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View Full Version : What memory to use with X2 ?


ScottHW
March 15th 06, 07:10 PM
I am building a new PC, AMD X2 is the only thing I am sure of. As for
mobo, probably Abit. What I am having the most trouble is pinning down
exactly what memory I should put in this thing.

First, let me say, I am not a gamer, so that is not a consideration. I
do some occassional photo scanning and video capture and rendering, but
this will mostly be a software test and support environment. I will be
running VMware with multiple OSs (thus the dual core AMD), and 4GB of
RAM. I am concerned about performance, but since VMware is picky about
clock timings on dual core, I don't dare OC. I will stick with whatever
performance I can buy off the shelf.

Do I need dual channel ? Do I care about CAS ? I heard somewhere that
on a 939 chip set, if you load the max 4GB RAM, even if you use PC3200,
it will throttle the speed back to 2700, or some such nonsense - is
there any truth to that ? The person I heard this from said there was
some memory threshhold beyond which this phenonmena would occur - he
wasn't sure if it was 2GB or 3GB.

Also, what video card would be satisfactory for this need ? As I said
there will be some video work, but I don't have the same needs as a
gamer.

Last, I am concerned about noise, so don't mind spending a little extra
to quiet things down. What should I use ? It appears that the better
power supplies are pretty quiet any more, and with a good Zalman
cooler on top of it, I may be able to keep things down in the 20db
area, possibly.

Thanks much in advance,
Scott

General Schvantzkoph
March 15th 06, 08:01 PM
On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 10:10:40 -0800, ScottHW wrote:

> I am building a new PC, AMD X2 is the only thing I am sure of. As for
> mobo, probably Abit. What I am having the most trouble is pinning down
> exactly what memory I should put in this thing.
>
> First, let me say, I am not a gamer, so that is not a consideration. I do
> some occassional photo scanning and video capture and rendering, but this
> will mostly be a software test and support environment. I will be running
> VMware with multiple OSs (thus the dual core AMD), and 4GB of RAM. I am
> concerned about performance, but since VMware is picky about clock timings
> on dual core, I don't dare OC. I will stick with whatever performance I
> can buy off the shelf.
>
> Do I need dual channel ? Do I care about CAS ? I heard somewhere that on a
> 939 chip set, if you load the max 4GB RAM, even if you use PC3200, it will
> throttle the speed back to 2700, or some such nonsense - is there any
> truth to that ? The person I heard this from said there was some memory
> threshhold beyond which this phenonmena would occur - he wasn't sure if it
> was 2GB or 3GB.
>
> Also, what video card would be satisfactory for this need ? As I said
> there will be some video work, but I don't have the same needs as a gamer.
>
> Last, I am concerned about noise, so don't mind spending a little extra to
> quiet things down. What should I use ? It appears that the better power
> supplies are pretty quiet any more, and with a good Zalman cooler on top
> of it, I may be able to keep things down in the 20db area, possibly.
>
> Thanks much in advance,
> Scott


The spec on the X2s is 166MHz for two double sided DIMMs and 200MHz as
long as one of the two DIMMs is single sided. However if you get better
quality memory you can probably run two double sided DIMMs at 200MHz. I
have an MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum with an X2 4400+ and 4G. Originally I had
two pairs of OCZ Value memory in the system and the system wasn't stable
at 200MHz, it was fine at the default speed of 166MHz. I moved one pair of
DIMMs to a system that had a pair of single sided DIMMs in it and then put
in a pair of OCZ Performance memories, OCZ 1Gx2 D400 OCZ4002048PFDC-K R. I
also upped the voltage on the DIMMs slightly. Now I'm able to run at
200MHz without any problems. The system has been running 24/7 for months
without a problem. One obvious difference between the value DIMMs and the
performance DIMMs is that the performance DIMMs have metal shields on them
which I assume act as heat sinks. The DIMM manufacturers may also be doing
some speed binning on the RAMs they use so even though a value DIMM and a
performance DIMM may have the same components on them there may be more
margin in the performance parts (this is just a guess based on a sample
size of 1).

Any mid-priced Nvidia card will do for video. Avoid ATI because they have
mediocre Linux support.

Ed Light
March 16th 06, 03:17 AM
I know that if you use 4 sticks it will probably auto-set to pc2700, but you
can set it to pc3200 manually and run memtest86+ and prime95 torture test to
see if it has any problems.

But first, just put in one so it will auto-set to pc3200 and note down the
timings the bios set. Then put the timings to manual so it will stay that
way and not tighten them up if it falls back to pc2700, so that when you go
to pc3200 with 4 sticks it will be at the slower pc3200 timings. And check
to be sure they stay there.


