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Thread: Memory upgrade

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    Memory upgrade

    I'm currently running Win 98SE with 256MB DDR in a Gigabyte GA-7VM400M. When I move to XP, I'll up the RAM, to either 512MB or 1GB. I'm told that with some of these motherboards, it's advantageous to run your given amount of RAM in 2 slots, rather than a single. How do I check which would be appropriate to my board?

    Alan

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    Re: Memory upgrade

    Alan

    The obvious answer is to see if the Gigabyte website tells you this;
    the slightly less obvious answer is to look up Crucial's Memory Adviser Tool and see what it comes up with.
    I can see only a single 256 MB upgrade, because it says you have only two slots on this motherboard! (Your actual experience may be crucial <img src=/S/pun.gif border=0 alt=pun width=22 height=18> !)

    John

    PS Later... You have to click on "All Compatible Upgrades" to see other capacities, but the "only two memory slots"-ness appears to be a <img src=/S/bummer.gif border=0 alt=bummer width=15 height=15>...
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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    Re: Memory upgrade

    <img src=/S/hmmn.gif border=0 alt=hmmn width=15 height=15>... Well, as usual, I can't make hide nor hair of all the conflicting information available. The manual says:
    <UL><LI>2 184-pin DDR sockets
    <LI>Supports DDR333/DDR266/DDR220 DIM
    <LI>Supports up to 2GB DDR (Max)
    <LI>Supports only 2.5V DDR DIMM[/list]... none of which really answers my question. Crucial says:
    The number of total memory slots in your Giga-Byte GA-7VM400MF can also be found in the "System Specs" section, under "Banking".

    but I can't see any references to "Banking" in the manual. At the moment I have 256MB DIMM SDRAM in one slot, and my System Info utility reports a "capacity" of 512MB and a "maximum memory module size" of 1024MB. I'm lost <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20>.

    Alan

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    Re: Memory upgrade

    Alan,

    I think the 512 MB capacity may be based on you have one 256MB DIMM and the another DIMM probably has to match it in size. However the 1024MB is the largest single DIMM that the board can handle. So, you could purchase 1 - 256MB DIMM or 2 - 512MB DIMMS or 2 - 1GB DIMMS.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Memory upgrade

    Alan

    Bear with me as a lot of this is off the top of my head. For further info, check out sites such as Toms Hardware or AnandTech. I think what you're referring to is Dual Channel Memory controllers.

    These are indeed a lot better when using twin banks of RAM (hence the name), but are generally only found on newer motherboard chipsets, such as the nForce series. If your mobo manual doesn't mention dual channel RAM, then it more than likely won't matter whether you use one RAM stick or two.

    HTH
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
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    Re: Memory upgrade

    Not really John. The point of dual channel memory controllers is that they allow the system to fetch data from both memory banks at once, thus speeding the system up. If you only have one stick, the system will still work, just nowhere near as fast.

    I think Alan is just asking if that's the case with his mobo. (Though I could be wrong of course! Alan?)
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
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    Re: Memory upgrade

    Alan

    I may be missing something, but if you have just TWO memory slots, and ONE has a 256 MB module in, and THE OTHER is empty, have you not answered your own question?

    John

    PS There is a pointer to FAQs under the "All Compatible Upgrades" button (Crucial MemoryAdvisor webpage), and mention of "Live Chat" and "Expert Online" lower down, if you need to go that far...
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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    Re: Memory upgrade

    Lyra

    I see your point, but surely the logical thing would then have been to have 2 x 128 MB modules provided originally, for maximum speed (but zero flexibility)...

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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    Re: Memory upgrade

    <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15> That's the situation I'd heard about. Even if this is a possibility, all those conflicting specs leave me in the dark as to what's even possible, one way or the other. I've never been able to figure why they make it so <img src=/w3timages/censored.gif alt=censored border=0> hard to get straight answers to simple questions about hardware. Keeps someone in a job I guess.

    Alan

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    Re: Memory upgrade

    I suspect it might have been done that way with flexibikity in mind. Also, I think it requires a special kind of RAM for that dual singin' & dancin' stuff. The 256 stick I have might not cut it?

    Alan

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    Re: Memory upgrade

    It looks to me that your mobo isn't dual channel, and from the specs you gave, can run 2GB of total RAM, with a maximum of 1GB per memory bank. As it can only run DDR333 (PC2700) RAM, I'd also assume that it's too old to be dual channel- they tend to be used with DDR400 (PC3200) RAM and up.

    The 'capacity' info you got from you SysInfo utility is probbaly just multiplying the amount of RAM you have in one bank, by the number of banks you have on your mobo.
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
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    Re: Memory upgrade

    Ooh, sorry Joe- didn't see your post! Looks like we agree with the numbers though... <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
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    Re: Memory upgrade

    OK, thanks for all the help John, Joe, Lyra. Looks like simple choices then - 2x512, 2x1024 or if the wallet's light on 1x256. I'd think for XP Pro, not running games, the 2x1024 might be a bit over the top anyway.

    Alan

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    Re: Memory upgrade

    Even for games, 2GB is a bit over the top!! 1GB is plenty for the vast majority of users, including hardcore gamers.
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
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    Re: Memory upgrade

    I agree with Lyra!

    I was quite happy with 512 MB until I had a problem with defragging a new external hard disk NTFS-formatted with 512 byte sectors, when the memory requirements went through the roof. I then bought another 512 MB, only to find that the problem went away when I reformatted the hard disk with the default 4 KB sectors!

    John

    PS I observe that another 256 MB of memory costs almost as much as your whole motherboard! Wonder which manufacturer makes the most money?!
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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