Just getting started with GS3. I have one question. I read somewhere on this forum that there is the standard ram for your computer and then there is the more expensive/better ram. I have a P4, 2.8 mhtz, HP computer.
Is this true about better ram and if so does it increase performance or reduce latency?
RAM comes in various specifications. If it's fast, then the CPU can access the RAM with few "wait states", or clock cycles in which the CPU waits for the RAM to catch up. Timings are typically written with four numbers, such as 2-2-2-6, or 3-4-3-8. (The 2-2-2-6 part would be faster.)
These timings mean nothing if your CPU & motherboard settings aren't optimized. In the BIOS screen you can usually adjust the timings from your CPU. Reduce the wait states and your system is faster. Reduce them too much, and the system goes unstable.
Also, when you increase the CPU clock speed, you may need to increase the wait states to allow enough time for the RAM to make its transitions.
Another aspect is that cheap RAM manufacturers may not be so careful about their quality. They might not spec the timing, or if they do, there might be a great amount of variability. Some parts may be out of spec. Better manufacturers, such as OCZ, ensure that their parts meet spec. Cheap RAM might meet spec when cold, but flake out when hot. The good stuff meets spec over temperature.
The bottom line for your PC is that if it's stable, be happy. The only reason to get faster RAM would be to start tweaking the RAM timings and CPU speeds. Sure, you could get your system to run faster, but not before spending lots of time and money.
If your system is unstable, you can generally back off your timings until it becomes stable - even with cheap (but not faulty) RAM.