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which memory should I buy?

I have Asus P2B motherboard and its memory system specification:

-3 x 168-pin DIMM Sockets to Support 8MB to 768 MB RAM
-Utilizes 4/8/16/32/64/128/256MB 168-Pin DIMM 3.3V SDRAM
-Features ECC Support
-PC100 (100MHz)Compliant SDRAM Interface

I am confused what kind of memory should I buy. Can SIMM, DRAM, EDO work on this board? Do I have to buy a pair of DIMM (because in my old computer, a single module won't work)?

Someone offer me a 168pin 64MB SDRAM w/ EEPROM. What is EEPROM and will this thing work on Asus P2B board?

What speed should I choose? 6ns, 7ns, 8ns, 10ns? Asus P2B specification doesn't tell this. Is faster == better?

What is ECC support?

If I want to buy a memory, what should I ask (speed, pin #, type, what else?)

What does PC100(100 MHz) means? Will 168pin 64MB SDRAM 66Mhz work?

When I want to buy a memory, it's said "unbufferd". What's this?

 


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screwdriver
Asked:
screwdriver
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1 Solution
 
screwdriverAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question
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larbelCommented:
You will need 3.3V DIMM to work with P2B, don't ever mix SDRam and EDO on a motherboard, though some board claim to support this mixture, but will often slow down the system even if it doesn't cause damge.

EEPROM is a standard feature on PC100 compliance ram module, it should also has SPD as well on a true PC100.  The PC100 is a new standard Intel laid down in order the ram manufacturer can follow to make their ram runs stable at 100+ FSB.  It really depends on what CPU you're running, if you intended to run only older PII 233 - PII 333 and no overclocking then the regular -10ns SDRam without EEP or SPD will suit you fine.  But if you want to run 100+ FSB (PII 350-450) then you will be safer with PC100 module.  The ns speed defines it's capable FSB speed.  Most of the current PC100 SDRam are 10ns or 8ns, there're people saying there're some 7 or 6ns, (smaller is faster).

ECC stands for error checking control as I recall, with this type of ram it will checks error in memory.  Hence it is slower than regular non-ECC ram. But it could be very useful when you're running a server or overclock.  ECC module usually is a lot more expensive then a non-ECC module.

I would suggest you get a PC100 compliance module.  -8ns is a good speed.  Try to look for the LGS -7J PC100 module, it has SPD and EEPROM but without ECC.  It's good for any speed up to 125MHz FSB.
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screwdriverAuthor Commented:
thanks, but I still have couple questions.

Is ECC = parity checking?

What's FSB? How do I know the speed of FSB? Do I check FSB from the memory module specification?

What are the common brands for the memory? any particular brands that I should avoid?

I did some searching at pricewatch.com for LGS -7J module, but I couldn't find it. Do you have any suggestion where I could get this memory?
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screwdriverAuthor Commented:
Is EPROM = EEPROM? I am confused because when I asked the company about SPD and ECC, they said like this, "This is to confirm that all of our memory comes with EPROM (SPD) and it is NON-ECC SDRAM". So, if they have both EEPROM and SPD, this is a true PC100?

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larbelCommented:
Here's a link discussing ECC ram...

http://net.wpi.edu/ram/ramtypes/ecc.html

FSB = Front Side Bus, the original Intel CPU runs at 66MHz, therefore a PII 300 would be running at 4.5 X 66 = 300 (all Pentium MMX and PII 233-333 runs at 66MHz).  When Intel introduced the PII 350, they also increased the bus speed to 100MHz and they've given a new name to this bus speed called Front Side Bus.  (PII 350-450 run at 100MHz)  In order to to run stable at this speed, you'll need PC100 ram module, the older PC66 ram module just isn't good enough.  (that's why it's called PC100)

Common brands are Micron, NEC, Goldstar etc...  As long as they're PC100 and with SPD and EEPROM then it should be fine, but try to avoid the -10ns module.

LGS = Goldstar, so look for 'goldstar PC100' in pricewatch.  And if you really want some good ram, try this:

http://www.step-thermodynamics.com/page5.html

They have the fastest ram that can handle up to 133MHz FSB available.  64Mb for $88, not bad at all.


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larbelCommented:
They're different...  EEPROM stands for Electrically Erasable Programmable Rom, is a special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to an electrical charge.  While Erasable Programmable Rom (EPROM) is a type of memory that retains its contents until it is exposed to ultraviolet light...  You will actually need a PROM burner to rewrite it's content, I think that sales person's just confused...
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OttaCommented:
> Is ECC = parity checking?

No.  ECC == Error Correcting Code.

While "parity-checking" can detect a "lost" bit,
ECC will automatically correct(!) from the "loss" of one bit,
and can even detect multiple "lost" bits.

So, having ECC is much better than having "parity".
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screwdriverAuthor Commented:
Ok, I got a 168pin 64MB PC100 SDRAM w/EEPROM and SPD memory, how can I test it to make sure that it has EEPROM and SPD?
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larbelCommented:
You have the P2B right?  Go into Bios and under ram, let SPD select the correct timing for your ram.  That's what SPD is for.
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