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Upgrading RAM

By TorturedChaos ยท 12 replies
Apr 3, 2010
  1. Buddy of mine is thinking of upgrading the ram in his computer. He is running a P4 with a Intel D915GAG Mobo.

    right now he has a dual channel 512x2 kit for 1gig of ram. Now I have been told and read in several places that dual channel kits are not designed to run side by side, so you wouldn't want to run 2 512x2 kits in a computer.
    So he was thinking of pullout the current ram and putting in a 1gig x 2 kit. But what would happen if he just added a 1 gig stick of ram instead of another dual channel kit? would that run ok, or both dual channel's stuck running in dual channel mode if there is one dual channel kit installed.

  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    So long as the two dual channel kits are compatible with the board and can run at the same speed (DDR-333/-400) then populating all 4 DIMM's (memory slots) won't be a problem. You can use a single stick instead of two ( asymmetric mode) but you could lose a little performance.

    Options available are listed in the product manual here (section 1.6)
  3. license27kill

    license27kill TS Member Posts: 70

    personally, single stick work better than two..
    well logically heres my 2cents:

    512mb x 2 = 1gig
    *why not use a single channel 1 gig RAM

    you must consider the availability and compatibility of what you are ought to buy..

    your friend's processor is in P4 generation..

    i think that requires around 200mhz - 400mhz ddrs..

    but markets sell a large hz like 1033 or higher..

    just bring the module to have a model on what to buy..

    terms to remember: bus size, ddr type( I,II )

  4. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 839   +29

    Ok well the reason I was thinking this is when I was shopping for my RAM I found a couple response like this on the newegg customer reviews:
    People where complaining about the fact they couldn't make 2 2x1gb kits run at the 1066mhz they were supposed to, only at 880mhz

    or a couple other ppl where complaining about system crashes when running 2 dual channel kits and got this response:
    So after coming across that I just assumed running 2 dual channel kits was a bad idea.....
  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    First of all, you are shopping for DDR- not DDR2.
    The problem with not running at rated speed largely comes down to:
    1. All JEDEC (memory standard) RAM runs at DDR-266/-333/-400 or DDR2-533/667/800. Anything above these speeds means that the RAM is supposed to be able to run faster.
    2. Latency (timings), motherboard northbridge voltage regulation and the quality control of the modules themselves will determine if the RAM can run at it's rated speed and/or with four memory slots utilized.
    3. These problems are usually associated with DDR2 and DDR3 RAM that requires a fairly precise combination of voltage, bandwidth (speed) and latency (timings)- especially where vendors are pushing the envelope to distinguish their product from near identical competition. This is not much of a factor with DDR memory which runs at a stock 2.5v and has both limited speed and timing functionality.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,760   +2,431

    Please be aware that the Intel 915 chipset is >>32 Bits<<..! That said you can't use a 64 bit CPU, or OS with that board. Nor will it ever show more that about 3.25 GB of RAM as available.
  7. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    I would not advise giving up dual channel to run in single channel. dual channel provides a 10-15% overall system performance boost under load. if you are having problems that are occurring by having a mere second stick of ram, there is something else going on.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,760   +2,431

    OK, the Intel 915 chipset is old news, as is the Win XP that's probably installed. Not much would be gained with more than 2GB of RAM anyway. You think it will rock your world, but it doesn't add CPU clock cycles, so it mostly won't
  9. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 839   +29

    Ok so what I get from what dividebyzero said is its not really an issue with DDR ram.

    So we found 2 512 sticks of DDR 400 ram laying around so we are going to plug those in and see how they run.

    Thx for the help.
  10. license27kill

    license27kill TS Member Posts: 70

    well that's " personally " ;)

    anyway.. it saves me space.

    and a single stick 2g ram and an xp will give you more than what you've expected.

    thanks though.. i think i might shift to that dual channel of yours.. someday.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,760   +2,431

    Well that's super! What exactly do you do with the space "saved" by installing only one DIMM?
    2 X 1GB in dual channel configuration will give twice the memory bandwidth, or "throughput" if you prefer. So, "more than you expect" amounts to half of what you could have with respect to speed.

    Along with dual channel memory, you might consider dialing that screen name back to a rather more realistic self appraisal. Perhaps maybe, "unlicensed 2 annoy", might coincide with reality. :rolleyes:
  12. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 839   +29

    rofl u make laugh captaincranky.

    ne ways we added the ram and his computer runs much better :D. Thx for the help :D.
  13. license27kill

    license27kill TS Member Posts: 70

    nah im just hungry.. u wanna lemme kill you @captaincranky.. lol

    at least while you throw your "little" jokes.. he's problem was solved..

    thanks captain jack sbarro..

    ahah ;) peace V ^ ^
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