Adding memory question (PLEASE READ)

Madhatter4

Distinguished
Oct 2, 2005
216
0
18,680
0
I currently have 1 Gig of DDR SDRAM 400mhz memory on my pc. Would adding an additional 512meg stick of ram help improve my PCs overall performance????

Thanks
 

apt403

Distinguished
Oct 14, 2006
2,923
0
20,780
0
Yeah, not as much as adding another 1gb stick, but it'll still help alot.
 

ausch30

Distinguished
Feb 9, 2007
2,210
0
19,790
1
It will help but how much depends on the MOBO your using. As apt403 said 1gig would be better especially if your board supports dual channel.
 

Track

Distinguished
Jul 4, 2006
1,520
0
19,790
1
Yeah, not as much as adding another 1gb stick, but it'll still help alot.
That is simply un-informed.

Unless his PC needs more RAM, there is no reason to buy more. So to suggest that his PC needs SO MUCH more RAM over what he already has, that only an extra 1024MB will boost his performance and a 512MB wont as much, is simply ground-less.. not only because its not true, but because u dont even have the slightest idea about his PC.

To answer the question:
If u dont game, then DONT buy more memory.
If u DO game, then consider buying a graphics card instead.. or if u already have a good one, then buy another 1024MB because dual-channel will grant u some performance gain over single-channel and so it wouldnt be worth it to buy another 512MB.
 

apt403

Distinguished
Oct 14, 2006
2,923
0
20,780
0
More ram will help system performance. You wont see massive boosts in everything, but a standard system running XP is going to benifit from having more ram.

Granted, if he isnt utilizing all 1gb of ram it wont help the performance at all, but most of us here would be in hell with only 1gb.

Yeah, your right, before jumping to the conclusion that he acutally needs more ram I should have asked if his pc was slow, and in what programs, but I was basing my assumptions off several things.

1. He said "overall performance" there are 3 things that come to mind when a person says he wants his pc to perform better.

The first being the cpu, especially here, since he's using DDR memory, he either has a socket 939 or 478 mobo, or, much less likely, a socket A board or something of similar vintage. faster cpu = faster system if all other needs are addressed.

The second is the ram, most systems need 2gb to really fly. And, ram is now pretty cheap, so it's a low cost upgrade that'll help performance in most systems. Now, like you pointed out and I admitted, he might not even be using the 1gb of ram he has now, but since he's talking about inproving overall system performance, that leads me to believe his system isnt performing as well as it was in the past. Or, he started doing new things, gaming perhaps, and he needs a faster pc.

The 3rd is HDD, HDD bottlenecks are common, and even if the HDD isnt bottlenecking performance, the OS will after long periods of time, it gets bogged down, that's why people reinstall XP every once and a while, it helps system performance.

The fact that he specificlly mentioned a ram upgrade, and didnt just say "What do I do to make my PC faster?" overrides the other two things and make me think he thinks a ram upgrade would help his pc, for the reasons deatailed in 2.

2. Here, people generally meet us atleast half way, if somebody thinks his psu doesnt have sufficent power for his system, he's going to say something along the lines of " *the problem* I think I need a stronger psu, what do you think?" And not "*problem* HELP!". Going on that, I assume the OP has a general idea of what he needs to do to make his system perform better, and that he's not just taking a shot in the dark.

3. I dont have a 3... :?
 

Flying-Q

Distinguished
Feb 20, 2006
641
0
19,060
45
I currently have 1 Gig of DDR SDRAM 400mhz memory on my pc. Would adding an additional 512meg stick of ram help improve my PCs overall performance????

Thanks

A question - is that 400MHz marketing speed (double200) or actual 400MHz? the answer gives an idea of the vintage of your machine. Alternatively, tell us the name of the motherboard and processor.

With out that info I'll try a couple of scenarios:

1. your system is single channel and you have one 1Gb stick - adding any memory will likely improve performance.

2. your system is single channel and you have 2x 512MB sticks - same as before but you may only have one free slot so this upgrade would be the last. Choose wisely, young padawan.

3. your system is dual channel and you have only one 1GB stick (single channel mode) - you must populate the other channel with an identical stick to enable dual channel - your system will behave like its just drunk RedBull.

4. your system is dual channel and you have one 512MB stick in each channel (dual channel mode) - add another pair of 512MB to keep dual channel mode operating. Sadly, some motherboards that have dual channel only have 3 slots and work single or dual depending upon memory population layout (eg MSI K7N2). If you add memory assymmetrically to a dual channel layout you will then operate in single channel mode. This will halve the 'effective bandwidth' of the memory and so the increase in memory from the upgrade will have little or nil impact on 'overall' performance in the real world.

