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RAM Compatability Help

Last response: in Memory
December 13, 2011 12:22:14 AM


I'm hoping someone can help me because I'm having a hard time finding specific answers due to the age of my system.

With SW:TOR around the corner I would like to upgrade the RAM on my really old system. The motherboard is:


My real problem is that because I ordered this computer through Alienware in 08, I never got a manual and now I can't find one online. After doing some research it seems like my motherboard has the ability to run 4gb modules but it has really specific requirements. It appears that it needs a voltage of 1.8-2.0V.

The info I pulled above appears to be for the 790i chipset, but it was on the EVGa forums and I don't know if it applies to my NVIDIA. Is that info relevant to my system? Can I run 4 gb modules or am I going to have to go with 4 2gbs?

Finally, can anyone recommend some good reasonably priced RAM? I was looking at the GSKILL RAM on newegg, but it appears that it's all got too low of a voltage and I guess there is a risk of damaging the RAM if it's 1.6V or lower.

Thanks for any help you guys can provide!

More about : ram compatability

a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
December 13, 2011 1:58:42 AM

I assume that voltages that high mean your board uses DDR2, not DDR3 because DDR3 shouldn't run at voltages like that without some liquid nitrogen or comparable cooling.

How much RAM do you want? DDR2 is several times more expensive than DDR3 right now and that situation won't ever get any better.

Here is an 8GB kit:

And a 16GB kit:

You are unlikely to find good prices on DDR2 memory that isn't used and used memory can be problematic.
December 13, 2011 2:34:08 AM

Actually no, right now I'm using DDR3. I noticed the voltage difference between DDR2 and DDR3 and thought it was just a coincidence.

I know for a fact my ram is DDR3 because I still have the order invoice and my current RAM is:

Related resources
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
December 13, 2011 2:42:00 AM

I have no idea how to help you if you're using 1.8-2.0 volt DDR3. Get me some CPU-Z pics to confirm you have DDR3 memory and I'll see if I can help but this seems like something someone else will have to solve if you're right.
December 13, 2011 3:16:16 AM

I've never heard of CPU-Z I'll look in to it. The information I found on the 790i I found wasn't for NVIDIA so maybe that info isn't accurate. Unfortunately I don't have the voltage for my current RAM or I'd tell you. I'll repost after I look into CPU-Z.
December 13, 2011 3:22:44 AM

I looked into Newegg and I found this RAM:

I think that might be what I have which means it probably does support 1.5V RAM which means I believe I probably just answered my own question. Thanks for helping me get there. If you have any more advice I'd love to hear it. I haven't worked on my own system since like 2006 and I'm really out of touch.

Thanks for your help!
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
December 13, 2011 12:24:13 PM

Well if your experience is a little outdated I can say that you should do huge amounts of research very carefully on every part you think about. If you get more RAM for your computer and get everything running then I assume you will hold off on buying a new computer for at least a few months.

Intel is coming out with new CPUs early 2012 and both AMD and Nvidia will come out with new video cards. AMD will have new CPUs sometime in 2012 but at this point AMD isn't worth buying for high end desktop systems because their current Bulldozer architecture is lacking so much in performance even though it sucks up huge amounts of electricity that they can reduce FPS in some games compared to Intel's CPUs.

Due to Japan's problems and the fact that hard drive manufacturers all manufacture most of their hard drives in Japan there is a hard drive shortage that has doubled or tripled the price of every hard drive. Solid state drives are now worth owning and will give great leaps in storage performance and system responsiveness but regardless of the shortage they are still too expensive to get anything above low capacity models most of the time or you would skimp on performance.

Intel's chipsets worth having are P67 and Z68. AMD's best chipsets are 990FX and upcoming 1090FX but AMD has failed in high-end performance, which really disappoints me and a lot of other people. No other Intel LGA 1155 socket chipsets support CPU overclocking. There will probably be new chipsets due to Ivy Bridge that come out but if they stick to Intel's current naming schemes affordable overclocking chipsets will have a P or Z.

Unless there are more problems that's all for today, good luck with everything.
December 13, 2011 11:28:29 PM

Thanks! Yeah right now it's not in my finances to build a new system. Just trying to get a little more out of my system by upgrading the RAM. Thanks so much for everything!
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
December 14, 2011 10:06:33 AM

Your welcome.