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Solved: Adding DDR2 Memory, what is compatible?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Yorkshire Guy, Nov 23, 2007.

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  1. Yorkshire Guy

    Yorkshire Guy Thread Starter

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    Hi Guys,

    Acer T180 with 2 X 512Gb PC2-4300 CL4 sticks. CPUZ reports as running at 100.5Mhz?

    I want to add more memory.

    Can I add 2 matched sticks of PC2-5400 CL4 1GB each
    or 2 sticks of DDR2-5300 CL5 1GB each.
    Both of the above at 675Mhz.

    I have 4 slots each max of 1Gb; 2 used as above, 2 free.

    What are the rules and implications for matching memory?
    Is it correct that whatever I put in will run at the slowest speed i.e. the original PC2-4300 above?
    Does it matter which slot pairs are used for which sticks e.g should the 1GB sticks go in the first two slots rather than the last.

    I also see specifications like 5-5-5-15 , does that matter.

    Wow, sorry for all the questions!

    Thanks
    Hew
     
  2. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Go to crucial's site and input your system. It will show all compatible memory chips.

    Next if you keep the 2 chips you have, there are often problems with all four slots filled. I have a system here that downclocks the ram to 166/333 with all four slots filled.

    Next you are probably going to lose the dual channel feature if you add different ram chips.
    If you want 2gig of ram, I would just buy a 2gig kit and pull your existing ram out.
     
  3. Yorkshire Guy

    Yorkshire Guy Thread Starter

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    hi crjdriver,

    thanks for the advice,

    I've alreday run Crucial's advisor, it recommended their memory PC2-6400, but I was looking to learn why.

    Since I already have 1Gb, I though I could keep that and go to 3Gb total.

    Now you've added another consideration: dual channel!

    Cheers
    Hew
     
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    All three of the top memory makers have sites that will show compatible memory ie kingston, crucial, and corsair. Since you are running xp, 2gig is more than enough. If you get a 2gig kit, you will then have dual channel. Having 3gig is really overkill; even vista runs great on 2gig of ram.

    In addtion as I posted when you fill all four memory slots on a board, you often have problems. With ddr2 ram so cheap, just pickup a 2gig kit. Here is what I mean; a 2gig corsair kit for $42 after the rebate.
     
  5. Yorkshire Guy

    Yorkshire Guy Thread Starter

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    thanks again crjdriver,

    I value your advice but that does not help me to understand why.

    I'm thinking of upgrading to Vista sometime and I was working on the principle that the more memory you have then the better performace.

    Seems a pity to discard 2 X 1/2 Gb of perfectly working memory if it could be used.

    Cheers
    Hew
     
  6. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    OK the why. When all slots are filled you often have problems.
    Next you loose dual channel.
    You CAN use your existing memory however you will probably have less performance than if you went with a 2gig dual channel kit. In addition the memory will probably run slower than rated speed.
     
  7. Yorkshire Guy

    Yorkshire Guy Thread Starter

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    Hi cjdriver,

    I've just seen the thread from sonictherevenge today, that looks to be the same query that I had, but the advice is different.

    It seems to say go ahead and keep the existing memory, and that dual channel will be kept!

    I'm also confused why using all 4 memory slots would cause a problem; why would manufacturers do that?

    Hew
     
  8. brite750

    brite750

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    theyre not really saying 2 different things, you can fill your slots as the other thread says but the other thread also says the ram will run at the slowest stick speed, and there is no mention of the dual channel issue at all, so there is no conflict.
     
  9. brite750

    brite750

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    You have an Acer so you should probably ask them what the implications are of various ram configurations, that type of info is usually right in the MB manual, but since we dont know what your MB is we cant tell you more than whats been said.
     
  10. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Quite often when all four slots are filled, the memory will downclock to the next lower speed. I have system here that does just that; all four slots are filled with 512meg of pc3200 memory. It will not run at 200/400; it downclocks to 166/333. Some board makers have released bios updates that address this issue and some have not.

    Being that you are running xp, 2gig of memory running at it's rated speed [in dual channel] would IMO be better than 3gig of mis-matched memory running at the slower speed. Even if you installed vista, it runs fine with 2gig. I even have a machine here running vista on about the same cpu you have with just 1gig; even that runs OK.
     
  11. Yorkshire Guy

    Yorkshire Guy Thread Starter

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    OK crjdriver,

    I'll go with your advice and defunct the existing PC2-4300 sticks.

    Cheers
    Hew
     
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