Upgrading RAM

toasterhed

New member
Right now my system has a whole whopping 1.5gb of memory. The memory I have in it now, is not a matching pair. Should I be concerned about that as far as performance or it causing an issue with my system? It seems that it has worked fine but I did read an article which said it's best to install in pairs. The memory for my computer is very cheap, I could upgrade it at $12.99 a stick, up to 3 of them if I take out the extra 512MB RAM which doesn't match. Which would give me the maximum 4gb, and I might get about 3.5gb out of that. (What I read on www.crucial.com said that I MIGHT get 4gb but I'd be happy with 3.5gb instead of 1.5gb)

That being said, should I really be all that concerned about it? (It being in pairs that is)
 

Shadow

New member
It's okay to mix them. But it is really better to use a pair of the same kind. There are slight differences between the memory chips. But they are small enough so you don't lose performance.

In old PC Systems years ago it really was necessary to use pairs because mixed ram caused system trouble with the mainboard.

You should of course only use the same type of RAM. DDR RAM != DDR 2 RAM or RAMBUS etc. And you should check whether your RAM has the same speed etc. Good mainboards let you configure the settings. Give it a try. But if you are not sure, then don't.
 

MyaMyaMya

New member
In old PC Systems years ago it really was necessary to use pairs because mixed ram caused system trouble with the mainboard.
How old? ;)

Ignoring parity, 30-pin SIMMs were 8-bit. 386SX had a 16-bit data bus, so you'd have to install in pairs. 386DX and 486 had a 32-bit data bus, so you had to install in quadruplets, or you could go with a single 32-bit 72-pin SIMM. Pentium had a 64-bit data bus, so you needed 2 72-pin SIMMs(or perhaps 8 30-pin SIMMs, but I don't know if any motherboard manufacturer was crazy enough to do that).

The motherboard could hypothetically have buffer logic on it so you wouldn't have to install in pairs or quadruplets, but that would really really hurt performance.

(This doesn't get into mismatched timing and DRAM types, which I'm not too familiar with)

Err...
Does your motherboard support a dual-channel RAM configuration?
 

toasterhed

New member
I believe it does? I can use DDR/DDR2 SDRAM if that is what you mean. As far as configuration I haven't fooled with it being that I'm not all that experienced in hardware matters. However, I have found a site on which I can order the exact same kind of RAM and I have stuck with DDR2 SDRAM. So far it's the only kind I've put in there. That's just the problem. I'm not sure I want to mess with the settings without knowing for sure.

I'm just going to order some more of the same since I know for sure that it will work the best and besides, I'm not going to be able to really put more than 4GB of RAM in it without it being a waste anyways. I have two open slots and if I take out the 512MB of DDR2 SDRAM I have in one of the slots, I can replace it with a 1GB stick of RAM instead. (at that point giving me 2GB with 2 more that I can upgrade it to) I also figured that it would be far more simple. It was just tempting to (at first) put as much as I could in it until I learned that you can't just put however much you want in, and expect it to work.

But hey, you learn something everyday.

I thought about overclocking too, but I have no idea how to properly overclock a machine and I don't want to sacrifice the life of my machine for power or worse to burn it up.
 

jarethhx

Banned
xD My PC sucks pretty much, with my Pentium 4 3.00GHz, and only 512MB of RAM. (DDR1) Only thing I can really do is play Nintendo emulators and check E-mail. My PC case looks cool, but other than that the rest sucks. :p
 

Maximum Potion

Staff (news - ROM hacking/translations)
xD My PC sucks pretty much, with my Pentium 4 3.00GHz, and only 512MB of RAM. (DDR1) Only thing I can really do is play Nintendo emulators and check E-mail. My PC case looks cool, but other than that the rest sucks. :p

Only nintendo emulators!? Like just nes??
I'm 99% sure that you could run epsxe abd project 64 cuz i ran epsxe on 256 mb ram 500mghz. Obv snes too.
You could also run starcraft and Diablo 2, warcraft 3 AND steam perfectly on that i think.
In fact that machine could do everything I do on a pc with the possible exception of pro tools 7.3.

