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PC2 8888 3GB RAM possible?


minordog

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I'm relatively new to high end PCs, but I just bought a new system.

I've been doing a lot of research and come to the conclusion that RAM is very confusing.

 

To start, my system:

eVGA 680i SLI nForce

Extreme QX6700 Quad

Dual 768MB NVIDIA 8800GTX

Corsair PC2 8888 RAM 2 GB

Windows Vista 32bit Premium

 

I, as others have suggested, would like to optimize my performance by going to 4 GB for extreme gaming. As has been stated many times before, using 4 DIMMs reduces performance and therefore the true benefits of the PC 8888 would never be realized.

 

Here are my questions:

(1) I know 32 bit is limited to 3.2 GB seen at any one time. I know that the PC 8888 comes as a pair of 1 GB RAM, but what if you only used 3 x 1GB of the RAM at once. You would not be using 4 DIMMs and therefore shouldn't take the performance hit. would would the clock speed be then? I would waste 1 GB, but maybe it could just be split with someone else in a similar situation.

(2) I was also hoping someone could better explain what exactly happens when you use 4 DIMMs. I have read that a MB will drop the clock speed to 667MHz automatically. Would it matter if you started at 1111MHz or 800MHz? Is it a relative drop or an absolute drop in clock speed? Would they both clock down to 667MHz just the same?

(3) I also read that with 4 DIMMs your rate command drops from 1T to 2T. Is this true for all MBs? How and where do I find information like this. It is never clearly stated anywhere. Does the other latency timings also change?

 

All this does not make much sense. Basically, if you run vista 32, right now if you use top end DDR2, you are stuck with 2 GB or you will just really be throwing your money down the drain for equal or maybe even lower performance.

2GB of 1111MHz should beat 4GB of 667MHz (actually only 3.2 GB since it is a 32 bit OS), so why does anyone go with 4 GB with vista 32? Is there something I'm not understanding?

Thanks again.

I've seen your help posts and they are usually very informative and so I chose to ask you tons of questions in an effort to clear things up for me.

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I know 32 bit is limited to 3.2 GB seen at any one time. I know that the PC 8888 comes as a pair of 1 GB RAM, but what if you only used 3 x 1GB of the RAM at once. You would not be using 4 DIMMs and therefore shouldn't take the performance hit. would would the clock speed be then? I would waste 1 GB, but maybe it could just be split with someone else in a similar situation.

 

Actually, the performance will suffer even more greatly if you use only three DIMMs on your motherboard. This is because your motherboard has a dual-channel memory controller, and it requires two or four DIMMs to do dual-channel - and moreover, many dual-channel motherboards warn against using three DIMMs (leaving only one slot empty) because many such setups will fail to even POST at all. (And even if it does work, you'll be limited to single-channel memory controller operation with a reduced usable memory speed and severely reduced memory bandwidth.)

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Thanks.

I figured it was a long shot, but I was hoping to get as much RAM as I could.

I guess 2 GB of great RAM is better than 4 GB of slower clock speeds.

 

If anyone else has any further comments to the many above questions, any help would be appreciated.

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