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What is the best memory configuration for my MB


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#1
rt3d

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Greetings,

I am new to this forum and happy to see other computer fanatics!

I have searched and looked through a few threads regarding my problem, but am still confused in solving it.

I have a ASRock P4V88 MB that supports dual channel. Max capacity (according to manufacturer) is 4GB.

By the way, my mb supports 800/533/400 mhz & my cpu is a P4 3.0E Ghz 800mhz HTT Prescott.

I am trying to figure out is it best to use:

- 3.5 GB PC3200 memory in single channel mode

- 3 GB PC3200 memory in dual channel mode or

- 4 GB PC2700 memory in dual channel mode (according to asrock, 3.5GB will only be recognized in this configuration, but I'm technically installing 4GB)

Any advice or direction to threads I missed would be greatly appreciated.
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#2
rt3d

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Greetings,

I am new to this forum and happy to see other computer fanatics!

I have searched and looked through a few threads regarding my problem, but am still confused in solving it.

I have a ASRock P4V88 MB that supports dual channel. Max capacity (according to manufacturer) is 4GB.

By the way, my mb supports 800/533/400 mhz & my cpu is a P4 3.0E Ghz 800mhz HTT Prescott.

I am trying to figure out is it best to use:

- 3.5 GB PC3200 memory in single channel mode

- 3 GB PC3200 memory in dual channel mode or

- 4 GB PC2700 memory in dual channel mode (according to asrock, 3.5GB will only be recognized in this configuration, but I'm technically installing 4GB)

Any advice or direction to threads I missed would be greatly appreciated.


Don't mean to answer my own post here, but I had talked to couple of ppl and it seems if I go with the PC2700 configuration, because I have a 800MHz FSB CPU and 800MHz FSB MB, I will eventually burn up the PC2700. As far as the other 2 configurations I listed goes(3GB vs 3.5GB), when running 500MB more of RAM along side of already running something as high as 3GB of RAM, I guess I am not going to notice that much of a difference in performance(that is what I was told). Also I run video editing, graphic editing, etc. programs at once and it seems the dual channel configuration will work to my advantage.

My only problem right now is when I install 1GB DDR400 in slot 1, 512MB DDR400 in slot 2, 1GB DDR400 in slot 3, and 512MB DDR400 in slot 4, my BIOS shows the correct amount of RAM for each module & at dual channel mode, but each module is shown/recognized as DDR266 instead of DDR400. Not sure whats going on.

I will try to contact ASRock and see if this has anything to do with settings in my BIOS. Maybe there are some default settings I have to mess with inorder for it to recognize this is DDR400 and not DDR266.

If anyone else has this problem or related, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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#3
Samm

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Welcome to G2G

According to Asrock, if you install 4 ram modules in that motherboard, they will only run at a top speed of DDR333 (PC2700). To run dual channel at 400MHz, you must only have 2 modules installed.

This would explain your problem. It is also worth noting that in some cases, the ram speed won't be recognised correctly or the total capacity won't be fully recognised if you use double sided modules.

Asrock also advise that if you install 4 modules in dual channel mode, ideally they should ALL be identical to each other. I don't know how important this is as in theory only matched pairs are required. I think 2 matched pairs of different sizes, for example, will probably work but may be unstable.
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#4
troppo

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i have a gigabyte GA-8ipe775-G mobo that has dual channel and i have 1 gb of pc 3200 (ddr400) Ram
512 in slots 1 and 3

3 gig is pretty high why would you need this much?

but the best thing like sam said would be to have them all identical and place them in slots 1 and 3
so if you want almost 3 gig then place 1gb in slot 1 and slot 3 place 512mb in slot 2 and slot 4 this is probably the best option but as i said 3 gig is alot unless you will utalise the whole lot why bother?
2 gig would be pleanty i would suggest 1 gig in slot 1 and 1 gig in slot 3 then if your not happy add the other two 512 sticks into slots 3 and 4
troppo

Edited by troppo, 29 March 2006 - 11:09 PM.

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#5
rt3d

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Welcome to G2G

According to Asrock, if you install 4 ram modules in that motherboard, they will only run at a top speed of DDR333 (PC2700). To run dual channel at 400MHz, you must only have 2 modules installed.

This would explain your problem. It is also worth noting that in some cases, the ram speed won't be recognised correctly or the total capacity won't be fully recognised if you use double sided modules.

Asrock also advise that if you install 4 modules in dual channel mode, ideally they should ALL be identical to each other. I don't know how important this is as in theory only matched pairs are required. I think 2 matched pairs of different sizes, for example, will probably work but may be unstable.



Thanks Samm for the help. I really appreciate it!

I ended up going with the 3GB configuration(slots 1 & 3 1GB PC3200 DDR400 and slots 2 & 4 with 512MB PC3200 DDR400). I found out that in the BIOS, there is a 'DRAM Frequency' setting where you have to select DDR400.... and now my mobo finally recognizes the RAM as DDR400!

