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Windows 7: RAM Upgrade Help


01 May 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
RAM Upgrade Help

Hi, I want to upgrade my PC, right now I have 2GB RAM (DDR2 SDRAM PC2-5000) and want to upgrade it to 4GB for gaming (GTA IV cannot run properly). The problem is can I buy any DDR2 RAM or does it have to be a certain speed, for example, using Speccy it says 2.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 200MHz 5-5-5-15 so do I need to get the same? Thanks in advanced for the help

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 May 2010   #2

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 8 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BashirSabeel View Post
Hi, I want to upgrade my PC, right now I have 2GB RAM (DDR2 SDRAM PC2-5000) and want to upgrade it to 4GB for gaming (GTA IV cannot run properly). The problem is can I buy any DDR2 RAM or does it have to be a certain speed, for example, using Speccy it says 2.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 200MHz 5-5-5-15 so do I need to get the same? Thanks in advanced for the help
According to what I can find on your motherboard, your machine can support up to 8 GB of DDR2-800 (PC2-6400) RAM.

I would check with a tool like CPU-Z to get the manufacturer's model of the RAM you have now and post that information. PC2-5000 is not a standard RAM designation.

But in short, for best performance, dual channel RAM should all be the same type and speed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2010   #3

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Go to the Crucial website. Then click on the blue coloured "Scan my system" link. That will install an addon and tell you what memory you already have as well as recommended upgrades.

On the same page you'll find the "Crucial memory advisor tool". There you can manually enter your motherboard details and find compatible ram.

In case crucial is not able to find upgrades for you, you can download and run Everest free edition. That'll give you very detailed info about your RAM, you can then buy additional compatible memory.
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01 May 2010   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for replying, well Iv used CPU-Z , I have attached a screen shot my RAMs details I have also attached a screen shot of Speccys details. I know my motherboards manufacturer is ECS and the model is Nettle2 (CPU-Z) but thats it. Is there any RAM manufacturer you would recommended? Right now I am looking at 2x 1 GB Kingston HyperX DDR2 240 RAM from eBay.[IMG]file:///C:/Users/Sabeel/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.png[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/Users/Sabeel/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG]


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RAM Upgrade Help-speccy.png  
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01 May 2010   #5

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 8 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

I haven't had much luck with Kingston products myself, but others may feel differently.

Since you're currently running PC2-5300 RAM at 667 MHz, the best thing would be to get a couple of sticks of 667 RAM to match the ones that you have. It doesn't really matter what brand you buy, just make sure that you get a set with timings as good as, or better, than you have right now. That way there's no performance hit by adding RAM with slower timings.

The good thing is, if you're on a budget, PC-5300 isn't that expensive right now. You should still look at getting some good quality memory, though. Crucial, OCZ, and Mushkin are all pretty good, and I would recommend that you buy from a reputable retailer, rather than second hand. RAM can be easily damaged by static electricity, and if it isn't handled right, may not work it's best, or at all, when you get it.

If you really want some better performance, and it isn't out of your budget, you might consider picking up some DDR2-6400. About 4 GB will do nicely, and runs about $100 to $130 CDN for decent quality dual channel here in Canada. It's food for thought, no?
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02 May 2010   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Are you using 32bit or 64bit Windows 7?

There is a 4GB limitation on 32bit OS adress, this includes all addresses, and will limit your max RAM to approximately 3.2 - 3.5 GB depending on your system and Graphics card RAM. This will allow you less than 4GB RAM, but close, at the price if RAM today I would use 4GB anyway.

The important thing is to match your existing RAM exactly, DDR2 PC2 5300 1.8 volts 5-5-5-15, if your going to keep the old RAM.

Mellon Head gave a good suggestion to buy 4GB of new DDR2 PC2 6400, still should be 1.8 volts, the timings can be a little different from your old RAM. Matched pairs of RAM are alway preferable.

Many people will say to only match your existing RAM exactly, speed, voltage, timing and brand.
Due to the age of your RAM, the manufacturer may have changed the basic design of the sticks, the new sticks may not work with your old ones. This is a possibility no matter what you buy.

I have had good luck in mixing RAM, there is no guarantee that it will work. Just be very careful to match as closely as possible.

