need help with memory upgrade

  NeOsage 21:57 14 Jul 2014


I have an ageing Asus P5Q mobo which I'd like to eek out a year or two more's use by upgrading the video card & RAM.

I used to build/upgrade pc's a long time ago but haven't bothered for a few years; the last pc I tinkered with was a socket A machine so I'm a bit out of date with the technology.

It's only got a 500mb video card so I'm chucking in a vidia GeForce GT 640 Graphics Card (2GB) which is PCI-e 3.0 and the mobo only supports PCI-e 2.0 but a bit of searching around suggests that PCI-e is forwards and backwards compatible.

My question really relates to how to best (and cheaply) upgrade the memory. The P5Q has 4 slots in dual A&B channel config. It currently has 2 x 2GB modules in the channel A slots. I remember from my socket A days, if you filled up all the memory slots it actually slowed down the memory speed, is this still the case? Ideally, and to keep costs down I'd just like to throw 2 more 2GB modules in the channel B slots, but will a reduction in the memory speed make the upgrade redundant? The pc is mainly used by my teenage son who plays retro games like old Warcraft mods (not wow) and minecraft, hence my thinking I can get a year or two more from this old kit rather than buying a new one. Yes it plays these games perfectly well but a new graphics card and more RAM were on his Christmas list and were knocked off due to stretched funds. His b'day is 1 week after christmas and he's just completed his AS level exams so it's just a mid-year, well-done treat which believe me, he'll be over the moon with.

Any advice v.gratefully received.

  Woolwell 22:09 14 Jul 2014

Have you checked that the PSU can cope with the new graphics card?

  NeOsage 10:22 15 Jul 2014

it's got a 500W PSU and the Asus Nvidia GeForce GT 640 only needs an additional 75W so yes that's ok.

  Secret-Squirrel 11:12 15 Jul 2014

NeOsage, have you checked that during heavy/intensive use the PC's running out of memory? If it isn't then adding more RAM will be a waste of time and money because it won't improve the PC's performance at all. 4GB is usually more than enough for the average user.

Checking for this takes just a few seconds so post back your version of Windows if you're interested in investigating.

  NeOsage 13:29 15 Jul 2014

I'll be installing windows 7 ultimate 64-bit with this upgrade so I can increase the amount of RAM >4GB.

  NeOsage 13:32 15 Jul 2014

As per my original post, my P5Q has 4 memory slots; 2 channel A and two channel B. The mobo supports up to 16GB RAM. Yes I know 32-bit OS only support 3.5GB. The question I asked was will filling all 4 memory slots reduce the maximum speed of the RAM.

Thanks again :)

  Ian in Northampton 14:38 15 Jul 2014

I know the 640 isn't the fastest graphics card in the world - but is there not a risk that you'll end up shifting any bottlenecking in the system from graphics/memory to the CPU? You can have as good a graphics card and as much memory as you like, but if the CPU isn't up to it... Just a thought.

  imendpc 20:50 16 Jul 2014

No, more RAM does not slow it down. We have P5Q MB too with 4 X 2G Kingston Hyper X still in use with a GTX 660 Ti Geforce but its 8GB total is for loading up large sound samples for processing but even if you have 64 bit OS you need to see how much RAM is actually in use now. Also the graphics and 4 hared disks run OK with Antec Earthwatts (80+) 380 watts power supply.

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