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Upgrading an older MB to 8GB


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#1 Alchemist

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 09:12 PM

An EVGA nFORCE 680i SLI motherboard which I received second-hand with 4 GB of RAM installed is working fine, but is having problems doing what I want (playing current games) because of RAM-cram. :) 4 GB is barely enough to run a game these days. For a while now I've been unwilling to buy DDR2 RAM (which is what this MB uses) because it has been so expensive. Well over $100 when similar amounts or even more of DDR3 could be had for much less. It seemed a waste for an old system. Now I am seeing 8 GB of DDR2 as low as $60 on eBay and it is looking more attractive because of the performance problems the system is having with its current amount of RAM.

 

Here is the concern: This motherboard was said to have problems with a full 8 Gb of RAM. Apparently the memory subsystem does not always handle the load well. (It's one of those electrical engineering level problems that would be difficult to describe even if I understood it myself). Apparently it is a crap-shoot whether any given MB will work fine or have problems. My question is, would this general sort problem be related to the entire memory content, or to individual banks? It's it is a full load condition and not individual banks, maybe I could get 2 new SIMMs of 2 Gb and have 6 GB total without pushing the memory controllers (or whatever it is that  is marginal) to the limit? Or would the larger SIMMS in even one bank be too much if these said components have a difficult time with the larger load?

 

This is very vague, but it's not something I can get much more specific about, not being that much of an expert myself. If anyone knows anything about nForce 2 motherboards and any possible limitations they had, please speak up.



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#2 shadow_647

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 09:32 PM

My self id go in to bios tuning mode with more ram, only underclock mode or something like with lots of burn-in testing just to find the sweet spot settings wise, sucks you don't have the 8 gigs on ya to mess with just to see if it would work out.

 

Rally ? nForce 2 chip-set socket "A" 462, you know i have a AMD XP-M 2500+ barton core cpu, best their is for k7 cpus.

I own a nForce 2 top of the line gamer mobo too, it died though :(

 

Something that old should only be running  winXP imho and 4gigs ram is all you need for that hardware setup, what Os you running ?



#3 Luxi_Terna

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 10:57 PM

> would this general sort problem be related to the entire memory content, or to individual banks?

 

Get four 4G memory modules. Thn you have 8 no matter what, and you'll probablty have 16.  4 x 2 will probably work if you slow the memory bus a little. I've got 2400 Mhz mem that I only run at 22, just to insure stability.


Edited by Luxi_Terna, 31 December 2016 - 11:03 PM.


#4 shadow_647

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 10:59 PM

Think buddy got the chip-set wrong in any case, best their was for nforce 2 was the nforce 2 ultra 400 and that's for ddr1 only and hes talking about ddr2.


Edited by shadow_647, 31 December 2016 - 11:00 PM.


#5 Alchemist

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 11:06 PM

Yeah, the board is definitely an EVGA 680i SLI, but I may have got the number of the nForce chipset version wrong. I forget what it is now. Anyway, it does DDR2 because that is what it currently has. :)

 

It's running Windows 7 Home Premium x64, and it works fine. Just spends a lot of time paging when running games because of the shortage of RAM. The CPU is a Core 2 Q6600.


Edited by Alchemist, 31 December 2016 - 11:07 PM.


#6 shadow_647

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 11:16 PM

Just looked up that chip-set/ mobo and it seems it can take 8gigs but from what you were saying its not 100% stable with that much ram, just under-clock the ram loosen the timings then do your testing and see how far you can go before it bombs, i know i would, win7 on 4 gigs + gaming is a very lean memory setup so i can see why you want more.

 

Bin a wile since i looked in to it but the only two good nvidia chip-sets were the first nforce and nforce2, after that things didn't work out, don't even think they make chip-sets anymore.

 

https://techreport.com/review/12104/nvidia-nforce-680i-lt-sli-motherboard


Edited by shadow_647, 31 December 2016 - 11:16 PM.


#7 Zone_86

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 07:25 AM

680i is NF6 chipset Mr shadow. No, NF1-2 were not the only good nforce chipsets I built maybe 100+ 680i's and they were extremely good although board maker depending had some small issues. XFX being one of them. They also had NF3 though it was short lived in the transition from NF2, NF3 was AMD mostly as was Nforce 4 (mostly), and then NV concentrated on Intel only past that with the nforce chipset.


Edited by Zone_86, 01 January 2017 - 07:28 AM.


#8 shadow_647

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 09:51 AM

Ah cool, haven't researched the topic in some time, i use to be more up to date on hardware topics then i am now and back in the day i just remember NF3 and NF4 getting a bad rap and people that had em having problems, after that point i don't know what happened with NF chipsets.

 

Tell you the truth i have no idea whats going on in chipset land anymore unless were talking old.

 

Edit: typo fix


Edited by shadow_647, 01 January 2017 - 04:20 PM.


#9 hamluis

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 04:13 PM

Board Specs

 

Louis



#10 shadow_647

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 04:22 PM

Forgot to say too if you get more with your old ram you will be running miss matched ram, and 4 dimms.

More or less forces you to slow things down when you do that and turn off SPD.



#11 Alchemist

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 12:38 PM

Forgot to say too if you get more with your old ram you will be running miss matched ram, and 4 dimms.

More or less forces you to slow things down when you do that and turn off SPD.

Well, I am familiar with the issues of different RAM vendors having slightly different standards. I was planning to get the exact same brand, just larger capacity. The board currently carries 4 sticks of 1 Gb OCZ Platinum PC-6400. So if I get some used 2 Gb sticks, which are available and now surprisingly cheap, they should be highly compatible. But from what I've found, the problem occurred with all four slots populated. This board has always had all four slots populated and has had no memory problems. But I've never tinkered with the memory settings. It's running them at default settings, not over-clocked. So I've either got a pretty good board or the original owner worked out the tweaks to solve the problem. I might spend the whole $60 to get all four sticks to 2 Gb and have the full 8Gb. It's worth a try. Still researching... :)



#12 Alchemist

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 05:46 PM

Getting down to details:

 

The memory currently installed in this EVGA 680i SLI motherboard (nForce MCP55) is:

4 OCZ 1 GB sticks, model OCZ2P800R21G

4-4-4-15 1.9v (They've been running fine at 1.8v for years)

(http://mobilespecs.net/memory/OCZ/OCZ_OCZ2P800R21G.html)

 

Currently on eBay are several varieties of OCZ 2 GB modules:

 

2 GB sticks, model OCZVU8004GK

5-6-6-15 1.8v

http://mobilespecs.net/memory/OCZ/OCZ_OCZ2VU8004GK.html

 

2 GB sticks, model OCZ2P8008GQ

5-4-4-18, 2.1v

http://mobilespecs.net/memory/OCZ/OCZ_OCZ2P8008GQ.html

 

Given the known problems of this board sometimes has with all slots filled, which of those would be more likely to be compatible? The ones with the higher or lower timing? Or the higher or lower voltage?



#13 hamluis

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 06:08 PM

You could probably answer a number of your questions...by looking at the Motherboard Manual.

 

Louis



#14 Alchemist

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 09:59 AM

Well, the board manual is usually written by people using specs supplied by someone else. I was hoping that experienced tweakers who've struggled with getting memory to work on actual boards in person would speak up on some of the rules and tendencies they've observed.

 

But anyway, one of the available options is genuine "OCZ Platinum", the same type of RAM that has been proven to work with the board I have, and the other is something called "Vista Upgrade" which is a rather scary name in itself. (Also, the timings indicate it is over-clocked by design). So the choice has been simplified without external input.






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