I only say this because the only computer I know of that can ''only really do is play nintendo emulators'' is my desktop. 200mghz MMX processor with 128 mb ram. Doesn't even need dosbox.
 

jarethhx

Banned
oh! lol Yeah I used to run an N64 emulator but I love the old school stuff. :p Also, I could never egt an ePSXe emulator running on my machine, the video is all choppy/glitchy, and sometimes the emulation wants to run really fast. X.x
 

The 9th Sage

New member
Wow, I'm curious to know the full specs of your machine Jareth. I had a laptop that was slower than that and I could play PSX and N64 games (usually) just fine.

*edit*
Ah, wait...from your description it sounds like it could be (with the PSX stuff) bad plug-in configuration. Have you turned on frame limiting (I think that Pete's plug-ins have an auto setting that will limit the framerate but not play videos too fast)?
 

jarethhx

Banned
Oh yeah. lol I'm so blind. Pete's plug-in did the trick. Go figure.
Oh! I also got Windows xp Pro to run on a 400 processor with only 64MB of RAM. lol This was on an old EMachines that I was working on in computer class. The boot logo took like 3½ minutes just to load to the desktop, then 2 more minutes for the desktop to be fully active. lol It was still slow even when I did msconfig and disabled alot of startup programs and services. xD
 

The 9th Sage

New member
Oh! I also got Windows xp Pro to run on a 400 processor with only 64MB of RAM. lol This was on an old EMachines that I was working on in computer class. The boot logo took like 3½ minutes just to load to the desktop, then 2 more minutes for the desktop to be fully active. lol It was still slow even when I did msconfig and disabled alot of startup programs and services. xD

I'm going to assume you didn't actually expect it to do anything well. :p Boy, that's pretty terrible.
 

jarethhx

Banned
xD Ever tried overclocking an old board with a generic fan? I never seen so much black smoke in my life. lol Damn, I'm a retard.
 

Lillymon

New member
Is this a joke? The 1990s, up to 1998. They were called SIMM chips,and they always had to go in in perfect pairs.
Aside from the nasty bump, I'm pretty sure this isn't true either. 72-pin SIMMs has to be installed in pairs in Pentium machines, but that was because they used a 64-bit bus. They could be installed individually on a 386DX or 486 with their 32-bit buses, and I know this because I used to have a 486DX2 that worked for years on a single 72-pin SIMM.
 

Isildur

New member
I used to have a 486DX2

That reminds me-- I haven't turned on my 386SX and 486DX units in a while.

...

...is it weird that a little part of me anthropomorphizes them, imagining them feeling neglected there on that shelf in my closet? :erm:
 

Lillymon

New member
That reminds me-- I haven't turned on my 386SX and 486DX units in a while.

...

...is it weird that a little part of me anthropomorphizes them, imagining them feeling neglected there on that shelf in my closet? :erm:
Not at all. I end up naming and talking to my PCs all the time. My last one was Chihiro, and I really didn't like her (slow, iffy sound, etc). But then I was days from getting Shizuku (much better, typing this on her) and lay in bed thinking about it and what would happen to Chihiro, when the thought "I hope nothing bad happens to her" went through my head, swiftly followed by "What the fuck was that?".

For the record, Chihiro is now operating as my mum's computer, and is working just fine.
 

The 9th Sage

New member
Not at all. I end up naming and talking to my PCs all the time.

I do some of this as well. My old laptop was called "Iori" and my new Quad Core desktop machine is called "Konata". I'm especially amused by that one since even 'her' BIOS splash screen has Konata from Lucky Star on it.
 
D

Deleted member 48

Guest
Thanks for the information. I only ever upgraded the RAM in my Pentium system, so that explains it. We never added RAM to our early 386.

That paired memory crap made the concept of a "SIMM stacker" a terrifying one.
 
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