RAM memory problem (CAS latency)


W

Wizard of Ozz

After researching the subject for 3 hours, here's my question:

I had a Pentium III 550 Mhz computer for the last 4 years, running
Windows 98.

Last week I installed XP on it. The old 64 MB RAM was barely keeping
up. So I bought 128 MB RAM. Both memory sticks are working, so I have
192 MB RAM, and the performance is much better.

But I get a new message on boot-up:

<Suggested SDRAM CAS Latency Time "3">

The Usenet is filled with suggestions to go to the BIOS and change the
"CAS Latency" to the suggested value. I haven't quite found that on my
BIOS.

Here's what it shows on the setup of my Soyo SY-6VCA:

.........................
[from Advanced Chipset Features submenu]
Bank 0/1 DRAM Timing: sdram 10ns (selected) ; sdram 8ns ; normal ;
medium ; fast ; turbo
Bank 2/3 DRAM Timing: sdram 10ns (selected) ; sdram 8ns ; normal ;
medium ; fast ; turbo
Bank 4/5 DRAM Timing: sdram 10ns (selected) ; sdram 8ns ; normal ;
medium ; fast ; turbo
SDRAM Cycle Length: 2 (selected) ; 3
DRAM clock: Host CLK [100 Mhz] (selected) ; 67 Mhz ; 133 Mhz

[from Advanced BIOS Features submenu]
OS select for DRAM >64 MB: Non-OS2 (selected) ; OS2
.........................

These are the items in the BIOS that I believe are closest to the
memory latency issue. Incidentally, the last one really intrigues me:
should I change it to enabled now that my memory is more than 64 MB?
This last question is a side-topic.
 
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J

John Doe

After researching the subject for 3 hours, here's my question:
I had a Pentium III 550 Mhz computer for the last 4 years,
running Windows 98.
Last week I installed XP on it. The old 64 MB RAM was barely
keeping up. So I bought 128 MB RAM. Both memory sticks are
working, so I have 192 MB RAM, and the performance is much
better.
Should be dramatic. My guess is anything up to 256MB is noticeable.

Good for you. Windows XP manages memory/things much better, you can
gain a lot of stability if you were running big programs and/or many
programs.
But I get a new message on boot-up:
<Suggested SDRAM CAS Latency Time "3">
The Usenet is filled with suggestions to go to the BIOS and
change the "CAS Latency" to the suggested value. I haven't quite
found that on my BIOS.
The mainboard owner's manual might tell what all of your
BIOS settings are for.
Here's what it shows on the setup of my Soyo SY-6VCA:
........................
[from Advanced Chipset Features submenu]
Bank 0/1 DRAM Timing: sdram 10ns (selected) ; sdram 8ns ; normal
; medium ; fast ; turbo
Bank 2/3 DRAM Timing: sdram 10ns (selected) ; sdram 8ns ; normal
; medium ; fast ; turbo
Bank 4/5 DRAM Timing: sdram 10ns (selected) ; sdram 8ns ; normal
; medium ; fast ; turbo
SDRAM Cycle Length: 2 (selected) ; 3
Try setting that to 3. I think the technical term is "CAS latency"
(as you stated above). If you reboot and the suggestion is gone,
highly likely that's it.
DRAM clock: Host CLK [100 Mhz] (selected) ; 67 Mhz ; 133 Mhz
[from Advanced BIOS Features submenu]
OS select for DRAM >64 MB: Non-OS2 (selected) ; OS2
That has nothing to do with the solution. Your OS is non-OS 2, so
leave it default. The fact you upgraded from 64MB is coincidence.

Good luck and have fun.
 
J

j.burghdoff

In the BIOS go to the Advanced Chipset Features page and set your SDRAM
Cycle Length to 3. This is the CAS latency. I would recommend leaving
the bank timing settings at normal.

Also WinXP requirments list only 128mb of memory as the minumum and
256mb as recommended but it will really come alive with 512mb. I would
recommend buying two sticks of 256mb for your board.
 
E

easytoremember123

j.burghd...@sbcglobal.net said:
In the BIOS go to the Advanced Chipset Features page and set your SDRAM
Cycle Length to 3. This is the CAS latency. I would recommend leaving
the bank timing settings at normal.

Also WinXP requirments list only 128mb of memory as the minumum and
256mb as recommended but it will really come alive with 512mb. I would
recommend buying two sticks of 256mb for your board.
Thanks. I changed it and it no longer makes CAS latency suggestions.
Could you explain why I should change bank timing to normal (it's
currently at SDRAM 10ns)?
 
J

j.burghdoff

On Soyo motherboards the use of Turbo mode usually disables the USB
ports for one thing. You can try the medium and fast settings. If no
problems accure then its safe to use.
 
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G

Grant Schoep

(e-mail address removed) wrote in @l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com:
Thanks. I changed it and it no longer makes CAS latency suggestions.
Could you explain why I should change bank timing to normal (it's
currently at SDRAM 10ns)?
One thing I would recommend, that since you just bought that 128meg stick
(assuming the 64meg was that you still ahve in their is the original).

Buy one more 128 meg, same type(same data same system... they stole my
gamma light..) Ok, ignore my song quotes....

Anyways, go out any just buy another 128 meg that you just got, same
exact thing. Toss or donate your 64 meg to somewhere.

Now with using the nice new "matched" 128 meg, not really match but at
least same type. Play around with your timing settings. Try lowering the
timings on individual things one at a time in the BIOS. CAS 3 -> CAS 2.
Lots of different timings you can play with on that BIOS. Don't let the
MB "auto manage" them.


I like to do this in small chunks. Change a few, use my box for a few
days, and change a few more. If you ever see a problem fall back.
Genrally with memory timing, I've always seen the problem right at POST.
If it pass's POST I feel good. Though, I have only ever bought Crucial,
and basically the "fastest" mem for that catagory they sell, so I usually
am at the "fastest" limit straight away.

As with anything like this, you are mucking with timing of memory and
CPU. The speed increase you get is not going to be huge, probably not
even that noticable. I still really think the risks are low, but
sometimes its also just not something worth screwing around with.
basically... in my opionin is fun. It's the same as me going out to my
old friggen Cutlass in my garage and ****ing aroudn with the carb. Its
something to do with a beer in my hand.

-grant
 

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