Worthwhile upgrading to 1024M DDR RAM??


Just after a few comments.

My PC is currently based on a gigabyte 7NNXP mobo with 400Mhz FSB and an Athlon XP 2500+ CPU (which by default is set at 333Mhz). I tried running it at 400Mhz with no problems but decided to stick to the defaut FSB for the moment.

I've got one stick of 512M PC3200 400Mhz DDR RAM and I'm wondering if I will see a considerable increase in performance if I install another identical stick and run in DDR...

Any suggestions?


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Dear jeffmcwill,

Certainly it is worth if you are going to high RAM consuming applications.. Well if you donot mind spending for it and have got the necessity to have such high RAM , it is surely worth.

It depends what problem you're trying to solve. If there's a problem you have to zero in on the bottleneck.
Often with over 384MB you'll find you're not getting good use of the memory you do have.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
Value Name: DisablePagingExecutive
Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value)
Value Data: (0 = default, 1 = disable system paging)
to "1" will keep core OS data from being paged.

ALso the default 768MB paging file can probably be trimmed down to 512 or so.

It depends what you're doing - a lot of photoshop? forget the paging file advice, you may need a larger one and here a faster disk or a stripe set for your temp files and paging file will make the difference.
One need to know the problem to find the solution.
It's sure not going to hurt anything though.
It is most certianly worth it.  With the dual channel you will get a 5-10% increase in bandwith.  If you run your FSB at 400 (ovreclocking) and make your memory run at 400, which would be 1:1.  You will get your best preformance.  That is if you are stable at 400 Mhz FSB.
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Are you running Windows XP?
I'm still running Win98SE on an Athlon 2200 and it flies with 512MB RAM.
If you are using XP then doubling the RAM to 1024MB will make a difference as XP has the ability to utilise this extra memory whereas Windows 98SE does not.
(Eg: I mean You wouldn't be able to tell the difference between 512MB and 1024MB under Win98SE (I've tested it and tried on my machine), but with Windows XP, you will certainly notice a difference especially when you are playing the more resource hungry applications, like NEW games etc, even more so if you have a 64MB or better graphics card.

My advice, YES if you are running XP, Maybe if you are running Win2000, no if you are running Win98/98SE.

Dual channel DDR? He has an AMD.

as for 98, if you have 98 use the money to upgrade to XP
Hey, Settle down Chicagoan :)
Nothing wrong with 98SE, nice and stable, makes the games go faster too, especially when you've only got a shitty AMD (like me) as well......:)
Raise your hands in the air and chant........
"98SE, 98SE, 98SE, 98SE, 98SE, 98SE, 98SE, 98SE, 98SE, 98SE"
10 Cheers for 98SE.........:)

jeffmcwillAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the advice!

I am running under Windows XP and I had heard that the OS utilises more memory better than older versions of Windows.

I was just wondering if it would make a considerable difference in performance. I don't use many graphics programs like photoshop... However, I do encode movies and like to play recent games.

So Dual 512M?


> and run in DDR...

ok i see that now in the original post he has a 7NNXP gotta like the nForce2...
>I was just wondering if it would make a considerable difference in performance.
You won't really notice the difference with dual channel.  However, you will notice the differnce with the extra RAM.  
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
>> (Eg: I mean You wouldn't be able to tell the difference between 512MB and 1024MB under Win98SE (I've tested it and tried on my machine),

You have successfully run 98 with 1024 Mb of memory?

How? because I understood that was impossible.
It's only possible to run it, and keep it running for longer than the 2nd mouse click, by limiting the amount of RAM that can be used in MSCONFIG > "Advanced" button > Limit memory to...512 MB.

No sense in having more if you have to limit it.
I have windows XP.  He is using XP not 98.
dbrunton, Here's how you get win98se to recognise more RAM.....
It also works with Win95, Win98, WinME....

Use the MaxFileCache setting in the System.ini file to reduce the maximum amount of memory that Vcache uses to 512 megabytes (524,288 KB) or less

You have to remove the additional RAM temporarily to allow the system to boot before the procedure can be performed.

Remove enough system RAM to bring the total below 512 megabytes.

Restore the power source.

Start the computer.

