TechSpot

Interested in adding 2 GB of RAM

By jdl26
May 29, 2008
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. I am somewhat of a newbie with RAM and the different chipsets. I know my systems takes DDR2 and I know I have 4 available slot (2 slots are already full with 1GB each). I want to get either 2x1GB sticks or just 1x2GB stick, whatever works the best. I put at the bottom my system information from Everest. Based on that information what would you guys recommend? Also, what are some of the better sites to purchase RAM from? Thanks everyone!

    --------[ Overclock ]---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CPU Properties:
    CPU Type Unknown
    CPUID CPU Name AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3500+
    CPUID Revision 00050FF2h

    CPU Speed:
    CPU Clock 2219.91 MHz

    CPU Cache:
    L1 Code Cache 64 KB
    L1 Data Cache 64 KB
    L2 Cache 512 KB (Asynchronous)

    Motherboard Properties:
    Motherboard ID 12/29/2006-MCP61M-AM-6A61KE11C-00
    Motherboard Name Unknown

    BIOS Properties:
    System BIOS Date 12/29/06
    Video BIOS Date 02/21/06
    Award BIOS Type Phoenix - Award WorkstationBIOS v6.00PG
    Award BIOS Message This BIOS is exclusively for Acer only (R01-B1)
    DMI BIOS Version R01-B1
    [ Memory Devices / A0 ]

    Memory Device Properties:
    Form Factor DIMM
    Size 512 MB
    Total Width 64-bit
    Data Width 64-bit
    Device Locator A0
    Bank Locator Bank0/1
    Manufacturer None
    Serial Number None
    Asset Tag None
    Part Number None

    [ Memory Devices / A1 ]

    Memory Device Properties:
    Form Factor DIMM
    Size 1024 MB
    Total Width 64-bit
    Data Width 64-bit
    Device Locator A1
    Bank Locator Bank2/3
    Manufacturer None
    Serial Number None
    Asset Tag None
    Part Number None

    [ Memory Devices / A2 ]

    Memory Device Properties:
    Form Factor DIMM
    Total Width 64-bit
    Data Width 64-bit
    Device Locator A2
    Bank Locator Bank4/5
    Manufacturer None
    Serial Number None
    Asset Tag None
    Part Number None

    [ Memory Devices / A3 ]

    Memory Device Properties:
    Form Factor DIMM
    Total Width 64-bit
    Data Width 64-bit
    Device Locator A3
    Bank Locator Bank6/7
    Manufacturer None
    Serial Number None
    Asset Tag None
    Part Number None
     
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,735   +894

    You've told us everything but the thing that matters most...., What is the operating system?
     
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

  4. jdl26

    jdl26 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    sorry bout that, vista home basic
     
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,735   +894

    According to your printout you have 1.5GB of installed RAM. There could be up to 2GB installed with 512mb set aside for video memory. Not sure there. It might say right on the side of the DIMM.

    Your Vista Home Basic is more than likely 32 bits, and as such it won't recognize (or be able to utilize), more than about 3GBs. My suggestion here is first; read the Tedster's memory thread. Second,find out if you machine has a separate video card (with it's own memory, not shared with the system). Third; hit Acer's (Is that right?) website to find out whose memory is certified to work with you machine, then post back so we can formulate a plan.

    If your Vista is 64 bits you would be able to utilize more than 3GB, assuming the board itself is willing. The board may have the board manufacturers name written on it somewhere, so you might look arond a bit. I do mean look, (for now at least), don't touch. It's only one brand eliminated, but with an award BIOS it's more than likely not an Intel board.
     
  6. jdl26

    jdl26 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    Motherboard:
    CPU Type Unknown, 2200 MHz
    Motherboard Name Unknown
    Motherboard Chipset Unknown
    System Memory 1536 MB
    BIOS Type Award (12/29/06)
    Communication Port Communications Port (COM1)
    Communication Port Communications Port (COM2)
    Communication Port Printer Port (LPT1)

    Motherboard ]

    Motherboard Properties:
    Manufacturer Acer
    Product EM61SM/EM61PM

    Radeon X1600/X1650 Series ]

    Video Adapter Properties:
    Device Description Radeon X1600/X1650 Series
    Adapter String Radeon X1600/X1650 Series
    BIOS String 113-A67611-107
    Chip Type ATI Radeon Graphics Processor (0x71C2)
    DAC Type Internal DAC(400MHz)
    Installed Drivers atiumdag (7.14.10.0532), atiumdva (7.14.10.0167), atitmmxx (6.14.11.17)
    Memory Size 512 MB

    Video Adapter Manufacturer:
    Company Name ATI Technologies Inc.
    Product Information http://www.ati.com/products/gamer.html
    Driver Download http://www.ati.com/support/driver.html

    [ Radeon X1600/X1650 Series ]

    Video Adapter Properties:
    Device Description Radeon X1600/X1650 Series
    Adapter String Radeon X1600/X1650 Series
    BIOS String 113-A67611-107
    Chip Type ATI Radeon Graphics Processor (0x71C2)
    DAC Type Internal DAC(400MHz)
    Installed Drivers atiumdag (7.14.10.0532), atiumdva (7.14.10.0167), atitmmxx (6.14.11.17)
    Memory Size 512 MB

    Video Adapter Manufacturer:
    Company Name ATI Technologies Inc.
    Product Information http://www.ati.com/products/gamer.html
    Driver Download http://www.ati.com/support/driver.html

    I aslo have a 32 bit OS, with 2 1G sticks currently installed.
     
