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I'm currently thinking of upgrading my current gaming machine from it's original 2GB configuration. It's currently using a pair of Kingston HyperX PC2-9200 DDR2 1150MHz RAM (KHX9200D2K2/2G - kit of 2 x 1GB). Performance so far has been quite well and stable on my Intel Q9550.

As I also use the PC to run virtual machines and to do software development, multimedia and 3D work, I am intending to upgrade the RAM to about 8GB (e.g. 4GB for main host/Win7, 2GB for each guest OS/WinXP).

Unfortunately, the KHX9200D2K2/2G are quite hard to find where I come from. Also, my motherboard (Asus P5Q-E) supports only a maximum of 4 sticks of RAM. If I were to stick to the KHX9200D2K2/2G, I would only be able to get a maximum of 4GB.

The only Kingston HyperX (I've generally only had good experience with Kingston RAM) DDR2 solution that would allow me to upgrade to 8GB seemed to be their 1066MHz RAM. I'm currently looking at the KHX8500D2K2/4G (2 x 2GB) kits but wondering if the performance hit will be significant. I have my reservations as the PC2-9200s seemed to be getting generally good reviews, yet reviews for the PC2-8500s seemed to be getting reviews ranging from just "not bad" to even "mediocre".

Appreciate any advice. Thanks.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The faster the clock speed the better (assuming your motherboard supports that high of a speed, which yours seems to), but such a small difference will hardly be noticeable I think. The bottleneck is very rarely the memory, so I wouldn't recommend really even looking at the clock speed. Mine is only 400 MHz and I'm doing just fine on Crysis with full settings.

8GB of 1066 MHz memory would be better than 4GB of 1150 MHz memory, especially if you use virtual machines, since those take up a lot of RAM.

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+1. You'll be much happier with double the RAM for virtualization –  Josh Sep 22 '09 at 2:23
    
Cool. That's what I thought too. 400MHz with Crysis?! You must have a great graphics card, my system starts to stutter during some battle scenes when I have everything turned on max. Raw speed aside for a moment though; anyone has comments on the actual part numbers? Reviews for the "KHX9200D2K2" seemed to call it "very fast RAM, highly recommended" (and they were comparing it to PC2-9600 HyperX), whereas for the "KHX8500D2K2" the best I could find was "decent but nothing to brag about". What can be the possible difference since the clock speed differs so little? –  Darkwoof Sep 22 '09 at 3:40
    
@Darkwoof: Yes, I do have a pretty nice graphics card, that's where I spent the most money. :) Honestly, I have no idea why one would be slower than the other. I'd say it's a coincidence, unless they were both reviewed by the exact same people. –  Sasha Chedygov Sep 22 '09 at 5:14
    
@musicfreak: Wow. I could never bear to plonk down that much cash on a graphics card since I'm just a casual gamer. Alright, guess I'd be getting those 1066s in a bit. Thanks! –  Darkwoof Sep 23 '09 at 1:12
    
@Josh: Ooh, and thank you too! –  Darkwoof Sep 23 '09 at 1:13
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