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  • In need of help on RAM

    Our rig is a little unbalanced. The card is 256mb, but we've been running on only 1 gig of RAM ever since it's been up (2-3 years). I've been wanting to run games on higher settings, but I'm always bottlenecking when I get online and have to bring them down. We've been talking about upgrading the RAM, but need a little help on what to look for.

    For starters, the system is 184-pin , and supports 266/333/400MHz SDRAM. What are some manufacturers you can denpend on? Also, is it better to have 2 stick of RAM or is there some benefit to having 2 sticks? If possible, under $150 would be nice.
    sigpic

    Formerly of the fabled 3rd Special Forces Detachment

    "On that day half a century ago, our species was pushed to the crumbling edge of extinction. And as we teetered on that precipice, staring down into the abyss, a hand reached out, pulled us back from the brink, and gave us hope... the hand of a Hero."

  • #2
    Re: In need of help on RAM

    I am by no means an expert, just thought I would offer some reading on the subject. I have always heard and believed it is better to have balance with your RAM. http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/10/...el_processing/
    RAM will help your online issue. I am building a new CPU because the 1 GIG of RDRAM I used 5 years ago is so expensive now. (+$400/gig) You are fortunate where RAM alone should help you quite a bit. The last update of POE2 officially threw me to the curb for lag purgatory. Newegg.com has great prices on RAM. I am sure many TG experts will chime in to give you more specific advice. Good luck.

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    • #3
      Re: In need of help on RAM

      What kind of processor do you have?

      Good brands for RAM I'd go for with DDR1 would be OCZ, G.Skeil, mushkin, corsair and others as well.

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      • #4
        Re: In need of help on RAM

        Originally posted by jb4 View Post
        The last update of POE2 officially threw me to the curb for lag purgatory...
        Yar. I (sister person to OP) have been getting "fun" lag the new maps (Snake Eyes does not like me) and some of the older, optimized maps even on the lowest settings. With regards to map loads, JimmyTwoHand's Tactical Drinking post comes to mind....

        Haven't installed Forgotten Hope yet, but here's hoping it doesn't make my computer explode.

        |TG-Irr| ThePenguineer ::: |TG-Irr| Pengie the Noob
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        • #5
          Re: In need of help on RAM

          Ideally you take a look into your case and find out how many RAM slots you have. Then calculate how many are still available. There is a formula for it: total slots - used slots = free slots :row__573:
          Then you go to a RAM maker and check for the type of memory you have to use - usually it's a web tool called a memory configurator or so. You enter you mobo or PC maker and it tells you what memory that board takes.
          Then your available slots come into play. On cheap machines there are often only two slots so you have to ebay your existing 2x 512MB sticks away and buy 2x1GB. If you have 4 slots, you might be able to buy two 1GB sticks.
          Sometimes the new memory doesn't work with the existing ones, even if you have free slots. Sometimes new memory doesn't work in your mobo - some manufacturers have lists of 'approved RAM'.
          People say that having matched sticks of memory is better - it is, but only by almost 1%, and having a GB more and not having to page out to harddisk is much more of a speedup.
          Hope that helps.

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          • #6
            Re: In need of help on RAM

            OCZ, GSkill, Corsair, Patriot are all performance brands you can trust them but you will be paying more money for them. Corsair has some very decent ram in their budget range though

            There are conflicting schools of thought on this but I have found in my experience that load time increased with larger sticks of ram. I had 2 machines one was running 2gbs of ram (4x512 sticks) and the other was running 4gb of ram (4x1gb sticks) the 4gb machine had a faster processor and a better graphics card but the 2gb machine beat the 4gb machine when loading into games every time. My next computer I built I loaded it with the 4x512 config and I was always the 1st one to load into games.

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            • #7
              Re: In need of help on RAM

              Don't worry about brand names. Instead, read reviews and see what quality of RAM chips the sticks use. No-name and up-start brands will often invest in the best RAM chips so they debut with great performance. These are the ones you want. After a while they'll settle down and use B-grade chips to cut costs. It's challenging to find comments by people who check the chip models on their sticks that are of any currency since time moves swiftly in the tech world, but it can help you guide your decision. From what little I heard a few months back, GSkill's still good, Corsair's gone cheap, and OCZ is a craps-shoot. But that could be all wrong. Heard good things about Buffalo, though. I ran Super Talent in my previous system, and have Mushkin in my current rig because I got a big rebate.

              Another concern is if you're overclocking or not. If you're running stock timings, bargain sticks with good defaults will probably give you plenty of performance.

              The reason why you want matched sticks is because of double-pumped RAM access. That's how you get a virtual 1600 out of a 800 Frontside. If they aren't in pairs it can't double-pump the bus, and you cut your RAM responsiveness by half. No, that's not as bad as hitting the page file, but you don't hit your page file often unless you're really strapped for RAM, and in that case, you need an upgrade, not a booster shot.


