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Nills Lagerbaak
20-09-2004, 10:41:18
Dear All,

I hear buying RAM is not as simple as it sounds. Why are there some many different types, with wildely fluctuating prices? Whay do some RAM have a frequency specification.... What is the best RAM for me (~2.4 GHz Athlon processor).


Lastly, what sort of price should I pay for 1Gb ram upgrade.


Thanks all, help much appreciated in advance!

Funkodrom
20-09-2004, 11:03:38
You should have some documentation with your PC telling you what motherboard you have, and what type/speed RAM it needs. RAM prices vary depending on speed.

Nills Lagerbaak
20-09-2004, 11:08:10
Cheers, that';s what I was going to check. Is there a limit as to the speed of the RAM I can have, if so why and will the documentation tell me that?

Funkodrom
20-09-2004, 11:16:42
Basically the motherboard runs at a certain clock speed, and the RAM is designed to work at the same speed. You need to match the two. You probably have 400Hz PC3200 DDR RAM which is about 50-75 for half a gig depending on the brand.

The other thing you need to find out is what available slots you have for RAM on your motherboard (eg. 2 or 4...) and how many are already used.

That stuff should come with your computer information.

Asher
20-09-2004, 12:52:22
If you have a dual-channel board, you need to buy RAM in pairs.

Sir Penguin
20-09-2004, 19:57:37
You don't need to, but there's a speed improvement.

SP

Scabrous Birdseed
20-09-2004, 20:26:17
That's not a ram, it's a billy goat.

Nills Lagerbaak
20-09-2004, 22:11:59
OK, my computer came with 256MB DDR 333/PC2700 CAS 2.5.....

Does this tell me all I need to know to buy more? The motherboard then goes on to say 184 Dimm socket up to 3 GB Unbuffered non ecc PC2100/1600 DDR DIMMS

What does this mean...I shall be eternally grateful!

protein
20-09-2004, 22:17:40
It means that your RAM buffers work at optimum levels when you have a DDR hub dongle working in tandem with a firmware firewire device synched back to your PCU board, however, if your hardware ports are LF003 rather than Nemesis you will need to suspend your RAM sticks in a warm liquid, preferably a cup of hot milky tea.

Hope this helps. :)

Asher
20-09-2004, 23:35:49
Originally posted by Nills Lagerbaak
OK, my computer came with 256MB DDR 333/PC2700 CAS 2.5.....

Does this tell me all I need to know to buy more? The motherboard then goes on to say 184 Dimm socket up to 3 GB Unbuffered non ecc PC2100/1600 DDR DIMMS

What does this mean...I shall be eternally grateful!
It means your computer can support up to 3GB of standard RAM of speeds PC2100 or PC1600.

Do not buy "registered" RAM or RAM with "ECC", that's more expensive and won't work.

Your type is the most common.

No longer Trippin
21-09-2004, 00:35:48
He doesn't HAVE to buy it in pairs (though it would be cheaper) just because it is a dual channel board.

If your computer is running PC2700 ram, even though it doesn't say it supports it (in the manual at least), the board is capable of handling those speeds or should be able to. Buying slower ram will slow your processor down (I'm thinking it's overclocked or you have a speed of memory you don't need which would be odd). When did you get the computer as you could only need PC2100 if it is the Thoroughbred core, but if it is the Barton, you'll need PC2700 else you'll slow the computer down a helluva lot.

I'd recommend crucial for those on a budget who want reliable ram that also works well. Just put your motherboard in at their website and they'll tell you what sticks will work (some motherboards are picky). 2x512 will be cheaper and give you better timings than one 1gb module.

I'd keep the one 256meg stick even though that means you can't use dual channel if you get 2x512mb sticks as the benefits are generally less than 5% in bandwidth and even less in how it helps the processor. Just stick with PC2700 CAS 2.5 - anything faster or with a lower latency is just wasting your money. Though if you wind up with the older Thoroughbred core PC2100 would do just as well (though this sounds like an overclocked platform -without your knowledge- as it was common for small businesses and overclockers to use faster ram to boost the processors speed without the motherboard reporting it thus you can buy a 150 dollar part and find out it is actually only a 50 dollar part being pushed).

www.crucial.com

Asher
21-09-2004, 02:37:33
Isn't it possible they just told him it's PC2700 RAM (which it very well may be), but it's running at PC2100 due to them otherboard?

No longer Trippin
21-09-2004, 05:21:08
Could be that as well - though doesn't make sense to give the more expensive product away. Can't say unless he runs wincpuid or knows his bios decently enough. Even if it is overclocked, I wouldn't worry as the Thoroughbred and Barton cores are rather tolerant of it.

Nills Lagerbaak
21-09-2004, 09:53:54
Thanks for your help, but this is rediculous, I thought what I was doing was fairly common!!!

I think I'll go for one 512MB PC2700 Ram, will that then add up to ~750 MB RAM? Will I have enough slots, Can I be sure it really is running PC2700?

Thanks guys...

Funkodrom
21-09-2004, 10:03:23
It is common, but as you said when you asked it's more complicated than it sounds like it should be.

Sir Penguin
21-09-2004, 18:41:43
PC2700 should cost you about the same as PC2100 (sometimes a few cents cheaper even). You will probably have enough slots for one more stick, but the easy way to find out is to open up your computer and look. If your motherboard is a PC2100 motherboard, then your RAM will run at PC2100 speeds, no matter how much faster the RAM really is.

The easiest way to find that out is usually to go into the BIOS when you're booting up, and finding the screen that tells you information about your CPU and memory speed (not all BIOSes have that information, but it might be there). It will give a number for main memory, or your FSB (front-side bus) speed, which are generally the same. If it says 333MHz or 166MHz (in computers, 1662=333), then you're running at PC2700 speeds. If it says 266MHz or 133 MHz, then you're running at PC2100 speeds.

