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View Full Version : What RAM for this Motherboard?



Croyles
05-17-2008, 06:40 PM
This is what I know about my motherboard:

Asus M2NSLI Deluxe AM2 ATX-Support AMD Socket AM2 CPU- AMD Live Ready-NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI

Currently I have two of these RAMS:

512MB, 240-pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-4200

And I want to upgrade something really fast. Does my motherboard support DDR3? Can someone suggest something?

Bahamut2000X
05-17-2008, 06:53 PM
I'm far from an expert, but I just recently upgraded myself. My mother board is sporting a pair of Corsair DDR2 1 gig sticks, for a total of 2 gigs. Depending on what you do on your computer that should be more then enough and was only about 50 bucks with shipping and handling.

Croyles
05-17-2008, 07:01 PM
Im gonna have about 4gigs but im asking about the memory type. Thanks anyway.

rubah
05-17-2008, 07:15 PM
the manufacturer's page doesn't mention ddr3, so my guess is 'probably not'
ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=101&l3=301&model=1160&modelmenu=1)

o_O
05-18-2008, 02:06 AM
No, it doesn't support DDR3. Upgrading to DDR3 memory wouldn't really give you a speed improvement anyway. You should upgrade CPU for a big speed boost.

You can get a memory performance improvement by getting a dual-channel memory kit instead of one stick.

DDR2's expensive enough as it is anyway. :p

crono_logical
05-19-2008, 12:36 AM
Don't forget you can't go above 4 GB if you're running a 32-bit version of Windows XP/Vista :p

Mirage
05-19-2008, 01:24 AM
Um, 4 GBs of DDR2 PC6400 costs like $70, and that's 2x2GB too.
But yeah, DDR3 is a definite no, as it's not common even on recent motherboards.

When it comes to memory, your motherboard can typically only use one type of RAM. The different types are usually either DDR, DDR2 or DDR3 if the computer is made within the last 4 years. There are however different speed ratings within these three different types of RAM too. High end DDR2 can be twice as fast as what you got when DDR2 was still new. Regardless of that, any DDR2 will work in a motherboard supporting DDR2, if the RAM is faster than the motherboard can handle, the motherboard will lower the speed of it to the highest it can use.

As for getting a huge speed boost. Large amounts of RAM typically increases speed if you run huge programs, and several of them at the same time. You notice the biggest boost in speed if you have enough RAM to keep more of less all the programs you use in physical RAM all the time. Once the PC needs to swap some of the programs over to virtual memory, you notice a huge drop in performance.

With 4 GB, you should be able to run your system without virtual memory at all if you want (but I would probably still allocate a 500 MB of virtual mem.). With 512 MB, you probably experienced "disk swapping" very often, which would slow your PC down a lot when you multitask. However, if you have a program that already now fit in your physical RAM, and want this particular program to perform faster, more RAM won't help too much, except letting you swap to the other programs faster.

To increase performance in a single program, a faster CPU would help a lot too. With your motherboard you can for example put in an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+, which is dual core and runs at 2.600GHz, the price of this CPU is a mere 60 dollars or so. If you want even more power, you can get a AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ at 3GHz for about $90, though the 5000+ is more cost efficient, and you probably won't notice an extreme difference in speed.

Both these CPUs, and probably your current CPU can run 64bit operating systems. Even though the limit for RAM is 4 GB in 32bit OSes, you won't get to use all 4 GB of the RAM you plan on buying now. The reason for this is that the limit is on total RAM in the entire computer, not just the amount you put directly into the motherboard. Therefore, if you have a video card with a large amount of video RAM, this amount will also count towards the 4 GB limit, and the system also needs to be able to address other components in your machine than just the RAM. With a 64bit OS, you can however get all of the 4 GB you install, because the maximum amount of memory in a 64bit system is like several thousand gigabytes.

If you want to install a 64bit OS, you have to make sure you can get 64bit drivers for all the components in your PC. 32bit drivers won't normally work. However, 32bit programs will work without problems.

Croyles
05-19-2008, 02:46 AM
Thanks Mirage that helped a lot.

Yeah multitasking is pretty much what i was looking for. I have programs like photoshop, premiere and after effects and sometimes need to run all three, including music running in the background etc. Im currently not looking to upgrade my CPU, i dont trust myself enough on the hardware side of things to change it myself, so im gonna wait a year or so and get a much better one if everything else on my computers hasnt already been outdated, and get my brother to swap it without me breaking the pins :p.

Im getting 4GB cause its the maximum my OS can take.

o_O
05-19-2008, 06:29 AM
Multitasking is more the job of the CPU than the RAM, because the RAM simply stores things and performs no actual operations on the data it holds.

If you have two things competing for CPU time, say an intensive filter in a graphics program like photoshop and an intensive operation in an audio program like Fruity Loops, it's up to the CPU to manage the performance of both tasks simultaneously.

Put simply, if you wanted to play a high-end 3D game and compile something or listen to music or something else that is high-strain, a powerful CPU (read: dual-core) will allow this whereas a larger amount of RAM won't help you at all. The only time that more RAM would contribute to a speed increase is when you're routinely using up 100% of your memory and the CPU must swap some of that data to the non-volatile storage of your hard drive, and comparably, the performance increase isn't all that dramatic.

However, if you find that you're unable to run certain programs because you simply don't have enough RAM then you should get some more.

Mirage
05-22-2008, 01:07 AM
Well, with 512 MB of RAM, as he said he's got, I can't imagine anything other than that his OS is constantly swapping data in and out of the virtual memory while running the applications he mentioned. Photoshop alone is a bit big for 512 MB, and I wouldn't even try to run even more memory-intensive programs along with it. I'm imagining Premiere would require even more memory than Photoshop, and After Effects doesn't sound like it's small and lightweight either :p.

Also, when it comes to windows... Windows likes to swap lots of data into the virtual memory long before the physical RAM is actually used up, more RAM would prevent this. Also, there's prefetch and system caching to do, both of which are nice when you have a bit of memory.

Croyles
05-22-2008, 04:44 AM
I said I have two 512 RAMS, meaning I have 1gb.
I had 2gb for my last computer, so ive actually downgraded. So im definitely getting more RAM.