Hope that helps.
Q
 

Madhatter4

Distinguished
Oct 2, 2005
216
0
18,680
0
Thanks for the great replies people!!!! Anyway I mainly use my computer for PC gaming and I do a great deal of multi-tasking... That is why I believe my system might benefit from an additional 512meg stick of ram.. Also here are my system specs which I copied off the program PC WIZARD... So overall is this additional memory the cheapest upgrade I can do for the greatest performance boost???

Manufacturer : Dell Computer Corporation (Model Dell DIMENSION DIM4600)
Mainboard : Dell Computer Corp. 02Y832
Chipset : Intel i865PE
Processor : Intel Pentium 4 @ 2800 MHz
Physical Memory : 1024 MB (2 x 512 DDR-SDRAM )
Video Card : Nvidia Corp GeForce 6600 [NV43]
Hard Disk : WDC (120 GB)
Hard Disk : WDC (120 GB)
DVD-Rom Drive : LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1693S
CD-Rom Drive : Lite-On LTN486S 48x Max
DVD-Rom Drive : BF0248X GZE422X SCSI CdRom Device
Monitor Type : NEC Technologies NEC FE991SB - 18 inches
Network Card : Broadcom Corp BCM5705 NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet
Network Card : Intel Corporation PRO/100 VE Network Connection
Operating System : Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition 5.01.2600 Service Pack 2
DirectX : Version 9.0c (December 2007)
 

Madhatter4

Distinguished
Oct 2, 2005
216
0
18,680
0
One more thing... I called Dell and they said an additional 512meg stick of RAM would cost $$$$$85$$$$$.... I then went to Newegg.com and found a equal 512 meg stick of ram manufactured by Corsair for a mere $40 including shipping and handling. Is Dell just trying to rip me off or am I missing something here??? Here are the specs on the Corsair Memory - CORSAIR ValueSelect 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Desktop Memory - Retail
 

ausch30

Distinguished
Feb 9, 2007
2,210
0
19,790
1
I didn't realize that you had 2x512, another 512 might improve performance slightly due to less swapping with virtual memory but that chipset supports dual channel so you will actually loose performance adding a stick and running in single channel. That motherboard supports 4 sticks so your cheapest option would be to get 2x512 of the same ram that is currently in it or 2x1gb and replace your current RAM.

Edit: I just thought of it but look inside your computer and make sure the sticks are in the right slots. there should be 4 slots two one color and two another, the sticks need to be in the same color slots to run dual channel. Just a thought.
 

ausch30

Distinguished
Feb 9, 2007
2,210
0
19,790
1
Is Dell just trying to rip me off
Yes, computer companys make very little on the systems themselves but make lots of money on upgrades just like you can buy a floppy drive for about $5 but Dell will sell you a replacement for yours for $43.
 

ausch30

Distinguished
Feb 9, 2007
2,210
0
19,790
1
Look at the sticks and try to figure out who made them, Dell doesn't actually make anything they just assemble so someone made your RAM and if you can find that out you could bypass Dell altogether. My old system had 2x512 which I bought at different times and even though the were both Crucial they used different chips and they ran dual channel just fine. you might be able to get 2x512 rated at the same speed and latency and be just fine.
 

Mondoman

Splendid
Jun 22, 2006
5,678
0
25,810
5
I didn't realize that you had 2x512, another 512 might improve performance slightly due to less swapping with virtual memory but that chipset supports dual channel so you will actually loose performance adding a stick and running in single channel.
However, on balance the 512MB will substantially improve your performance, because dual vs single channel is a small difference compared to RAM vs virtual memory (hard disk).

... look inside your computer and make sure the sticks are in the right slots. ... the sticks need to be in the same color slots to run dual channel. ...
If only it were so easy! Unfortunately, on some MBs they need to be in the different color slots to run in dual-channel mode. Your MB manual should have the details, but even some MB manuals have it backwards, so feel free to experiment.
 

Mondoman

Splendid
Jun 22, 2006
5,678
0
25,810
5
.... Is Dell just trying to rip me off or am I missing something here??? Here are the specs on the Corsair Memory - CORSAIR ValueSelect 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Desktop Memory - Retail
First, stay away from Corsair's ValueSelect line. It is worse quality RAM than you will get from Dell. Corsair's premium lines (such as XMS), on the other hand, are excellent. If you want to go with a "value" line, Kingston's ValueRAM will be at least as good quality as the Dell. If you're concerned about compatibility, the major manufacturers (e.g. Crucial, Kingston, Corsair, etc) usually have memory configurators on their websites where you can just enter your computer brand and model number to find out which RAM is compatible with it.
 

