Questions about adding more RAM

  Cybermaxx 10:31 01 May 05
Locked

My PC has a MSI MS-6701 motherboard. The fastest memory it supports is PC2700. It only has two DIMM slots, both of which are currently occupied by 256MB PC2700 DIMMS.

A local shop is selling Kingston 512MB PC2700 DIMMs (CAS 2.5) for £39.99 each, which appears reasonable to me (I'm not keen on buying online). They also have the same make at the same price, but PC3200.

Questions:-

1) Would I be better off buying PC3200 RAM? It would work, wouldn't it, but at PC2700 speeds? Any potential problems with that? Perhaps I could use it in my next PC?

2) Could I just buy the one DIMM and fit it alongside one of my 256MB DIMMS (which are of a different make, but the same specification), thus having 768MB of RAM? The extra 256MB would provide a healthy boost in performance, wouldn't it? Or would it be best just to replace both at the same time?

3) Is Kingston a good make to go for? I don't want to spend a fortune on this!

  bremner 10:40 01 May 05

1. Only if you later use it on a Mobo that supports PC3200

2. Yes you should be able to mix the DIMM's

3. Yes Kingston is fine

  Completealias 14:09 01 May 05

Stick 2 the PC2700 sticks else you'll have problems.

U could probably mix then just fine but I personally would go with replacing both at once if I had the cash.

  bremner 14:15 01 May 05

There is little chance of problems in mixing memory. It is simply the case that it will only work at the speed of the slowest stick.

  DieSse 22:10 01 May 05

If you mix RAM of differing speeds, or if you use RAM of a faster spec than the motherboard supports - they may work fine, or they may appear at first to work fine, but give difficult to trace intermittent problems.

It's just not worth the risk as no-one can guaranteee what the result will be.

Adding 256Mb to 512Mb will not affect the performance of your system much in general, and not at all unless you commonly run several progs at once, or the type of progs which can benefit from more ram - normally graphics intensive progs.

  Cybermaxx 19:16 03 May 05

Well, I did go ahead and add a 512MB PC3200 DIMM, which is now alongside a 256MB PC2700 DIMM. It's okay so far... I somehow missed the later posts in this topic.

I'll leave it at 768MB for a while and see if any problems arise. The memory increase is purely for running games smoother (eg Far Cry, Silent Hunter 3).

  Chegs ® 20:15 03 May 05

As you have discovered,mixing RAM speeds/sizes can work out ok,but you might have had similar troubles with it as I did,and I had 3 sticks of same size/manufacturer,but still had random probs(apps would freeze/BSOD,in XP too)I ran a RAM Tester and discovered that one of the three sticks was marginally slower than the other two(by approx 50Mbs thruput)Removing this stick cured my troubles instantly,leaving 1Gb RAM.I have never had any problems running several apps at once(Video rendering/defragging/gaming,etc)with this amount of RAM,and I switch off the Virtual Memory as well(although I know of a chap who restricted his pagefile size[also uses 1.5Gb's RAM]and was experiencing Low Resources messages)The PC3200 RAM would only be of some (dubious)use if you were after overclocking the PC.

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