Locate the SYSTEM.INI file (usually located at C:\Windows\SYSTEM.INI).

Right-click the SYSTEM.INI file and select the Open With... option.

Select Notepad from the program list.

Click the Ok button.

Locate the [VCache] section in the SYSTEM.INI file.

Change the MaxFileCache setting to a value less than 524288 (kilobytes).

Example: [VCache]
MaxFileCache=523264 *If there is no MaxFileCache entry, please add it and set the value as show in the example above.*

From the Notepad menu, select File > Save.

Close Notepad.

Shut the computer down.

Disconnect the power source.

Reinstall the system RAM removed in Step 2.

Start the computer. It should boot normally and you'll have 1GB RAM.

Jeffmcwill, Yes then, since you are running XP then another 512MB will make a big difference, especially when you are playing those new games, because the latest games stretch a computers resources to the max, the extra RAM will help a lot.
Put the extra 512MB in and "Let the games begin". Its definitely worth it.

Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
A very important consideration on whether you can reap the benefits of Dual-Channel DDR technology is whether or not the extra 512Mb Module MATCHES EXACTLY, IN EVERY DETAIL the current 512Mb module you're running.  Dual-Channel DDR can only be acheived with "Matched Pairs", meaning completely identical sticks of memory.

As was mentioned, you'll notice a 5 - 10% improvement in memory bandwidth, but that doesn't translate to 5-10% improvement overall, but memory intensive apps may see a noticeable improvement.

I think you'll notice a difference moving to 1024Mb though, whether you can run in dual channel or not.

With the added ram you will notice a sizeable increase in all aspects.

On the plus side using the AMD Athlon with dual channel memory you will definetly notice a huge increase in performance for memory intensive programs.

If you just use the system for daily usage the increase will be minimal because the system can run fine.

You did note that you like recent games and to encode, this relies on memory extensively and the dual channel and added memory are a plus, plus a plus if that makes any sence.

The nforce2 uses 2 pipelines of memory instead of one. Of course you need 2 memory dimms to utilise it, one pipeline for each memory dimm.

Wether the dimms have to be the same spec is beyond me at this time to run at dual channel.

Since the bios should preset cas and ras latency so the memory dimms run at dual channels should make sense but their have been numberous articles and postings about this.

You really should find out what memory runs best in a dual channel system to get the best bang for your buck.

I currently cant recall the articles and info at this time but thought it more of an issue than if an increase in memory would help.

Obviously it can, is it worth the money, it may seem it can but buying the right memory may be the overall picture.

This needs clarifying
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
>>you will definetly notice a huge increase in performance for memory intensive programs.

No, you won't.  Overall memory benchmarks improve by 5 - 10% with Dual-Channel over Single-Channel.

>>Wether the dimms have to be the same spec is beyond me at this time to run at dual channel.

As I stated, they must be the exact same matched DIMMS.

>>You really should find out what memory runs best in a dual channel system to get the best bang for your buck.

Easy.  That's OCZ Platinum PC3500.  It's the fastest performing low-latency Dual-Channel RAM available.  How about memory settings of 2-2-2-5 at 400MHz or 2-3-2-6 at 433MHz.  That's extreme performance.

For further proof that Dual-Channel DDR isn't that much better (really, marginal) than Single Channel DDR, Tomshardware did a review recently (Nov 7th) comparing nForce2 ultra 400 in dual channel mode to the Via KT600 in single channel mode.  And although the nForce2 came out the winner, the Single Channel DDR actually placed ahead in a few memory benchmarks.


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Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
BTW, regardless of what you do with RAM, run your cpu and memory fsb's syncronous.  IE: if running your cpu fsb at 400MHz, make sure you're running your RAM at 400MHz.  Same goes for 333MHz, keep the RAM at 333MHz (even if it's 400MHz capable).

You get better overall performance with syncronous operation.
jeffmcwillAuthor Commented:
Thanks to all who contributed to this question.

I installed the extra 512M of RAM and the system is running stable with a 400mhz FSB. However, I'm not sure how to tell that the system is actually utilising the dual channel RAM system.....
I expected it would mention this booting up...

Any ideas?

The Mobo defaintely supports dual channel RAM...


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