TechSpot

Need help with choosing RAM

By crazdude
May 13, 2006
  1. ok im upgrading my computer to 1 gb of ram, but i have no idea what kind to get, i currently have 512 mb installed, so am getting another 512, and i want to know what wud be compatible with my mobo? by the way does ram have to be the same brand in order for it work? i need to know stuff like that. if u need to know more information ask me and ill give, also this is my mobo number asus A8AE-LE
     
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    In general you want to get two identical sticks. Anything else and you are putting yourself at risk of system instability.

    That said, I have had some stable systems with mismatched ram, so it is not a rule set in stone so much as it is a high recommendation.

    That mobo is an HP/Compaq motherboard isn't it?

    Safest bet would be to look up your system specs and find out exactly what speed ram you have in there now, and get a matching stick.
     
  3. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 198

    yeah its an hp compact and im going to find out what type i currently have. matching sticks as in same brand and stuff?
     
  4. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Ideally, yes. Same brand, same speed, same latency, both single or double sided etc. As close as possible.

    And even that won't guarantee that the two sticks will work together. Ram is tricky. I have had systems with almost identical sticks that don't work, and then systems with completely different ram speeds and sizes that DO work. All you can do is try your best to limit the chances of failure, and cross your fingers.

    The other option of course would be to ditch your current 512 and buy two new matching sticks. Personally, with your system, I'd probably buy a single stick of 512 and hope for the best.
     
  5. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 198

    how much wud a stick of 1 gb cost? im canadian btw so i can only get from tigerdirect i also loo at my stats with everest and it says this is my ram.


    DIMM1: Samsung M3 68L3223FTN-CCC 256 MB PC3200 DDR SDRAM (3.0-3-3-8 @ 200 MHz) (2.5-3-3-7 @ 166 MHz)
     
  6. Tedster

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

    get two 512 sticks of IDENTICAL memory. Refer to your manual to see what brands it will accept. You can get a good idea from www.curcial.com (not 100% accurate) - there are other sites as well. Check the manufactuer's too.

    It will cost anywhere from $60 to $80 USA - don't know about Canada conversion.
    You can also buy memory off ebay new relatively cheap, but check the reputation of the sellers CAREFULLY. And remember, most purchases on ebay are final, so be sure that you are buying the right kind. Most memory sellers on ebay won't take back returns. (I won't - it's too easy to damage.)

    Be sure to read this sticky:
    http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic47210.html
     
  7. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 198

    could anyone help me find compatible ram for my system?
     
  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    I'm a little confused. Your first post says you are running 512mb of ram, yet in post #5 above, everest says you only have 256mb?

    If you have 512mb and are on a tight budget, you can take the risk and try buying yourself a second stick of 512mb and hope they'll work together. In my experience, they usually do, especially if you get the same speeds (i.e., another stick of PC3200).

    But if you have one stick of 256mb, I'd recommend buying two new sticks of 512mb and not using that 256mb. Your board supports dual channel so you want to be running with two sticks, not three.

    Something like this would do you nicely (canadian website)
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=669365&CatId=1352
     
  9. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 198

    lol i have two stick of 256 mb. have 512 so well i dont know aabout taking the risk and dont really wanna spend 120 bucks, lol
     
  10. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Well, your board suports up to 4 sticks of ram, so adding two more sticks of 256mb is another option for you (and that would keep you in dual channel as well).

    However, I wouldn't recommend it. Especially with older Athlon64 setups, the memory controllers don't really like having 4 sticks. More often than not, the controller will actually underclock your ram when 4 sticks are installed, or sometimes it changes you to a 2T setting (which isn't quite as bad, but still a performance hit).

    If you have $120 Cdn lying around, go for the ram I linked you to above, and toss out your 256mb (or sell it).

    Edit: just saw you edited your post saying you don't want to spend $120. I suppose you could give the 2x256mb a shot then: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1170138&CatId=0
     
  11. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 198

    what are the chances that ram will work? will it lower performance? and how do i know what kind of speed my current ram is
     
     
  12. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Your current ram is PC3200 400Mhz (according to what everest reported in your post above) and is running at 3-3-3-8 timings.

    As to whether or not running 4 sticks will lower your performance, I would say in your case, no it will not, but it depends on what you use your computer for mainly.

    If you are (for example) wanting to improve gaming performance, I'd say the priority is to get up to 1Gb even if your system underclocks your ram to 166Mhz (which it might do).

    What CPU do you have? what revision is it? You can get this info from CPU-z or everest.

    As to whether or not the 2x256mb ram I linked you to above will work, I can not guarantee it of course. My guess is, yes it will work with your current ram.
     
  13. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 198

    (3.0-3-3-8 @ 200 MHz) (2.5-3-3-7 @ 166 MHz) what does that mean beside my ram? i thouhg my ram was only running at 200 mhz lol i thouhg it was like super slow, how can i tell its 400? do i like add that 200 with the 166?

    also my cpu is an anthlon 64 3500 and how do i find the revision in everest? also right now i msolty use my computer for some gaming, i need a better video card before that and i mostly like to listen to music a lot, surf the net, visit techspot, lol. but music and games mostly.
     
  14. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    I am not sure about everest. Try CPUz http://www.techspot.com/downloads/27-cpu-z.html
    and see what it reports for your CPU revision.

    Your system's fsb is 200Mhz. Your DDR ram (double data rate) doubles it, so it is actually running at 400Mhz. Everest is reporting your system FSB as 200Mhz, which is correct. No problems there.
     
  15. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 198

    then what does the 166 mhz mean? this is what everest tells me on revision:


    CPUID Revision 00020FF2h

    so all system fbs that are 400 mhz ususaly report 200?
     
  16. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    The Athlon64 3500+ comes in four flavors

    Venice E6
    Venice E3
    Winchester D0
    Newcastle CG

    If you have the Venice E6, its' memory controller is much better at using 4 sticks of ram. Anything else, and there is a high chance that your system will do one of two things: 1) underclock your ram to 166Mhz 2) set your ram timings to 2T.

    Everest is telling you what your ram timings are at various frequencies. If your system is running at 200Mhz, then your ram will run at 3-3-3-8. If your system is set at 166Mhz, then your ram timings are 2.5-3-3-7
     
  17. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 198

    it says venice besides code name in CPU-Z. it that the revision? and also it says beside revision DH-E6, is that a good thing? lol and whats 2T? lol see i love this site cause I learn so much
     
  18. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Hey, that is great news! It sounds like you have the Venice E6 version, which has the latest memory controller. It should be fine with 4 sticks of ram in there.

    The debate on how imporant 1t vs 2t is heated. Some say the differenence is not all that noticible, others say it is very noticable. I have never tested it myself as I have always run in 1T.

    http://www.overclock.net/amd-memory/32605-1t-vs-2t-command-rate-there.html
     
  19. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 198

    I see, so still there are chances for my ram not to be compatible together right?
     
  20. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Yes, there is still that chance, as you will be mixing to different brands of memory.
     
  21. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 198

    if it works will it lower performance?
     
  22. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Your cpu controller will be fine, so no problems there, the other possibility is that your motherboard itself may not like 4 sticks. Assuming you have the latest bios, all should be fine there as well.

    My feeling is that adding 2 sticks of 256mb to your system would be a nice upgrade for you, and it should all work fine. That is my guess.

    You could always do a google and find others with your board and see what kinds of ram they have been successful with.
     
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