Memory 'timing' query

  CurlyWhirly 22:46 17 Aug 2005

A friend in work has just bought a second hand PC and she is running Windows XP.
She has 224 mb RAM in an ASUS CUSL2-M motherboard click here

According to the specs in the link above the bus architecture can run at 3 different speeds, namely, 66/100/133 MHz Front Side Bus.

According to Everest:

Memory bank 1: 128 mb of 133 mhz SDRAM
Memory bank 2: 32 mb of 66 mhz SDRAM
Memory bank 3: 64 mb of 100 mhz SDRAM

Would I be right in thinking that her memory only runs at the speed of the slowest RAM module i.e. 66 mhz?

If so should I advise her to ditch the RAM in banks 2 and 3 and buy another RAM module of 128 mb rated at 133 mhz?

I have *never* heard of a motherboard having 3 different sizes AND speeds!


  VoG II 22:54 17 Aug 2005

She probably has 256 MB but 32 MB is being used by on-board graphics.

  CurlyWhirly 22:57 17 Aug 2005

Thanks VoG™.
Yes I forgot to mention that she has onboard graphics!

  DieSse 23:07 17 Aug 2005

It'll be running at the speed it's set to in all probability - unless it's set ti SPD detection. It "should" be running at 66MHz so as to allow the slowest one to function correctly. Sometimes 66MHz chips can be run fine at 100MHz - and many older boards were set to that as a "compromise.

However if it's running OK, I wouldn't change things unless you want to add more RAM. SDRAM is not cheap now - and as it's an older system, and it has got a reasonable amount of RAM with presumably a not blindingly fast processor - if it was my client I would advise them to do nothing - but recognise the performance limits of the system as a whole.

  CurlyWhirly 23:11 17 Aug 2005

Yes you are right the processor is only 850 mhz but she would like to increase the RAM size but perhaps not now when I tell her that SDRAM isn't cheap!
I thought that as it's old architecture that the price would drop like what happens with other PC technology like graphics cards?

  gudgulf 23:32 17 Aug 2005

The RAM type that is cheapest tends to be the most widely used......SDRAM has long been superceded so suppy is more limited and hence dearer than DDR.Having said that click here

£30 for 256Mb of generic pc133 or £14 for 128Mb of PNY branded PC133 memory is not ridiculously expensive.

  CurlyWhirly 23:35 17 Aug 2005

Thanks for the link gudgulf.
I will ask her which memory size she wishes to buy ;0)

  DieSse 23:49 17 Aug 2005

If you do buy any more RAM (and I still stick to my advice of don't buy any unless you want to up the overall quantity)....

...then be aware that you might have an issue with "single-side" (low density) RAM or "double-sided" (high-density) RAM. Some motherboards around that time have such issues (not all) - so it pays to buy from somewhere that will give you specific advice on this and/or guarantee an exchange in case of problems.

  CurlyWhirly 00:06 18 Aug 2005

Thanks for the advice - I will bear that in mind.

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