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RAM compatibility question (Kingston to Super Talent)

By dannybk80
Mar 5, 2011
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  1. Hi,

    I am looking to add RAM to my parents' home machine but don't have any motherboard info. The RAM chip currently installed is a Kingston KVR400X64C25/256 256MB 400MHz DDR NON-ECC DIMM.

    The chip I am looking to get is the Super Talent D400 2GB (2X1GB) CL3 Dual Channel Memory Kit(PC and Mac G5) - X32PB2GC.

    Based on the current chip used can someone suggest whether the above Super Talent will be compatible?


    Thank you for your input,
    Danny
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,839   +672

    In theory there should be little difference between the settings although you may need to configure the BIOS to the worst parameter of each - the Super Talent modules run at a more relaxed latency of 3 (as opposed to the 2.5 of the Kingston), while the Kingston is rated at 2.6 volts (as opposed to the Super Talent's 2.5v).
    The bigger question would be why bother mixing modules? Using the 2x1Gb Super Talent kit in the system won't be appreciably improved by the addition of a single-channel 256Mb module.
    If you're willing to jump into the BIOS and relax out the voltage and latency to suit both RAM kits then I wouldn't see the harm in trying it -worst case scenario is the system BSoD's or hard locks once the OS is up and running. If that isn't a problem then dive in.
    You can minimize the unwelcome surprise factor by running Memtest86+ after installation of the RAM. Pretty straightforward. Download, burn the pre-compiled bootable .iso to CD/DVD( or USB if the BIOS allows for booting from USB), pop the bootable disc into the drive, change the boot order in the BIOS to CD/DVD (or USB), save changes, reboot - the program will initiate straight after POST. Let the program run at least seven/eight passes (each pass constitutes 8 memory tests) which should take around 15 minutes each to complete.

    Even of you decide to go with just the 2x1Gb kit, it wouldn't be a bad idea to run Memtest just to make sure you are dealing with good RAM -unless you know the sticks to be known working.
  3. dannybk80

    dannybk80 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Agreed on the module mixing point. My plan was to replace the 256mb kingston chip with 2 super talents.

    Does the BIOS need to be configured prior to running the mem tests?

    Appreciate your input.


    Danny
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,839   +672

    That would depend on the BIOS and the board. As a general rule I would say no, it doesn't need to be configured if the system is an OEM/Intel (HP/Compaq, Dell, Acer etc.), the BIOS should pick up the memory SPD. You may want to just double check the voltage in the BIOS since a lot of DDR RAM is 2.5v and not 2.6v like the Super Talent when you run Memtest -it will give you the voltage value even if the BIOS options are lacking.
    I would say the extra 0.1v is just for stability, so it wont hinder Memtest and will probably be fine for running the operating system too even if the voltage is set at 2.5v.


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