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Memory configuration question

Posted on 1998-12-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I have a build-it-yourself system that I got from Tiger Direct last year (233 mhz Pentium MMX, 32 mb, all the usual peripherals).  The motherboard is a PA-2011 from a Taiwan company called FIC.  The MB has 2 DIMM slots and 4 72 pin SIMM slots.  I bought the system with a single 32 mb SDRAM DIMM, which works fine.  I want to add memory to the system, which leads to the question:

The MB manual shows a lot of RAM configurations.  For DIMMs, the only one they list with both slots used is two 64 mb units for 128mb.  For lower amounts, they show only a single 8, 16, 32, or 64 mb DIMM.  For larger amounts, they only show 4-SIMM configurations for 4X64 mb and 4X 128 mb.

There is a cryptic note that "SIMMs and DIMMs in bank 0 and bank 1 can be installed in many combinations.  Some of them are listed in the following table."  This leads me to believe that I might be able to add a second 32 mb DIMM, or possibly two 128 mb DIMMs, but I don't know how to find out other than spending nontrivial money and sticking them in there to find out.

Tiger Direct has a tech support hotline that allegedly handles these kinds of questions, but they never answer it; all I get is hours and hours of "your call will be handled by the next available...".  The MB manufacturer has a web site, but all that is available there is a pdf file of the manual I already have.  They have a mailto: on the page for inquiries, and I sent them a query, but they never answered it.  

So, Experts, is there any way to know what configurations are legal?  Is there any way that anyone has found to get one of these vendors to respond to customer inquiries?

(PS: I am a EE and totally fearless about following traces on PC boards or whatever it might take to sleuth this out if that is the only option.)

Thanks

Justin Harlow
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Question by:harlow
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rmarotta earned 100 total points
ID: 1130430
Justin,
Adding a second DIMM won't be a problem.  Each DIMM slot represents two banks of memory.
ou don't mix EDO with SDRAM though, as they require different voltages.
I would be hesitant about mixing SIMMS & DIMMS.  Even though the so-called "manuals" say it's okay, I've had problems trying that before.
Let me know if you need more.
Regards,
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:istal112898
ID: 1130431
ok, when you bought the system they told you what speed of memory you have,if you do not know you can see in the BIOS setup which options is choose usually will be 10ns reasonable. then, you can do this open up the case, and see how many chips the MEm has, if it has 9 it is paririty if it has 8 it is non parity SDRAM, if you have 2 chips it means each is 16 megs of RAM, SDRAM is the best way to go because it is easy to install and it can be configured in any way you want it. you can take 1 chip, I believe is 16megs and then remove the other one and put a chip bigger. 32 megs or 64 megs, so you can have 48 megs or 72 megs, I will go with 64 megs, for buying good memory and in wholesale price go to www.pricewatch.com choose memory, and choose SDRAM, you can get a 64 megs of memory for around 80 bucks.
what you SLOT means is that you can go as high as 2 64megs chip of memory. so if you need like 256 megs. you will put 2 64 megs in the dimms and 2 64megs simms in there. but I would recommend to use SDRAM, it is faster and better. the price also it is not much difference 1 or 2 dollars so go for the BEST Dram. good luck
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by:harlow
ID: 1130432
Sysop: Both rmarotta and istal gave helpful answers.  If there is some way to give them both credit, please do so and debit my account accordingly.
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