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Momory upgrade

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July 31, 2009 6:51:35 AM

I have AMD athlon 3800X2 pc with 1GB ram. I want to upgrade the memory. The sys supports DDR400 ram.
Can gurus plz suggest what amount of additional ram will be optimum upgrade for the CPU installed? Another 1GB (total 2GB) or another 2GB (total 2GB).

Thank you

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a b } Memory
July 31, 2009 7:20:20 AM

What motherboard are you sticking the RAM into and is your current 1Gb a pair of sticks or a single one?

Generally speaking, the more RAM the better.
If you can locate an inexpensive 2Gb kit (2x1Gb sticks) definatly go for it.
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July 31, 2009 5:41:49 PM

Thanks all for your response
My MOBO is MSI K8N neo with 4 dual channel slot. Currently used 2x512MB ram
Also have a dedicated Graphics card with 512 MB. Its true the more RAM the better. But my q is from the capability level of the processor will there be any useful improvement in system speed beyond 2GB in dual channel. Probably for a 64 bit OS there might be significant improvement. But the pc is 3yrs old and migrating to 64bit might cause driver issue. And there is no point to invest heavily on such old sys rather than RAM and HDD upgrade. Along with RAM upgrd I am also thinking about a 500GB sata II. For that which brand will be better... seagate, WD or any other. 7200 rpm should be enough for me
Thanks again
a b } Memory
July 31, 2009 6:08:36 PM

Your mobo supports DDR2-667/PC2-5300 standard so you can go with this :

Patriot 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You will see a significant speed increase (2GB) and if you wish to upgrade the cpu in the future then I suggest you get 2 sets (4 x 1Gb sticks)

I would not recommend migrating to a 64 bit OS if your ram maxes out @ 667Mhz (4 x 1Gb)...

As far as the hard drive get a WD and stay away from seagate, hitachi, etc...

This is what you need :

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...





July 31, 2009 6:46:41 PM

Sorry, I forgot to mention its 939 socket processor. Alas no support for ddr2 RAM. At my place DDR1 is 2x costly than DDR2 . That is why I am trying to bargain with myself between +1GB and +2GB. Had I have DDR2 option I would probably go for +2x2GB DDR2 which costs as much as 2x1GB ddr1
a b } Memory
July 31, 2009 6:54:41 PM

Yea I guess i pulled up the wrong mobo... Anandtech came up with the Neo Platinum and not Neo (Kn8)...

IMO i would not spend a dime on DDR RAM... I would save up for a new MOBO/RAM/CPU combo and sell what you have on e-bay.... you wont be able to stay current due to your platform is almost obsolete...

In the end you are better of saving and buying something that will last...

For 160.00 to 180.00$ you can get a decent system and it will be a night n day difference compared to your current setup.... [:jaydeejohn:5]
July 31, 2009 7:07:00 PM

The MSI website shows ten different mobo's that are named K8N Neo .... So which is yours? And what CPU socket is used? 939? AM2 / AM2+?

I have an AMD Athlon64 X2 4400+ CPU and have realized most of these processor designs have a limit on how they manage RAM. Don't forget that these processors have their memory management system built into the CPU, not in the mobo's chipset. Apparently because of loading of the memory addressing lines, if the CPU has to deal with FOUR DRAM modules with "double-sided" RAM (no, this does not necessarily mean chips on both sides of the RAM board), it will automatically slow down the RAM bus speed from DDR400 to DDR333. So, if you were to leave your 2 x 512 MB modules in place and fill the remaining two with more 512 MB units (total 2 GB) or with 2 x 1GB units (total 3 GB), you'd have more RAM space to use without forcing slow use of the Swap File on disk, but your overall RAM speed would decrease. I'm facing that as I look at going from 2 GB to 4 GB. On the other hand, in your case you could take out the 2 x 512MB units and replace them with a 2 x 1GB pair of DDR400 (aka PC3200) modules to get a significant RAM size increase (and hence some speed-up) without forcing the RAM to run slower.

Without knowing which exact mobo you have I can't confirm Ovrclkr's statement that you can also use DDR2 RAM. And I don't know whether your particular CPU and mobo are among those that slow down RAM when all 4 slots are populated, or whether DDR2 RAM (if you can use it) is subject to the same limit.

EDIT: Now that you say it's a "3800X2 CPU in Socket 939", and you cannot use DDR2, I pretty convinced you are subject to the limit I outlined - 4 full RAM slots will cause all of your RAM to run a bit slower.

Here's something to consider. Since you have a video card with dedicated RAM, let's assume that the addressing space for that will be taken from the top addressing area over 3GB so that, if you have less than 4 GB of RAM, none of the real RAM is "blocked off" by video address use. However, Windows still will reserve for its own use about 0.3 GB of real RAM. So with the 1 GB you have now, there's actually about 0.7 GB usable by applications. If you went to 2 GB in 2 x 1GB modules as a replacement for current RAM, the usable application space would increase to about 1.7 GB - about 2½ times what you have now. That is a significant increase, but you still would be running at full DDR400 speed in the RAM bus. Moreover, many apps only use up to 1 GB themselves, so you only need over 1GB if you have more than one big app running. But you're under 1 GB available now, so you may be seeing slowdowns while the Swap File is used, and you could beat that with 2GB RAM.
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