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Upgrading RAM

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January 19, 2010 7:50:51 PM

HI there guys n girl.

OK so. I have 2x Corsair Memory XMS2 1GB PC2-5400 DDR2 RAM in 2 of my 4 slots. I'm looking at putting more in but...

1)I hear rumors of vista 32bit having problems with 4Gb,true? so get 3Gb?

2)Is it better to get the exact same ram or as long as speeds and that match its all ok?

3)would replacing it all with 6400 be that much better?

4)2x512mb sticks or 1x1Gb stick better?

Thanks for any help you can give :) 

More about : upgrading ram

a c 163 } Memory
January 19, 2010 8:29:47 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardwae forum

1- Yourself said, are rumors

2- Not the exact model, just the same speed Voltage and CL. If you buy 6400 and install with your 5400, all your ram must RAM at 5400.

3- If you replace all your RAM and the mobo support the 6400, is a good option.

4- 1x1GB is better, in the future you can add more RAM. Or, if your mobo support, 2x2GB
a b } Memory
January 19, 2010 10:53:41 PM

m4matteo said:
1)I hear rumors of vista 32bit having problems with 4Gb,true? so get 3Gb?

There's not a problem with running Vista 32-bit and 4 GBs of RAM. But the entire 4 GBs won't be free for use by the system. 4 GBs is the max memory supported by Vista 32-bit, but if you install 4 GB the OS reserves some of the memory for devices that require memory mapped access. For example, if you have a video card with 256 MB onboard memory, that memory is mapped to the 4 GB installed, reducing the total amount available.

The "problem" Vista 32-bit created was that it reported only 3.12GB were installed when users had 4 GBs installed. The machine recognized 4 GB but because it only reported 3.12GB people thought something was wrong. Really it was just reporting the available memory. Microsoft made an update in SP1 to change the way it was reporting memory to try to lessen people's frustration with "missing" memory. But even so, when 4GB are installed a certain amount of the RAM has to be reserved for devices.

You can read more about this here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929605
And here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946003/
Related resources
January 19, 2010 11:03:39 PM

RAM can be a quirky thing to work with so the best road to take whenever possible is to remove as many possible potential problems from the equation as you can.

In other words you do not have to have the same brand but if it's in your power to do so then by all means do as your chances of success in purchasing RAM of the same specification and from the same vendor is better than mixing brands and relying only on the item specifications.

The fact that specifications are the same does not mean that the parts used to manufacture the product are and that can at times cause conflict.

It's always better to go with less RAM in larger sizes ergo if your end goal is 4GB then 2 X 2GB is far better than 4 X 1GB.
January 20, 2010 3:37:58 PM

Was asking about the vista 32bit thing as my mate said his computer kept crashing/BSOD with 4Gb. It works fine with 3GB and there does seem to be alot of information about it online is all.

Anyway.. So say i get some 6400 to go in with my 5400. would it automatically run at 6400 or do i need to change some settings? and will the 5400 ram be ok being overclocked to that?

January 20, 2010 8:29:16 PM

When you mix RAM speeds the faster RAM will automatically default to the speed of the slower RAM.
January 20, 2010 9:05:45 PM

Oh saint19 said different is all :S

But if I buy the 6400 i can run the 5400 faster to match?? OR stay safe and get some more 5400 lol?
January 20, 2010 10:21:01 PM

With memory you will always be best off if you buy the same type and brand and at the same time because even different runs of the manufacturing process cause minor variations but at times these seemingly minor differences can equate to success or failure when attempting to achieve a stable system.
a c 163 } Memory
January 20, 2010 11:16:11 PM

m4matteo said:
Oh saint19 said different is all :S

But if I buy the 6400 i can run the 5400 faster to match?? OR stay safe and get some more 5400 lol?


--

I'm saying the same as LoneWolf_53. If you install 6400 with 5400, your new 6400 RAM only can run at 5400 as your old RAM, At least that you OC your RAM 'till 6400.
January 21, 2010 1:01:39 PM

Someone at work has offered me some Geil black dragon PC2-6400 (800MHz) 2x2GB. I dont really understand the timings (e.g for them its 5-5-5-15). Is this anything i need to be aware of when installing RAM
January 21, 2010 1:37:42 PM

m4matteo said:
Someone at work has offered me some Geil black dragon PC2-6400 (800MHz) 2x2GB. I dont really understand the timings (e.g for them its 5-5-5-15). Is this anything i need to be aware of when installing RAM


That information is good to know if you are going to overclock but since you made no mention of that in your original post then I'd say no it's not something you need to worry about.
a c 163 } Memory
January 21, 2010 2:26:48 PM

m4matteo said:
Someone at work has offered me some Geil black dragon PC2-6400 (800MHz) 2x2GB. I dont really understand the timings (e.g for them its 5-5-5-15). Is this anything i need to be aware of when installing RAM


---

If you go a buy the RAM, bear in mind that the CL be 5 or less and the voltage be 1.8V or less.
January 25, 2010 8:44:57 PM

Thx for your help people. i went ahead and got me 2x2Gb of geil Black dragon RAM C5. Seems to be running nicelly :) 
!