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,735   +894

    Your ATI video adapter is responsible for the fact you only register 1.5GB of RAM. Half of the RAM module in your "Channel A, DIMM 0" is addressed separately to the video card. Thus the 1GB (1024MB) module with the 512 system reading.
    My gut feeling here is to install a 512MB in "A2" and a 1024MB in "A3". This would balance the system so it would run in dual full channel mode. Right now it's running in what's called "dual channel interleaved mode". You can check that on the BIOS boot screen. It might go by pretty fast.

    What happens is the first 512MB in each of your 2 modules runs as dual channel, and the top 512MB in DIMM "A2" runs as single channel.

    3GB is about all a 32 bit OS can effectively utilize, Vista a bit more than XP (without modifying XP). So, with the RAM install pattern I've suggested, that should be about optimum for your rig.

    Could you fire us off the Acer (?) model number of your computer?
     
  8. jdl26

    jdl26 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    My model number is Aspire T180.

    Thank your very much for this information. I know that I was only running at 1.5GB but I assumed that this was due to Vista being such a cow on the memory. So if I understand you correctly, you would recommend that I get a 512MB stick and a 1GB as well? If so, what brand and speed would you recommend? I want something that is effective but also the best bang for my buck.
     
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    You have four slots Each memory slot can hold DDR2 PC2-6400,DDR2 PC2-5300,DDR2 PC2-8500,DDR2 PC2-4200 with a maximum of 1GB per slot.
    However, some of those Acer Aspire T-boards will only work with 3 GB or memory, and others 3.5 GB. None will handle all four GBr. Your specs that came with the computer should tell you which. I would place 1 GB in each of two slots in matched pairs, and 512 MB in matched pairs in the other two slots.
    That will give you a reasonable amount of operating room while still handling the video graphics memory needs.
    Kingston, Crucial, Corsair, Infineon, and Buffalo are all reasonably priced. Fancier, costly high-end memory will make no difference. But using matched pairs does matter. Your Aspire will only work at the speed of the slowest module.
     
  10. jdl26

    jdl26 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    Thank you very much for that info! Can anyone recommend some good sites to purchase RAM from so I can get the best bang for my buck.
     
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,735   +894

    You did note that this machine is pulling 512 MB of memory for onboard video from A0?
     
     
  12. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

  13. jdl26

    jdl26 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    I am curious does it really make that much of a difference if I get pc2 6400 or 4200?

    Here are some that I am looking at, which one would you guys go with? I am in Canada so I can purchase from most of the above sites because they unforunately don't ship to here. Here is the link;

    http://www.memoryhouse.com/category/?minorcatid=1300&p=1
     
  14. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    It makes a BIG difference to the system board... sometimes,
    Some boards built to accept PC4200 wont take PC6400, and even the reverse sometimes... but usually not. Laptops are sometimes too particular about memory... even to whether low density or high density form of chips and chip placement.
     
  15. jdl26

    jdl26 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    Field Value
    Motherboard ID 12/29/2006-MCP61M-AM-6A61KE11C-00

    I believe I have an Acer board. Is there somewhere in Everest that it will tell me what it's built to accept?
     
  16. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Everest will tell you what is there. It does not tell you what is not there.
    You need a bit of computer knowledge to know what is needed. You can get that from other sources such as manufacturer of motherboard, and the manufacturer of all other devices listed by Everest.
    Basically, you can usually look for the drivers once you know the device, but it will not tell you what to look for, or where.
     
  17. jdl26

    jdl26 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

  18. jdl26

    jdl26 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    I really want to get these sticks but I need to make sure that they will be efficent.
     
  19. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Corsair, made by Samsung, is superb memory. I hate rebates, and TigerDirect is really awful if you have to return something (read their return policy, and their rebate policy)
    If you want to get really "efficient" you have to study the timings and get specialized matched sets for about $200.
    Look at www.directron.com, www.zipzoomfly.com, www.newegg.com, and www.outpost.com where you will also find excellent memory without the risk.
    And take a look at www.crucial.com where the memory is always superb, with good prices and free shipping.
     
  20. jdl26

    jdl26 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    Thank you very much Raybay, I just placed an order through crucial, they scanned my computer and I was able to pickup two 1GB matched pairs.
     
  21. jdl26

    jdl26 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    I just received these two cards the other day. Do I have to change anything in the bios in order for my board to read the two additional slots? If not, can I just install the cards, then start pc with no changes necessary.
     
  22. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    You should have no problems just installing the cards. Be careful in removal and installation to avoid breaking clips at the end. You will not want to apply too much force as any damage to the slot can be permenent.
     
  23. jdl26

    jdl26 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

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