Another thing I found out(at least for the ASROCK P4V88 mobo) is that ASROCK specifies 2GB PC3200 DDR400 maximum allowed memory for this mobo in dual channel mode. Yet I clearly have 3GB successfully as PC3200 DDR400 in dual channel mode.

In the manual asrock states if slots 1 and 3 are occupied by the same modules, dual channel mode is activated. The manual also states that if slots 2 and 4 are occupied by 2 identical modules, dual channel mode is also activated. Because of my configuration, I don't know if this means dual channel mode is running/enabled in both slots 1&3 and 2&4, or just 1 set of slots. Confusing! :whistling:
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#6
rt3d

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i have a gigabyte GA-8ipe775-G mobo that has dual channel and i have 1 gb of pc 3200 (ddr400) Ram
512 in slots 1 and 3

3 gig is pretty high why would you need this much?

but the best thing like sam said would be to have them all identical and place them in slots 1 and 3
so if you want almost 3 gig then place 1gb in slot 1 and slot 3 place 512mb in slot 2 and slot 4 this is probably the best option but as i said 3 gig is alot unless you will utalise the whole lot why bother?
2 gig would be pleanty i would suggest 1 gig in slot 1 and 1 gig in slot 3 then if your not happy add the other two 512 sticks into slots 3 and 4
troppo


Thanks troppo for the reply...hey thats a sweet mobo you got!

The reason I want to maximize my RAM capacity is because I work on a lot of visual effects work. I run several hardcore graphics and video software applications at one time. Of course, in terms of computer performance, it seems I frequently ask myself..."How much is enough?" lol :whistling:
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#7
troppo

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well im not sure i do a fair bit of DVD editing and thats what i built the computer for!

when im burning and editing usually my 1 gig is only using around 80 to 90 % and some of the paging file

but if you say that you run "hardcore" graphics software then 2-3 gig is enough i think but in my opinion it would be heaps better to run 2 gigs of identical PC3200 (ddr 400) ram than running 3.5 gig at PC2700
the thing with dual channel is that it runs better with say 2 1 gig sticks of PC3200 than say a 1 gig and 3 512 sticks (just an example)

the best thing is to have all identical sticks so thats speed, size and preferablly brand

i have heard reports that sometimes two different brands of sticks dont like each other and run unstable or sometimes not at all!

i spoose that it all depends on what graphics card that you are using a really good graphics card will improve performance by alot
what type of GFX card do you have?

i see that your motherboard has an agp slot if you were to get a really good GFX card then you would notice a really big improvement
but having said that it depends on what your budget is

if you have a larger budget and a not so good GFX card then i would sugest upgrading your video card

but as i said before really i think that it would be better to have maybe a little bit less ram at a higher speed than more ram at less speed

what is your budget can you afford to upgrade your GFX card and RAM?
or do you already have a decent GFX card?
sorry for the long post lol
troppo
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#8
rt3d

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well im not sure i do a fair bit of DVD editing and thats what i built the computer for!

when im burning and editing usually my 1 gig is only using around 80 to 90 % and some of the paging file

but if you say that you run "hardcore" graphics software then 2-3 gig is enough i think but in my opinion it would be heaps better to run 2 gigs of identical PC3200 (ddr 400) ram than running 3.5 gig at PC2700
the thing with dual channel is that it runs better with say 2 1 gig sticks of PC3200 than say a 1 gig and 3 512 sticks (just an example)

the best thing is to have all identical sticks so thats speed, size and preferablly brand

i have heard reports that sometimes two different brands of sticks dont like each other and run unstable or sometimes not at all!

i spoose that it all depends on what graphics card that you are using a really good graphics card will improve performance by alot
what type of GFX card do you have?

i see that your motherboard has an agp slot if you were to get a really good GFX card then you would notice a really big improvement
but having said that it depends on what your budget is

if you have a larger budget and a not so good GFX card then i would sugest upgrading your video card

but as i said before really i think that it would be better to have maybe a little bit less ram at a higher speed than more ram at less speed

what is your budget can you afford to upgrade your GFX card and RAM?
or do you already have a decent GFX card?
sorry for the long post lol
troppo



You definitely made some good points!

The current gfx card I have is a Nvidia Quadro4 980 XGL 128MB AGP. It got great reviews and performed well, so I went with that. I think this card rocks! Of course I know that they have 256MB cards out there, its just I know for a fact that Maya, 3D Studio Max, etc. engines are made to run extremely well with this particular card.

As far as upgrading my memory. Again, I just went with the 3GB setup where I have 2 1GB DDR400 and 2 512MB DDR400 in dual channel mode. Everything seems to be working perfect. Not probs(knock on wood.).

Maybe when Win Vista comes out (October I think), ppl say it will support 4GB and maybe I can go with 4 1GB DD400 then. I guess we will see.
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#9
Samm

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rt3d - if you have 4 slots filled with matching pairs, then the system should be running dual channel on both sets of slots. Hope that helps & good luck :whistling:
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