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My Memory Conundrum

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September 17, 2007 3:58:35 PM

My current situation is 2 x 1gb of ddr2 800. I would like to upgrade, and my board supports 1066. I realize this may be a bit of preference, but what would you do. For now, I'll either buy 2gb of ddr2 800 or 1066. I have a few questions.

Can I run 2 sticks of 800 and 2 of 1066?
Can I run a 1gb stick with a 2gb stick at the same time?
Can I run a 1gb stick of 800 and a 2gb stick of 1066 at the same time?

I know that slipping in 2 more 1gb sticks of 800 would be the most beneficial for me right now, but in the future, I want to be able to upgrade without having to scrap all my memory. If I go with a 2gb stick of ddr2 1066, how much performance would be lost from my current 2 x 1gb sticks of ddr2 800?

Any other insight would be helpful. Thanks

PS: I tried reading the memory post at the top but the html wasn't working, and reading over all those tags was giving me a headache.

More about : memory conundrum

September 17, 2007 4:12:08 PM

The worst that would likely happen is that your faster memoy might run at 800 mhz, I have no idea how an odd number of sticks would run, I think the board gets forced out of duel channel mode in that case, but I am running an old rig, so I cannot say with 100 percent certainty.

Frankenstyle said:
My current situation is 2 x 1gb of ddr2 800. I would like to upgrade, and my board supports 1066. I realize this may be a bit of preference, but what would you do. For now, I'll either buy 2gb of ddr2 800 or 1066. I have a few questions.

Can I run 2 sticks of 800 and 2 of 1066?
Can I run a 1gb stick with a 2gb stick at the same time?
Can I run a 1gb stick of 800 and a 2gb stick of 1066 at the same time?

I know that slipping in 2 more 1gb sticks of 800 would be the most beneficial for me right now, but in the future, I want to be able to upgrade without having to scrap all my memory. If I go with a 2gb stick of ddr2 1066, how much performance would be lost from my current 2 x 1gb sticks of ddr2 800?

Any other insight would be helpful. Thanks

PS: I tried reading the memory post at the top but the html wasn't working, and reading over all those tags was giving me a headache.

September 17, 2007 4:24:24 PM

Optimally I would be running all 1066 2gb sticks, as that is the highest standard my board can support. If I go ahead and buy a 2gb stick of 1066 and slip that in at the same time as my other 2x 2gb 800's it would still improve my performance until I finally did switch out the 800's?

I don't know why I put a question mark on the end there, it was a statement, but it would be nice if you experts out there would tell me if it was a true statement or a false one.

Thanks

Edit:
I just looked at newegg and they didn't carry any 1066 2gb sticks so I am assuming nobody makes them. Now I have a new question. What would offer better performance, 4gb of 1066 (4x 1gb) or 8gb of 800 (4x 2gb)? I know many of you will say the 8gb hands down, but there has to be a point at which you computer simply doesn't need the 8gb of memory. For the 4gb at a faster speed would that compare, or am I just being delusional?
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September 17, 2007 4:35:14 PM

if you run slower clocked memory with higher modules it will clock them all to the lowest settings and match their timings as well. It's actually a bad idea to match different rated memories and different brand as it can cause instability issues or slow downs. The choice is yours.

What operating system are you running? 8gb is pointless unless you can actually use it. Also note that XP 32 bit won't run more then 4 gb...even then it will only address around 2.8-3.5 gb worth of it. If you want to use all the memory you'll have to use a 64bit operating system. This is also the case with 32bit vista. 4gb will become the standard slowly but if you don't use it their is no point. What do you use your rig for?
September 17, 2007 4:38:52 PM

I am running vista 64-bit. I will be using photoshop by day and most likely WoW or an equivalent game by night. I'm not a hardcore gamer, I wont spend $750 on a gfx card, but I want it to look pretty.
September 17, 2007 4:40:04 PM

the place where LOTS of ram makes sense is virtual pc, or vmware, then you can use all you can get, but if you don't do that stuff, don't go nuts, save your money for a new game or an extra hard drive or something.
September 17, 2007 4:49:34 PM

yea...It's overkill. May I ask why you said you want it to look pretty?...ram won't help it look pretty...heh...it may slightly increase frame rate if you had a low amount to begin with....going from ddr2-800 to ddr2-1066 won't give you massive performance. Splurging money on ram is the worst part of the system to do so. a graphics card would give you much higher performance. But overall if you do lots of photoshop work 4 gb will help. 8gb is overkill imo. But if you are not overclocking just nab 4x1 gb modules. Get two pairs of Ballistix 1066 modules..or just try to find some decent 2x2 gb modules and drop your current ones. Running mismatched pairs can cause more problems then you think. Not worth it imo. when I buy ram for my rigs I always make sure I buy all the ram upfront. Last thing you want is a new revision of the same modules...you end up buying them and they cause instability. Not worth it. Either just nab another pair of the memory you have...4x1 gb crucial ballistic modules...or a set of 2x2 (Although very expensive and hard to find in 1066 form). Heck...if you aren't overclocking at all you can get away with even less the ballisix modules. I just recommend those since most people on this form plan to OC...and since they use D9 micron chips they are great oc'ers.
September 17, 2007 5:57:03 PM

When I said I wanted things to look pretty I guess I was referring to the graphics but also the overall feel of the computer while using it, from smooth transitions to smooth gaming. I am under the impression that more and better RAM will result in smoother gameplay, or is that solely in the territory of the processor and graphics card?
September 17, 2007 8:35:09 PM

it matters...up to a POINT...then it is just not worth the money because the gains after you get 2 gigs or so are very small for most things, unless you do video editing or a lot of photoshop, or virtual machines, getting more than 2 gigs, even in vista is a waste; the reason is that 2 is enough and it wont speed up regular usage, or gaming all that much, but it will cost TWICE as much. Youd be better off with 2 gigs and a better cpu or video card than 4 or 8 gigs and a so so video card or cpu.

It's called the "sweet spot", and for vista it is 2 gigs, for xp it is one, but 2 is still pretty good. The sweet spot is simply the most performance for the least money, after that point the cost goes up much faster than the performance does.

September 17, 2007 9:40:43 PM

For WoW, adding memory does make the game run smoother. I don't think you need much more than 2GB, though. A semi-modern graphics card should run WoW fine, no need to go 8800 shopping.
September 18, 2007 2:09:50 AM

Now that that is settled I have another question. Im new to the whole overclocking, and while researching that I learned about how you figure your cpu speed by taking the multiplier and the speed and all that. Mine is running slowly but I think that is microsofts speed stepping or something, but I wasn't sure if the same sort of principals applied to memory.

DDR2 - 800 should really be at 400Mhz, but with CPU-Z my memory is showing up as single channel. Im kind of confused. It's still registering as ddr2 but it says 400Mhz and single channel, not dual? Im not sure what the deal is with that.
September 18, 2007 2:12:47 AM

also keep in mind that the difference between running DDR667 and running DDR1067 is about 1-1.5 percent increse in "OVERALL SYSTEM PERFORMANCE" unless you are doing massive OC's that require you to run a FSB of up around 500MHz and then run memory at 1:1 the higher end memory is still not worth it. Even as cheap as memory is. You wont be able to 'feel and difference I garontee it. Unless you run uber high speed with really fast timings.
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