RAM & HD compatibility with Motherboards

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weslee

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Joined
Apr 11, 2004
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Two Questions:

1. - I am currently looking into build a few new computers, and I am curious about RAM specifications. Looking at TigerDirect, many different motherboards are specified with a "400" rating for RAM. At the same time, others say "400/333" (or something similiar). Using logic, if some said 400 while other's specified 400/333, you would think that the one that specifies "400" would ONLY be capable with 400MHz RAM (PC3200). What I would like to know is if I purchase a motherboard specified as 400, will I be able to use a slower DIMM of RAM, or will I have to be sure to buy PC3200 RAM?

2. - The same type of question as above, but this time dealing with hard drives. If a motherboard specifies "ATA-133," will an "ATA-100" drive be compatible? 133 drives seem to be harder to find, and I'd rather just go with an ATA-100 hard drive. So again, will the motherboard be capable of stepping down to something slower, or will I have to buy some other PCI device to make it work?

If someone could point me in the right direction, that would be very appreciated.

-Wes
 

weslee

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
58
I have two similiar questions that I would love to have answered:

1. - If a motherboard is specified as being capable of handling 400MHz RAM, then is it also capable of using slower RAM? If I want to use 333MHz RAM, then will I have to make sure the motherboards specifies it, or does the "400" mean that 400 is the max the motherboard is capable of?

2. - Same type of question, but this time dealing with hard drives... if my motherboard says it is capable of handling ATA-133 drives, will ATA-100 drives work just as well? Or again, do I have to ensure that ATA-100 is listed?

Thanks for the help.
-Wes
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Messages
188
No problemo.

1.) Yes, you will be able to use slower RAM, just some manufacturers do not put the slower ratings. If you wanted to use faster RAM, you can, but it will just operate at the 400 MHz speed (PC3200). The good thing about buying RAM that is faster than your mobo can handle is, you won't have to upgrade your RAM as much when you will upgrade your system.

2.) ATA 133 means that is the highest ATA speed it can handle... 133 MB/s. So yes, you will be able to connect slower drives, but not faster. If you DO put faster drives in it (SATA cannot be connected to ATA), it will just operate at the slower speeds. ATA speeds higher than 133 MB/s are rare, so you don't have to worry.

Good luck with your system!
 

weslee

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
58
Thanks a lot man!! That was really all I needed answered... And for anyone wondering why I have two posts on the Hardware forum, it is because JUST as I submitted my first post, IE crashed. I didn't think the post went through, so I wrote it again (only shorter, *ugh*), just to find that it was there anyway! lol -- Thanks again for the help

-Wes
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2003
Messages
765
Hi, weslee!

Yes, the M/B will work with slower RAM (same type, of course).

And yes, it will work with ATA-100 also.
 
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