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H57mb/3 of 4 DIMMs populated: filling the 4th

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December 16, 2010 11:25:17 AM

I just got an HP with the i860 and it came with three 2gb DIMMs in the 4 slots...for a total of 6gb

I thought that DIMMs needed to be installed in "matching" pairs...

Crucial says it can take 1 DIMM but that they should be installed in pairs...
So...it says I could add a 4 or 8gb DIMM in the empty slot as well as a 2gb DIMM, even though 2gb would be the paired/matching DIMM

(Matching in " quotes " because other than the amount of memory, in this case 2gb, and the basic specs revealed by the Crucial memory search, each I'm not sure how much more can be matched...at least in terms of the data provided by CPUz analysis)

When I ordered the 6gb machine, I thought I might get memory configured like this: 2 x 2gb + 2 x 1gb, for 6gb total...but instead, I got 3 x 2gb, as I said

Question1: Is the extra/odd DIMM of 2gb (giving me 6gb) not giving me all I can get out of the RAM because it's not a pair of two 1gb DIMMs instead...

Question2: I would expect any additional 2gb to be useful, but would populating the 4th empty DIMM slot give even more benefit because the DIMMs are now paired?

Question2a: Would adding 2gb to pair the memory be better than adding a 4gb DIMM (unpaired, as it is now) for a total of 12gb.

Question3: Would simple use of Crucial's analysis of my system be sufficient to match the DIMMs?

I'm not a gamer...and not much of a builder...I'll add a component or two to keep the machine up-to-date and get a bit more use/time out of it before I upgrade to a complete new machine...
I'm just a photoshop user and I thought my first upgrade would be to just fill the empty DIMM slot and "top-off" the memory....if the difference would be significant...

Thank you for your thoughts/responses...
a b } Memory
December 16, 2010 8:32:58 PM

There is absolutely nothing wrong with your setup. Having 3x2GB is technically a matching kit because of Triple Channel technology. However, I'm curious as to why you'd buy a computer with such an old CPU. The i860 (80860) is like 20+ years old. I think you meant the i760.

If you wanted to run all DIMM slots in dual channel, then getting an identical 2GB stick would be your best bet. Note that the i-series CPUs may get damaged if you volt higher than 1.65V. The reason I mention this is because typically when you occupy all DIMM slots on the mobo, a voltage increase of ~.1v - .2v is needed to maintain stability.
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December 16, 2010 9:02:22 PM

T_T writes:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with your setup. Having 3x2GB is technically a matching kit because of Triple Channel technology. However, I'm curious as to why you'd buy a computer with such an old CPU. The i860 (80860) is like 20+ years old. I think you meant the i760.

If you wanted to run all DIMM slots in dual channel, then getting an identical 2GB stick would be your best bet. Note that the i-series CPUs may get damaged if you volt higher than 1.65V. The reason I mention this is because typically when you occupy all DIMM slots on the mobo, a voltage increase of ~.1v - .2v is needed to maintain stability.
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Yes....it is the i7-860...
...and I got it as it seems to be the sweetspot for Photoshop and for users like me who buy and live one or two states-of-the-art behind the curve...and who buy a PC every 4 years so appreciate the jump, if not quantum leap, in speed....and if not the latest/fastest, the difference/improvement over the old dog is sooo nice we are pleased as punch, even if we are behind the curve a bit...

As for the memory...I've been warned to get the identical DIMM to pair up with the odd 2gb DIMM... but as I said Crucial's evaluation seems to suggest that I don't need to match the amount, 2gb, or even manufacturer....and that's my concern when "pairing/matching" DIMMs...

I could go two ways....wait till an identical brand comes up on Ebay...Elpida, a supplier for HP and Dell, and more OEMs I'm sure.....or dump the odd 2gb, and get a set of 2 new DIMMs....

Thanks for your input....
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