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Old 02-12-2006, 02:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Another RAM Question

My first post here...sorry if this is a dumb question. I've read the rules and done some searching but can't seem to pin this down.

The last computer I built was back in the late '90s, so I can't seem to grasp some of the newer terminology related to RAM even after reading the guide on this forum. I'm familiar with PC100 and PC133 memory.

I've purchased an ECS L4VX2 P4 533FSB Mainboard and a P4 CPU @1.8 ghz w400 fsb. I don't need a blazing game system, just a good basic rig to search the web and do some other basic tasks.

The MOBO user guide reads-

"This mainboard accommadates 184 pin 2.5v unbuffered Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM memory modules. The memory chips must be standard or registered SDRAM. The mainboard bus can run at 100/133/166 Mhz. If your processor operates over a 100 Mhz system bus, you can install DDR200/DDR266/DDR333 memory modules that operate over a 100/133/166 Mhz memory bus. "

So here are my questions - What type of memory would you suggest for this system ? Is this saying that PC100/133/166 memory would work ? "Unbuffered, standard, registered" ... what do these terms mean ?

Thanks in advance if anyone can clarify this for me.

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Old 02-12-2006, 03:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally, I would just go and get PC3200 RAM. It's very readily available, and often times cheaper than lower speed RAM. Also, if you end up upgrading later, it might save you one thing to upgrade.

Don't get confused with ECC or buffered RAM. All you need to look for is non-ECC/unbuffered RAM.

When the bus runs at 100MHz, lets say, that doesnt mean you run PC100 RAM. Read my RAM Guide for some help with that

For example, this RAM would work fine for you:

Just to clarify, if you put PC3200 in a system that only supports PC2700, the RAM will run at PC2700 speeds by default, but will still work.


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Old 02-12-2006, 03:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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and usually if you downclock it, you can tighten the timings, making it slightly more responsive than the PC2700 that you would've purchased.


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Old 02-12-2006, 06:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for your replys.

I forgot to mention that the MOBO user guide has a little memory module table that lists DDR266 and DDR333 but shows DDR400 faded out and says this.

"Note: We do not guarantee that all DDR 400 memory modules will work properly with your mainboard."

Knowing this, do you think I should risk trying the DDR400 or would I be safer going with the DDR333 ? Perhaps this is an oddball was cheap on ebay.

Is it always true that DDR266 = PC2100, DDR333 = PC2700 and DDR400 = PC3200 ? My MOBO user guide does not seem to mention the PC bandwidth numbers.

I appreciate the input. This is a great forum.
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Old 02-12-2006, 06:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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DDR400 is cheaper and is virtually certain to work (as certain as anything can ever be). DDR400 just means it is rated for that speed but can run above and below it so the motherboard should just see it as the highest speed RAM it can run.
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