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Upgrading Memory - Need Assistance


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#1 smills1337

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 02:46 PM

I'm intending to upgrade my PC's memory as I recently discovered that it doesn't have as much as I first thought. After reading a very informative article posted by Rimmer, I checked my computer's memory using CPU-Z and Everest. I have the specs but I'm not sure what I should be looking for in terms of a memory upgrade. I need enough memory to play video games (World of Warcraft in particular).

These are my PC's specs....

AMD Athlon XP 1500+ (1.3Ghz) Processor
Motherboard: Shuttle AK32L (5 PCI, 1 AGP, 2 SDR DIMM, 2 DDR SIMM, Audio)
Motherboard Chipset: VIA VT8366 Apollo KT266
70GB total HDD space
Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4200 graphics card (64mb)
256Mb PC2100 DDR SDRAM

Could anyone suggest how much memory would be appropriate and what specific type I require?

PS: I already knew there were two memory sticks attached to the motherboard (a 256mb and a 128mb), and the scans performed by Everest and CPU-Z confirmed this. However, despite this total memory adding up to 384mb, in the System Information it lists the total physical memory as 256mb. Can anyone suggest an explanation and/or solution to this?

Thank you in advance.

Moderator Edit: Moved topic to more appropriate forum. ~ Animal

Edited by Animal, 06 June 2007 - 05:21 PM.


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#2 garmanma

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 05:42 PM

The 128 stick might be bad. Most memory sites will have a memory calculator you can use. It will give you all the options for your board
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#3 John Rice

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 06:20 PM

Go with Crucial. They have a PC scanner that'll tell you your ram and how much you need and how much it'll cost and what kind you need, as well.

#4 stevealmighty

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 07:06 PM

Could anyone suggest how much memory would be appropriate and what specific type I require?

PS: I already knew there were two memory sticks attached to the motherboard (a 256mb and a 128mb), and the scans performed by Everest and CPU-Z confirmed this. However, despite this total memory adding up to 384mb, in the System Information it lists the total physical memory as 256mb. Can anyone suggest an explanation and/or solution to this?

Thank you in advance.

Moderator Edit: Moved topic to more appropriate forum. ~ Animal



I'd max it out at 2gb of ram (which would be, as you well may know, 2 sticks of 1 gb ram-1 stick per slot). Maxing it out will help not only with games, but with overall computer speed in general. You might also want to consider a newer graphics card, which would greatly improve your speed and appearance of video games. For WoW, you could get something like the Nvidia 7600GS 256mb card for under $100 (from newegg.com). For gaming,a faster graphics card would be the best upgrade, although I still recommend upgrading your ram too. You could always get one stick of 1gb ram, and get a new graphics card, then get the other 1 stick 1gb ram later on down the road. This way you'll improve your performance right away with your upgrades (ram and gfx card) and you'll still be able to further improve your performance by adding another stick of ram.

As for not seeing the smaller stick of ram....errrrmmmmmmm.......dunno. :thumbsup: Perhaps it's because it's DDR and it's not evenly matched so it only read the largest stick?
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#5 smills1337

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 07:39 AM

Thanks for the info guys, I guess I'll just get a 1GB stick and replace the old ones. Is getting a new graphics card essential? Because at the moment my constraints are monetary, I don't have a great deal to spend.

PS: I live in the United Kingdom, so I don't think I can order from the site you linked to.

EDIT: I used the Crucial Scanner and it came up with these results....

**********
168-pin DIMM Banking: 2 (2 banks of 1)
Chipset: VIA Apollo KT266
Error Detection Support: ECC and non-ECC
Max Unbuffered SDR SDRAM: 1536MB
Module Types Supported: Unbuffered only
Max Unbuffered DDR SDRAM: 2048MB
Max Component Density: 512
SDR SDRAM Frequencies: PC100 and PC133
184-pin DIMM Banking: 2 (2 banks of 1)
Graphics Support: AGP 4X
Supported DRAM Types: SDR SDRAM and DDR SDRAM
USB Support: 1.x Compliant

This motherboard has two 168-pin DIMM socket which support up to 1.5GB of standard SDRAM and two 184-pin DIMM sockets supporting up to 2GB of DDR SDRAM.


Q: What memory goes into my computer, and will a faster speed be backward-compatible?
A: Your computer takes two kinds of memory DDR,SDRAM

Q: How much memory can my computer handle?
A: 1536MB,2048MB. Adding the maximum amount of memory will improve performance and help extend the useful life of your system as you run increasingly demanding software applications in the future.