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"ScottHW" > wrote in message
oups.com...
>I am building a new PC, AMD X2 is the only thing I am sure of. As for
> mobo, probably Abit. What I am having the most trouble is pinning down
> exactly what memory I should put in this thing.
>
> First, let me say, I am not a gamer, so that is not a consideration. I
> do some occassional photo scanning and video capture and rendering, but
> this will mostly be a software test and support environment. I will be
> running VMware with multiple OSs (thus the dual core AMD), and 4GB of
> RAM. I am concerned about performance, but since VMware is picky about
> clock timings on dual core, I don't dare OC. I will stick with whatever
> performance I can buy off the shelf.
>
> Do I need dual channel ? Do I care about CAS ? I heard somewhere that
> on a 939 chip set, if you load the max 4GB RAM, even if you use PC3200,
> it will throttle the speed back to 2700, or some such nonsense - is
> there any truth to that ? The person I heard this from said there was
> some memory threshhold beyond which this phenonmena would occur - he
> wasn't sure if it was 2GB or 3GB.
>
> Also, what video card would be satisfactory for this need ? As I said
> there will be some video work, but I don't have the same needs as a
> gamer.
>
> Last, I am concerned about noise, so don't mind spending a little extra
> to quiet things down. What should I use ? It appears that the better
> power supplies are pretty quiet any more, and with a good Zalman
> cooler on top of it, I may be able to keep things down in the 20db
> area, possibly.
>
> Thanks much in advance,
> Scott
>

Ed Light
March 16th 06, 03:18 AM
"Ed Light" > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>I know that if you use 4 sticks it will probably auto-set to pc2700, but
>you can set it to pc3200 manually and run memtest86+ and prime95 torture
>test to see if it has any problems.
>
> But first, just put in one so it will auto-set to pc3200 and note down the
> timings the bios set. Then put the timings to manual so it will stay that
> way and not tighten them up if it falls back to pc2700, so that when you
> go to pc3200 with 4 sticks it will be at the slower pc3200 timings. And
> check to be sure they stay there.

BTW I'm running 4 Kingmax 512 pc3200's at pc3200 in a Gigabyte K8NS-939 with
a Winchester. Probably earlier model K8's couldn't do it.


--
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Alan
March 16th 06, 05:17 AM
I am using 4G Crucial PC3200 at full rated speed. NO problem, micron chips
are expensive though. Stop using cheap mem stick, those would only give you
lots of blue screen and an unstable system.



"ScottHW" > wrote in message
oups.com...
>I am building a new PC, AMD X2 is the only thing I am sure of. As for
> mobo, probably Abit. What I am having the most trouble is pinning down
> exactly what memory I should put in this thing.
>
> First, let me say, I am not a gamer, so that is not a consideration. I
> do some occassional photo scanning and video capture and rendering, but
> this will mostly be a software test and support environment. I will be
> running VMware with multiple OSs (thus the dual core AMD), and 4GB of
> RAM. I am concerned about performance, but since VMware is picky about
> clock timings on dual core, I don't dare OC. I will stick with whatever
> performance I can buy off the shelf.
>
> Do I need dual channel ? Do I care about CAS ? I heard somewhere that
> on a 939 chip set, if you load the max 4GB RAM, even if you use PC3200,
> it will throttle the speed back to 2700, or some such nonsense - is
> there any truth to that ? The person I heard this from said there was
> some memory threshhold beyond which this phenonmena would occur - he
> wasn't sure if it was 2GB or 3GB.
>
> Also, what video card would be satisfactory for this need ? As I said
> there will be some video work, but I don't have the same needs as a
> gamer.
>
> Last, I am concerned about noise, so don't mind spending a little extra
> to quiet things down. What should I use ? It appears that the better
> power supplies are pretty quiet any more, and with a good Zalman
> cooler on top of it, I may be able to keep things down in the 20db
> area, possibly.
>
> Thanks much in advance,
> Scott
>

ScottHW
March 16th 06, 11:49 AM
On the Crucial site I see these 2 2GB kits:

2GB kit (1GBx2) CT2KIT12864Z40B DDR PC3200 CL=3
UNBUFFERED NON-ECC DDR400 2.6V 128Meg x 64
US $229.99

2GB kit (1GBx2) CT2KIT12864Z335 DDR PC2700 CL=2.5
UNBUFFERED NON-ECC DDR333 2.5V 128Meg x 64
US $229.99


So will I fare better with PC2700 CAS 2.5 or PC3200 CAS 3 ?

Alan
March 16th 06, 03:50 PM
Go get the Crucial PC3200 if you are asking me for recommandations. I always
have good luck with micron chips. I have tried some other brand of mem
sticks, only gives me lots of troubles. The PC failed to load windows or
become unstable and blue screening me. Just remember you get what you pay
for.