If you get different speed and timings and they are compatible but different in any way, they will default to the lower settings and may go to single channel mode.

Crucial will give you a recommendation from their website, but they won't tell you the timings of the RAM they suggest. This is irritating to me, I even called them and they wouldn't tell me anything. All other brands that I have ever seen will tell you the timings.

Corsair is also a good brand.

Let us know how it turns out.
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03 May 2010   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for your help I have looked around and found some PNY 2GB RAM from play.com (url: Play.com (UK) : PNY 2GB (2x1GB) DIMM DDR2 667MHz (PC5300) Dual Channel Computer Memory Kit : Computing - Free Delivery) price is good and matches my old ones (PC5300). If you have any other suggestions please post before Sat 8 May 2010 I plan on ordering around then, thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2010   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Looked at the link above and couldn't find any specs or a manufacturer part number, went to the PNY site and couldn't find any specs listed.

All they say at the link is "Case latency: 5" which means one of the timing numbers is 5. Doesn't mean the others are 5-5-15.

When trying to match existing RAM I wouldn't feel comfortable buying anything that I couldn't confirm to have the same timings and voltage as my old RAM.

You need to match at minimum all of these specs: DDR2 PC2 5300 1.8 volts 5-5-5-15.
As far as I can tell from the link, it's DDR2 PC2 5300 Case latency: 5.
If it is 1.5 volt or 1.9 volt, it might not work, which means function poorly, not at all or BSOD.
If the timing is 5-6-5-18 or 5-7-7-20 or 5-9-7-15, you can get the same results mentioned above.

This is why they have the disclaimer on their website:
"To work with the Dual Channel System, the machine must be upgraded with a matched pair of modules (add 2GB = 2x1GB) and not with a single module or two different modules, otherwise it will work on a single channel."
And I'll add, might not work at all.

This does happen a lot, you may match brand, speed, timings, voltage, and it may not work due to different build specs.

You need to match the old RAM as near perfectly as possible to make sure they are compatible.

Try to call them and see if they can tell you these specs.

At the very least make sure they have a 100% return policy.

Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2010   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

G'day Bashir,
May I ask for a screenshot of your CPU-Z Motherboard tab?, I'd like to get as much as I can about your board, so I can do a bit of digging on what it can support...
Also, on the subjects of matching RAM, and chosing brands, matching RAM can be a difficult affair most of the time, as Dave said, you need everything to be a near perfect match for it to work, and unfortunately the more time between when your current RAM was purchased and when you decide to upgrade, the less likely it is for it all to co-operate. With regards to brands, I've no experience with other brands, but Corsair and Kingston have proven to be pretty reliable to myself and a few of my mates.
Anyway, good luck to you, and I hope it all goes well.

Cheers,
~Hillbilly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2010   #10

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 8 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BashirSabeel View Post
Thanks for your help I have looked around and found some PNY 2GB RAM from play.com (url: Play.com (UK) : PNY 2GB (2x1GB) DIMM DDR2 667MHz (PC5300) Dual Channel Computer Memory Kit : Computing - Free Delivery) price is good and matches my old ones (PC5300). If you have any other suggestions please post before Sat 8 May 2010 I plan on ordering around then, thanks again.
@Bashir:

Dave76 has a very good point about matching memory, and I'd like to add a suggestion. You are looking to upgrade to 4 GB, but if you can't match the sticks properly, you're going to have timing issues. It may not work, as Dave says, and if it does, the RAM will run at the timings of the worst pair. And they may not run in dual channel mode if they aren't compatible.

That being said, it might be a better idea to pick up a 4 GB dual channel kit, and sell your current 2 x 1 GB sticks to someone. There are a few good reasons for this:

1. Dual channel memory will yield better performance
2. The pairs will definitely be a matched set, resolving the potential timing issues.
3. If you pop for a PC2-6400 dual channel set, you'll get far better performance than you will get from adding to your existing set, since the 6400 set will have a higher speed than your current ones.

You've got a pretty good CPU in your machine. With the right memory in it, you should get more than acceptable performance for a modest cash outlay.

And that's my suggestion. I hope it works out for you.
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