Madhatter4

Distinguished
Oct 2, 2005
216
0
18,680
0
So basically you people are saying I should just send this 512meg stick of ram back to newegg??? Man I hope thats not the case .....why does this kinda crap always happen to me :x
 

Madhatter4

Distinguished
Oct 2, 2005
216
0
18,680
0
Ok I went to the Corsair website and entered all the info to determine if that stick of ram is compatible with my Dell 4600 PC. It turns out that this RAM is compatible but are you people saying that this extra ram is actually going to slow down my PC??? The RAM is Corsair VS512mb400c3
 

Mondoman

Splendid
Jun 22, 2006
5,678
0
25,810
5
Try it out. If it works, you'll be fine and will have a faster Windows system. My point was just that VS has a higher defect/failure rate than better-quality memory. Be sure to run memtest86+ on your system once you install the new RAM to make sure things are working fine.
 

reader850

Distinguished
Nov 1, 2001
130
0
18,680
0
I recall reading that using two sticks (at least in my DFI board) works at 1T, but if you use 4 sticks, you must run them at 2T. Factoring that into the equation, it might be best for programs that don't need over 1Gig to not add RAM. Battlefield 1942 and BF2 like lots of RAM. I have only 1 Gig and they run fine except it takes a long time to load each time a new battle starts. I've heard that games load much faster with 2 Gig. But I haven't added RAM because I don't want the 2T latency disadvantage in everything else I do. Is this correct?
Personally, I'm happy with the way my system runs for now, though I recently bought a 3800X2 chip as a cheap upgrade. (Haven't installed it yet, and don't do much that benefits from dual core, but that will change.) Probably in early 2008 I'll build all-new, once AMD fires back at Intel with volume production of its new desk top chips and the chip war really heats up. But if I had Madhatter's system, I'd upgrade to C2D today, since he also needs a better video card.
Also, when do you think DDR3 will become our standard system RAM?
 

jitpublisher

Judicious
May 16, 2006
8,751
0
32,660
453
Pick through all the great info in these posts but very simply remember these 2 points.
More memory is generally better if you have 1 gig or less. 2 gig is the bomb.
You have to run matched PAIRS of memory sticks to enable dual channel mode on your motherboard. An oddball number of sticks will result in the memory running in single channel mode, could be a noticable difference in performance. Whether more memory VS. dual channel mode is better for you, it depends on what you do. If you game, I would highly recommend staying with matched pairs of memory sticks if you decide to upgrade.
 

Madhatter4

Distinguished
Oct 2, 2005
216
0
18,680
0
Ok I got this piece of shit Corsair ram stick and it wont even lock into my motherboard correctly..... I sat here for like an hour trying to get it to lock into place and right...with no success. Didnt matter what slot I tried to get it into it wouldnt work.... NOW WHAT????
 

Mondoman

Splendid
Jun 22, 2006
5,678
0
25,810
5
... I sat here for like an hour trying to get it to lock into place and right...with no success. ...?
Perhaps you mistakenly ordered a DDR2 stick for a DDR MB or vice versa.
 

Mondoman

Splendid
Jun 22, 2006
5,678
0
25,810
5
...
You have to run matched PAIRS of memory sticks to enable dual channel mode on your motherboard. An oddball number of sticks will result in the memory running in single channel mode....
While this may be true for AMD MBs, it's not true for most MBs using recent Intel chipsets.
 

sirheck

Splendid
Feb 24, 2006
4,659
0
22,810
9
Yeah, not as much as adding another 1gb stick, but it'll still help alot.
That is simply un-informed.

Unless his PC needs more RAM, there is no reason to buy more. So to suggest that his PC needs SO MUCH more RAM over what he already has, that only an extra 1024MB will boost his performance and a 512MB wont as much, is simply ground-less.. not only because its not true, but because u dont even have the slightest idea about his PC.

To answer the question:
If u dont game, then DONT buy more memory.
If u DO game, then consider buying a graphics card instead.. or if u already have a good one, then buy another 1024MB because dual-channel will grant u some performance gain over single-channel and so it wouldnt be worth it to buy another 512MB.


ELSTUPIDO!
 

impreza

Distinguished
Aug 1, 2006
250
0
18,780
0
...
You have to run matched PAIRS of memory sticks to enable dual channel mode on your motherboard. An oddball number of sticks will result in the memory running in single channel mode....
While this may be true for AMD MBs, it's not true for most MBs using recent Intel chipsets.
that's not true for my amd system, I have two completly different sticks bought more than a year apart from each other and they run dual channel no problem.
 

Similar threads