I have a Compaq that has an ASUS A8A-LE mobo. The PC came with a 256mb chip. I bought a 512mb as an upgrade, and scooted the 256 over one slot and installed the new chip in the first slot (there are 4). Later I bought a 1024mb chip, and scooted the others over. All of these modules are PC3200 ddr400. Now, I have been reading as much as I can find on the subject over the past week, but still don't really have a clear answer. Is the 256mb chip slowing the others down? If so, does the 512 also slow down the gig? Should I leave all of them in or pull the lower 2 out? I am upgrading the CPU from a Sempron 3200+ 1.8ghz to an Athlon 64 3500+ 2.2ghz this week, and putting in a Sapphire X1800XT PCI x16 to upgrade from the Radeon Xpress200 on the mobo. I just want to make sure I am getting the most out of the RAM as to avoid a bottleneck situation. Please help me figure this out, your input is very much appriciated....THANK YOU in advance! :wink:
Since all the RAM is the same speed, no single DIMM is causing a slowdown.
But (there's always a but, right?), you say you have a Sempron 3200+ and you're doing a CPU swap to an A64 3500+. Since google didn't turn up your mobo in a quick search (your question here was first in the results ), I'm going to assume you have a socket 939 mobo (since that's the only setup that makes sense). That means the RAM can operate in dual channel if configured correctly.
To operate in dual channel you need 2 or 4 identical sticks (or nearly identical), and they need to be put in the correct slots. Since you have 3 mismatched sticks, you cannot run in a dual channel config. You are loosing a little performance (a few % total, so be sure to weigh that against the cost) so it would be better to run in dual channel mode if you can. To do so, you need to buy and install a 2nd stick of any one of the 3 you have currently there, and remove the 2 oddballs.
My recommendation: If you can return the 1gig stick and get another 512 stick that will give you 1gig total. However, if you can afford a 2nd 1gig stick get that - that'll give you 2gig in dual channel. You could get both a 1 gig and a 512meg stick, but 2gig is plenty and 3gig is still a waste (special purposes excluded of course - but gaming isn't a special purpose), so take the 512 & 256 sticks and ebay them or give them to your worst enemy or something.
Thanks for the input! I have removed the 2 smaller sticks and decided to sell all 3 and buy a 2 gig total pair of Corsair XMS to take advantage of the dual channel capabilities.( using CPU-Z I discovered that the 512 stick's timing was the slowest of all 3 and was slowing them all down)
Also will be getting a 10,000 RPM hard drive. All of these combined should make my computer capable of handling just about any game I throw at it After i saw 37 or so ppl look at this question with no reply, I was starting to lose hope...thanks for taking the time to answer!
And yes, it is a 939 mobo. Asus limited edition licensed to compaq/HP I figure to make sure you can't modify the CMOS/BIOS settings to overclock :? . (will be picking up a new mobo soon, then it will be a totally different comp!) the completed project...codename: OVERHAUL will look like this:
Athlon 64 Venice 3500+
2 gigs Corsair XMS ddr 400
Sapphire Radeon X1800XT OC
Seagate 80gig 7200rpm
Westen Digital Raptor 74gig 10,000rpm
Rosewill 550w PSU
(and not sure on the mobo yet)
with a BenQ 21 inch LCD widescreen.