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Memory Upgrade Question DDR2??

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June 8, 2007 6:44:26 PM

This is my current PC..

HP Pavilion a1710n Desktop PC

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/prodinfoCategory?lc=...

In summary it has an AMD Athlon X2 4200+ processor, Vista Premium, 1GB PC2-4200 RAM (2*512MB).

I would like to upgrade the RAM. I've been told by a couple of techs that PC2-4200 RAM is really holding back the AM2 Socket Athlon X2 4200+. They recommended I go up to PC2-6400, or PC2-5300 at the minimum.

I had a couple of questions. According to HP's website, If you look at the link for the motherboard, it only accepts PC2-5300. However, I'd like to go ahead and go to the PC2-6400.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00...;cc=u


According to Crucials memory configurator, it will accept PC2-6400, even doing a system scan by Crucial, it tells me it will accept that.

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=Pavil...

Should I just go ahead and go for the PC2-6400? I'd like to just get 2 1GB sticks of it. Or is the difference between the PC2-6400 and PC2-5300 not that noticable?


Thanks in advance for your help.
a b } Memory
June 8, 2007 7:17:44 PM

The bios on that system is not going to allow you any tweaking or tuning. This will limit or eliminate any benefit of going to faster memory as you will not be able to OC at all. Depending on the HP bios, it "might" not even boot with faster memory depending on the voltage it sets.

If you want or need an upgrade, I would suggest you add a 2 x 1gb kit of value type memory that will run at OEM spex. If you put performace RAM into that box, it may not even boot.
June 8, 2007 7:31:21 PM

Hmm.. I'm not sure I understand your answer. If the motherboard accepts PC2-5300, wouldn't that out-perform PC2-4200? Or if it accepts PC2-6400, etc..?? I am not really interested in overclocking, the only overclocking I've ever done is using coolbits on a video card. You don't need to overclock 667 or 800 MHZ memory to notice an advantage over 533MHZ do you?


I will admit, I'm not very strong in knowledge on these types of things.
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June 8, 2007 7:45:31 PM

Not necessarily. There is potential it will even perform a little worse because of the ratios. On that machine I would not worry about the speed of the memory, because it will have too minimal an effect on the performance. More beats faster.
a b } Memory
June 8, 2007 9:00:45 PM

Quote:
Hmm.. I'm not sure I understand your answer. If the motherboard accepts PC2-5300, wouldn't that out-perform PC2-4200? Or if it accepts PC2-6400, etc..?? I am not really interested in overclocking, the only overclocking I've ever done is using coolbits on a video card. You don't need to overclock 667 or 800 MHZ memory to notice an advantage over 533MHZ do you?


I will admit, I'm not very strong in knowledge on these types of things.
Your system is very limted because it is an OEM system. Therefore, it may not even be able to boot with faster memory if HP prevents it in the bios. Also, faster memory requires more voltage to run than your stock memory and this system cannot provide that voltage.

Also, if you simply increase the memory speed without OCing the CPU (and you cannot OC the CPU on that system) then there is VERY minimal gain to be had, probably less than 5%. And, that is not guaranteed.

This is why I suggested a 2 x 1gb kit of memory. You will some benefit from increasing the amount of memory you have.
June 8, 2007 11:00:55 PM

Quote:
...Your system is very limted because it is an OEM system. ...

Sadly, this is true.
Quote:
...Also, faster memory requires more voltage to run than your stock memory ...

This isn't true -- all "DDR2" memory must run at the standard 1.8V DDR2 voltage, otherwise it's defective, or not really "DDR2" memory. Of course, it may not run as fast as its advertised settings at that standard voltage.

However, what XMS is getting at is that much "performance" memory these days is being sold according to manufacturer-sanctioned overclock settings which require higher-than-standard voltage to reach those OC settings. Since your MB apparently cannot boost the DIMM voltage, it's best for you to stick with memory that is sold according to its specs at 1.8V.

Also, faster memory can always run fine at a slower speed. The actual speed that the RAM runs at will be the slower of what the MB can support and what the RAM can support. Even if you plug in DDR2-800 RAM, if your MB only supports a maximum DDR2-533 memory speed, then your memory will run at DDR2-533.

Quote:
...I suggested a 2 x 1gb kit of memory. You will some benefit from increasing the amount of memory you have.

Good advice.
a b } Memory
June 9, 2007 1:09:59 AM

What I meant by "faster memory" is performance or OCing memory like our XMS line. And, in many cases, OEM systems won't boot performance memory at all which is why I recommend OEM or value type memory in a 2 x 1gb kit.
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