memory configuration


J

joanne fee

Hi I have a Gigabyte NF4 mobo with 200mhz fsb and 4 dual channel memory
slots. I currently have 2 512mb pc3200 strips one in channel A and one in
Channel B as I believe this gives better performance. I would like to
upgrade my memory to 2gb what are the possible configurations for doing
this? Will I need 2 more 512mbs or can I put 2 512 sticks in 1 channel and 1
1mb in the other etc?

Cheers Andy
 
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D

DaveW

Well, a bit of information that you may not be aware of is that many
motherboards have memory timing problems when all four RAM slots are used at
once.
 
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P

Paul

joanne said:
Hi I have a Gigabyte NF4 mobo with 200mhz fsb and 4 dual channel memory
slots. I currently have 2 512mb pc3200 strips one in channel A and one in
Channel B as I believe this gives better performance. I would like to
upgrade my memory to 2gb what are the possible configurations for doing
this? Will I need 2 more 512mbs or can I put 2 512 sticks in 1 channel and 1
1mb in the other etc?

Cheers Andy
If you have four slots, you can use 2x512 + 2x512 matched pairs.
You can use 2x512 + 2x1GB in matched pairs.

Many motherboard BIOS will slow the clock to give a DDR333 rate
for the memory, when four sticks are used. You may have to adjust
the rate manually, and adjust the Command Rate, to increase the
memory performance. You should test for stability, with a couple
of test tools, before and after the adjustments.

Depending on how rich you are, I would recommend 2x1GB PC3200, and
retire the existing 2x512MB sticks. That will allow you
to continue running at DDR400. You might get an extra 6%
application performance, by making that choice (compared to the
other four stick options). Selecting some nice CAS2 memory,
might give you another percent or two.

If you aren't that worried about losing 6%, then you can
shop for your 2x512 + 2x512 or 2x512 + 2x1GB configs. The
latter configuration would not allow bank interleaving
between sticks. No idea what penalty that would entail,
but probably not much. The 2x512 + 2x512 might be OK
I suppose.

Some people get quite concerned about having to run at
DDR333 Command Rate 1T or DDR400 Command Rate 2T, instead
of being able to run at DDR400 Command Rate 1T (possible
with two sticks). But if you aren't fixated on the topic,
the slower options with four memory sticks, are still viable
ones. You should have a good reason for wanting the extra memory
(like Vista say).

Test tools:

1) memtest86+ ( memtest.org ) -- self-booting test disk
2) Prime95 ( mersenne.org ) -- Windows/Linux test program
Use "torture test"
3) CPUZ ( www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php ) -- Review timing values
A Windows program.

Paul
 

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