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Which is better, more or faster?

 
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sylvester



Joined: 07 Jan 2008
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:43 pm    Post subject: Which is better, more or faster? Reply with quote

Hi all;

Asus P4R800-VM
P4 2.4 HT 800 FSB
2x256mb PC3200
Using o/b 64mb graphics (am upgrading to used 128mb AGP 8X)
Any gaming is light children's games (Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 etc.)

This is a strange mobo. 4 dimm slots, DDR 266/333/400 dual channel, 1GB max/slot, but only allowed 1 single sided PC3200 per channel, apparently a limitation of ATI 9100 IGP chipset. Original QVL 5yrs old, only shows 256mb dimms.

Asus FAQ's and forums no help, many unhappy campers stuck with 2x256 PC3200 total. Any single sided 2x1GB PC3200 kits suggested there or from memory manuf. configurators don't work.

To upgrade: If I can't find any single sided 2x1GB PC3200 kits, that work, am I best to go to 2x512mb PC3200 or 2x1GB PC2700? Which is better, more or faster?

Also, if I could find a single sided 2x1GB PC3200 kit, would 4x1GB PC2700 be better. Which is better, more or faster?

Thanks for any consideration,
Sylvester
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SoftStag



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2049
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In answer to your question, the honest answer is that it depends on what you use the PC for.

In general use, I would say more memory is better than the slightly faster memory. In fact you probably can't tell the difference between PC2700 and PC3200 in your system - memory speed is probably not a limiting factor!

If you are using the 32-bit (normal) version of Windows XP/Vista, then it will only support memory up to 4Gb - so don't go trying to put 4 1Gb sticks in your system!

Getting 1Gb single sided PC3200 DIMMs is going to be a challenge, and you'll probably pay quite a bit more for them.

If you are running XP, then I'd put 2x 512Mb PC3200 in (keeping the existing RAM in place) giving you 1.5Gb of RAM - plenty for an XP system that is used fairly normally.

If you are running Vista, I'd put 2x 1Gb PC2700 in (keeping the existing RAM in place) giving you 2.5Gb of RAM - again plenty for a Vista machine that is used fairly normally.
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"Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until someone calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls turn out to be user mistakes. I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes. The reasons for updates are to present more new features."
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sylvester



Joined: 07 Jan 2008
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Softstag;

Thank you for your speedy and very well spelled out reponse. It really helps near newbies like myself.

Sorry, I left out the fact that I am running XP 32-bit.

One tidbit overlooked in your response is the fact that this mobo can only take one stick of PC3200 per channel. I already have 1x256Mb of that in each channel. That means, if I keep the current sticks in place, I have to use PC2700 in the other two slots.

Until your response, I wasn't even thinking of mixing speeds. That's why I asked the question the way I did. I figured both slots of a channel needed the same speed. So with keeping the current sticks in place, I guess that's my choice of an extra 2x512 PC2700 for 1.5Gb tot. or 2x1Gb PC2700 for 2.5Gb tot for a little extra headroom? Would the latter help?

Will the channels run at the slower speed?

Unfortunately, I think DDR is priced as high as it ever has been.

Thank you,
Sylvester

Thank you for
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SoftStag



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2049
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DDR is backwards compatible, it can run at a slower speed than it's specifications. Mixing speeds is not a problem. The only thing to make sure of is that you are using single sided DIMMs and that for optimal speed to install matched pairs as per the instructions in the manual. I recommended PC3200 because it is probably cheaper, and is less likely to cause problems.

So make sure you have a matched pair in the blue sockets, and a matched pair in the black sockets.

On an XP machine, I can't imagine you will notice the difference between 1.5Gb and 2.5Gb unless you do some serious image manipulation or video editing.
_________________
"Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until someone calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls turn out to be user mistakes. I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes. The reasons for updates are to present more new features."
-- Bill Gates, on code stability, from Focus Magazine
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