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building AMD x2 systems with 8Gb ram

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January 1, 2008 12:04:23 AM

I want to build a system for software development, running VMs, and general computing. Not interested in overclocking or playing games with this machine. Probably Athlon X2 5200+ CPU. First req. for me is large memory - 8GB is ideal. I would like to use DDR2 800, but I see some mobos don't have approved configurations for 4 sticks of DDR2 800. Anyone using DDR2 800 to build an 8GB system - which mobo did you use?

Also I wonder if it is absolutely necessary to buy a 4x2Gb matched set of DRAM (such as
GEIL's http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
or is it possible to get away with the cheaper option of buying 2 otherwise identical 2x2Gb sets at the same time?

Of course I will use 64 bit O/S (probably w2k3). I also want dual monitors (or more - Surroundview with 3-4 monitors sounds great). I would love to use a mobo with integrated graphics, DSub+DVI video, builtin 1394, ethernet on PCI-e, and ability to add another vga card - but are these too consumer-oriented to have their memory maxed out? Anyone tried it?

I would like to hear from anyone who has built an AMD 8 Gb system, what hardware you used and what (if any) problems you encountered. I will report my experience.
TIA, Jintian
January 2, 2008 8:32:25 PM

No replies - so everyone is using Intel these days?
January 2, 2008 8:53:42 PM

I guess so i cant get anyone to help me overclock my AMD 2300.
January 23, 2010 11:25:28 PM

Jintian,
It is Jan2010 now.
The ASUS Motherboard M4A785TD-M EVO SKT. AM3 Motherboard has 4 DIMM sockets, takes 16GB.
But I don't see the 4GB DRAM sticks required.
I'm seeing mostly 4-socket mbds for 8GB max using 2GB sticks, all 240 pin.
Current price per 2GB sticks are around $140 ea (DDR2).
Above board takes DDR3, for which the AM3 socket was developed.

I've looked at server-service mbds -- some offer more DIMM sockets, but they often want "registered" (buffered) and/or ECC DIMM sticks, and they are harder to find cheap. Also, you pay for things like dual GigE interfaces that you may not want.

I am interested in exactly your kind of system. My Photoshop work is more often disk I/O bound than CPU bound. Also, I'm a slob and leave many windows opened, eating resources and causing swap file misses. IMHO, lots of DRAM is cheaper and faster and more reliable and more flexible than a solid-state drive . For my work, the design philosophy is huge DRAM, save money on CPU. Server motherboards are often sold into applications with lots of transactions/sec (e.g., hits on a Website) and so they favor sockets for more expensive CPUs, sometimes 2 or 4 of them (sockets, not cores. Sigh.).

Happy to compare notes -- FWIW, seems like valid goals to me. I've got several bread-and-butter systems to rebuild and won't move on a new power machine for a while.
jerry-va at removethistext speakeasy dot net.
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