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RAM memory advise...

Hi,
I have a rather old motherboard on my desktop, its an asus p5gd1 and max it can take is 4gigs of ram.

Presently i have two sticks of 512mb or ram thats **200mhz** (i got these values from CPU-Z)

I have taken the plunge and  bought two more sticks (2 gigs)  of ram of 1gig x 2 at *400mhz*

My question is can /should i keep the old ram there as well? or will it be better to just have the newer 2 gigs or RAM thats even running at a faster MHZ, because from my quick reading on google i think mobo's take the value of the lowest MHZ if you mix them... is that right?

I'm confused, is 3 gigs of ram running on 200mhz better than 2 gigs or ram running at 400mhz... or not?

Thanks!
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lopband
Asked:
lopband
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1 Solution
 
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Depends what you're doing.  Running a lot of applications, I'd probably keep the 512 MB in there (though it is only 512 MB).  Playing games, I'd probably pull the 512 and just use the new RAM since faster memory can translate into better performance for certain games.
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akahanCommented:
I think leew may have misread the question.  The question isn't whether he should keep or remove 512MB, but rather whether he should keep or remove an additional GB.

That is, he has 1GB of "slower" memory, and another GB of "faster memory".

It is correct that if you mix speeds, the system will access all memory at the speed of the slowest memory.

Whether you'll run faster with 2GB of slower-running memory than 1GB of faster-running memory will depend on what you're doing.  If you find that 1GB is not enough to accommodate everything you're doing in RAM such that you're swapping to disk a lot, then you'll run faster with 2GB, since even the slower running memory is faster than swapping to your hard drive.

In *general*, unless you're playing games that require relatively little memory, I would expect that you'd do better with 2GB than 1GB, even if the memory is running a little slower.  But you'll have to experiment to be sure.


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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Yes, I misread in that I thought he only had 512 MB in the system already.  He has 1 GB.  However, I think you misread the question as well.  He bought two more sticks (2 gigs)  of ram of 1gig x 2 - 2 gigs + the original 1 gig is 3 gig.

I'll stick with my original post in that I think 2 GB of RAM that's much faster would be better than 3 GB of RAM that's slower - more RAM helps, but the help diminishes depending on what you are doing and how much "more" more is.  I would DEFINITELY recommend more but slower RAM over 512 MB, but the difference between 2 and 3 GB isn't so pronounced and depending on usage, you may see better performance out of the faster RAM.

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akahanCommented:
Ack, you're right; we BOTH misread his question, in different ways.  I really should drink my coffee before sitting down to look at these things.

And, I completely agree that his best bet is to toss the old, slower memory and use 2GB of the fast memory, because the difference between 2GB and 3GB is negligible and, for most uses, will be outweighed by the faster vs. slower memory difference.
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_Commented:
hmmmm... they might be the same speed. He could be mixing a "base clock" speed from cpu-z, with the "rated clock" from the new ram.
It's unusual to find DDR200 in a P4 system.
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PCBONEZCommented:
If CPU-Z is reporting the RAM at 200MHz actual clock speed then he already has PC3200 which is DDR400.
In other words the new and old RAM are the same speed.
.
Use all of it.
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PCBONEZCommented:
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lopbandAuthor Commented:
Hey Guys!

Thanks for replying!

It was fun to come back and read how no coffee can affect us :))

Just to confirm, I do have 1 gig of ram presently (2 sticks of 512)
and 2 NEW gigs are coming by mail (2 sticks of 1gb).

"If CPU-Z is reporting the RAM at 200MHz actual clock speed then he already has PC3200 which is DDR400.
In other words the new and old RAM are the same speed."

Hmmm, thats even more confusing, I'll take out a screenshot of cpu-z and try to take a pic of the ram to show you guys and will proceed after I hear from you (am not at home right now, am writing this from my laptop)
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lopbandAuthor Commented:
Oops, just had to chip in for what i am using this:
Photoshop, dreamweaver.. running a test webserver (AMP), visual studio, video editing, video transcoding (eg: MP4 to AVI/WMV etc)

not really into games, coz when i start playing... no work gets done :))
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PCBONEZCommented:
See the chart in the wikipedia article.

RAM is generally advertised by it's max FSB [Front Side Bus] which is the "Data transfer rate".
- Suggests your *400 MHz* RAM is PC3200.
PC3200 clock speed [of the chips] is 200 MHz. [Which is what CPU-Z told you is in there.]

- Not the case here, but, systems will 'under-clock' RAM by adjusting the FSB lower than the RAM can handle in order to match a CPU's FSB.
- If that's the situation and you look in the wrong place in CPU-Z you may think you have RAM of a different type than you actually have.

- - > The best screen to look at RAM in CPU-Z is the SPD info.
That will tell you what the RAM 'can do', instead of just what it's 'doing right now'.

- See screen shot.
That system is actually running the RAM at 166 MHz to accommodate a CPU with a FSB of 533MHz.
- But the SPD screen shows all possible [automatic] settings for the RAM as well as it's max.
.


 
CPU-Z-PC3200.jpg
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_Commented:
what he said.    ; )
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cwteohCommented:
I assume you have 4 slots of RAM connectors. (I am not fully reading your message).  for me... I will unplug the old RAM and plug in the new 400Hz RAM to run the CPU.  If your CPU can handle 400Hz speed, why still use 200Hz RAM?
Putting both different speed of RAM will drop your RAM Speed to the lowest speed.  Try the new RAM... if your are OK with the speed you got... just leave it as 2GB RAM.
Other than different speed of RAM... are you buying the same brand of RAM?
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lopbandAuthor Commented:
Question not abandoned...
waiting for the RAM to arrive, due to the holiday season postage has been delayed.

Cheers and happy new year everyone!
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lopbandAuthor Commented:
Thanks!
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