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Best RAM Memory Upgrade Choice

Last response: in Components
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June 24, 2009 9:33:20 PM

I’m about to upgrade my 2 years old PC to give at least 1-2 years more of life before going for a new one (i7 or what’s coming on late 2010). These are my specs:

Power Supply: 750W
Motherboard: NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI
Processor: E6750 Core 2 (2.66GHz x 2) cooled with a Zalman CNPS8000
Memory: 2GB Corsair DDR2 PC5300 DDR667 (2x1024MB)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTS 640MB PCIe
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (32-Bit)

I don’t want to spend more than USD 500 on the upgrade and I’ll change the CPU, the Video card and add more memory. For the CPU I picked the Intel Q6600 (I really need the Quad core and this is the only Quad my MoBo will support, I think), for the video card The EVGA GTX 275 896MB (I think is the best I can get for the budget and again, that my mother board can handle) but I’m still in doubt about the memory:

Initially I thought on getting rid of the 2x1024 MB DDR667 I have and put instead 2x2GB DDR800, but then it occurred to me I can still use the 2X1GB I have and add the 2x@GB in the other 2 slots of the 680i for a total of 6MB RAM. My questions are:

1. Do I have to add 2x2GB DDR667 or can I add new, better 2x2GB DDR800. I mean, is it a good idea to keep the same type of memory in all slots or it doesn’t matter? I’ve read the answer would be yes, but it’s not a straight answer

2. Do I really need 6GB or would I be fine with just 4GB. I initially though I’ll be fine with 2GB but then I have games recommending 2.5 (i.e. GTA IV) and even 3GB minimum. Keep in mind the price for getting 6GB or 4GB is the same as I’ll keep the old 2x1GB I already have

3. What would be better, 6GB (2x1GB + 2x2GB) DDR667 or 4GB (2x2GB) DDR800, considering I’ll have a 1066 mhz FBS processor?

Any advice on my planned configuration would also me welcomed

Thanks!

Charly
June 24, 2009 10:55:32 PM

a 32 bit os will not see more than 3.5 gig of ram so 6 is out of the question

ideally all ram should be the same, if it is not all ram will all run at the lowest rating

i would go with 2x2gb at the fastest the mb can handle
June 24, 2009 11:12:12 PM

1st, because of your 32bit OS, max usable RAM is 4GB-video RAM-additional hardware-used addresses. Thus, you will only be able to use about 3GB total RAM. Thus, you should install 4GB total RAM (either 4x1GB or 2x2GB).

However, since Intel CPUs are more expensive these days, and since your current MB is both older and has a problematic chipset, I'd go with a Phenom II x3 or x4 and nice new MB combo. This will be faster than the q6600 and cheaper, or only slightly more expensive. Why do you need 4 cores? Here's a great deal on a triple core Phenom II x3 + MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... ($190 - $10 rebate, free shipping).
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