can someone clarify DDR RAM?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Dave_vega, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. Dave_vega

    Dave_vega Stunt Coordinator

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    hey guys..

    now i'm far from computer iliterate, but I just need help choosing my RAM..I have a P4 2.0 Ghz with 256 mb DDR RAM..the FSB is 266 mhz..now my main question is with this P4 can I put a stick of 512 mb with the 256 stick? or do I need to pair the sticks (256mb x 2 or 512mb x2) the mobo has 2 RAM slots..also do I need DDR 2100 or DDR 2700 or does it matter? will DDR 2700 work with DDR 2100..thanks to anyone who can clarify..I hate spending money when i'm not sure..
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    You don't need PC2700 (DDR333) ram with a 266mhz fsb but it will work with your older ram.

    And yes you can mix ram capacities with one another.
     
  3. Dave_vega

    Dave_vega Stunt Coordinator

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    cool thanks scott..I will get a 512 mb pc 2100 stick..

    so I guess pc2700 is 333 mhz and 2100 is 266 mhz right? they go hand in hand?
     
  4. Oachalon

    Oachalon Stunt Coordinator

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    yes the pc2700 is 333mhz the pc2100 is 266. The other popular one is pc3200 which is 400mhz. The pc3200 and pc2700 can run at 266mhz with no problems and not have to worry about anything.
     
  5. Mark Maltais

    Mark Maltais Stunt Coordinator

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    Also check your mobo manual, under the installation part it will tell you what ram can be used and what slot it should be in (some MOBO's like certain ram in certain slots).

    With the low price of ram now you can get a higher stick e.g. 3200 and put it in, then when you upgrade you already have the higher ram.
     
  6. Dave_vega

    Dave_vega Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks for the help guys..much clearer now [​IMG]
     
  7. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    Get a good brand of RAM, don't skimp. I've also heard you don't want to mix and match 2700 with 2100. Go with one or the other to avoid system slowdowns. Apparently, your system will run at the speed of the slower stick.

    I ran into this a few weeks back. My pc came equipped with one 128M stick of PC2100. I bought a 512M stick of Centon PC2100 (Comp USA value RAM) to fill the open DIMM slot and it sucked big time. Random game crashes, opening programs like calc and wordpad would cause crashes and just random havoc. I took the Centon stick back and went to Best Buy to get a stick of Crucial or Kingston and all they had was PC2700. I checked back here before buying and was advised not to mix the speeds because it can cause system slowdowns. Asynchronous clock speeds or something of that nature. So I picked up a 512M stick of PNY PC2700 and swapped it out with the factory 128M stick. Everything's been fine now for three+ weeks.
     
  8. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    The rule of thumb is to never mix RAM of different ratings. In fact, if you are going to have more than one RAM stick in your PC, they should be of the exact same brand and make. Identical sizes and identical part numbers. This is crucial if you want to maximize system stability.

    I have mixed RAM before. It was not pretty...instability, mediocre performance, and a big pain in the butt.

    However, underclocking the FSB may help if you are really incredibly desperate for more RAM or if you are not running any performance applications such as gaming, video encoding, or continuous number crunching. If you are just doing system office work stuff you should be ok - just don't try playing that new first person shooter game you bought. [​IMG]
     
  9. Jason Adams

    Jason Adams Supporting Actor

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    Does Dell use proprietary RAM? Or you can buy something that is off the shelf?
     
  10. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    I am planning to get an ASUS "A7N8X-E Deluxe" motherboard and a an AMD Athlon XP 2600+ "Barton", 333MHz FSB, 512K Cache Processor. If I understand correctly, I can use PC3200 RAM in this situation, but I should get at least PC2700. Is that correct?

    Any recommendations for brands of RAM for this specific MB+CPU combo? (Or brands I should avoid?)

    Also, I noticed RAM being sold in packs of two (like this ), and seemed to be more expensive than buying two identical sticks separately. Is there some benefit to the two-packs that I'm not seeing?
     
  11. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    If they are identical, then it's a marketing trick. [​IMG]

    But, it is possible that the individual RAM sticks you are looking at have a higher latency than the bundled dual sticks. Typically, the two packs are meant for dual-channel use, and may have lower latency as well, to appease performance enthusiasts.
     
  12. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    So lower latency is better? (I'm not even sure what it is.)
     
  13. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Latency is basically how fast the RAM is - the time it takes before you can access the contents RAM again. The lower the better.

    In practice the effect is very small...no more than a couple of frames per second in the typical FPS game. [​IMG]
     
  14. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Okay, thanks for the info.
     

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