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RAM question...

Posted on 2003-02-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
Can a DDR Motherboard accept SD-RAM? If not, what's a good SD motherboard that's still widely available?
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Question by:BigFloppy
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Accepted Solution

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Kyle Schroeder earned 80 total points
ID: 8009985
No, you can't use SDRAM with a DDR motherboard.  There are a few boards (based on a SiS chipset) that supported both DDR and SDRAM, but they are terrible (i.e. ECS K7S5A and its ilk).  I don't know how much luck you'll have with your "widely available" requirement...I'm guessing you want a Athlon-capable board, some recommendations:
Abit KT7A, Asus A7A266, MSI K7T Turbo 2...anything on VIA KT133/A chipset

Truly at this point, its probably time to give up the old SDRAM and buy DDR.  Its exceedingly cheap right now and more future-proof (if there is such a thing with PC's).

-dog*
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8010118
I know, but my mom just bought a stick for her computer... heh.

I told her not to bother.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8010266
Well, hopefully she didn't open it yet and can take it back!  DDR is the way of the future :)

-dog*

p.s. Moms and computers just don't mix! heh heh
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8013114
No No, she actually knows quite a bit, but she doesn't want to spend the money for a DDR board, and RAM. I think her motherboard died...

It's a Gigabyte board, and I was changing some BIOS settings, I left BIOS, and got a black screen. I guess the secondary BIOS chip is dead...

The settings I changed were the AGP Comp Driving settings (Which I think is the root of my D3D problems, I saw many many articles about D3D crashing on KT133 boards due to AGP Comp Driving). But I set them too low, and the second BIOS didn't load. What's the length of the warranty on the BIOS chips? :\

Gah, I'm probably screwed into buying a new f'n board. :\

P.S. Yes, she did put the RAM in while I was sleeping a few days ago.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8013356
Did you try clearing the CMOS jumper, or possibly if that doesn't work, removing the CMOS battery (about nickel sized) for about 5 minutes or so (with power unplugged also).  I think Gigabyte has a key combo that will autoload the backup BIOS also if those don't work...

The AGP Comp Driving value can cause the system to not boot if you set it to the wrong value...

-dog*
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8013718
Yeah, I have a few planned solutions before I go ahead and buy a new motherboard... I just spent $440 on a new computer, I'm not ready to crap out more money.

Also, you wouldn't happen to know the AGP comp driving setting for an ATI Rage Xpert2000 would you? :o)
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8013758
Hell, Dogztar, I have a 150pt question still up, regarding D3D crashing on the computer that wont load now... jhance wouldn't follow up on it because I gave somebody else the points on a different question. I think he took it the wrong way, but whatever.

If you could help me, the 150pts are yours.

It's on the main hardware page (same as this) 2/09/03, "D3D crashing on GA-7VAX Motherboard".
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8014303
Yeah, he's a real whiner when it comes to thinking someone else "stole his points".  He knows alot, be he's an arrogant SoB!.  

AGP driving should almost always be "Auto" unless you have specific manufacturer info otherwise.

-dog*
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8014370
I set it on auto, and it crashes.
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8014376
it was originally on Auto. that's why i did manual. and it delayed the crash when i lowered it.
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8014514
Damn, removing the battery / power didn't fix anything.

The screen is plain black... and I hear no beeps. So does that mean the Motherboard is dead? Could the CPU possibly be dead? :\
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8020009
Well if all you changed was the AGP driving value, that shouldn't wipe out the whole system (note *shouldn't*).  Did you use the clear CMOS jumper and try it that way?  Sometimes you have to leave the battery out for a really long time (24+ hours) for any residual chargeto disipate.

-dog*
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8023212
Well, I lowered the AGP comp value even lower a while back, so that's not what's killing the board.

I'll try leaving it out a while, thanks.
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8023304
The Board beeped like crazy when I set the CMOS Jumper.