"ScottHW" > wrote in message
oups.com...
> Good grief, I just found this on outpost.com:
>
> Corsair 2GB PC3200 400MHz 2-128x64 XMS Dual-Channel DDR 184-Pin, Model
> #TWINX2048-3200PT - Lifetime Warranty
>
> $169.99
>
> That seems like an awfully good price. Wouldn't that do just as well
> as the Crucial ?
>

ScottHW
March 16th 06, 04:06 PM
So you might say the decision is "crucial" ? Sorry, couldn't resist.


So will I fare better with PC2700 CAS 2.5 or PC3200 CAS 3 ? I
understand the definion of CAS, but in practicial, real world terms, I
am uncertain if I should really pay any attention to it.

Thanks for all your input,
Scott

General Schvantzkoph
March 16th 06, 04:40 PM
On Thu, 16 Mar 2006 07:06:09 -0800, ScottHW wrote:

> So you might say the decision is "crucial" ? Sorry, couldn't resist.
>
>
> So will I fare better with PC2700 CAS 2.5 or PC3200 CAS 3 ? I understand
> the definion of CAS, but in practicial, real world terms, I am uncertain
> if I should really pay any attention to it.
>
> Thanks for all your input,
> Scott


You want PC3200, the bandwidth is more important the CAS latency.

Alan
March 16th 06, 10:05 PM
Buy DIMMs with highest bandwith that your system supports. Since you mention
yours is new AMD X2 system, then DDR PC3200 is the fastest memory your
system supports as standard if you don't want to overclock it just like me.
I want my PC fast and stable, but stability is more important, that's why I
chose Crucial.



"ScottHW" > wrote in message
oups.com...
> So you might say the decision is "crucial" ? Sorry, couldn't resist.
>
>
> So will I fare better with PC2700 CAS 2.5 or PC3200 CAS 3 ? I
> understand the definion of CAS, but in practicial, real world terms, I
> am uncertain if I should really pay any attention to it.
>
> Thanks for all your input,
> Scott
>

ScottHW
March 17th 06, 01:20 PM
OK, I am convinced. One other thing - I was fishing around on the
Crucial site, and I couldn't determine if these DIMMs are dual channel
- I want to assume they are, but couldn't tell for sure. Seems like
its an assumption, perhaps something I should just know.

Scott

General Schvantzkoph
March 17th 06, 01:38 PM
On Fri, 17 Mar 2006 04:20:00 -0800, ScottHW wrote:

> OK, I am convinced. One other thing - I was fishing around on the Crucial
> site, and I couldn't determine if these DIMMs are dual channel - I want to
> assume they are, but couldn't tell for sure. Seems like its an
> assumption, perhaps something I should just know.
>
> Scott

There is no such thing as a dual channel DIMM. A dual channel system uses
DIMMs in pairs.

Alan
March 17th 06, 06:46 PM
"General Schvantzkoph" > wrote in message
...
> On Fri, 17 Mar 2006 04:20:00 -0800, ScottHW wrote:
>
>> OK, I am convinced. One other thing - I was fishing around on the
>> Crucial
>> site, and I couldn't determine if these DIMMs are dual channel - I want
>> to
>> assume they are, but couldn't tell for sure. Seems like its an
>> assumption, perhaps something I should just know.
>>
>> Scott
>
> There is no such thing as a dual channel DIMM. A dual channel system uses
> DIMMs in pairs.
>

Ditto.

mxh
March 18th 06, 01:11 AM
"Alan" > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Buy DIMMs with highest bandwith that your system supports. Since you
> mention yours is new AMD X2 system, then DDR PC3200 is the fastest memory
> your system supports as standard if you don't want to overclock it just
> like me. I want my PC fast and stable, but stability is more important,
> that's why I chose Crucial.

Is Corsair no longer considered quality RAM?

Thanks,
mxh


> "ScottHW" > wrote in message
> oups.com...
>> So you might say the decision is "crucial" ? Sorry, couldn't resist.
>>
>>
>> So will I fare better with PC2700 CAS 2.5 or PC3200 CAS 3 ? I
>> understand the definion of CAS, but in practicial, real world terms, I
>> am uncertain if I should really pay any attention to it.
>>
>> Thanks for all your input,
>> Scott
>>
>
>

Ed Light
March 18th 06, 05:05 AM
"mxh" > wrote

> Is Corsair no longer considered quality RAM?

It's ok. However the Value Select changes chips alot. You buy one a month
later and it's totally different. So it may not run in dual channel mode
with the one you bought earlier.

Best to buy a dual channel pair kit if you're going dual channel.