SP

Nills Lagerbaak
22-09-2004, 09:01:49
OK, thank you all again, I think I finally got it sorted! (I run PC2700 @ 333 MHz (found out by opening it up).

The only one remainng question is ........
I hae three slots of which one is taken up by a 256 MB Card. Will I be able to fill one more slot with a 512MB card (i.e. will there be problems mismatching RAM cards)

zmama
22-09-2004, 09:06:57
Should be okay

Nills Lagerbaak
14-10-2004, 10:39:55
Hello, just about to order me some and it says I HAVE to buy an aluminium RAM cooler.

Is this so?

Funkodrom
14-10-2004, 10:45:21
Aluminium RAM cooler. :lol: That's one of the funniest names ever.

Nills Lagerbaak
14-10-2004, 10:47:19
Funny, but do I need one?

Funkodrom
14-10-2004, 10:48:24
No idea. Sorry.

zmama
14-10-2004, 10:55:41
Originally posted by Nills Lagerbaak
Hello, just about to order me some and it says I HAVE to buy an aluminium RAM cooler.

Is this so?

Link?

Nills Lagerbaak
14-10-2004, 11:44:45
OK, it won't let me link to it, but as it's 2 quid I shall buy one and let youse all know!

Sir Penguin
14-10-2004, 21:12:14
You don't need to cool RAM. Passive heatsinks--which is probably what you're talking about--are mostly used for the high-quality sticks so that you can overclock them. RAM does benefit from being cooled, but I'm not convinced of a difference at this point in technology.

SP

No longer Trippin
15-10-2004, 03:49:18
You don't need them at all, even if your overclocking (well OCZ with the 3.5 odd volts of happiness just might benefit if overclocked HEAVILY).

DDR only consumes about 1 to 1.5 watts an IC IIRC, even overclocked ram doesn't get hot unless you have ramsinks on it. I've felt hot ramsinks, but never hot IC's on a module. I've ripped the ramsinks off my Corsair XMS and now get 7 (14) MHz more out of them. It was mainly marketting space. Aluminum or copper needs impingment to dissipate heat, and in the part of the case they are located, they aren't getting any. If you can mount a fan over them, then the aluminum will work better. But a simpler solution is to just rip the bastards off.

The only ram that gets damned hot is BGA DDR2 which is why my 9800 Pro died. Also why DDR3 came out as BGA DDR2 is harder to clock higher because of heat. Isn't any faster per cycle, but it runs a lot cooler. As for DDR2 modules for the CPU, I can't say as I have no experience with them and won't until AMD supports them and benefits from it.

Nills Lagerbaak
15-10-2004, 10:06:40
OK, are you saying that pputting a passive Al heatsink on my RAM might actually lower its performance?

No longer Trippin
16-10-2004, 03:34:02
It does in EXTREME situations. As for running your ram stock, or even moderate overclocking it doesn't matter at all for the speed of ram your getting.

Nills Lagerbaak
18-10-2004, 10:13:49
OK, it all arrived today. Is there anything I should be aware of before installing it? (i.e. static electricity etc. etc. )

Scabrous Birdseed
18-10-2004, 11:39:02
Before you install any ram you need to reformat all your hard-drives. Otherwise it won't work.

:cute:

Nills Lagerbaak
18-10-2004, 15:58:16
Oi, don't say things like that or I really will do it!

No longer Trippin
18-10-2004, 18:50:01
Yes, touch the case before and while you are touching anything electrical even if off inside the case. Also working barefoot on anything buy carpet will help. Still, it isn't much of an issue, but when it becomes one, it generally is major... so take a little in precautions and that can go a long way.

Nills Lagerbaak
19-10-2004, 09:27:07
OK, installed and running thank you! The system recognises the extra RAM, but I did get a "found new hardware" thing pop up when I booted it up. It tried to install something from a CD, but obviously I didn't have one. Do I need to install anything, having put new RAM in?
How could I tell if it's fooked up.

Funkodrom
19-10-2004, 09:29:45
It should count the RAM when it boots up. Other than that if you go into Control panel - System it tells you there how much RAM is in there.

I've never heard of anyone needing to install RAM drivers...

No longer Trippin
19-10-2004, 16:39:00
No, it shouldn't be asking for drivers. I've NEVER had windows ask me for drivers.

Sir Penguin
19-10-2004, 18:48:47
RAM drivers are independent of the actual sticks. They're included with the motherboard drivers.

SP

No longer Trippin
20-10-2004, 16:42:04
Yes, but I'd hope he installed the motherboard drivers... they tend to throw out a lot of missing device errors if you don't.

Sir Penguin
20-10-2004, 20:30:46
Well, Windows will do that automatically.

SP

No longer Trippin
21-10-2004, 02:05:49
It is supposed to, but I can't count the times in working on computers that windows doesn't have the drivers or even doesn't want to read from the CD that has them (though sticking them on the desktop will work :rolleyes: ).

Sir Penguin
21-10-2004, 02:30:36
If Windows didn't have drivers that allow it to access the RAM, then you wouldn't even have a desktop.

SP

DevilsH@lo
24-10-2004, 02:57:32
Calling for hardware drivers after a ram upgrade shouldn't happen with any varient of windows, even 98 could handle 768 Megs before it threw the teddies out.

You have after all only populated a system which windows was already capable of accessing. And unlike a PCI slot the ram doesn't require a driver to be usable by the processor and subsystems.

I would suggest the driver call was probably a glitch, although having said that i have recently seen Xp redetect monitors after a ram upgrade, though i'll be buggered if i know why it does it.

No longer Trippin
24-10-2004, 05:19:13
Reallocation of aperture if onboard video.