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Trouble upgrading from 1gig to 3gigs RAM


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#1
Kei_Centillion

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Edit: Meant to post this here, after looking around, sorry!

I recently began work on ordering pieces to make a new computer; this computer will be used to do a lot of things, from playing fairly big games like TeS: Oblivion, Star Wars Galaxies, Guild Wars, to using programs like Corel Paint Shop, Visual Basic, After Effects, Windows Movie maker, etc. Of course, I'm on a budget, and have sold a lot of my valuable possessions on ebay to buy the required parts.

My old system was an old computer with a intel celeron 600mghz processor that could only use sdr100 ram, which I had running at 512 megs of ram (2x 256), and I learned a lot about assembling computers with it, so I am not without knowledge; just a beginner (going for a degree in information technology, plan on taking courses online, so this justifies my upgrading).

Anywho, to the point:

I purchased 2 sticks of 1 gig RAM from newegg; G. Skill brand, to supplement my computer with 3 gigs; I had a 1 gig Kingston. All 3 sticks work individually, I tested each one solo on my motherboard, and each booted and loaded windows fine; even played around in a game.

However, when I try to put all 3 sticks in, I don't even get the BIOS screen. 95% of the time with 2 sticks in (any combination of the 3 sticks), I load windows fine; However, occasionally, I get stuck on a post-bios screen that says it is loading something from nvidia; may be unrelated, no idea.

Well that's my problem; now I will give my specs (if you can't scan them or whatever);
Note that this all sits on a table; I don't have a computer case

Nforce6m-a 520le Motherboard
3 sticks of 1gig RAM, max system potential I can achieve: 2 gigs
AMD Athlon (2.4x2 dual core) 4.8ghz Processor (Brisbane)
1 IDE 320 GB HD
1 IDE 10 GM HD
1 SATA 500 GB HD
1 DVD RW Drive (haven't installed yet, waiting for my computer case to come it)
Nvidia GeForce (Biostar) 7300 series 512MB Graphics card (PCI Express) - goes to a old CRT monitor max res 1024 x 768
Nvidia GeForce 6200 series graphics card (PCI normal) - goes to another old CRT, max res 1024 x 768

^ The driver I use conflicts between these two, looking for an adapter so I won't need the 6200 anymore

Operating system is Windows XP Professional SP2, I hear it's max ram is 3.5 gigs, Maybe this is why I can't use 3 gigs? My only other thought is my jumpers might be set wrong; I left them set as they came from retail.

If I need to take pictures, let me know. I'm anxious to get my 3 gigs I paid for working asap, thanks!

Edited by Kei_Centillion, 05 March 2008 - 06:05 PM.

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#2
Doug

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Your MotherBoard supports "dual-channel" RAM.
This means that two-sticks of RAM work together, but "odd" numbers of RAM stick installed will not be recognized.
In order to get 3gb of RAM into that machine you would need to have (2x1024mb) + (2x512mb)

With the above as a foundation, you simply can't do what you want by adding a single 1024mb stick of RAM.

Further note: XP - 32bit systems often don't do well with more than 2048mb RAM.
Happily 2048mb is a "sweet spot" for XP allowing the best utilization of resources.

There are always exceptions, but you will probably get best performance all-around by using the 2048mb amount of RAM.
Your mileage may vary.

Best Regards
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#3
BravoZulu

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You can run 2x1GB then a 1G stick of ram but what's going to happen is two things. One, you will have that 1GB running in single channel and not dual channel like the other two sticks. Two, you are mixing one stick of a different brand and rated timings with the other two identical sticks so the machine is likely confused about how to run all 3 sticks together trying to find a balance (and it's not finding it).

My second machine is an AMD 6000+ A64 machine that I run 2X1GB sticks of Gskill + 2X512 (thx Doug) sticks for a total of 3GB and it runs fine with XP32, but that's because all 4 sticks are identical in brand and rated timings. I would take Doug's advice and pull that 1GB stick and just use the 2048MB of ram and be happy with that. The only way to get 3GB running properly in dual channel is to add 2x512 of a matched pair of sticks and even then not all specific motherboard will populate all 4 banks and run reliably, as it varies from board to board and bios to bios.