--
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General Schvantzkoph
March 18th 06, 05:14 AM
On Fri, 17 Mar 2006 18:11:45 -0600, mxh wrote:

>
> "Alan" > wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>> Buy DIMMs with highest bandwith that your system supports. Since you
>> mention yours is new AMD X2 system, then DDR PC3200 is the fastest
>> memory your system supports as standard if you don't want to overclock
>> it just like me. I want my PC fast and stable, but stability is more
>> important, that's why I chose Crucial.
>
> Is Corsair no longer considered quality RAM?
>
> Thanks,
> mxh
>
>
>> "ScottHW" > wrote in message
>> oups.com...
>>> So you might say the decision is "crucial" ? Sorry, couldn't resist.
>>>
>>>
>>> So will I fare better with PC2700 CAS 2.5 or PC3200 CAS 3 ? I
>>> understand the definion of CAS, but in practicial, real world terms, I
>>> am uncertain if I should really pay any attention to it.
>>>
>>> Thanks for all your input,
>>> Scott
>>>
>>>
>>
>>

Corsair, Kingston, OCZ are all fine.

mxh
March 18th 06, 07:47 AM
"Ed Light" > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> "mxh" > wrote
>
>> Is Corsair no longer considered quality RAM?
>
> It's ok. However the Value Select changes chips alot. You buy one a month
> later and it's totally different. So it may not run in dual channel mode
> with the one you bought earlier.
>
> Best to buy a dual channel pair kit if you're going dual channel.

I have been running 1 GB (2x512) for quite awhile now, but am having issues
and the RAM is a possible culprit.

Thanks,
mxh

> --
> Ed Light
>
> Smiley :-/
> MS Smiley :-\
>
> Send spam to the FTC at
>
> Thanks, robots.
>
> Bring the Troops Home:
> http://bringthemhomenow.org
>
> Fight Spam:
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>
>
>

mxh
March 18th 06, 07:47 AM
"General Schvantzkoph" > wrote in message
...
> On Fri, 17 Mar 2006 18:11:45 -0600, mxh wrote:
>
>>
>> "Alan" > wrote in message
>> news:[email protected]
>>> Buy DIMMs with highest bandwith that your system supports. Since you
>>> mention yours is new AMD X2 system, then DDR PC3200 is the fastest
>>> memory your system supports as standard if you don't want to overclock
>>> it just like me. I want my PC fast and stable, but stability is more
>>> important, that's why I chose Crucial.
>>
>> Is Corsair no longer considered quality RAM?
>>
>> Thanks,
>> mxh
>>
>>
>>> "ScottHW" > wrote in message
>>> oups.com...
>>>> So you might say the decision is "crucial" ? Sorry, couldn't resist.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> So will I fare better with PC2700 CAS 2.5 or PC3200 CAS 3 ? I
>>>> understand the definion of CAS, but in practicial, real world terms, I
>>>> am uncertain if I should really pay any attention to it.
>>>>
>>>> Thanks for all your input,
>>>> Scott
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>
> Corsair, Kingston, OCZ are all fine.


Thanks!

Ed Light
March 18th 06, 08:06 AM
"mxh" > wrote

> I have been running 1 GB (2x512) for quite awhile now, but am having
> issues and the RAM is a possible culprit.

You could download memtest86+ and run it overnight to see if it runs
error-free.


--
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mxh
March 18th 06, 08:16 AM
"Ed Light" > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> "mxh" > wrote
>
>> I have been running 1 GB (2x512) for quite awhile now, but am having
>> issues and the RAM is a possible culprit.
>
> You could download memtest86+ and run it overnight to see if it runs
> error-free.

Already burned to CD and ready to go. Incidentally, in my previous post, I
should have said that I've been running dual channel for quite a while now
with 1 GB...

Thanks,
mxh


> --
> Ed Light
>
> Smiley :-/
> MS Smiley :-\
>
> Send spam to the FTC at
>
> Thanks, robots.
>
> Bring the Troops Home:
> http://bringthemhomenow.org
>
> Fight Spam:
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>
>
>

Alan
March 18th 06, 08:52 PM
I have horrible experiences with those so called high performance ram. As I
mentioned before - failed to load windows or gave blue screens; sooner or
later the system would become unstable; system hanged up during game play,
you know what I mean. So the Crucial as a quality ram had won my votes.



"mxh" > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> "Alan" > wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>> Buy DIMMs with highest bandwith that your system supports. Since you
>> mention yours is new AMD X2 system, then DDR PC3200 is the fastest memory
>> your system supports as standard if you don't want to overclock it just
>> like me. I want my PC fast and stable, but stability is more important,
>> that's why I chose Crucial.
>
> Is Corsair no longer considered quality RAM?
>
> Thanks,
> mxh
>
>
>> "ScottHW" > wrote in message
>> oups.com...
>>> So you might say the decision is "crucial" ? Sorry, couldn't resist.
>>>
>>>
>>> So will I fare better with PC2700 CAS 2.5 or PC3200 CAS 3 ? I
>>> understand the definion of CAS, but in practicial, real world terms, I
>>> am uncertain if I should really pay any attention to it.
>>>
>>> Thanks for all your input,
>>> Scott
>>>
>>
>>
>
>