              That load time test might not have been fair. The top half or full gig of RAM is dead weight because the graphics card would hold the memory addresses (assuming x86 here, if it's a 64-bit OS this argument is invalid) so the 2GB system would have four full sticks, while the 4GB system would have a partially dead stick that wasn't doing anything useful. That might've slowed it down. Also, were they running the same hard drives? If one was SATA and the other IDE, the SATA's probably going to out-run the IDE because it's a faster cable. Even something silly like fragmentation and where the files are physically on the disk could affect it.

              I'm not saying the results don't count, just that the computer is complex machine and correlation does not imply causation.

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              • #8
                Re: In need of help on RAM

                184-pin sounds like DDR ram. I don't know what the prices are like with DDR anymore but DDR2 is really cheap. DDR might be cheap as well but it could be expensive since it's old technology.

                You'll have to check whether more ram would be a benefit to performance. If your games stutter a lot and you see a lot of harddisk activity, more ram will help with that. If you want to just crank game resolution or such, ram isn't going to help much in that.

                - It's who you game with.

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                • #9
                  Re: In need of help on RAM

                  If your motherboard only takes DDR, its probably more practical to upgrade the mobo+processor before getting new (at least to DDR2 capable modules) ram.

                  If you only upgrade the ram you're going to have an imbalance. No point in having a huge powerful vacuum if your hole is only the size of an atom. Two important things here are the speed of the storage bus (SATA, IDE?) and the RAM bus. Processing is least important these days because of how cheap and small they are now. Processors just process. If your processor is 9.2 Thz theres not a lot it'll be able to do with slow ram and disc access. Thats why we're moving away from disc based technology towards holographic storage devices. Read and write at the (near) speed of light.

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                  • #10
                    Re: In need of help on RAM

                    This really helps. I've looked at available RAM (most RAM is 240 pin), and OCZ seems to have a few sets worth looking at. More help couldn't hurt.
                    sigpic

                    Formerly of the fabled 3rd Special Forces Detachment

                    "On that day half a century ago, our species was pushed to the crumbling edge of extinction. And as we teetered on that precipice, staring down into the abyss, a hand reached out, pulled us back from the brink, and gave us hope... the hand of a Hero."

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                    • #11
                      Re: In need of help on RAM

                      I was looking at RAM at Fry's Electronics, and only found that they carried the Patriot brand (not P8riot). It was pretty cheap for RAM, but is it any good?
                      sigpic

                      Formerly of the fabled 3rd Special Forces Detachment

                      "On that day half a century ago, our species was pushed to the crumbling edge of extinction. And as we teetered on that precipice, staring down into the abyss, a hand reached out, pulled us back from the brink, and gave us hope... the hand of a Hero."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: In need of help on RAM

                        They don't go so much by number of pins any more. You have DDR, then there is DDR2 which is faster and cheaper, but only works with newer sockets.
                        You have to check your mobo manuf website if the memory is compatible. Or just plug it in (after turning PC off at back - PSU) and return the memory if it doesn't work.

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                        • #13
                          Re: In need of help on RAM

                          Some good advice so far. In theory it is better to have a matched pair of sticks so you can use dual channel mode for your ram. This is why you see lots of companies sell ram in pairs.

                          Here is what I found. On my old computer I had a generic stick of 512mb ram, upgraded it to two high quality 2x256mb of ram. The results were a minimal increase in performance. After a while I decided to throw the old stick in along side the new ram, the end result was that it eliminated the stuttering I was getting in games. No it is not ideal but more ram is usually better then a lower optimal set of ram in my experince.

                          I would suggest that if you can find a good deal on some ddr ram in 2x1gb buy that and put it in. You don't mention what speed of ram you have (should be a sticker on the side of your existing ram pc2700 or pc3200) be sure to get the proper or at least higher i.e. pc3200, ram. However if you can find some cheap sticks (used even) of ram to put in with what you have go for it. Save the extra money you were going to spend for an eventual upgrade.

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                          • #14
                            Re: In need of help on RAM

                            Read the owners manuel for the MoBO you have and see what brands are compatible. I'm running Ultra with 2gigs of 400

                            http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...8&msg=1491882\

                            try here
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                            • #15
                              Re: In need of help on RAM

                              Originally posted by MasterEditorInChief View Post
                              Our rig is a little unbalanced. The card is 256mb, but we've been running on only 1 gig of RAM ever since it's been up (2-3 years). I've been wanting to run games on higher settings, but I'm always bottlenecking when I get online and have to bring them down. We've been talking about upgrading the RAM, but need a little help on what to look for.

                              For starters, the system is 184-pin , and supports 266/333/400MHz SDRAM. What are some manufacturers you can denpend on? Also, is it better to have 2 stick of RAM or is there some benefit to having 2 sticks? If possible, under $150 would be nice.
                              Depending on your motherboard manufacturer you might be limited in your brand choice. Look through your motherboard manual and see if there are any recommended brands and models of RAM. ASUS and eVGA, for example, lists a good list of RAM that has been tested and compatible with their motherboards.

                              You'll most likely spend about $100-$120 for 2 GB of RAM (2 x 1 GB) as evident from a search on NewEgg.
                              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
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                              Former 9th & 13th

                              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

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