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Ram type and configuration


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#1
deanbo

deanbo

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I have an MSI K7N2G-L mobo with an XP2500 barton CPU and i am at present using 1 stick of DDR 2700 ram 512mb [memorymaxx ?] and i want to "bulk up" to
1 gig,as it's a dual cxhannel mobo i want to use 2 sticks and have been told that PC3200 ram will work fine as a friend of mine runs an internet cafe and he does exactly that himself and has had no problems.

However i have been told that instead of using 2x512mb sticks of ram.I would be better off using 2x2x256 with 256mb on each side of the ram modules adding up to 512 as opposed to using 512mb on only 1 side of both sticks.

Is this true ? Would i get any performance benefits or indeed any other benefits to using ram in this configuration ?The reason i need 1 gig is i use this PC as a
Digital Audio Workstation and these applications benefit from using more ram,so it is necessary.I also use it for simple internet stuff too.

I can get 1 gig of PC3200 ram as 2 sticks of 512 for the same price as 2700 and as it's backwards compatible will run fine at 166.I intend to upgrade in the future and want to use 1 gig 3200 in a faster mobo[200 or above] and either use my
XP 2500 slightly OC'd or get a 3200 CPU and use that set-up solely as a DAW and never to connect it to the internet.
I can then use my K7 board with it's 512mb stick it has, as an internet PC as it's well up to the job and i don't use many of the bells and whistles or multimedia apps and will be fine for me as i'm a single user on dial-up.

I am looking at Geil or crucial ram at www.overclockers.co.uk as it's only a few miles away from me and i can't buy anything over the net as i don't have any debit or credit cards.So i purchase locally instead.

So is the 2x2x256 configuration worth the trouble of trying to find ? As i can't find any ram like that,just 2x512 instead.

I also need an AGP card as i'm running off board graphics which i thought was fine as i don't play games but have since found that it not only "steals" 32mb from my ram but causes a bottleneck and effectively slows things down.
Could someone reccomend a reasonable AGP card in the £40 price range [approx]
for me or a reasonable secondhand AGP card,nothing fancy just 128mb if poss but 64 if it's expensive.Thanks to anyone who can help.
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#2
Samm

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Hi there

I've been attempting to look at the manual for your motherboard to try & find out if it has any issues with running double-sided ram modules.
However, I a little confused over which board you actually have. I can find a K7N2G, K7N2GM and a K7N2 Delta-L etc but the K7N2G-L.

The K7N2G series does not support dual channel according to the manual, although the K7N2GM does.

Could you confirm the exact model of your board please?
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#3
deanbo

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I have the box and manual in front of me now and on the box it says on a big label

K7N2G-L[601-5670G-010]

K7,nvidia IGP,MCP2,TV out cable,D-Bracket2

on the first barcode it says K7N2G-L[719072 000400]

on the 2nd barcode it says K7N2G-LK0306025159

And the manual says it's definitely supports dual channel.I have looked too and
there are 3 ram slots as it says in the manual and 2 are blue and 1 is green.

You need to put 1 in the blue and the other in the green slot.It is the first version of
this board [n force 2] and i couldn't find anything on the net now but it was on
when i bought it.I assure you it does support Dual channel as it says.

DDR400/333/266 Memory
Dual channel DDR support DDR400/333/266 and higher.

Is this true or False ? It had better be true as that's what i asked for when i bought
it and the box and manual both say it does too.

I have no idea if it can use double sided ram as you say but i can't find any of that
type of ram around here[W.Midlands,England] anyway.Is it worth the hassle of trying to find ? Does it cost more than 2x512 ? and does it perform better ?

I could get a new mobo if needed as i want another PC anyway and could use this
mobo just for the web as it's fine for that and a better mobo for my DAW.

That's as much as i know and all the info on the box too Thanks.
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#4
deanbo

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I have googled for an answer and found this.

http://www.3dvelocit...n2g/k7n2g_1.htm

it has a review of this board and hopefully will tell us definitively whether it does do
dual channel.I bought it because of the dual channel function and as far as i can
determine it is dual channel.It had better be or MSI will get an e-mail from a very
unhappy chap soon[me].

Does this review help at all ?
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#5
deanbo

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I have found what may be the answer on MSI's site.

http://www.msicomput...7N2G-L&class=mb

It appears that this mobo does not support double-sided ram[i think] at least it
says something about not using 4x memory,anyway i think this is the low-down on
this board.So can you answer my request from info off that link? I hope so and
thanks for helping me out too.
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#6
Samm

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Thanks for the link. Your board does support dual channel as you rightly said, it also states it supports upto 6 memory banks over 3 slots, which suggests that it does support double sided ram. However, I really don't think theres much difference between double sided & single sided, so if you're having trouble getting hold of double sided anyway, then stick to single.

It also states however, that a memory FSB of 400MHz is only supported when you use an off-board video card instead of the integrated one. This doesn't mean that DDR400 won't work with the integrated card, but it will only run at 333MHz.

I'm not certain exactly what is meant by x4 memory devices - whether its referring to DDR2 or 4 chip double sided modules. Either way, most modules won't be x4 so there shouldn't be a problem.

If you want to find some memory that guaranteed compatible, I suggest you go to Crucials website :
http://www.crucial.c...fgr.asp?cat=RAM

Here you can select your motherboard from the list (look under MS-6570) & they will give you a list of 100% compatible ram. I realise you can't buy anything over the internet but at least this will give you the exact specs for ram that will work. Be aware that if you intended to keep your existing 512MB module & simply add another 512MB module, the 2 must be identical for dual channel to work properly. Ideally, they should be identical not just in specs but also the same manufacturer, so you may be better off just buying 2 new sticks of ram.
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#7
deanbo

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Thanks very much,this little Q+A session has led to me reading and learning a lot
more about RAM memory and dual-channel performance.
I think you have it right by advising me to buy 2x512mb sticks as all the answers
I found said that there wasn't much performance difference single or double-sided
Ram anyway.
I will buy 2x512mb of either Crucial or Geil as they both have great reviews and
i might just side with the crucial as very little price difference at overclockers.co.uk
between the two and it's only a few miles away from where i live.

I also discovered that running off board graphics[which i am]isn't the fastest and
causes a bottleneck,but it can be got around with an AGP card and turning OFF the
on-board graphics in BIOS.Apparently some poeple caused damage by having it
on in BIOS and MSI recognised the prob.In case anyone doesn't know that,that's
what I found.

I just need a reasonable AGP card as i'm not a gamer and don't want to spend a
fortune.Thanks for the help and I love the line about Blair,just for the record i
didn't vote for him either. :tazz: :)
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#8
Samm

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Good luck with finding a video card - overclockers.co.uk do a range of radeon & nvidia agp cards for under £40, as I'm sure you know, with around 128MB of memory or more in some cases.

Let us know if you have any more queries regarding either the ram or the video :)


Thanks for the help and I love the line about Blair,just for the record i
didn't vote for him either. :tazz:  :)

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Good on you!
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