Each of these three components is designed to operate on a bus frequency of 1333MHz at present, which results in better overall performance when compared to the older 1066MHz DDR2 platform.

In terms of differences when compared to their predecessors, the CPU is the least different. The CPU is still a ‘Conroe' Core 2 Duo chip with a faster bus speed. It's the chipset and memory that have had the biggest overhauls but unfortunately for us, the paying consumers, the differences aren't, yet, massive. Sure a CPU running on the 1333MHz FSB (Front Side Bus), with 1333MHz DDR3 memory and the new chipset is faster than an identical processor running on the older 1066MHz DDR2 platform but the difference isn't as big as you'd expect.

There are numerous reasons for this including the high latency timings of DDR3 memory and the somewhat new motherboards with ‘young' BIOS' being offered on newer DDR3 motherboards. Of course I should point out when the DDR2 platform was released it too showed negligible gains over its older DDR counterpart. This changed a few months down the line as the components matured and has since been the platform of choice for performance rigs. I expect exactly the same to happen with the DDR3 platform.

So, what should you do about all this in the mean time? Well, quite simply, you'll just have to play the waiting game, like I do. Despite being a fan, to put it lightly, of all things IT, I wait for a product to mature before I even think about going near my wallet. You should do this as well because you may save some cash but more importantly, the company behind the product you intend to buy will have had time to improve performance and even fix bugs. If enough people start using this approach, there is also a good chance it will also put pressure on companies to get it out and get it right the first time around, which should be your ultimate goal as consumers.

(Read all about the new CPUs, chipsets, and DDR3 memory in the upcoming, November issue of Windows Middle East.)

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