Q: Do I have to install matching pairs?
A: No, you can install modules one at a time, and you can mix different densities of modules in your computer. But if your computer supports dual-channel memory configurations, you should install in identical pairs (preferably in kits) for optimal performance.

Q: Does my computer support dual-channel memory?
A: No.
Your system does not support dual channel.

Q: Does my computer support ECC memory?
A: Yes.
Your system supports ECC. You can put non-ECC modules into an ECC system, but be sure not to mix ECC and non-ECC modules within a system. Install the same type of modules that are already in your system.

Q: Will my system recognize the maximum upgrade?
A: Possibly
How much memory your Windows OS will recognize depends on which version of Windows you are running. 32-bit versions of Windows will see (and utilize) only 3GB or 3.5GB. To utilize more memory, install a 64-bit version of your OS. More information about OS memory maximums can be found at http://www.crucial.com/kb/answer.asp?qid=4251.

Number of Slots:
Slot 1
Slot 2
Each memory slot can hold DDR PC3200,DDR PC2700,DDR PC4000,SDRAM, PC133 with a maximum of 1GB per slot.*
*Not to exceed manufacturer supported memory.
To see the memory installed in your computer click the Scan My System button below.

*********

So I should be looking to replace my current memory with 1GB of DDR PC3200,2700 or 4000?

EDIT2: I've searched for the module suggested by Crucial to try and find it in the UK and found this:

http://www.bizrate.co.uk/ram_memoryupgrade...d492758242.html

With my computer specs provided above, can anyone tell me if this is what I should order?

Edited by smills1337, 07 June 2007 - 08:22 AM.


#6 garmanma

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 12:54 PM

I would suggest not bothering with ECC, it's not necessary.
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#7 usasma

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 07:55 AM

That appears to be the one that you should order. I'd place it in the first slot (the one with the 256 mB chip) and then put the 256 mB chip in the second slot - this is "just in case" the second slot is bad.

Unplug the computer from the wall before opening the case. Keep one hand touching the metal of the case while messing around inside the case (this includes when you're installing the modules). This may not be possible 100% of the time, but the more you do it the less likely it will be that static discharge could ruin the module.
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#8 smills1337

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 09:43 AM

That appears to be the one that you should order. I'd place it in the first slot (the one with the 256 mB chip) and then put the 256 mB chip in the second slot - this is "just in case" the second slot is bad.

Unplug the computer from the wall before opening the case. Keep one hand touching the metal of the case while messing around inside the case (this includes when you're installing the modules). This may not be possible 100% of the time, but the more you do it the less likely it will be that static discharge could ruin the module.


You mean have my left hand touching the case and my right hand installing the module?

Just wanna be sure so I don't fry the module.

#9 Sneakycyber

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 09:46 AM

Thats exactly what he means. Well unless your left handed then use whatever free one you have :thumbsup: .



Edit: noticed a typo

Edited by Sneakycyber, 09 June 2007 - 04:19 PM.

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#10 dc3

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 10:16 AM

What they are cautioning you about is electrostatic discharge, ESD, this is the charge that you generate walking across a carpet on a winter day, you know the one...it's when you reach out to turn on the light switch and a blue spark goes between your finger and the switch. If you aren't going to be getting up and moving around a lot you just need to touch the metal of the case before you handle any of the RAM modules or any ICs on the motherboard if you go pocking and prodding. While you have the case open do a little house cleaning, buy a can of air and blow out the CPU heat sink and fan and blow off all of the dust on the boards.

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#11 usasma

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 07:49 AM

This method was recommended to me when I first started to visit BC. The reason was that it was a heck of a lot more convenient (and consequently more likely to be used) then recommending that everyone go out and by a static grounding wrist strap.

The key is contact with the metal of the case in order to ground out any static charge. You may not even feel the static discharge that will corrupt your components. I'm aware of this because I destroyed a hard drive with 3 years worth of work on it because I didn't follow this advice.

And, I find it very difficult to install memory with just one hand - so I violate this principle and usually get away with it. But I do keep my hand on the case until the very last second and try and keep my forearm resting on the case to retain contact.

While it doesn't seem like much right now, if you lose something due to static discharge you'll never forget it! :thumbsup:

Edited by usasma, 10 June 2007 - 07:50 AM.

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#12 smills1337

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 01:07 PM

Thanks for the help guys.

#13 bpierce

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 01:08 PM

You people are incredible!!!!!!!!! By reading just this one thread, I am going to be able to easily upgrade all 38 of our computers. I was worried about getting the right type memory but by going to Crucial, I am able to determine what everyone needs in our firm. I love this site and thanks so much everyone. Can't wait to find out more stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




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