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Help with *****s guide to RAM?

By Norbreck21a ยท 6 replies
Apr 1, 2009
  1. Hi all,

    Could any of you knowledeable people give me a little more assistance on DDR Ram in a PC (not DDR2).

    Basically, I have a couple of Desktop PC's. One is running an ECS KV2 Extreme motherboard with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200 processor. The motherboard is based upon the Via KT800 Pro chipset.

    The other is an Intel based machine (an ex HTPC now put into a desktop case). This has an FIC P4M 915 GD1 motherboard, fitted with an Intel P4 3.0ghz HT processor in an LG775 socket. This motherboard is based upon an Intel 915 Chipset.

    Both PC's motherboard have 4 DDR slots, and according to the manuals both will accept up to DDR 400 (PC3200) RAM.

    Now here's the problem, I purchased 2x 1GB sticks of Micron DDR PC3200 ram, and tried them in the AMD machine and that system booted OK.

    When I tried them in the Intel machine, the computer will not even boot into post. However when I put the old RAM back in, it does boot OK. Mistakenly I thought that DDR 400 was DDR400 ram ? It seems not, as the vendor that supplied me with the RAM gave me a list of chipsets that it supported and the VIA set was there but the Intel set was not. He said that the RAM would definately NOT work with Intel chipsets. Why?

    What's the difference between DDR 400 for an Intel machine verses an AMD machine ? The 2 Micron sticks are double sided and apparently have timings of 3-3-3-8 @ 2.5V (if that means anything to anyone ?).

    Also, I've tried to add more DDR memory to the intel PC adding RAM into the 2 vacant slots that actually came out of an Intel PC, but again it wouldn't boot. The only thing I can see is that the 2 installed DIMMS (2 x 512MB) have a sticker saying DDR 266 CL2 ECC where as the other sticks I'm trying to add say DDR 333mhz CL2.5 (2 x 256MB sticks) and DDR 400mhz CL3 (1 x 512mb stick).

    I know it's not ideal to mix and match memory, but are DDR sticks of different speeds not unsable in a Intel PC ?

    Sorry for so many questions. I'm new to all this RAM stuff and just want to know if I can use any of my existing RAM to boost my PC or do I have to buy new ?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Downloading and running the Crucial System Scanner is easy.

    • 1. First, agree to the terms and conditions.
      2. Click the "download" the scanner button, and choose "Save File" when prompted.
      3. Save the file to your desktop, or anywhere you prefer.
      4. Navigate to this saved CrucialScan.exe file and open. If you get a security warning, click "Run" to allow the download.
      5. It will take several moments while your browser is updated with your scan results.
  3. Norbreck21a

    Norbreck21a TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry kimsland, please excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is this program supposed to do ?
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Due to your Title, I thought I'd just provide a scanner on the computer (whilst working of course) to scan your system and confirm that you have the correct (new) Ram ;)
  5. Norbreck21a

    Norbreck21a TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ahh... So this will tell me everything about my installed RAM as an information tool ?

    Cool... many thanks for the link.
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Actually I used it .. well about a year ago
    Anyway, it was good then. It must be good (even better) now :)
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,518   +2,312

    I have a 915GAG Intel board, (same chipset as yours, but Intel).Unlike yours, It does seem really tolerant of mix and match memory modules. If all else fails, you might try "Kingston Value RAM"", which seems to boot in whatever board you stick it in. This is "generic RAM", meaning it has exactly the specs that are the standard for its speed and type.

    Plan "B", boot into "BIOS" to verify exactly what the specs are of the RAM that is currently installed. The "timing" and "voltage" are more important than the speed of the RAM. Point being, that even DDR 333Mhz in most cases will mix and match with DDR 400Mhz and co-exist happily.

    Anyway, just >LOOK< around in BIOS, don't change anything! Take the "exit WITHOUT saving changes" option, cowards way out. No shame at all there.

    You must always populate the "0 A" socket in your board! It's the one closest to the CPU. Those boards should actually run on one DIMM, as long as it's located in that socket.
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