View Full Version : buying new RAM

28-01-2007, 10:07 AM
currently my computer has two PC2700/DDR333 transcend 256Mb running in dual channel mode
i'm planning to add another 512Mb so i can have 1Gb RAM in total
but i have a few things i need to figure out before making any purchases..
i've checked my motherboard manual and PC3200/DDR400 is supported and i can have up to a maximum of 3Gb RAM

i've read somewhere that you shouldn't mix different brands of RAM
so i'm gona have to buy transcend again
is this a fact or just a myth?

currently most shops i find sell DDR400 and i can't really find DDR333 anymore
so i guess i have to buy a faster RAM but it won't reach the full speed in my comp
would this cause some compatibility issues? or would it just slow itself down without making a fuss?

my 2x256Mb are running on dual channel
if i add in another stick of RAM would that stop dual channel from working?
and if it does would i actually feel a slow down in everyday computer use..?

oh and one last question..maybe not as important
what's the difference between this (http://c1com.co.nz/shop/step1.php?number=713) and this (http://c1com.co.nz/shop/step1.php?number=6317)?
other than the price of course

Speedy Gonzales
28-01-2007, 10:15 AM
Yup if ur running in dual channel mode now and u add another simm, it'll run in single channel not dual channel mode.

Unless you brought 2 more simms exactly the same as whats in the slots now.

Some ram may overclock better than others.

There's not much diff between diff brands of ram, altho some may also be more reliable than others. And dearer than others.

And umm this new mobo, may not support dual channel since it only supports up to 3 GB.

Higher ram, if the mobo doesn't support it, will step/go down to 333 if the mobo only supports up to 333.

And you're right DDR 333 is pretty rare these days, like P4 mobos!

28-01-2007, 10:19 AM
this mobo is not new at all..
so if i want 1Gb in total running in dual channel mode
i'll have to get two new 512Mb and get rid of my old ones completely..

does dual channel actually speed up your comp that much?

Speedy Gonzales
28-01-2007, 10:27 AM
Well if the mobo you've got now has 4 slots, you can chuck in 2 more 256 simms.

It just wont run in dual channel mode, if they're not identical to the ones already installed.

Umm I think dual channel is a lot faster than single channel mode.

This PC is also running in dual channel. So, I couldn't tell u whether single channel is 1/2 as fast or the same.

And yup, if you want to keep dual channel mode, you'll have to buy 2 512 simms which are identical (same brand/speed) etc for it to run in dual channel mode.

This is what dual channel means (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_channel)

And it looks like single channel can cause bottlenecks. As stated on the above Wiki page.

28-01-2007, 10:33 AM
this upgrade is becoming costly...
and from some other online pc shop sites i think i've figured out why there are two different prices

one had 32mb chips but 8 chips on each side
and the other have 64mb but only 8 chips on single side

anyone know the advantage/disadvantage of these arrangements?

28-01-2007, 10:40 AM
They should only have to be matched pairs, all 4 don't have to match.

So buy a pair of 256Mb and put them into the slots that are currently unoccupied and it should still run dual channel.

28-01-2007, 11:02 AM
my motherboard only got 3 RAM slots
so now 2 slots used by the two 256mb running dual channel
and so by putting a new 512mb into the last empty slot would stop the dual channel from working i guess

28-01-2007, 11:12 AM
Bummer. In that case I'd buy a single 512Mb stick put that in to get you up to the 1GB and if the machine is slow (I'd suspected it won't be) go and buy another identical one and remove the 2 * 256 ones and sell them on trademe :-)

28-01-2007, 12:47 PM
i guess that might work
..or i'll have to take advantage of dse's return policy to test the speed difference

my CPU's only a AMD Anthlon XP 2000+ so i'm hoping the bottleneck effect won't be as obvious

28-01-2007, 09:23 PM
Sell the 2 x 256mb and get 2 x 1gb ddr400 sticks to run in dual channel.:thumbs:

It makes a huge difference in speed of your system,and helps run everything sweet as.

I have 2 x 1gb ddr400 sticks and I would not have anything less now,the difference is so worth it.:D

28-01-2007, 09:39 PM
So without knowing what the user actually uses the machine for your suggestion they spend close to $400 instead of $70 to add an extra 512Mb.

Don't Assume...It makes an a** of "u" and "me"

28-01-2007, 10:32 PM
1Gb is a nono for me because of the cost
i'm limiting my budget for upgrades so i don't end up spending too much money

kinda in the situation where i can't really get a nice new duo2core comp
but still need my current comp to work as smooth as it can so doesn't slow down too much of my daily work

but then again..anyone willing to give me some of these 1Gb ram
actually gve me two of these 1Gb ram..i'll be happy to accept them :D

28-01-2007, 10:56 PM
Have a look on www.pricespy.co.nz for computer parts.:thumbs:

29-01-2007, 01:13 AM
and just a note here for the technically inclined.........

speedy.......there haven't been mobos made in recent years that use SIMMS......they are NO LONGER 'single inline memory modules' not since their data width doubled when the DIMM was introduced......a SIMM was only 32bit data width and thus you NEEDED to run PAIRS of them otherwise they just coulnd't communicate with the data BUS which is 64bit.........however with the invention of DIMMS 'dual inline memory modules' the individual ram sticks went from 30 or 72 pin 32bit modules, (SIMM) to 168pin 64bit modules, (DIMM)