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Mixing Ram Sizes

By PimpPanther · 18 replies
May 3, 2008
  1. Alright, I have two 256mb pc3200 ddr2 sticks in my machine now
    4 total slots, 2 open now

    I have a Gateway 507GR
    pentium 4 processor
    Windows XP home

    Im a gamer so Ive been thinking of upgrading for awhile

    Now, with my computer, as it is, could I add two sticks of 1gb ram to total 2.5gigs without any issues?

    I could remove the 512 ram, But Id much rather have 2.5gig thans just 2
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    From here: http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/4658/4658sp3.shtml
    Therefore buy the two single 1 Gig Ram cards and lose the 2 256Meg cards (sell them actually)
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    Dual Channel...Interleaved...

    Having 2.5 MB installed could possibly be more trouble than it's worth. So, as kimsland suggests, just stuff in the 2 1GB modules, and be done with it. Your biggest performance increase would be from 512MB to 1GB anyway. Going from 2GB to 2.5 GB probably wouldn't be very noticeable, if at all. (this assumes dual channel operation).
  4. PimpPanther

    PimpPanther TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    its wierd, i cam across three memory upgrade places saying its maximum memory is 4gb

    though ill take the word of the official site
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Yes that's weird

    But 2Gig Max reported from the home site
  6. larrrardintx

    larrrardintx TS Rookie

    A lot ot the memory upgrade "experts" actually do not properly research the the machines or motherboards that they sell memory for. Their prime concern is the bottom line, so if they can convince you you need 4 GB of ram, which will NOT work in your system, they really dont care as long as they get the sale.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    With a 32 bit OS (XP) you won't get more than 2.8 recognized anyway, Vista may recognize it but can't utilize it. This is well publicized, repeatedly on this site and others. XP must be modified to utilze more than 2GB for programs. It's called the "3 Gigabyte Switch".

    2 GB is plenty for XP. Maybe the board will recognize 4GB, maybe it won't. DDR RAM is still fairly expensive and slow
    At the end of the day, you'll do whatever you want. So, be sure to post back when (or if) you create more problems for your self..
  8. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Why? I see nothing wrong with that (even 2.5 GB).
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    Go for it...!
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Something aint right here :confused:
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    I Told You So....Or Maybe Not......

    When these RAM threads move forward, Tedster will usually post the link to his "Upgrading RAM" tutorial. He hasn't been here yet.

    When the original poster gets it in his (or her) head that they're going to do whatever they want, I no longer argue with them. I just say "go for it". If it works, no harm, no foul. If it doesn't work, I completely ignore the follow up thread.

    Here, we've posted with specs that point to Gateway saying the board will support 2GBs of RAM. Someplace else says 4GB. So now, the original poster believes he(or she) knows more than Gateway. Maybe yes , maybe no.

    The jump in performance from 2.0GB to 2.5GB would be negligible. And, different programs may actually be affected by the excess RAM. Who cares? Not me.

    The Gateway OEM BIOS may be set up to only deal with 2GB. Maybe there's a mistake on their web page. Who cares? Not me!

    I'll go back to my original opinion that 2GB is plenty for an XP 32 bit box. If it's running DDR (1), it could be time to upgrade the machine, since it (DDR) only runs at half the FSB frequency anyway, and the rest of the industry has (in the process ) moved on to DDR3.

    I think it wastes time to access 4 RAM modules instead of 2 but, here I'm not certain of my source. So, I'm not sure.

    With 2 matched DIMMs on board you're gold, and as to the argument that you can run more programs with more than 2 GB of RAM well, maybe, maybe not. The CPU will then (could) be the bottleneck. Who cares? Not me.

    So kimsland, I'm with you on this one, but for better or worse, I'm putting my own style on the reply.:wave:
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    You know what? I knew you knew with your comment Go for it...!
    My message was quietly pointed at Mictlantecuhtli, and now you've let the cat out of the bag !!
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    By the numbers.....

    4 socket boards are usually 4GB capacity. 2 socket boards are usually 2GB capacity.

    Now, my current 2 socket board is claiming 4GB capacity! It's about 4 months old!

    But, there is a worst case scenario in play here. That would be that the board in question wants 4 512MB DIMMs across the 4 sockets. Which would be 2GB total!
    Now, I've never had that happen, I don't know if it does happen. But, unless somebody that knows way more than I do rules it out completely, I'll go on thinking that the possibility at least exists.
  14. TL93

    TL93 TS Rookie Posts: 52

    Sorry for hi-jacking the thread just for one question but,

    Will going from DDR2-400 1GB to DDR2-533/400 2GB make a difference?
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431


    But, maybe not as much as you hope, Thing thing you have going for you here is, that the price of DDR2 is much lower than DDR at the moment. Adding memory helps to the point were the OS and the running programs no longer need the use swap file. If the way you use your machine is not fully tapping the available RAM then you would notice very little improvement. Still 533Mhz RAM is slightly faster so there's something to be said for that.
    As I said earlier in the thread, legend has it that the huge improvement comes from going from 512MB (and below) to 1 GB, then less with the jump from 1GB to 2GB. BUT < (big but), with DDR prices the way they are, you almost can't afford not to go for it.

    Here's a link to a 2GB (2x1GB) kit of "Kingston Value RAM". This stuff boots in everything. It's not for the performance crazed, but it never fails me. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820144157

    As a reference for price, somewhere between 1 1/2 to 2 years ago, this memory set was priced in the neighborhood of $200.00. USD

    So, it's 40 bucks plus shipping, how can you go wrong?

    You are telling me you have one of the rare boards that can run either DDR or DDR2, aren't you?
  16. TL93

    TL93 TS Rookie Posts: 52

    When have i mentioned DDR? XD

    Yeah, i've seen Kingston ram very cheap at NCIX also.

    And yes, i do things which use up lots of ram. Kinda bugs me when it slows down to a hault.
  17. PimpPanther

    PimpPanther TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Im a bit of a gamer, Counter strike source and similar

    so any amount of ram helps, even an extra half a gig.

    And i dont claim to know more than gatewyay

    i said i was goinjg with what their site said anyway

    So chill

    thread closed going with 2 only
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    Whoops, I didn't see the DDR2 after 400. Most PC3200 RAM is DDR1. That's actually kind of rare in itself. That said, more RAM gives more of a speed increase than the same amount of a higher speed. More and faster, better still.

    If your system is "timing out", have you taken the time to evaluate what processes are running, (with "Task Manager"), and shut down what you don't need?
  19. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

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