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Old 07-17-2004, 04:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default RAM and Mobo...War or Peace? :)

I just got an ASUS A7N8X-X motherboard. I've heard that the nForce2 chipset has some compatibility issues with Kingston RAM. Will I have trouble with this RAM:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...141-424&depa=1

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-17-2004, 05:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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well i have some of that stuff and it works fine no probs but i have a VIA chipset soo....i think it should be fine. check the mobo to make sure
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Old 07-17-2004, 05:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The problem with any nForce2 chipset is that it has very tight and demanding CAS settings, this can cause a system to be unstable.

To cure this on nForce2 motherboards most people make the Cas latencies more "slack".
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Old 07-17-2004, 05:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The case latency on that RAM is 3-3-3. Here is a link to the motherboard:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...131-468&depa=0

What is "case latency"? How would I go about changing it? If I change it, would the motherboard and the RAM would well together, or will I have to return it and get new RAM? Or should I return the motherboard and get a new one with a different chipset? I'm sorry for the questions but I have no idea what case latency is.

Is the nForce2 a good chipset, or did I buy a crappy mobo?
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Old 07-18-2004, 01:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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CAS latency is very important and can distinguish expensive RAM from cheaper, higher latency RAM. The lower the number the better. CAS latency is a means to measure the time needed for the RAM to complete the following functions. In order to X-Y-Z

X - Precharge command to Active command. Charges the memory's storage capacitors to prepare them for data

Y - Active command to Read command. Selects rows and columns in memory array for reading

Z - Read command to Data Out. Reads data from selected rows and columns for transmission

The RAM you speak of is known as CAS-3 (Column Address Strobe) latency RAM. When the RAM is a lower latency you will notice a significant performance boost. For example:

Considering CAS-3 RAM running at 133mhz, it takes 45ns (3 clock cycles) for this ram to perform the given task. If you replaced the CAS-3 or CL-3 RAM with CAS-2 or CL-2 RAM that runs at 30ns per task you would see a 34% higher performance boost using the CL-2 RAM.

Hope that clears it up for you. I'll check this thread again if you have any questions.
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Old 07-18-2004, 01:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the explanation. That really did clear it up. I didn't realize that improved CAS could change performance that much. I got the CAS 3 Kingston ValueRAM because I won't be gaming hardly at all, but now I'm worried about compatibility. Ah, the fun of building your own
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Old 07-18-2004, 03:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have a friend with a Gigabyte K8NNXP (Nforce2 board) and he has run Kingston RAM with no probs, this might not be the same with all Nforce2 boards though
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Old 07-18-2004, 04:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just make sure you follow the Qualified Vendor List for you motherboard like the Bible. Some chipsets are picky. You would think since it's DDR memory and it's a DDR compatable motherboard that the RAM would work but nope. They just got to make it difficult for creative imaginations interested in doing it theirselves :P

Here is a link that shows what RAM is compatable on your system. I would try to stick to what's on this list.

http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/conf...submit1=Search
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Old 07-18-2004, 08:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I found that link too, but I can't understand why they would have 512 MB maxiumum using PC3200. That seems really weird to me.

Would I be better off buying some HyperX PC2700?
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Old 07-18-2004, 03:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok, to answer your question regarding the motherboard being crapy: No, it's a great motherboard, the only problem is the specific ram dependancy. I looked at the QVL on the ASUS website and personally think you should buy the following:

CMX512-3200C2 XMS3202 v1.1

I would not use PC2700 on that board because maximum performance is based on synchronization of the FSB and memory speed. If you were to use PC3200 it would match the 400mhz FSB. 400hmz*8bit=3200mbit/second. Use PC3200 RAM to veer away from CPU standbys etc while memory refreshes.

Your motherboard will support up to 3GB of RAM, I would recommend at least two sticks of the memory shown above. Hope that helps.

Other sites I checked:

http://www.corsairmicro.com/corsair/xms.html#xms

http://usa.asus.com/prog/spec.asp?m=A7N8X-X&langs=09
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