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Solved: Basic RAM questions Upgrade

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by gary rabbitt, Sep 26, 2011.

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  1. gary rabbitt

    gary rabbitt Thread Starter

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    Hello all,
    I want to make this as simple as possible. I may have done the job wrong in afterthought.
    I have a Sony VGC-RA840G Pentium D. Factory installed 2 sticks of 512 memory. Supposed to be DDR2 PC25300

    The Crucial scanner showed the 4 slots, with two filled.
    The scanner said that the system was capable of ony 2GB of ram total.
    I bought one stick of 1GB on advice of the salesperson (withholding store name).

    Installed the 1GB stick in one of the empty slots, booted up fine and system properties now shows the 2GB.
    I don't know if I did the upgrade right, so here are my concerns:

    Here are the questions.
    1.Was I supposed to use TWO 512 sticks in the empty slots? Or one 1GB in one slot?

    2. The original sticks were installed in the slots, but not side by side. A Stick, space, then the other stick.
    3. If the proper way was to install 2x 512 in the empty sockets, am I missing out on any advantage in speed, or the two sticks working in tandem?

    The Crucial scanner had a small note saying that "512mb maximum should be used in each socket."
    Hindsight is 20/20 at this point, didn't see it before, so:

    4. Is this socket only using 512 of RAM instead of the 1GB installed?
    5. Would I have any gains if I bought 2x 512 sticks and installed those? (I doubt the store would take back the memory)


    Here is something that further confuses me. Searching for memory upgrades for the model, I see that they offer 1GB sticks of PC2 4200 for this system, and some sites say that the system is capable of using 4GB total!

    How can one find out truthfully what the board and system is capable of handling, and why the Crucial scanner said it is only 2GB max? I haven't been able to find in in System Info , etc.
    Model VGC-RA840G WIndows Multimedia edition XP

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    The Sony VAIO VGC-RA840G desktop supports a maximum of 2048 MB(2 GB) of RAM.

    It has 4 slots, so that means you can install a maximum of 512 MB in each slot.

    It uses these 512 MB modules:

    240-pin DDR2 PC2-4200(DDR-533) 1.8V, unbuffered, non-ECC

    240-pin DDR2 PC2-5300(DDR-667) 1.8V, unbuffered, non-ECC

    My advice is to install a 512 MB module in all 4 slots.

    Also, don't mix module speeds.

    -------------------------------------------------------
     
  3. gary rabbitt

    gary rabbitt Thread Starter

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    Thank you sir, that's what I wanted to verify.

    A couple of follow up questions, what will happen if I continue to use the 1GB in the 512 socket?
    Such as does it slow down the system any or does not use the full 1GB? This stick I have says "Compatable with 667, 533 and 400 mhz.

    The factory memory is 667 PC2 5300.

    I heard about the sticks need to be installed in pairs so they will "work together' hyperthreading (?)
    If I buy the 2x 512s, will this make for better memory use, copmpared to what I have now?

    I am usually careful before I buy anything, but this time I didn't inquire.
    Thank you for your kind help,
    Gary.
     
  4. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    I'm actually surprised the 1 GB module was accepted and is recognized as 1 GB because of the motherboard having 4 slots and supporting a maximum of 2 GB of RAM. That means each slot should accept a maximum of 512 MB (512 X 4 = 2 GB)

    That motherboard supports dual channel memory for better performance. That means you should fill both color-coded slots at the same time. You really should replace that 1 GB module with 2 - 512 MB modules.

    If the 2 - 512 MB modules already in that desktop are DDR2 PC2-5300(DDR2-667) modules, you should add a matching pair with the same speed. If you install mismatched speeds, all modules will run at the slower speed.

    Note: I found one memory site that says that desktop supports 4 GB of RAM. That may be the reason why the 1 GB module was accepted.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------
     
  5. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Hyperthreading is not a memory function, it is a processor function. Your Pentium D processor would not have Hyperthreading since it is dual core.

    The way memory is configured is so that it will run in dual channel.
     
  6. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    You ARE taking a speed hit using a 1 Gig module in one slot of the pair while leaving the other slot blank. Accesses to that memory can only occur on one channel, so your effective bus rate is only half what it should be.

    It'll work fine and won't damage the system. However, it won't be as fast as it should be.
     
  7. gary rabbitt

    gary rabbitt Thread Starter

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    Hi guys,
    Thanks for the info. , and clarification of Dual Channel. I will probably bite the bullet and get 2x 512 sticks, (unless I find the system supports more than 2GB)

    As far as one site saying this motherboard supported 4GB of ram, how can I identify the board, and to be totally positive of the maximum ram it supports? Is there a menu like Sys information that would specify what board I have, or do I have to plhysically inspect the board for a marking? I am the original owner fo this system.

    Here is something that confuses me moreI spotted today. Crucial scanner showed this:
    [​IMG]

    The 1GB I just installed was a PC2-5300 The scanner shows it's a 6400.
    The sticker on the front of the machine says, it contains 1GB (2x512) of PC2 4200. Scan shows PC2-5300
    (Processor P-D 820 2.8Ghz 800mhz FSB)

    I will probably need to go in and physically get the numbers off the original memory and see what's up. OR the Crucial scanner might be reading something wrong.
    I did search just now and saw many sites claiming the model supporedt 4GB ram. ???? Confusion. I need a sure way of finding what I can actually use.

