Mixing Ram Types

I have just purchased an FIC PA-2011 motherboard, which has 4 SIMM sockets abd 2 DIMM sockets, in order to have a board which will support my new Cyrix MII 300 CPU.  I was assured that this board allowed the use of EDO ram in each of the 4 SIMM slots (16 mb-Kingston, 60 ns) and PC 66 SDRAM in both of the DIMM slots(PNY-32mb). My old board supported the 4 SIMM's and one SDRAM chip in DIMM slot 1 only.

Upon review of the board manual when it arrived, it states that the use of SIMM's and DIMM's is "not recommended to avoid unexpected failure", but that it is "not allowed" to use DIMM slot 2 and SIMM slots 1 & 2 at the same time.

FIC's website has been down since last Wednesday(at least), so no help there.

A call to the vendor yielded the response that you can never use DIMM's and SIMM's on the same board at the same time, the opposite opinion given to me at the time of purchase.

Am I safe to go ahead and replace my old board with my new one and use both my 4 SIMM's and my one DIMM without damaging the board, or should I return the board now and never believe this vendor again?

Thanks.

 
LVL 3
BolingAsked:
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rayt333Connect With a Mentor Commented:
NOTE :
1. * A RAM module of this size was not available for testing at press time.
2. DIM1 and DIM2 only support 3.3V (unbuffered) EDO and SDRAM |||||
modules.
3. It is recommended that SIMMs and DIMMs are not installed at the same
time on this mainboard to avoid unexpected failure.
4. DIM2 and SIMM 1&2 are shared. That is, It is not allowed to install RAM
modules on DIM2 and SIMM 1 &2 at the same time.

This is copied from the manual at http://www.fica.com/
This is a discontinued MB and the Cyrix MII 300 CPU is not listed as being supported

I take it you are asking for opinions here, right?
In my honest opinion I would send this MB back and get a MB that is still current with speed up to 100mhz for future upgrades, but at least this would allow you to use the current CPU (in my opinion junk CPU) and part of your memory, do some trading and get all DIMM, I'm sure there is still people who need SIMM's
There are so many good current MB for socket 7 that it is hard to choose, I like the Tyan S1598 Trinity ATX myself
http://www.tyan.com/products/html/s1598.html
But there are several dozen other good MB too

Just remember when upgrading to allow for future upgrades too so don't restrict yourself to discontinued products
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mark2150Commented:
If the manual says don't do it, you've gotta go with that.

M
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ShepCommented:
Boling,
  You cant use all simm and dimm slots at same time...reguardless of what you were told. Simm slots 0, and 1 corispond with dimm slot 0, simm slot's 2 and 3 with dimm slot 1. If u use simm's in first 2 simm slots...first dimm slot must be left free...if dimm used in first dimm slot, first 2 simm slots must be left free...and so forth.

Shep
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BolingAuthor Commented:
Shep,

Good try, but you didn't answer the question.  Also your answer contradicted my MB manual without explanation.  Try again.
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mark2150Commented:
Your MB manual has to be considered *GOSPEL* on this type of question. If the manual says "Dont' do it", then you gotta figure "Who would know better?".

Take the MB back and waive the manual under the sales presons nose while demanding either a MB that does as you wish or your $$$ back.

M
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waynebCommented:
Simms use 5.0 volts
Dimms use 3.3 volts
Therefore it is never recommended by any motherboard manufacturer to mix memory types, and I must specify NEVER.
You will burn out the memory.
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RoadWarriorCommented:
You have the right to return the board since the vendor misrepresented it's capabilities at the time of purchase, but you probably won't find a board that does what you want, so if you are otherwise pleased with your purchase you may as well keep it.
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rayt333Commented:
wayneb
Don't ever say "never" because I had a PC Chips MB that did allow you to use SIMM's and DIMM's at the same time, there was a diagram in the manual that you had to follow for the placement of the memory chips for the memory to work but it did in fact work
It was a PC Chips M571 MB
ftp://202.82.156.83/pub/pcchips/manual/m571/571v32a.pdf
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mark2150Commented:
rayt333,

That worked for your MB, but since his MB manual says "NO", that should settle it.

M
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BolingAuthor Commented:
Adjusted points to 200
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BolingAuthor Commented:
Let's up the points a little here.
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jmfairchildCommented:
I'm not quite sure what you are looking for here. You've gotten ample answers to your question. I buy from vendors like you are doing several times a week, and here is how I would handle it if it were MY system. I would call the vendor and explain that the manual contradicts his original statement, and unless he can point me to some supporting documentation FROM THE MOTHERBOARD company (not some tech from his back room), I want to replace this board with one that will work to my originally stated specifications or get a refund of my money. I would not use the board against the manual's recommendations because of voiding warranties, and as mark2150 said, "Who knows better?" (than the manufacturer and it's techs). So, in direct answer to your posed question:

NO, you are not "safe" to replace your motherboard with the new, replace the board with one that SAFELY works according to your specifications. And finally, there are TOO MANY salespeople in this field (as in ANY field) looking to make whatever bucks they can HOWEVER they can, throwing honesty to the wind. If he does it once to make a sale, he'll do it again, no matter what story he gives you (once burned, shame on you, twice burned, shame on ME). Believe me, I've been there, done that, and got multitudes of T-Shirts to prove I'm telling you the truth. Hope this helps...
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ShepCommented:
get your self a
FIC 503 Supper socket 7
got 2 of them...use both dimm and simm's in one for longest time.

Shep
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mark2150Commented:
I can see one of two possible endings for this saga.

1) You take the MB back w/o doing any experiments on it. They give you a nice store refund and you buy a nice, new, compatible MB and return home happy-happy joy-joy.

2) You fiddle with the RAM figuring "what the hell, I'll just try it this one time..." Moments after powering on the system there is popping noise and than an acrid smell in the room. (fade to black & fade in back at computer store) You're arguing with salesman at computer store how since the salesman told you that you could use both and that someone on E-E had said "go for it" you tried this but it failed. The store owner clucks, rolls his eyes and patiently explains that the salesman meant it could use *EITHER* but not *BOTH* at the same time and since it says right *here* in the manual you should NOT try this, well, that constitutes abuse and contraindicated usage voids the warrantee and since the check has already cleared there is no way in hell you're going to get a *cent* of credit for that pile of burned out crap, but if you'ld like to shell out some nice *new money* he's got this low mileage MB that was only used by a little old lady to answer email on sundays...

Don't waste your points or your $$$. Take it back before you fry it.

M
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