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Ram Upgrade

By ACE99
Jan 20, 2010
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  1. I built my computer a few years ago and am needing to update my ram. However i am unsure about compatibility of different ram modules in my system. The motherboard i have is http://www.motherboards.org/reviews/motherboards/1666_1.html and the ram i was thinking of buying to replace my old ones would probably be something like this http://www.ebuyer.com/product/154644
    The ram i have at the moment is 2 x 1GB DDR2 800Mhz. I know i need DDR2 RAM but i don't know weather CAS Latency and Memory timings etc are specific to motherboards.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,836   +667

    The Asus website informs me that the board will accept a max of 8Gb with a 2Gb stick of either ECC (since it's a server board) or non-ECC (standard desktop RAM).
    The Asus memory list (QVL) of course list's no 4 or 8Gb kits- not an unusual occurance with Asustek.
    OCZ's memory configurator lists no 4Gb kits as compatible-only 2Gb kits. So the option here is buying 2 kits and populating all four DIMM's
    http://www.ocztechnology.com/ > Tools > memory configuator

    OCZ Platinum DDR2-800 2x1Gb part no. OCZ2P800R22GK
    OCZ Titanium XTC DDR2-800 2x1Gb part no. OCZ2T800IO2GK

    These kits have an embedded optimal profile (EPP) that the motherboard can read and set automatically:
    OCZ Titanium XTC EPP Ready Edition 2x1Gb part no. OCZ2T8002GK
    OCZ SLI Ready 2x1Gb part no. OCZ2N800SR2GK

    All the OCZ kits have equally good timings (CL4)

    Crucial memory have 4Gb (and 2Gb kits ) available (timings equal to OCZ)
    http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=M2N32 WS Professional

    G.Skill http://www.gskill.com/configurator2.php?pid=2&model=1047
    Offer both 4 and 8Gb kits (also at good timings)

    Corsair compatible RAM;
    TWIN2X4096-6400C4DHX (2x2Gb DDR2-800, CL4, Dominator series)
    TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX (2x2Gb DDR2-800, CL5, Dominator series)
    TWIN2X4096-6400C5 (2x2Gb DDR2-800, CL5, XMS series)
    Q2X8G6400C4DHX (4x2Gb DDR2-800, CL4, Dominator series)-likely very expensive

    Kingston have one RAM kit suitable for your motherboard
    (2x2Gb) KVR800D2N6K2/4G (DDR2-800 CL6) a very very average kit

    All these manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty.
  3. ACE99

    ACE99 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Thanks for your swift reply. I am looking to upgrade to 2 x 2GB sticks of ram so i have the option to upgrade at a later point to 8GB. What ram modules would you recommend for this? Also you mentioned (EPP) saying that the motherboard can read and set automatically, does this mean that if i get ram that is not (EPP) i would have to go into the bios and change the settings myself?

    Thanks again for your help.
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,836   +667

    The EPP profile basically ensures that the speed and timings that the RAM is advertised as having is automatically detected and installed. The EPP profile is only automatic with a motherboard that has an nVidia chipset -as your's does. FYI Intel has a similar profile (XMP) that works with selected Intel chipset boards.
    If you decide on getting RAM with no EPP profile the memory will install with at a default DDR2-667 at 1.8 volts -this is a standard timing for all RAM (you may see references to JEDEC timings, this is it.) so you'll need to set the timings and voltage manually in the BIOS- a very easy 2 minute exercise which entails: (I've used timings of 4-4-4-12 and 2.0v as the values as they are the most common for good RAM )

    Boot into your BIOS. Select the second tab "A.I.Tweaker"
    Set DRAM Frequency to DDR2-800 (if not already set)
    Set DRAM Command rate to 2T (if not already set)
    Set DRAM Timing Control to Manual
    Set CAS# Frequency to 4 DRAM Clocks (where 4 is the CL value of the RAM you got)
    Set RAS# to CAS# Delay 4 DRAM Clocks
    Set RAS# Precharge to 4 DRAM Clocks
    Set RAS# Active time to 12 DRAM Clocks
    leave the rest of the timings on Auto and move down the page until you get to..
    DRAM Voltage ....type in 2.00
    Hit F10 to save and exit

    My own personal preference is for Crucial -they are sometimes a little more expensive but have very good quality control and replacing bad stick should the need arise is an easy process. They are also exceptionally stable and very tolerant regarding voltage and timings.
    G.Skill are also good kits, while OCZ kits do sometimes require tweaking of the sub-timings to get absolute stability-although this is not usually at factor with EPP kits
    Corsair kits are also fine kits, but if you plan to buy another kit later to complement it then be aware that for most of their DDR2 kits have several (up to 8-9) different versions dependant upon which vendor's memory chips are being used and not all version's play nice together.
    Corsair does not make it's own memory IC's, it sources from Elpida, Samsung, Micron (Crucial) and many others.
    Ultimately the choice for you could come down to availability and budget. All the kits offer similar performance ,all are good branded RAM and all are easy to install -including the ones that might need some manual input.
  5. ACE99

    ACE99 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Thanks for the great advice this site has always been a great help to me.
  6. ACE99

    ACE99 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Just one more quick question which is better ECC or non-ECC or does it not matter?
    Thanks again
  7. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,836   +667

    Without getting too technical, Error Correction Code (ECC) RAM is used in enviroments where accuracy is critical (servers etc.). It is usually expensive because it carries an extra memory chip for the ECC, slower by around 1-2%, and in a desktop application is overkill.
    I'd stick with the regular non-ECC desktop RAM
  8. ACE99

    ACE99 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

  9. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,836   +667

    The RAM should work well for you. You wont find any kits with better timings and the EPP profile should be read by your motherboards BIOS to give the optimal factory settings.
    Good luck with the purchase and if you have problems or need (or want) to manually set timings then revive the thread.
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