    UPDATE Info>>>>>

    I just ran another scan from memorystock.com and came up with these results:
    ************System**********

    System Manufacturer:Sony Corporation
    System Model: VGC-RA840G
    System Version: R4895096
    IdentifyingNumber: 28222430-301XXXX
    System Type: X86-based PC

    ************Motherboard**********

    Mother Board Manufacturer: ASUSTek Computer INC.
    Motherboard Model: P5LP-VX
    Motherboard: ASUS Tek Computer INC.
    Model: P5LP-VX

    ************Processor**********

    Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) D CPU 2.80GHz
    Processor Manufacturer: GenuineIntel
    Processor Speed: 2793
    Processor FSB: 200 (I thought this was supposed to be 800 per sticker on system)

    ************Bios**********

    Bios: Phoenix Technologies, LTD
    Version: 1001

    ************Memory Details**********

    Memory Manufacturer:
    Installed RAM: 2 GB
    Maximum RAM: 4 GB
    Total Slots: 4
    Capacity: 512 MB,1024 MB,512 MB,
    Memory Type: 0,0,0,
    Speed: 533 MHz,533 MHz,533 MHz,
    Slots: A0,A1,A2,
    (So, this means the speed on all 3 sticks PC2 5300 ? )
    ==================================
    Their spec for a Pentium 4 system is this:
    [​IMG]

    Perhaps this board and processor allows for the 4GB?



    This should be simple but I want to upgrade to the max and don't want to use the wrong thing again.
    I totally apologize for asking so many questions, and thank you all for your support.
    Gary.
    Nashville,Tn
     
  8. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    One thing many people miss at the Crucial Site is the small note preceded by an asterisk in small type that states; "*Not to exceed manufacturers supported memory." This is about 3/4's of the way down on the pic you posted.

    If the manufacturer states 2GB as maximum, that it what should be run.
     
  9. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    The CRUCIAL scan is also not always 100% accurate, so don't rely on it without question.

    4 - 512 MB modules will provide dual channel support and give that computer 2 GB of RAM.

    There's no speed and performance advantage to adding more RAM with Windows XP(32-bit), so don't wrack your brain trying to determine if it can support 4 GB.

    --------------------------------------------------------
     
  10. gary rabbitt

    gary rabbitt Thread Starter

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    Thanks guys,
    I did a litle more searching today, and that second scan shows that this motherboard (Azus P5LP-VX) could handle 4GB.

    You mention that Win XP 32bit would not really make a difference if I added the other 2 GB, right? If that's the case, I may leave well enough alone. :)

    @ Winpro2K:
    Trouble is, I can't find any documentation that came with this, unit that specifies the manufacturer's max.And from what I see I heard both 2 and 4 gb are the max.
    I know I should get a whole new system, but money is tight, and now being on a fixed income it's hard to do.
    Thanks for your support guys. :)
    Gary.
     
  11. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    If money is tight, that's another good reason not to buy 4 - 1 GB modules. ;)

    -------------------------------------------------------
     
  12. gary rabbitt

    gary rabbitt Thread Starter

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    Thanks Flavalee,
    I can get what I need, but a whole new system would be out of the question right now.

    The most intense thing I still run on the system is Flightsim 2004, and do a little video stuff too, and more ram would really help.
    Anyhow, thanks for the help :)
    Gary.
     
  13. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    If that desktop has integrated graphics and can't handle the video load that gaming puts on it, you might consider upgrading to a video card. Just make sure first that the power supply can handle the extra load of a video card and doesn't need to be upgraded too. One thing we see here often is someone trying to get an old computer to play system-hungry games.

    --------------------------------------------------------
     
  14. gary rabbitt

    gary rabbitt Thread Starter

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    Hi Flavalee,
    This desktop came with a ATI X-300 PCI Express card- 128MB memory. (I don't know if I can add memory to this card or not) It does ok, and I have never thought about upgrading that. I see that PCI X is still popular, but wouldn't know what would match up to this setup. I'll probably see what other Flightsim guys are using, then see if my system would handle it.

    The last system I had I upgraded to a Voodoo 3000 card, it was a pain to get going right, but finally worked well back in it's day. I still have that system in the other room.

    This system when new, was sold as a TV, video and media machine, the Pent D had just came out. I thnk it does ok as it is. But I know if I tired to install one of the latest FPS games, I would see it lagging along.:)

    As I say, I don't really do any FPS games right now, and Flightsim is about the most intensive thing I run, besides a little video stuff once in a while. The flight sceneries can be very detailed, and use a lot of resources. I've adjusted the startup list, but there are some things I am not sure I can kill their process to save resources. (svchost etc)
    Gotta run for now, wife's calling me to dinner, and thanks :)
    Gary.
     
  15. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    If you're happy with the current ATI and its 128 MB of video memory, there's no compelling reason to upgrade.

    I used to have a preference for ATI video cards, but I now find NVIDIA video cards to be less problematic to install and upgrade.

    --------------------------------------------------------
     
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