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Memory choice

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January 19, 2010 2:37:02 PM

This is my first posting although I have been reading this forum for quite sometime.
Mobo is MSI 7241 , CPU is Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe at 2.4Ghz . Memory is 2G DDR2 667 mhz. OS is Vista Home Premium SP2 .

I am planning to update OS to Win7 with clean install . From what I read Win7 32 bit will run fine with 2G Ram. But I will need 4G RAM ofr Win 7x64 to show its potential . I am planning to upgrade my Mobo as well in the summer time to one that can overclock , something like Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P .

So now I would like to increase the memory to 4G but not sure which path to follow:

To install 64bit OS :

a) Install 2G of DDR2 800mhz alongside the 667 Mhz sticks on my current mobo . I understand the 800 mhz memory will run at the speed of the 667. Will this work?


b) Bite the bullet and install 4G DDR 800 mhz . The choice of 800mhz ( max speed the MSI can handle ) is to cater for the mobo upgrade later.


Remain with 32bit for now and reinstall win7 when I change mobo and memory.

BTW computer is mostly used for email, web surfing, processing of nzb file, streaming of video to my home network. Very little MS Office use

Advise please Tks




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January 19, 2010 6:06:33 PM

You need to be careful when you upgrade the operating system from Win Vista to Win 7, if you are going to change the motherboard in a few months. If you have an OEM version of Windows, that version is tied to the MB and CPU, and changing out these components will require that you buy a new OEM version of Windows. If you have the full retail version of Windows 7, then you can transfer it from one machine to the next without any problems as long as it is deactivated on the previous machine.

In any case, you should get the 64 bit version of Windows 7, to allow for your memory upgrade. I would just add 2 GB of memory to your existing 667 MHz RAM. The difference in performance between 800 MHz and 667 MHz memory is only a few percentage points depending on the application.

Good luck with your decisions.
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January 20, 2010 2:07:56 AM

I understand that adding the 667mhz Ram is fine for now. Will the 667 mhz Ram still work with mobo's requiring a min of 800mhz Ram ?
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January 20, 2010 9:23:27 AM

Most P45 motherboards will support 667 MHz RAM, but you need to check with the manufacturers website, not necessarily Newegg to confirm this. For instance, Newegg list the memory supported for the P45-UD3R as DDR2 1366/1066:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But if you go to the Gigabyte website it lists the memory supported as DDR2 1366/1066/800/667 for the same motherboard:
http://www.giga-byte.com/Products/Motherboard/Products_...

Just check before you buy.

Best regards.
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a c 109 } Memory
January 20, 2010 2:20:08 PM

1) Buy the upgrade version of windows-7. It will come with both a 32 bit dvd and a 64 bit dvd. It will cost about the same as OEM,
and is considered a retail version, giving you MS support and transferability.
There is a legitimate two step instalation process to clean install an upgrade version
You install windows-7 from the cd, but do not initially enter the product code or activate.
After it installs, you have a fully functional OS for 30 days.
Step 2 is to insert the dvd again, while running Windows and then do an upgrade.
This time, enter your product code, and activate.
After activation. you may delete the initial version which is named windows.old.

2) As to the ram issue, it is best to buy a new 4gb kit. That guarantees that the sticks match and will work together. Even the same part number from the same vendor can differ from one manufacturing run to another. Some motherboards are very sensitive to mismatched ram. Sell the old ram to recover some of the cost.

Next best thing would be to try to match the 2gb you already have at 667. At the least, insure that the voltage, timings and speed are the same. The speed of ram does not make much difference in real(vs synthetic benchmark) application speed.
Having 4gb is really good for W7.

3) I would not upgrade your system past the 4gb ram.
If you think you need more cpu power, look at upgrading to one of the new 32nm clarkdale cpu's. Even the cheapest one will be faster than an overclocked E6600.
You should be able to recover some of the cost by marketing the E6600 and ram. The old mobo will not sell for much.
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January 20, 2010 3:21:59 PM

Geofelt,

Why the two step installation process. Why not install it once and then manually activate? In step 2 are you saying to boot into windows , then insert the dvd and restart the upgrade process by clicking on setup or something like that? Does the full version need 2 step process?

Yes I definitely want 4G ram for Win7 Pro OS.

As for the current MSI mobo , I might consider transferring it to a Sempron based computer XP2 when its time to upgrade again .



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a c 109 } Memory
January 20, 2010 3:44:38 PM

sportflyer said:
Geofelt,

Why the two step installation process. Why not install it once and then manually activate? In step 2 are you saying to boot into windows , then insert the dvd and restart the upgrade process by clicking on setup or something like that? Does the full version need 2 step process?

