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Mixing Ram of Different frequency

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March 24, 2006 1:37:34 PM

I recently bought 2 gig of dual channel ddr400 ram. I had a 1 gig chip that was running at ddr 333.

When i bought the ram i didnt really know anything about those numbers, i always just assumed that 2 gigs was better than 1.

My question is, is running all 3 sticks slowed downed to ddr 333 faster than running the 2 new sticks at 400?

Any help would be appreciated.

More about : mixing ram frequency

March 24, 2006 1:55:59 PM

Depends on your cpu,

Im guessing that because it was running at 333 before thats its limit so no using all 3 at 333 will not slow you down.

There is also the dual chanel issue but need motherboard specs for that issue.

To chcek we need the full specs cpu and motherboard
March 24, 2006 2:14:02 PM

I've seen on some boards that using 3 sticks instead of 2 actually did slow down the system, based on sisoft sandra mem bandwidth test results. The machie was only running single channel so it wasn't due to that.

This doesn't really have anything directly to do with the topic, just thought I'd throw it out.
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March 24, 2006 2:18:49 PM

i say you should clock up your 333 ram to 400.. thats a mighty big diff in speed.. as it is now you cant tell a diff.. but that 400 will make a perty big diff if you use just that
March 24, 2006 2:20:55 PM

Can you give the specs of your system so someone can help better.

It has most likly changed to T2 timings, which slow things down a little.
March 24, 2006 2:23:40 PM

Quote:
I recently bought 2 gig of dual channel ddr400 ram. I had a 1 gig chip that was running at ddr 333...My question is, is running all 3 sticks slowed downed to ddr 333 faster than running the 2 new sticks at 400? Any help would be appreciated.


Generally speaking, running 3 sticks will be single channel and run at the lowest memory speed...in order to get dual channel you need matched pairs...two sticks of the 400 running in dual channel will be faster than the 3 sticks at 333...good luck!
March 24, 2006 2:35:15 PM

lol, ok.

now if i read that right you said that you have one stick that runs 333mhz stock speed. and you bought two other sticks at 400mhz.

now anytime that you use more than one stick of ram, it all has to run at the same speed.

and if you add a stick of slower ram to 2 faster sticks of ram, your mobo will atumatically down clock the faster ram to compensate for the slower speed of the other stick.

remember that "ram can always clock down, but not always OC."

so if you stuck a 333mhz stick with 2 400mhz sticks all your ram will run at 333mhz because of that slow stick.

just take it out bro. boom 400mhz. or you could try to OC it back to 400mhz i guess.
March 24, 2006 2:39:58 PM

to reply to someone else up there.

using 3 sticks of ram doesnt matter.

the only time that the ram will be clocked down is when u are using all of the dimms on the mobo. im guessing that you have four slots for ram and not 3. and the problem here is that your actually mixing ram speeds, which you are never supposed to do!

and for the problem of using all four, or however many dimms. some motherboards will autmatically clock the ram down for whatever reason, and all you have to do is maually set the speed in the bios back to full. 8)
March 24, 2006 2:51:11 PM

I think by the sounds of it his cpu is running on a 533mhz bus so using ddr333 and ddr400 aint going to make a difference unless they want to overclock in which case dump the ddr333.

But without specs its just speculation
March 24, 2006 2:58:19 PM

It's bad when mixing different speeds of ram. Motherboards detects the ram speed and set every ram speed to the slowest speed. So if you buy a high performance ram to add more gigs on your slower ram, then it would be a waste of money since the high perfomance ram's speed is set to that of the lower performance speed and timings.
March 24, 2006 3:25:16 PM

Quote:
I've seen on some boards that using 3 sticks instead of 2 actually did slow down the system, based on sisoft sandra mem bandwidth test results. The machie was only running single channel so it wasn't due to that.

This doesn't really have anything directly to do with the topic, just thought I'd throw it out.


I'd just like to clarify what I said here. This particular machine had 3 memory slots, all the memory was the same speed, and after adding the 3rd stick the memory bandwidth tests showed lower bandwidth.

I'm only saying this to illustrate that in theory things sometimes shouldn't matter, but sometimes they do matter and to be sure [if it's really important] then run some tests and see the results. That's the only way to be sure.
March 24, 2006 3:54:48 PM

System Specs: Athlon xp 3500, Chaintech VNF4 Ultra.

I understand that using the 3 sticks i have, they all run at the slower speed of 333, because the board slows down the 2 400Mhz chips to match speeds with the slow chips.

Perhaps I didnt state my question well, in that i was wondering what is going to be an overall faster set up. 3 gigs of ram running at 333Mhz or 2 gigs of ram running at 400Mhz.

I currently dont have another use for the 333Mhz chip, so I put it in the computer, figuring the entire setup would run faster with 3 gigs of ram. I do not know that this is true and thats what i was trying to figure out.

Thank you for the replies so far.
March 24, 2006 4:19:12 PM

Quote:
System Specs: Athlon xp 3500, Chaintech VNF4 Ultra.

I understand that using the 3 sticks i have, they all run at the slower speed of 333, because the board slows down the 2 400Mhz chips to match speeds with the slow chips.

Perhaps I didnt state my question well, in that i was wondering what is going to be an overall faster set up. 3 gigs of ram running at 333Mhz or 2 gigs of ram running at 400Mhz.

I currently dont have another use for the 333Mhz chip, so I put it in the computer, figuring the entire setup would run faster with 3 gigs of ram. I do not know that this is true and thats what i was trying to figure out.

Thank you for the replies so far.


no.. its going to slow your system down... like said before dich the 333.. sell it on ebay or something.. windows can really only address about 2 gigs of ram anyways.. ditch the 333. get your system running at 400 and be happy at the new speeds... that 333 is bottlenecking your system as it is...
March 24, 2006 4:55:23 PM

Yeah, dump the 333. The caveat to that is, lets say, you are doing something that just absolutely needs more ram but doesn't necessarily need the speed. Then you would be OK to use the extra ram. But, considering that 2G is a lot for most peoples needs then definitely go with faster memory over more memory.
March 24, 2006 5:11:48 PM

Alright, Thank you all very much for the helpful responces.
Anonymous
a b } Memory
March 26, 2009 10:56:21 AM

RAM is mad up from two values example 2GB 400MHz, the first value symbolises the RAM capacity the second how fast the RAM operates, depending on the application you are running will be dependent on what value maters most to you,
in real terms the 400MHz set up where you ditch the 333 will be fatser but it will be a capacity of 2GB, where as if you use all three sticks the speed will fall but you will have a higher capacity of RAM.

Now back to what i meant about depending on applications that you are using,

Say you are using a small application which doesnt store much in the computers RAM however the fetures of that application require frequent fetches back to RAM to run certain features then speed would be your most impoortant factor so go with just the 400MHz 2GB set up,

but if you have an application that relies heavily on being stored in your ram then obviosly the more you have the better but the application will be slower fetching from RAM .

my advise would be ditch the 333MHz RAM and buy yourself another 1GB stick of 400MHZ that way you get the 3 sticks you will have 3GB of RAM and it will all run exactly same speed
!