Screen still black... probably killed the damn Video Card... wtf.

Hell, I'd rather have killed the motherboard, It's given me so many problems. I'd like to have returned the favor.

And even if I buy a new video card, the damn board won't run D3D, what a f'n jip. I guess it's stuck w/ a 4MB Trident (if it works at all).

:\
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8025308
Well, you shouldn't power it on with the Clear CMOS jumper set, just while its powered off.  Set it for a few seconds, then swap it back.

Might be time for a new mobo...

-dog*
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8027626
ok, I put the CMOS jumper back, I still get a load of beeps, about 13 beeps.

I tried the Trident, still no video.

:\
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8028242
Guess that means I didn't kill the Rage card. :)  
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8029525
Is it a fast beep or slow?  Is there a pattern, or just beep beep beep beep? If fast, it could be a stuck key on the keyboard...try a different keybd.

-dog*
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8031294
no, it's not a keyboard type beep. it's like 5 short beeps then a pause and then a bunch of random length beeps.
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8038805
Dogztar, you've helped me out a bit w/o promise of extra points, please put any comment in my 150pt question: "Direct 3D crashing on GA-7ZX-1 Motherboard", And the points are yours.

Since the question doesn't matter anymore, since I'll be buying my mom a new Motherboard / RAM / CPU, and since the points will just sit there, and you deserve them anyways.

And since we're on the topic of motherboards... me and friend of mine were talking about the top motherboard companies... I'd like to hear your top ten in order company list. :)
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8046584
Well, depends quite a bit on what you're looking for.  If you want overclocking, I'd go Abit, Asus, MSI, Epox, Gigabyte...really they're all about the same.  Asus seems to have more weird problems (we get *ALOT* of Asus questions here, almost as many as those #$)*&#)*%&)#$ damned ECS/Elitegroup/PCChips garbage boards) but its usually something kind of strange; but they are generally good about resolving their weird problems.

I don't think you can say one manufacturer is better than another across the board, but the top ones would hve to be those I mentioned above, with Abit, Asus, and MSI probably coming out ahead as far as features/value/reliability.  But for every person who loves Asus, there are 2 more that think Epox or MSI is the best.  I've had Asus, Abit, and MSI boards (and built some systems on Gigabyte and Tyan boarsd also) and none of them have really given me much headache.

If I was building right now, I'd get an Asus A7V8X-Deluxe (nvidia NForce2 chipset) with some good dual-channel DDR400 (from Corsair) and an AthlonXP 2800+ (333 FSB).  I have an MSI KT3 Ultra ARU right now, and it has been a bit flaky on me at times after flashing the BIOS, but running like a champ now...

-dog*
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Author Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8052827
I got my mom the same system i got.

GA-7VAX, Athlon XP 1700+, 256MB PC-3200. And I also got her an eVGA GeForce4 MX440 4X, since her old card didn't fit! (I've learned almost all I know from personal research, and experience... I've never run into this before, I know now that since it was an AGP 1.0 card, it wont fit in an AGP 3.0 slot, hehe.)

My video card is an MSI GeForce4 MX440 8X. Mine outperforms hers a little, but hers looks like it has a much better quality heatsink attached.

Both have same hard drives.... 40GB / 7200rpm Western Digitals

My CD Drive is 52x24x52x, hers is 24x10x40x.

Mine has a Sound Blaster Audigy card, hers is using the integrated Realtek AC '97 sound card.

Both run f'n fantastic. Especially for the price paid.

The first Gigabyte board I got was a faulty POS (my moms old board). But I stuck with them, and I'm very pleased with them now.

And a board that can use PC3200+ , Athlon 3000+, AGP 8X, ATA 133. And has 6 USB 2.0 slots, Integrated LAN / Sound, Dual BIOS™, and all of the Features, and utility software that comes with Gigabyte boards.... Is WELL WORTH $95
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8053185
Sweet, glad you're both up and running again!

-dog*
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