First time poster here. Quick, probably newbie/stupid question. I recently installed new RAM (Mushkin Blackline Frostbyte DDR2-1066 to replace an aging DDR2-667 RAM for some performance and OC'ing purposes), and the guy at the shop suggested I re-install windows 'to get the best out of it'. I also installed a new motherboard as well. I'm not sure if he was talking about the motherboard or memory, but I don't want to go through the process of backing everything up and re-formatting. I'm currently running Windows 7 64 bit and XP in dual boot (I still use XP from time to time), which means a bit more work. Is it really necessary to re-install windows in order to reap the full benefits of the new motherboard and RAM? Sorry if this sounds stupid, I know it does.
No. The shopowner probably just asked you to re-install Windows, because then the RAM would seem to have more of a performance boost, because of the freshly installed operating system. So, no, it is not necessary to re-install windows to reap the full benefits of the new motherboard and RAM.
The only reason why the shopowner wanted you to re-install Windows was probably so you wouldn't complain to him if/when you couldn't feel the performance differences, which is understandable, considering that lower latencies/RAM timings and memory speeds can't really be noticed, unless you're benchmarking it.
Typically when you change motherboards it is advised to reinstall Windows especially if you have changed chipsets. There are ways around it, but if differs per OS and can be involved. You could always plug it in and see what happens. Backup anything important first.
Well, for the RAM, no. Reinstalling Windows would have no effect. But when you said you got a new motherboard along with it, then that changes a few things. Chances are that your new motherboard doesn't have the exact same onboard devices as the last one that you had, and this could cause some serious problems if you're using a ported-over copy of Windows. Whenever you installed Windows, it auto-detected the onboard devices on the motherboard and put the corresponding drivers onto your hard drive. If you put a new motherboard on the same drivers as the last one, though, I'm not exactly sure what will happen, as I've never really tried it before. It can't be pretty, though. As ekoostik said, be sure to back up anything you don't want to lose first...
Thanks for the replies. For reference, the new motherboard is a Gigabyte EP45-DS4P, and the old one is a Gigabyte P35-DS3L. Windows has booted up and is working, so should I still re-install Windows just to be safe or since it booted, just leave it be? I'm confused as to what drivers Windows is using for my motherboard now, so should I just run the motherboard's driver installation CD and install the new drivers? Would I have to remove the old ones first? Sorry for the 20 questions, just want to be sure on this.