Edited by BravoZulu, 06 March 2008 - 06:54 PM.

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#4
Kei_Centillion

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Ah okay, thanks a lot you two, I'll be more wary and do research in the future beforehand... I recently bought windows vistas but was waiting for more RAM to install it; on my windows xp I used Vista Inspirat 1, and really like the vista stuff; this prompted me to buy a copy of vista.

I may try to upgrade to vista and see if my board will run 4 gigs then (if I buy another kingston). I've heard you can underclock your ram so it's all at the same speed, is this possible/recomended? If not, I'll probobly end up giving my "extra" ram to a freind in need...
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#5
Doug

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Identical RAM is best for dual-channel.
However, same-type but different brands "will usually work".
The problem is in the specific setting of the RAM sticks themselves.
Best to have the same type and brand for any two paired sticks.
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#6
Kei_Centillion

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So... hypothetically, if I had in "one channel" (if I understand correctly) the 2 kingstons, and in the "other channel" the two G. Skills, it should work fine? Sorry if I sound like a real puder noob, I thought I had it all figured out but turned out I got in way over my head... However, my case came in and I love it!

"http://www.apevia.co..._250.jpg"Apevia X-plorer[/img]

Also, to save from making a new topic, I own oblivion, and trying to play it, systemrequirementslab says I beat the recomended settings into the ground with my gfx card, but in-game, another story! The pixel-shading is aweful! I look like I'm playing in the pre-morrowind days! Ack! Lag, too...

My gfx cards may be conflicting, one is PCI express and one is PCI standard, nvidia 7300 512mb and 6200 256mb, respectfully. Thanks again!

Edited by Kei_Centillion, 07 March 2008 - 12:12 PM.

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#7
Doug

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As long as any two "paired sticks" are the same, you "should" be OK.
All the same is recommended..... Your mileage may vary.
___________________

About using a PCI-e and PCI graphics card in the same machine at the same time.
Gosh, I've never considered that one.
Sounds like a terrible idea!

How would the CPU and Chipset determine which graphic content to process through which card.

AND.... Your monitor will be connected to one card or the other.
The other one which is not connected to your monitor would be "orphaned" and probably useless to your system.

Connect up to the PCI-e and remove the PCI card.

Long-shot question.... Are you trying to run two Monitors, each from one of the graphics cards?
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#8
Doug

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Hi again,

If you are trying to run two Monitors as asked above...
You may be running into a power-management problem, since both cards will be drawing a large amount from your Power Supply Unit.

Personally, I would not try that scenario.
But there may be more experienced system builder/gamers who have done so and can comment from a more informed point of view.
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#9
Kei_Centillion

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Yes, I had not been playing games, so I put the 6200 card in simply to have two monitors... however, now that I am going to be playing games, it's more trouble than it's worth! I tried taking the 6200 out and playing only on the 7300 monitor, but remainders of the 6200 driver and registry are messing my 7300 up...

I'm thinking I'm going to have to format my OS hard drive again... ;_; that's a whole day down the drain if so...
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#10
Kei_Centillion

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Alright, to your last post, I have two psu's: a 300-something and the other, my psu I use is 480 w and seems to be allocating fine... but I had not considered the extra strain... after all, I AM running 3 hard drives, a DVD RW drive, the cpu fan, 4 led fans, a lot of exterior lights, a thermometer/lcd temperature display screen... and the 2 gfx cards, off that psu... maybe I should remove the card... I'm trying to get my freind to send an adapter to run both monitors off the 7300 card... but maybe I should make a new topic for this so more experienced people will look... NOT that you haven't been a big help! Thanks so much!

Edited by Kei_Centillion, 07 March 2008 - 12:35 PM.

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#11
Doug

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A fresh topic sounds like a good idea! :)
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#12
Kei_Centillion

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New topic here.
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