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#1
elldallan

elldallan

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Ok looking for a bit of advice, currently running kv2lite mobo, 3700 athlon, nvidia gs 512mb graphics and 2 gb dual channel kingston memory, windows xp sp3.

Am looking to build new system in few months time but for now was wondering if an extra 1gb memory would be worth the investment (probably only gonna cost me £20 max) . assume the 2 gb dual channel would not run as dual channel if I added a 3rd 1gb stick (or would it) and if so would the difference be worth it?. Long term this pc would be passed down to my friends son to use so if it gonna make a noticeable difference then would not begrudge the cash now. Or is it best to leave as 2x1gb dual as opposed to 3x1gb ?


Thanks for any help

oops apologise if this should have gone in upgrading forum, please move if this is the case


Have actually posted in the upgrade forum as well so could an admin delete this post or close which ever is suitable thanks

Edited by elldallan, 05 October 2008 - 01:05 PM.

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#2
Samm

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Hi there

Luckily, I've just checked the motherboard manual for your system (something that I do as a matter of course). The question of whether to add a third memory module is in fact redundant as your board (according to the manual) does not support 3 memory modules. And that doesn't mean it simply won't support dual channel with 3 modules, it means the whole system won't boot up!

To be honest anyway, I doubt you would really notice that much difference between 2GB and 3GB anyway with XP, unless you play a lot of games or use other really memory intensive programs. If you really do wish to upgrade to 3GB though, then I suggest you buy 2 512MB sticks instead, that way you should be fine.

Before doing this though, I suggest you monitor the current memory usage to see whether an upgrade is necessary.
You should be able to download a freeware ram monitor from somewhere like majorgeeks.com
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#3
elldallan

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Thanks, I know xp only recognises something like 3.5 gb so if i chose to add another 2 1gig sticks would they have to be matched pairs or will any 2 work assuming i dont want dual channel(also how would it affect my original 2) yes I game a lot btw lol

Edited by elldallan, 06 October 2008 - 01:20 AM.

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#4
Samm

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You don't have to use matched pairs if aren't bothered about dual channel BUT all modules must be compatible with the motherboard (obviously) and are more likely to work together smoothly if they are matched. The main thing for dual channel, is that the modules in each pair are perfectly matched. It's still advisable to match memory timings across all modules though if possible, regardless of whether you're running dual channel or not.

There's 2 potential issues regarding the amount of memory. Firstly, like you already mentioned, XP 32 bit can only correctly address about 3.5GB of ram. It may recognise the proper amount, but won't be able to use it all properly.
Secondly, some motherboard bios's won't recognise the full amount of ram installed if either all 4 ram slots are occupied or if the maximum amount of memory is installed. Many boards do supply bios updates though is this is an issue
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