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PC RAM help :(

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by Traysay, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Traysay

    Traysay Member

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    So, I would like to purchase some ram for my computer. I have a
    Dimension E520, Pentium D processor 915 with Dual Core Technology. The
    memory I have now, is 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz- 2DIMMs. I
    was looking around for what to get and I saw a Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB)
    240 pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual channel kit desktop
    memory. I intended on purchasing two of those, making it 4 gigs total.
    I am a gamer chick primarily, so the computer gets a bit of a work
    out, so I thought 4 gigs would do the job, since the current 1 gig is
    not really cutting it anymore. I tried some research myself and I
    think one of the forums said that the computer could hold 4 gigs, but
    would basically use just 3.

    I have a friend who was telling me that I shouldn't get the 4, that I
    should settle for 2, because something about my computer not running
    the 3 in dual channels because the fourth isn't recognized, so it will
    run slower with those 4(3) than it would if i just purchased 2. I was
    wondering if anyone here could clear that up for me and point me in
    the right direction as to what to buy. About ready to pull my hair out
    with it, hope you can help :) Much appreciated!
     
  2. phill2000

    phill2000 Guest

    Hi.

    Your motherboard supports a maximum of 4Gb in total.

    What do you have at the moment? Do you have 1Gb total? (2x 512Mb D/C) or do you have 2Gb total? (2x 1Gb D/C). I couldn't really decide from what you wrote.

    Your friend is giving you information that isn't exactly true. Most PC's will see all 4Gb's without any issue. It's the O/S that has the issue. Windows itslef will only allow you to use 3Gb due to the way it addresses memory.

    The 32 bit version of XP / Vista will only allow you to use the 3Gb, and there are ways around it (research PAE switch or using the /3GB switch with your boot.ini file), but the 64 bit versions will fully let you use up to 16TB of RAM.

    Let us know how you get on.

     
  3. Traysay

    Traysay Member

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    Thank you for the quick response, I really appreciate it.

    I currently have 1Gb total, I am sorry I was not clear on that.

    My plan as of now is to purchase two 2Gb sticks, making it a total of 4Gb on my computer.

    Since I never did anything special when it came to what xp edition I got with the computer, all I know is that it came with the windows xp home edition, the 2002 version. I'll also assume its the 32 bit one.

    So I guess my question is, would it be a good idea to just go ahead with my plans and buy the 4Gb even if the computer only makes use of 3? I would do that under the pretense that 3Gb would in any case be better than 2, right? Thats where my friend came in and said no, that since It would only use 3 of the 4 gigs, it wouldn't run them in a dual channel, and so using 3 without dual channels would be slower than if I just got two. It sounds wrong to me, but I don't really know enough about it to argue, thats why I came here. I appreciate any advice. Don't worry about me running off and buying something based off something someone says, I am just looking for a little advice to either counter his argument, and backup my albeit limited, but still available computer knowledge or back him up. In the end I'll make the choice, no one else is responsible :)
     
  4. phill2000

    phill2000 Guest

    Hi,

    Your PC will utilise the Dual Channel capabilities regardles of the O/S. Since your RAM is controlled at a hardware level, the O/S will simply use what is at its disposal.

    If you use the /PEA switch as I suggested, Windows will be able to use the 4Gb, however will not use more than 2Gb on any single process.

    I would probably suggest going for the 64bit version to make things easier (although getting certain low level drivers to work is a pain in the a**e). That way you can definately ensure 4Gb running Dual Channel with the minimal of fuss.
     
  5. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    I would recommend a 2GB kit. 2 x 1GB.

    You will NOT notice ANY performance difference with your current rig. The Pentium D 915 is not fast enough to push 4GB of RAM.

    You will be able to run dual channel with either kit. See, when RAM is running in dual channel it is effectively double it's rated speed. Not to be confused with DDR(dual data rate). So 2GB of DDR2 667 in dual channel will be running the same as single-channel DDR2 1333.

    Dual channel has nothing to do with RAM size. It directly relates to the speed of the RAM.

    While 4GB wold be cool, it's not worth it. There are NO games that see any benefits from more than 2GB of RAM. Not even Crysis.