Yes I definitely want 4G ram for Win7 Pro OS.

As for the current MSI mobo , I might consider transferring it to a Sempron based computer XP2 when its time to upgrade again .


The update package includes a product key that identifies itself as an update key. As such, it must be installed under the control of another operating system, not a clean install. It will not activate otherwise.

The two step process is necessary to cover the case of an update from a 32 bit os to a 64 bit os which can not be done under control of a 32 bit os. This procedure was described to me by MS so I know it is supported.

The full version has a product key that does not require this procedure. It is also more expensive.
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January 20, 2010 3:56:41 PM

geofelt said:
The update package includes a product key that identifies itself as an update key. As such, it must be installed under the control of another operating system, not a clean install. It will not activate otherwise.

The two step process is necessary to cover the case of an update from a 32 bit os to a 64 bit os which can not be done under control of a 32 bit os. This procedure was described to me by MS so I know it is supported.

The full version has a product key that does not require this procedure. It is also more expensive.




I was planning to make a clean install and delete my Vista Sp2 (32 bit) . I was also planning to go the custom install route, ie delele all partitions and make 3 new parttions on my HDD then install Win7 pro in the first partition .

Are you saying that I cannot do the above without going thru this double install process? Tks
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a c 109 } Memory
January 20, 2010 4:19:26 PM

The double install process is necessary if you will use an upgrade package. It is no big deal. You do not need to apply maintenance or anything else to the first install. It takes 15-20 minutes or so.

The double install is not necessary if you use oem or retail packages.
Retail costs about double.
OEM makes you pick 32 bit or 64 bit up front, and there are restrictions on transferring the OS to a new motherboard. Those restrictions are minor, and easily bypassed.

I would not bother partitioning the drive. What do you wish to accomplish with three partitions?
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January 20, 2010 5:44:13 PM

I thought with Win 7 there is no need for double installation with a retail package.

I was planning to install OS ( plus applications) in partition 1( 60G) , User data in partition 2 (60G) , Linux in partition 3 (20G) plus another 260G unallocated . ( Total capacity is 400G) The reason being that if I have to reinstall Win7 , all user data is saved in another partition and unaffected by the reinstall.

However I have another 1T HDD ( DVD /video and pictures etc for streaming to my media player) . so I might actually install Linux in second physical drive which means I only need 2 partitions in Drive #1 .
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a c 109 } Memory
January 20, 2010 7:24:53 PM

If you want to run linux, that is a good reason for another partition.

If you have both your data and your OS in the same partition, you can do a repair install to the OS and still keep your settings and data.
Otherwise, I think it is simpler to put your OS and applications in the same partition. Space management is easier. Also, it should be faster because newly loaded data will be placed near to each other instead of being seperated on the drive.

That brings up another issue, how will you do backup?

Somewhere, you should have a plan to backup your critical data to some sort of EXTERNAL device. It is the only way to protect yourself from both hardware failures, and such things as viruses and malware. Windows7 includes this capability. You create a restorable image to some external device. Subsequent runs back up only the changed data. In the event you need to recover, you boot from your installation disk and invoke the restore program to restore your OS and data.
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January 20, 2010 8:14:32 PM

I was thinking of 2 partitions on HDD #1 . Partition 1--Win7 OS + programs .Partition 2-- user data ie create Home/username etc .

I know that windows has a restore function . Are you saying that win 7 can make an image of my drive to a external or internal HDD and I dont need to use a 3rd party program like Macrium Reflect?

I was planning to use win 7 restore function and then using Macrium for complete image of my drives a0 Base installation , then maybe once a month to an ext HDD as backup.

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a c 109 } Memory
January 20, 2010 10:02:39 PM

Specifically, windows-7 home premium upgrade 64 bit and 32 bit does have an image backup and incremental backup capability. That is what I use. (I used the 2 step install)

I should probably as an exercise try the whole thing on my backup PC so I know I can do it if I ever need to. My critical items are few, and I have them copied to a USB drive also.

I have no doubt that the retail package includes the capability, and I would be very surprised of the oem copy lacked it. I have Acronis true image which I use to cloned the OS drive to upgrade to a SSD. It works well.

While backup to a different internal drive may be convenient, it does not protect you from viruses, malware, fire, or power surges. External is slower but safer.
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January 21, 2010 1:38:24 AM

For this computer , I have no critical items at all. Cloning the drive is just to save me the pain of reinstalling Windows and all the programs and my settings if a virus/malware hits. TKs
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January 31, 2010 1:29:08 AM

Best answer selected by sportflyer.
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