RAM upgrade advice


Apr 24, 2007
Hey, I've been searching around for a short while trying to find the info I'm looking for but can't seem to find everything in one nice package so hence this post.

I'm wanting to upgrade my RAM from 1GB to 2GB as a final upgrade for my computer before I get a new one in a few years.

My specs:

Mobo: Gigabyte 8I915P-G Processor: P4 HT 550 @ 3.4GHz
RAM: 2x Legend GC7CD905 PC-3200 DDR-400 512MB 3-3-3-8, in dual channel config
GFX: XFX GeForce 7900GS XXX Edition GPU @600MHz effective mem @1600MHz (my latest upgrade)
XP Pro

Thats the main stuff I guess.

Right so I want to upgrade to 2GB (largely get a bit more performance on my system, for games such as BF2, CNC3, COH). From what I've been reading I guess I can get a tad more performance.

Now this is where I need help. I've got two more DIMM slots (limited to 1GB max, DDR-400). I was thinking the cheap option would be getting 2x 512MB of the same RAM. I read that 4x 512MB (or even 4x in general) would mean the RAM would run at a slower speed - is this true? is it a AMD only thing? And also that it could go from T1 to T2? What kind of performance impact would these things have? Better off not upgrading?

Also would getting 2x 512 better RAM with tighter timings be of any use or would it be slowed down to the legend's 3-3-3-8? Or would just getting 2x 512 better RAM and getting rid of the old ram be the best option, even though only 1GB total?

Or is it worth the money going to 2x 1GB and getting rid of my current RAM? I don't care about saving DIMM slots for upgrades - this is my last for the system.

One thing I noticed when I was reading was a lot of people saying go for the 2x 1GB, dont go 4x , get good RAM with tight timings etc etc. What I care about is real world results - ie. what sort of performance changes can I expect in a game.

The same legend RAM I've got is 60 NZD (45 USD) per 512 stick --> $120 (90 USD)
some better Corsair CL 2.5 ValueRam 2x512 DDR400 is 161.00 NZD (120 USD)

Going 2x 1GB is a lot more expensive:
cheap stuff is from around 235NZD (175 USD) to some better Corsair CL 3.0 Value select at 285.00 NZD (210 USD)

What sort of price/performance ratio am I looking at? I'm guessing that cheaper may be better in this case.

This got quite long, sorry about that. Any advice would be appreciated.

Bottom line is 2GB vs. 1Gb will be a nice upgrade for your system. Adding an additional 2 x 512 to your Intel chuipset does not force 2T, AMD chipsets force 2T when running 4 DIMMS. 2 x 1 GB will perform better, just how much I am not sure. I think either of the two upgrade options you mention are good, but getting better RAM at 2 x 1GB would be my choice. The performance difference 4 x 512 vs. 2 x 1Gb is negligable depending how adept you are at adjusting your RAM speed and timings among other things. Otherwise, moving to 2 GB is a good upgrade no matter how you do the the config.