    2GB of RAM is just starting to become the new golden standard and will remain so for quite a while. Like 2-3 years.


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

    You say you aren't really experienced so please bear with me.

    What I think your problem is(do please correct me if I'm wrong) is that you are gaming on this Pentium D 915 with 1GB of RAM and your performance is less than satisfying. You think with a HUGE RAM upgrade you will see a HUGE performance boost. You won't.

    More RAM will make things load faster, and there will be less in-game stuttering. But even the very newest games out show the same exact frames per second on 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of RAM(making exceptions for a few unique cases).

    Your low performance comes from your low end video card. I see that the Dimension E520 came stock with a GeForce 7300LE. What are YOU using for your video card right now?
    --------------------------------------------------

    Upgrading your RAM is NOT going to improve your actual game performance by itself. The only way you are going to see a noticeable improvement is with a video card upgrade. Let me give you some fast and budget-friendly suggestions.

    New Memory(RAM)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134046

    New Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130062

    With those two parts you will see an overall performance increase in both games and on the desktop.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  6. Traysay

    Traysay Member

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    yay, haha, im so excited this thread got responses so quickly. Again, I really really appreciate it.

    I actually am buying a new video card as well, but I know a bit more about video cards than I do RAM so I took care of that already.

    I tried running this new game called blacksite: area 51, and my current computer/settings it was literally like looking at a sideshow. Thats actually what prompted me to order a new videocard. I forget the exact one I am getting offhand, but its an 8600, which will make a huge difference. The ram was actually a side-note that I looked into, figuring since I was getting the card, I might as well get some ram as well.

    I think you have all answered my questions and once again I really appreciate it. I am pretty sure I am leaning towards just getting 2Gb for now. Thank you again <3
     
  7. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Aha, the 8600's are a bit better than the one I pointed out. Good choice :)

    2 GB of RAM will be just the right amount for that machine. It will turn out to be a solid little gamer rig. You don't need Vista 64 or XP64 on that kind of computer. 4GB of RAM is just not needed yet.

    Seems you have everything figured out, so I don't have to bother then, lol

    Good luck with it. I hope it works well :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  8. phill2000

    phill2000 Guest

    Sorry, got a few points with the last post.

    CPU speed has never been a major factor the amount of RAM you can use. You could run up to 32Gb on a CPU running at 2.8 Ghz (I have 6 of them running at work as multi purpose cluster servers.

    No it wont. Using slower memory on a processor supporting faster RAM will lower the FSB of the processor to that of the RAM. In this cirumstance it wont matter as the CPU has an FSB of 800Mhz so only RAM up to DDR2 800Mhz will make a difference.

    True and false. Dual channel will perform better if both RAM sizes are identical. Some motherboards will not function at all in Dual Channnel mode if RAM sizes are different. the same is with the speed of the RAM. The M/B chooses the lowest of the two.

    What you said and recommended after this was correct, and if they wish to upgrade the graphics card more they would notice more of an increase. Since it would be cheaper to upgrade to 2Gb of RAM I would try that first, and if there is no large increase, then consider the GPU.
     
  9. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    What I was pointing out was that the Pentium D 915 isn't so fast a processor that much over 2GB would be beneficial anyway. At least on for gaming.

    lol, my bad then :p

    What I meant to say was that dual channel is a factor of speed. Not memory size. No motherboard will run dual channel with different sizes of RAM.

    I'm glad you agree :p

    Yes, RAM is the cheaper upgrade, but she already seems to have picked out a video card. So it's not an issue.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  10. Traysay

    Traysay Member

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    Hey! Just wanted to give a quick update. The parts arrived today, and I installed them, downloaded the new drivers and it is running like a dream! I played a few games today, and really pushed the computer to see what my limits were and no matter what I ran it just ran flawless.

    Thanks so much for the help, I appreciate it. Hope you are all well, wish you all the best~

    Thanks again!

    <3
     
  11. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Excellent! I'm glad your upgrade worked out as planned :)
     
  12. phill2000

    phill2000 Guest

    Yeah, nice to know people find good advice on here and get their issue resolved! ;o)
     

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