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Old 01-15-2007, 10:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My desktop currently has 512mb of DDR 333Mhz PC2700 RAM.

Yesterday I bought 1GB of DDR 400Mhz PC3200 RAM. I understand that if I put this RAM in with my old RAM, it will automatically downclock itself to 333Mhz RAM so essentially I will have 1.5GB of DDR 333MHZ RAM.

I asked the guy at the store which is better, 1GB of DDR 400 or 1.5GB of DDR 333? He said 1GB of DDR 400. Is this true?

I may look into overclocking the 333 RAM so that I will get 1.5GB of DDR 400. Is this even possible? If so, is there a good tutorial or article that someone can point me to?

Thanks.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: RAM questions

Quote:
Originally posted by Hackstall
I asked the guy at the store which is better, 1GB of DDR 400 or 1.5GB of DDR 333? He said 1GB of DDR 400. Is this true?

I may look into overclocking the 333 RAM so that I will get 1.5GB of DDR 400. Is this even possible? If so, is there a good tuttorial or article that someone can point me to?
Well, the guy is partially correct. When you run applications that require high memory usage (games, for instance), you'll be better off with 1.5GB, even if it's slower. For other apps with small memory footprint, you'd benefit more from the increased bandwidth a higher-speed RAM offers. It's all about virtual memory: the more physical RAM you have, the less Windows has to use virtual memory, which is way slower than RAM.

The solution as you guessed is to stick with the 1.5GB and overclock it as close as 400Mhz as possible. If you give me your CPU and motherboard models, I'll gladly help you do it.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply.

My motherboard is an ASUS A7V8X-X. It is a SocketA(462) board.

My CPU is an AMD Athlon XP 2500+. The specifications are:

Manufacturing Process .13 micron
Core Voltage 1.65v
Level 1 Cache 128 KB
Level 2 Cache 512 KB
Frontside Bus 166 MHz
Multiplier 11x
Clock Speed 1883 MHz

If you will help me that is awesome. Will I require a heatsink for the 333 RAM?

Thanks.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I had the same trade off, 1GB of DDR400 or 1.5GB of DDR333. I chose the 333 due to windows feeling a lot 'free-er' when loading applications and the difference when minimising games was huge.

Heatsinks generally don't help the cooling but I prefer them for tidiness and ease of handling.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Trifid
I had the same trade off, 1GB of DDR400 or 1.5GB of DDR333. I chose the 333 due to windows feeling a lot 'free-er' when loading applications and the difference when minimising games was huge.
Yes, that's because of a reduced virtual memory usage. The difference in performance between DDR333 and DDR400 is small, anyway. I'd chose the 1.5GB as well.

Hackstall, instead of going directly into overclocking, you could first try both configurations and compare their feel, or even run some benchmarks to have an objective comparison.

If you still want to overclock, keep in mind it won't make that much of a difference. One must do it only for the geek value . I just don't want you to go through all the hassle of overclocking and testing, and then be disappointed because the performance is similar.

The easiest way to overclock your RAM is to change its speed directly through the BIOS. I downloaded the manual from Asus' product page. All you have to do is go to the BIOS, then to the Advanced Menu, and change Memory Frequency to 400. This should force the memory to run at 400Mhz. Save and reboot.

Now, It's not guaranteed the 333Mhz memory will overclock to 400Mhz. If you can't boot with that setting, you'll have to reset the BIOS (which may be a bit complicated if you're never done it before). If that happens, then we could try some FSB overclocking, which would overclock both your RAM and CPU.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Okay thanks for the help. What is a good program to do benchmarks?

I'll try some stuff out tonight and let you know what happened. I just bought a new HD so i want to reinstall windows as well so it might be a day or two until I figure out what I want to do.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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On closer inspection of your motherboard's manual, I see the DRAM frequency can only be set to DDR333 if using a 333Mhz FSB (166Mhz double-pumped). So it seems you won't be able to run the memory at 400Mhz.

Bah, I wouldn't worry about it. For starters, you'll notice a big performance increase going from 512MB to 1.5GB. Just leave it at that and be happy .
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Okay I will. Thanks for all your help.
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