Memory - increase amount or increase speed

  Praxis99 22:47 21 Dec 2004
Locked

My PC has 512mb (in 256 sticks) of PC2100 running duel channel on an Abit VT7 MB.

Since my processor (an 2 yr old Intel 2.53) has a 133FSB my understanding is that my memory speed matches the speed of my FSB.

My question then is two fold:

(1) If I replace my PC2100 with a faster speed of memory (my MB will support up to PC4000) will I impair instead of increasing performance of my system and following on:
(2) if alternatively I buy another two sticks of PC2100 which will increase my total memory to 1GB am I likely (I'm talking real world here!) to see a performance increase from my system?

  gudgulf 22:57 21 Dec 2004

I think that if you are using memory hungry applications such as current games then your money would be better spent on increasing the amount rather than speed of ram.If your applications need rather more than the available ram then they will have to use the much slower virtual memory on your hard drive.This would tend to cancel out any advantage there may be from using faster ram.


I recently upped my ram (pc2700 dual channel) to 1.5GB after finding that running DOOM3 at maximum settings was using up all of my 1GB.I found that it needs almost 1.4GB to run smoothly (virtual memory was running at 1GB as well..phew!!!!)

  Djohn 01:08 22 Dec 2004

also it will be better if you have as much memory on one stick as possible. If you intend to buy more memory then buy one stick of 500Mb and use it in slot 1 then the two sticks of 256 in the next two slots.

  Praxis99 02:09 22 Dec 2004

Thanks for your response thus far. Probably worthwhile to add that my primary uses of the PC (other than for office related tasks) are audio and video encoding and the odd online blast on UT2003!

Djohn

Can you explain why it would be better to use one additional stick of 500mb as opposed to 2 sticks of 256mb since I thought such an arrangement would not take full advantage of running duel channel as I do at the moment with 2 sticks of 256mb. Note also that this is likely to be the last 'performance increase' I will look for with my current hardware config before upgrading in the course of the next 12 mths of so.

  Djohn 03:40 22 Dec 2004

I have a feeling I may have misled you with my answer to your question. Reading through it quickly, the first thought that came into my head was simply DDR memory and not dual channel.

Using DDR or double sided memory in single sticks is always better to use one stick with as high a memory as required for your particular set-up but if using more than one stick such as I do myself [1x500 and 2x256] then my answer was correct. Use the first slot for the larger stick then move along the slots with the smaller sticks of memory.

You are using dual channel memory and therefore I believe it is necessary not only to have two sticks of the same size but to get the best performance from them, purchase a matched pair.

I needed to have a read up on this so please wait for confirmation but I do think your correct.

  Praxis99 18:24 02 Jan 2005

On the basis of the above and other sources I think I will get the best performance from staying with PC2100 (with a 133 FSB) and given the relative cheapness of 2 x 256mb sticks of ram is probably an upgrade I'll give a go.

  bananaslik 19:19 02 Jan 2005

I run a games pc which has-AMD athlon xp 2600-1.5 gig ddr pc3200 memory.If i set the fsb on 133 the computer will not run(i was told that this is the correct setting for that cpu when i purchased it.If i set it to a fsb of 166 it runs excellent,so i think that (correct me if i'm wrong)DDR400 mem needs to run at least 166.

  The Sack 21:00 02 Jan 2005

DDR400 runs at 200MHz (DDR 400MHz) but you can run it at any speed you like lower than that.

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