Which choice of RAM for most powerful setup?

  Radico 16:26 04 Jan 2005

I need to upgrade my PC's RAM. It currently has 2 sticks of 256MB PC2100 DDR266 (double sided) RAM, but I also have 1 stick of 256MB PC2700 DDR333 (single sided) RAM available for use.

Ideally I would like 1GB of RAM without spending too much money. I think my best choices are as follows:

1) Get 1 stick of 512MB PC2100 DDR266 (double sided) RAM to add what is already in the PC, giving me 1024MB

2) Get 2 sticks of 512MB PC2700 DDR333 (double sided) RAM to replace what is in the PC, with the advantage being I already have 1 stick of 256MB to add to it, giving me a total of 1280MB, but bearing in mind 256MB of it is only single sided

3) Get 2 sticks of 512MB PC3200 DDR400 (double sided) RAM to replace what is already in the PC, giving me 1024MB of the most powerful RAM of the three.

My motherboard accepts all 3 types of RAM I have mentioned; I need no help in that area, but what I really need answers for are the following:

1) Which choice would give me the best performance RAM setup? Obviously the first will be weakest, but what would perform better out of 1024MB of PC3200 DDR400 double sided RAM, and 1280MB of PC2700 DDR333 RAM of which 256MB is single sided?

2) The first option will be cheapest by a reasonable amount, but how much difference in performance will there be between the first option and the best performance option?

I apologise in advance if there is no simple answer to this query, but general advice will always be a help. If information on the rest of my PC specification is required please ask; I will reply as promtly as possible. Finally, thanks in advance for your help.

  Totally-braindead 16:32 04 Jan 2005

You stress the difference between single and double sided memory, I was under the impression they were both the same, I thought it only made a difference in the case of speed and parity is that not the case?

  Totally-braindead 16:37 04 Jan 2005

By the way its not generally a good idea to mix RAM (I do know that) if your system uses PC 3200 for instance and you put in a slab of PC 2700 then you'll drop the speed and regardless of the amount of memory you put in you'll slow your system up. If on the other hand your system uses PC 2700 and you put in some PC3200 then thats ok it'll make no difference as the memory will only run at 2700. Appologies I know what I mean but rereading what I've written its as clear as mud. Hope you understand what I'm trying to say.

  Radico 17:03 04 Jan 2005

I'm not sure about the difference between double-sided and single-sided RAM, which is why I stress it and use it as part of one of my questions.
My motherboard is a Gigabyte nFORCE2 K7 Triton GA-7N400 series - it supports DDR400/DDR333/DDR266 RAM. Sorry if I didn't make it clear, but I have not mixed RAM - at the moment the computer has 2 sticks of 256MB PC2100 RAM in it, but I also have a spare stick of 256MB PC2700 RAM (the single sided one) that I can use if I get more PC2700 RAM to replace what I am currently using. I dont plan to mix RAM either, which is why I have the 3 options.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 17:09 04 Jan 2005

Which video-editing applications will you be using the computer for?


  Totally-braindead 17:20 04 Jan 2005

The speed of the Ram you use depends on the speed of your processor. For example I had a AMD 1600 XP cpu and it used PC1600 if I remember rightly. If I put PC3200 Ram in my motherboard there would be no difference whatsoever as the processor would not be able to use the memory any faster. When I upgraded to a AMD 2500 XP I needed faster memory PC2700 I think it is. If you're considering upgrading the processor you have just now in the near future then faster memory would be needed but at the moment theres no advantage to spending money on faster memory as your processor wouldn't be able to make use of it.

  Radico 17:40 04 Jan 2005

The computer is mostly used for gaming, and the prompt for upgrading RAM comes from the recent purchase of EverQuest 2, incase anyone is familiar with the game.....if not, it is highly graphics-intense, and recommends 1G of RAM for gameplay.

Processor-wise, my PC is equipped with an AMD Athlon XP2800 CPU, so no problems in that area.

But, a spanner's been thrown in the works...
I've just found out that the manual I have for my motherboard is incorrect, and that my motherboard is in fact a Gigabyte GA-7VAX. This means that my motherboard will accept PC2700 RAM max, not PC3200. So I have therefore decided to go with the second of my 3 options.

I would like to thank you for your help, which has been very prompt indeed - never did I expect to ask my questions, hear the answers AND come up with a final course of action in the same evening, or be it 1-2 hours!

Thanks very much,

  Totally-braindead 17:45 04 Jan 2005

Are you sure ? click here

  Totally-braindead 17:52 04 Jan 2005

Also look at click here

  Radico 17:56 04 Jan 2005

I assume you mean 'am I sure the GA-7VAX accepts max PC2700 RAM', if so then yes, the website says so.
click here says 'Memory
Type : DDR333 (PC2700) / DDR266 (PC2100) / DDR200 (PC1600) -184pin'

If you mean something else, I apologise, please expand.

  Radico 18:03 04 Jan 2005

braindead - I posted the previous post before seeing your last post - and I must say that is interesting. Gigabyte say the GA-7VAX only takes 200/266/333 RAM, but Crucial say the GA-7VAX will take PC3200 DDR400 RAM?
How can this be?

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