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Old 08-25-2010, 08:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is the worst that can happen if I upgrade my RAM?

My MoBo says it only supports up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM. Currently I have 2 sticks of 2GB each. The MoBo has two slots for the RAM. Lets say I were to get two sticks of 4GB (for a total of 8GB) what is the worst that can happen? Will my MoBo simply not recognize it, or will it be something worse? I run a dual boot XP and Vista 32 Bit. My CPU is an AMD Athlon (dual core) 64 X2 5000+.

If for some reason I can't run more memory, do they make "faster" memory then what I currently have... if that makes sense. For example I know with video cards just because a card is 1GB, that doesn't mean squat. I know other other factors are in play to increase the performance like the core clock, memory clock, bus width etc... is RAM the same way, or is 4GB simply 4GB?
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is the worst that can happen if I upgrade my RAM?

RAM does have a RAM clock speed (DDR RAM of any variety (1, 2, or 3) is double-data-rate, so the RAM speed is 2 x FSB speed x RAM multiplier) as well as timings. Timings are the delay (in RAM clock cycles) between various states of memory access and you want timings to be as low as possible for the shortest delay. If upgrading to 4GB sticks doesn't work you can get higher speed and lower latency RAM to improve performance. I honestly think you'll see a bigger performance boost from faster RAM as opposed to more RAM, 4GB is plenty for almost everything. You can try overclocking your CPU to get more performance, and if you increase the FSB (front side bus) speed it will affect the CPU speed as well as the RAM speed.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the worst that can happen if I upgrade my RAM?

Here is a screen shot from my SIW of my current RAM setup. I kind of get what you are saying, but I am still learning, maybe you can clarify a little more. Based off what I have now, what do you recommend I buy that would double (or more) the speed of my RAM without exceeding my MoBo limit?

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Old 08-26-2010, 02:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the worst that can happen if I upgrade my RAM?

Exceeding your mobo ram limit can go one of many ways.

1. It recognizes it and runs it like there is no limit. (If you're lucky.)
2. It recognizes it, underclocks it and utilizes all 8 gigs. (Less likely but could happen.)
3. It recognizes only some of it (i.e. 4 instead of 8). (Likely.)
4. It won't boot at all. (Not a catstrophic, breaking kind of wont boot... it just wont post.) (Doubtful.)

My motherboard is rated at 4gb and I run 6gb. So it is possible. But my mobo is a pos and underclocks all ram.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the worst that can happen if I upgrade my RAM?

I think the easy solution to this is to get a new MoBo that will support more memory. The problem is I have a mid-tower ATX case and it only fits a micro ATX board. *Sigh* It seems like everything has a cascading affect.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the worst that can happen if I upgrade my RAM?

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Originally Posted by pro2a View Post
I think the easy solution to this is to get a new MoBo that will support more memory. The problem is I have a mid-tower ATX case and it only fits a micro ATX board. *Sigh* It seems like everything has a cascading affect.
everyone seems to be overlooking the fact that neither of the operating systems your currently using accept more then 4 gigs of ram. even if you upgraded the MB you wouldnt be able to use more then 4 unless you switch to a 64 bit OS
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is the worst that can happen if I upgrade my RAM?

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Originally Posted by zero4o3 View Post
everyone seems to be overlooking the fact that neither of the operating systems your currently using accept more then 4 gigs of ram. even if you upgraded the MB you wouldnt be able to use more then 4 unless you switch to a 64 bit OS
Good point, this is entirely correct, 32 bit operating systems are limited to 4GB of RAM. If you upgrade you will need a 64 bit OS.
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the worst that can happen if I upgrade my RAM?

What about XP? Would it be as simple as running that primarily instead of Vista? If the dual operating systems are holding it back, I guess the core of what I am getting at is do they make "faster" memory (of the same sized memory [4GB]) that has a greater core and memory clock speed and a larger bus width etc... and if they do, does it make a significant difference in performance? Is there more to RAM then just the memory even if it is the same size?
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