64-bit MotherBoards - DDR & DDR2 RAM

I'm building a new desktop and want to take the 64-bit route so it can stay "top of the line" for quite a while. (See my other post at http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_21831900.html for more information.)

I don't understand why there are 64-bit compatible motherboards that use DDR ram. It seems like with 64-bit processing, you would almost need DDR2 RAM. I've been looking around at various ASUS 64-bit motherboards (that use AMD processors), and they all seem to only support DDR RAM. Wouldn't running a 64-bit processor with DDR ram be at a major disadvantage compared to DDR2 RAM? Thanks!
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damijimAsked:
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
AMD has been slow to incorporate DDR2 support -- but motherboards for AMD processors that include support for DDR2 are expected to be available VERY soon.   The need for DDR2 vs DDR is not a function of whether it's a 32-bit or 64-bit CPU, however ==> it's simply a function of whether you need the additional bandwidth.    And since ALL CPU's are much faster than their memory interfaces, better memory bandwidth is always welcome.

By the way ... depending on the timeframe you need to build your new dual-core system in, you may want to research the Intel Conroe chip.   I was very close to building a nice new dual-core Athlon 64, but have decided to wait until fall and build a Conroe system.
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damijimAuthor Commented:
About your first paragraph, I'm in no rush; so, I should probably for AMD to support DDR2 RAM since I want to build a system that will stay "top of the line" for at least a couple of years?

I will look into Intel's Conroe chip, thanks!

Also, do you happen to know a website that compares side-by-side all the different types of new processors? I've looked around Intel and AMD's website, but I'm really looking for an all enclusive comparison.

Thanks!
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I would, as a minimum, wait for DDR2 support on the AMD motherboards.   However, I think you'll like what you read about the Conroe !!   I read a fairly detailed tech eval, but can't seem to find it with a quick Google -- but you might read this:  http://news.cnet.co.uk/desktops/0,39029662,49257328,00.htm

Bottom line for Conroe:  faster than anything AMD makes;  lower power & less heat than any current CPU's; and (as an "Intel guy" I like this) it's an Intel :-)
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... the main thing I like about Intel chips these days is you can use Intel motherboards -- which I still believe are the best ones made.   I think AMD made a mistake by choosing to not build their own support chipsets and offer companion motherboards for their CPUs.

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damijimAuthor Commented:
I'm an ASUS moterboard person myself... every desktop I've put an ASUS board in seems to fly and overclocks VERY well... or it could be the amount of fans I put in all my desktops. :)

Anyway, I appreciate your time! Thanks!
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... You're welcome.   I've also built a few systems with Asus boards; and they ARE very nice boards.
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tmj883Commented:
AMD has been slow to move to DDR2 but this is soon to be addressed with the move to the AM2 940 pin platform. The reason that AMD has waited is that due to the high latency of current DDR2 memory and the relative low cost of low latency DDR modules, it was not a cost effective market stategy. Improved latency and faster DDR2 modules that are cheaper will become available with the release of the AM2 platform. Intel's platforms will also accomodate the latest DDR2 modules. AMD's on processor memory controller will shine with the newer DDR2 or so it seems.
I agree with Gary... wait for Q3 as alot of stuff is about to evolve...T
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willcompCommented:
DDR RAM is 64 bit RAM, just to clear up that bit of confusion.  As a matter of fact, so is SDRAM.  CPUs since the Pentium (original) have had at least 64 bit data buses.  Since 72 pin SIMMs were 32 bit, they had to be installed in banks of 2 for Pentium CPUs.  All DIMMs are 64 bit wide.  That includes SDRAM, DDR, and DDR2.

Don't confuse 64 bit memory and data bus with 64 bit processors.  A 64 bit CPU has a 64 bit "word" size meaning that it can process 64 bit chunks of information.  Each register is 64 bits rather than 32 bits in capacity.  Programs that take advantage of 64 bit CPUs run more efficiently.  The Athlon 64 was the first 64 bit CPU that ran 32 bit code (Windows XP for example) as efficiently as 32 bit bit CPUs.

It's true that DDR2 RAM can operate at higher bus speeds than can DDR RAM, but it's still 64 bit memory.

Motherboards and CPUs that support dual channel memory have 128 bit memory buses to increase memory throughput.

Web sites:

My favorite - http://www.tomshardware.com/

Another good one - http://www.anandtech.com/
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willcompCommented:
Late to the party.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... My favorite - http://www.tomshardware.com/ " ==>  you mean it's not EE !! :-)   :-)

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willcompCommented:
There I can just pass over the Intel hype ;>)
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