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Generic vs Branded RAM

By Snowy Commando
Jun 19, 2002
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  1. I have suffered a case of under-performing generic RAM that was cheaper than anything else. I even received my 2 x 256mb incorrectly whereby 1 stick was a 128mb even though it was labelled as 256mb.

    I've ordered 2 x 256mb Twinmos PC2100 ram because I never had any trouble with branded ram and this brand competes with Crucial ram nicely, even beats it in a few benchmarks i've seen as is almost cheap as generic ram at the moment.

    Just curious, but what exactly are the 'pros & cons' of generic and branded ram?
  2. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 794

    I recently bought a stick of 256Mb PC133 Crucial of a friend (as he was upgrading) and found that it was no better than any of the generic stuff I normally use. My Generic RAM overclocks as well as the Crucial and comparing the price of new crucial to generic, generic is a lot cheaper.
  3. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 1,145

    Generic -vs- Branded

    it a nutshell; your premium ram uses beter quality componets & is subject to higher tolerances (quality control) hence the price.
  4. Tweakster

    Tweakster TS Rookie Posts: 224

  5. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 205

    I'm currently experiencing stability problems, my computer will restart randomly at up to 2hrs a time or sooner.

    I was weary of getting generic ram and suspect it to be the cause. The Abit bios is using "performance-default" options which are safe-tweaked settings, not the most aggressive memory settings that can be chosen.

    How can I tell if the RAM is the cause of this restart problem?
  6. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 868

    Run Memtest 86 for a few hours to see if you get any errors. This is the most stressful memory testing program I know of. You can get it here:

    http://www.memtest86.com/
  7. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 205

    Possible DDR RAM problems

    My current system has now got instabilities and i'm receiving the following random BSOD messages:

    MAX_WAIT_OBJECTS_EXCEED

    PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA

    IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

    I'm suspecting its the Generic DDR RAM, what do u think?
  8. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 1,145

    Possible DDR RAM problems (*threads merged by mod)

    (*threads merged by mod)
  9. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 205

    Thank you, Mr. Uncleel for that helpful information above.

    Heres the latest news regarding those random BSOD errors.

    Suspecting the RAM, I removed 1 of the 2 256mb memory sticks and vica-versa to find that 1 of the sticks is actually causing the problem and hence is a faulty memory stick.

    The 256 left in my system at the moment hasn't caused a single problem yet.

    I already have an RMA to return the faulty DIMM and will send both back so i can feel free to pay a bit extra for some trusted Twinmos PC2100 Ram which arrives 2morrow as ordered earlier today (I'll report on that later on).

    The moral of the story:

    No matter how cheap generic ram, you just can't trust it to work guaranteed!
  10. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

  11. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 205

    The Twinmos DDR is in and working flawlessly. No more random BSOD.

    The only thing I don't know, is about the memory timings.

    Its already set at CL2.5 so i'm not changing that but it then has 3 more sub-settings for:

    Precharge to Active: 3*
    Active to Precharge: 6*
    Active to CMD: 3*

    *default safe settings.

    Should I leave the RAM using "by SPD" or is there performance to be gained from tweaking the settings available? (Anyone with a KX7-333 would be helpful)
     
  12. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    You should leave RAM settings to "by SPD". Setting it on SPD will make sure the RAM runs at speeds & timings it is rated for ( plus you seem to have enough problems as it is ). Use them at their rated speed first.

    If all goes well try setting them to "Fast" or "Turbo". If you ever get stability problems, you know where it comes from.

    Here's a little comparison between CAS 2.5 & CAS 2 taken from TomsHardware -> http://www6.tomshardware.com/mainboard/02q2/020507/index.html
  13. penn919

    penn919 TS Enthusiast Posts: 154   +12

    Snowy,

    I had a similar problem as your's, but I apparently solved it by simply moving the generic ram module into a different slot. I don't get anymore BSOD's!

    Folks should try this first before sending them back to the store.
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