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ASRock memory compatibility question

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October 29, 2005 6:07:13 PM

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

I am currently working off of an ASRock P4V88 motherboard and have 1 GB of RAM (2x512 MB). I run quite a few very large programs and I also enjoy graphic intensive games. In general, I have been happy with my setup, but I have determined that a bit more memory may help out.

I was rereading my motherboard manual to determine exactly what kind of memory I needed to buy, and I came across something that was a little confusing. I will print it below exactly as it appears in my manual:

"2 DDR DIMM Slots Support PC3200 (DDR400), Max. 2GB,
4 DDR DIMM Slots Support PC2700 (DDR333)/PC2100 (DDR266), Max. 3.5 GB"

My interpretation is that if you are using only two of the four slots, you can use PC3200 (which is what I use now), but if you want to use all four slots, you cannot use PC3200. Is this correct?

The reason I ask, is that it will be cheaper for me to buy 1 more GB (2x512MB) identical to my current sticks, as opposed to replacing everything with 2x1GB.

I hope I am misreading this and that I can use PC3200 in all 4 slots.

Thank you!
a b } Memory
October 30, 2005 8:22:21 PM

You can use PC3200 (DDR400) in all four slots, but you might have to drop the memory speed to DDR333 (PC2700 speed) in BIOS to make the memory controller stable.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
October 31, 2005 1:32:33 AM

Thank you for your advice.

Can I damage any hardware if I don't change the memory speed? The website lists that this motherboard can handle the PC3200 RAM in all slots, despite the contradiction from my manual. If this won't damage my system, I'd like to give it a shot.

Thanks!
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a b } Memory
October 31, 2005 1:41:10 AM

No, the problem with the memory controller causes instability, not physical damage. It's nothing more than a timing issue, if 4 sticks are stable at full-speed, use them. Otherwise, drop the speed.

You might not even get the system to boot with four sticks, in which case you could remove two, drop the memory speed in BIOS, and then re-instal them.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
October 31, 2005 3:22:36 AM

Thanks a lot! I appreciate all of your help.
a b } Memory
October 31, 2005 4:07:00 AM

You were very courtious and asked informed questions, a pleasure to deal with. And if you've read a few of my more assertive responses, I think you'll know why that's so important!

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
!