Uprgrading RDRAM

Jacob_St

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Jan 15, 2000
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I have a P4 computer with 128 mb of non-ecc RDRAM. I have to have two sticks in at all times. My question is, do both sticks have to have equal amounts of memory? For example, can I leave one of my 64mb sticks in and then buy just one stick of 256? That would leave me with 320 total which is fine by me. My guy instinct tells me this isn't possible but I'm hoping I'm wrong.
 

Dan Hine

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Jacob,
I'm not 100% sure about RDRAM but I know you can do that with SDRAM. I currently have a 64stick and a 128stick. No problems. I'm 99.999999999% sure that you will have no problem. Have fun!
Dan Hine
 

Kyle Richardson

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I'm not positive but I think that with RDRAM both sticks of memory in the same bank have to be the same and you must install in pairs. I would just buy 2 sticks of 128MB and fill the open 2 slots that you probably have open though they may not look open because they will have dummy sticks installed.
------------------AOL Instant Messenger Name: kyler70
 

Dan Hine

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Kyle,
Really? Gosh, I think computer technology is the only one that gets more complicated for the end user as it advances. Could this be why many people don't like having to use RDRAM for P4's (it's lack of versatility)? Secondly, didn't that just change? Can't newer systems be configured to use either of the three types? Can I stop asking questions now?

Dan Hine
 

Carlo Medina

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I just put together my girlfriend's computer using an Intel i850 motherboard w/ RDRAM. You MUST USE THE SAME SPEED RDRAM as what is in Bank 0, but they CAN BE DIFFERENT SIZES.
So: if you used PC800 RDRAM, you must add more sticks of PC800 RDRAM.
However, if you used 2 sticks of 128MB PC800 RDRAM, you can add 2 sticks of 64MB, 128MB or 256MB PC800 RDRAM.
There are PC700 and PC600 flavors out there. Just be sure you add the same speed.
Oh, and each bank has to have the same speed AND size. So if you add 2 sticks, they have to BOTH be 64MB or 128MB, etc.
 

Jacob_St

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Thanks for the responses. So if I have two RIMM slots they can be different memory sizes but the speed must be the same. I think I got it. Thanks again everyone for your help.
I just have one other question. If I'm about to upgrade to Windows XP will 320 mb be sufficient or will the OS need more memory to run games and programs efficiently? I want to avoid any memory upgrades after switching over since you have to call microsoft for them to reactivate XP.
[Edited last by Jacob_St on October 14, 2001 at 11:00 PM]
[Edited last by Jacob_St on October 14, 2001 at 11:03 PM]
 

todbnla

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Jacob,
I run a P4 w/256 RDRAM, get good pricing here: http://www.pricewatch.com
BTW-stick with PC800 as it is the fastest!
And on your XP question, IMHO 256 and up should be fine, but the more the better to a point.
------------------
Regards,
Todd

My HT

[Edited last by Todd Barattini on October 15, 2001 at 06:16 AM]
 

Carlo Medina

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How are you getting to 320MB? You have 128 already, and you can either add 2 x 64MB which would bring you to 256MB, or 2 x 128MB which would bring you to 384MB. Remember that the two sticks you add have to be identical to EACH OTHER, although they only need to be the same SPEED as the ones you already have.
If you bump up to 384, that should be enough to keep XP happy and run current games. Remember though that programs, even games, only get bigger. A comfort zone for now, and probably for the next 3 years, would be 512MB. Just my opinion.
 

Jacob_St

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Sorry Carlo, I should have been more clear. Right now I have two 64 sticks that make a total of 128. I was thinking of taking one of those out and replacing it with one 256 stick and then keep one of my 64's in the second slot making a total of 320.
Thanks Todd, newegg looks like a good place to start shopping. Does anyone know what the difference is between no ecc RDRAM and ecc? I know you can't mix them up but I was just wondering which is better.
 

Carlo Medina

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Jacob, STOP!
Do you only have 2 RIMM slots total? If so, I think the sticks have to be identical in speed and size.
I'm sorry, the Intel 850MV board I built had 4 RIMM slots so I assumed you had the same.
I'd double check your manual. If RDRAM for your board works like it did on the Intel i850MV board I just built, you'll have to have identical speed and size in the same Bank. Think of a Bank as having 2 RIMM slots. I have 2 banks, hence 4 RIMM slots. That's what I was talking about in earlier posts. Different Banks need same speed RDRAM but can be different sizes. However each Bank needs IDENTICAL speed and size RDRAM, which is what you have if you only have 2 RIMM slots.
Sorry for the confusion.
Bottom line: if you only have 2 RIMM slots, you should probably buy 2 128MB sticks of RDRAM or if you can afford a little more, 2 256MB sticks.
And stay with PC800.
 

todbnla

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ECC = Error correcting
NON ECC = Non Error correcting*
ECC is more expensive and only really needed if your running a server or launching tomahawks with your pc

Get the Non ECC, its all you need, IMHO.
BTW-to clarify, do YOU have 2 slots or 4?

* NOT the exact PC jargon but you get the idea....
------------------
Regards,
Todd

My HT
 

Carlo Medina

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From Crucial.com's FAQ, regarding ECC/non-ECC RAM:
Description:
What is the difference between ECC and non-parity memory? Is there a performance difference?
Solution:
If you already have a PC and are unsure which type you have, count the number of small, black, IC chips mounted on one of your existing DIMMs. If the number of chips is evenly divisible by three or five, then you need ECC. If the number of chips is NOT evenly divisible by three or five, you have non-parity memory.
If you are building a PC and deciding which type to use, the following guidelines should help. If you plan to use your system as a server or a similar mission critical type machine, it is to your advantage to use ECC. If you plan to use your PC for regular home, office, or gaming applications, you are better off with non-parity.
ECC (error correcting code) memory performs "double bit detection and single bit correction." This means that if you have a single bit memory error, the chipset and memory will find and repair the error on the fly without you knowing that it happened. If you have a double bit memory error, it will detect and report it. Using ECC decreases your PC's performance by about 2%. Current technology DRAM is very stable and memory errors are rare, so unless you have a need for ECC, you are better served with non-parity SDRAM.
 

Jacob_St

Second Unit
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Jan 15, 2000
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259
To answer the burning question, I only have two RIMM slots and can only upgrade to a max of 512K. I decided to buy two 256 sticks maxing my motherboard out. Hopefully, that'll keep me up to speed for the next three years or so. I hope it doesn't matter what brand I bought because I just went with a generic one.
Thanks again for all the helpful posts.
[Edited last by Jacob_St on October 16, 2001 at 12:47 AM]
 

Carlo Medina

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I believe there are only a few plants fabbing the RDRAM so even if you went generic chances are you're getting good quality sticks.
512MB, especially of 800MHz RDRAM, should be sufficient for the next 3 years, unless you go into something serious like CAD/CAM or CGI rendering
 

Kelley_B

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Rambus is the devil!!!!!!!
Ok, now that that is out of the way, you also want to stick with PC800 as the P4s Quadpumped FSB is evenly divided into that, and it if you go with PC600 it is not, nor is it with PC700. Having only 2 RAM slots is just plain bad if you ask me, as you will now spend a fortune getting 512MB of RAM. If it was me I would just buy two 128MB PC800 sticks and stick them in there.
BTW - Samsung makes most of the worlds RDRAM supply, even the generic.
Again....Rambus is the devil!!!!!!!
 

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