Help with RAM - Phenom II in ASROCK M/board


Hello "Tom's Hardware",

I'm an "ol' geezer" [well-retired Mech Engineer] and am struggling with what should be an easy choice. I've done a couple of days of the FAQs which have helped to frame the questions.

Just bought [2nd hand] a complete PC with ASROCK M3A UCC m/board [Dual Channel], AMD Phenom II x4 840 3200 MHz processor and with 4 GB [2 cards] of DDR3 RAM of [as yet] unknown make/speed. I can take them out - if needs be - and check what they are.

It was used purely for playing Films/Music to a huge TV/cinema kit. He had two others for doing his internet stuff! He admits that it never did go on the 'net, but has a TV Card and uses WIN7 Home Premium O/S.

I have bought a Seagate 1 TB Extension HD to clear off the internal 1 TB HD and act as a back-up. This can use both USB2 and 3 connections, presently running on USB2. The m/board has two PCI Express [short, and unused] slots and 1 long slot already used.

The PC is quick [compared to the 1300 I had previously] but struggles when many windows in IE are open. I note the RAM is only showing 2.7 GB available, altho' Virtual Memory is now set around 10 GB - and that is slowing the PC. I have followed the advice [your site] and looked up the m/board RAM compatibility at ASRock web-site. There are hundreds of recommendations, all different sizes/speeds, SC/DC, etc.

So I have read a LOT about SC/DC RAM chips, speeds etc - and there is loads about the most efficient cost/set up of RAM at 6 GB [at a speed] for the INTEL i7 processor. I found that on your site. So my two questions are these -

1. With the above AMD & M/board, what would be your guess at a reasonable size/speed of RAM? I won't be using hugely-RAM-hungry apps [like CAD used to be], but will be writing a book using the latest Dragon Speech Recognition software as my hands don't work at all well, and are getting worse. So do I need to err on the side of bigger/faster - rather than hold up my thoughts waiting for PC-"catch-up"...?

DC seems to be better than SC [and the m/board allows it] and many makes are mentioned in the approved list, but [as I read] it's not always the faster chips and the more GB's that are efficient and most effective. I am happy to completely replace the present RAM [whatever it is] OR just add 1/2 identical 2 GB cards to ensure it doesn't struggle with the Speech Recognition software, or with my research on the 'net.

2. I can fit a 4 x USB 3 card into one of the PCI Express short slots to run the back-up to the new 1 TB extension drive faster/regularly. I have two free - PCIE1 & PCIE3. I have done the FAQs on this also, to get a "grip" on the requirements/prices and which slot to use. I have now two in mind. Can you give any pertinent advice/problems to watch out for?

Thanks - in anticipation of "old fashioned" assistance. David.
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  1. Here are your motherboard specs:


    What ram you have is a need to know I think. Is it even compatible?

    Here is crucial search results useing your motherboard, but I suggest using "scan my computer" for compatible ram:

    What is your OS? 32 bit can only use 4gb. 62 can use 8 or more gbs.

    Also, if your ram is not showing up in the bios, then you need to check if it is installed properly, I think. I was surprised to find out how hard you have to push to put ram into place the first time I did it.. Make sure comp is turned off/unpluged and you are grounded etc..blahbalhmoo

    Here's meme test: to check if you ram works etc.

    Sets ups for another processor don't matter if you don't have that processor, just fyi.

    1333 would be good enough, but you might as well buy 1600 since it doesn't cost more nowdays.
    Latency is a pinch sometimes but it will work high or low, just make sure your bios has it set to the right settings and voltage to have the ram run properly.

    That's probably all the info I can give with what info you gave so far. I don't know too much about this either.

    btw usb is not ram that can be inputed into the mother board, you lost me on some of your jargon. Please rephrase if you need more help xO
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