Should I upgrade an AM2 system with 1GB ram?

I built an AM2 budget system for a buddy 4 years ago. He's still on XP and has 2x512MB of DDR2.

Do you guys think it's worth it to add more RAM? If so, how would you do that?

The motherboard says 4GB limit and there are 4 slots, so I guess you can't use 2GB sticks?

http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/introduction.php?S_ID=164#memory
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  1. for the money ram costs today i would say forget it... 2 gigs of ddr2 will set you back 50 notes and thats for the cheap stuff. so unless you can find a refurb shop willing to sell you 4x1 gig or 2x2 gigs of ddr2 for 20 i would say dont waste your money...
    a lot of games are arriving with a minimum spec of dx10 so an xp based machine with dx9 isnt really worth the money to upgrade.
  2. HEXiT said:
    for the money ram costs today i would say forget it... 2 gigs of ddr2 will set you back 50 notes and thats for the cheap stuff. so unless you can find a refurb shop willing to sell you 4x1 gig or 2x2 gigs of ddr2 for 20 i would say dont waste your money...
    a lot of games are arriving with a minimum spec of dx10 so an xp based machine with dx9 isnt really worth the money to upgrade.


    What if I added say, one stick of 1GB for $17, would that make a big difference in Windows? He doesn't game, he's using the onboard video.
  3. in that case you would see maybey a smoothing out of windows. it wouldnt be hugley noticable although you would be going from single channel to dual. also you cant really get good perfomance if you mix and match the ram. as it stresses other components slowing the system overall.
    so if you do decide new ram get 2 sticks of the same and remove the old stuff entirely.
    reason. mixing timings isnt healthy for the memory managment unit. if it hasto constantly switch timings to keep both sticks in sync it will heat up. in some cases it will outright kill the cpu but in most it will kill 1 or more ramsticks. it wouldnt happen straight away but over a few weeks you will notice more and more bsods till the system stops booting entirely.

    so yeah if you can find it cheap enough even if its refurb. buy 2 sticks of the same brand, model and timings.
  4. HEXiT said:
    in that case you would see maybey a smoothing out of windows. it wouldnt be hugley noticable although you would be going from single channel to dual. also you cant really get good perfomance if you mix and match the ram. as it stresses other components slowing the system overall.
    so if you do decide new ram get 2 sticks of the same and remove the old stuff entirely.
    reason. mixing timings isnt healthy for the memory managment unit. if it hasto constantly switch timings to keep both sticks in sync it will heat up. in some cases it will outright kill the cpu but in most it will kill 1 or more ramsticks. it wouldnt happen straight away but over a few weeks you will notice more and more bsods till the system stops booting entirely.

    so yeah if you can find it cheap enough even if its refurb. buy 2 sticks of the same brand, model and timings.



    Interesting, I didn't know that about the timings. I also checked and it's actually the 939 version of the Biostar T6100 I used, not AM2, which makes the memory even more expensive.

    I think you've dissuaded me from messing with it. Thanks, you've been a big help!
  5. glad to save you some money...
    yeal i looked up that board at its 2 gigs max not 4 its allso ddr1 which is 50+ for 512mb in some places and thats even if you can find it new. but the good news is that ddr ram is worthless second hand so you should be able to pick some up for under a 10er if you use a refurb shop...
    you want ddr 400 at 3-3-3 or better timings if you can find it.
    you said in your first post it was ddr2 but after looking up your board its ddr not ddr2 so check again to make sure. open the case and look at the motherboard model and the ram specs.
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