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Settings for TWINX2048-3200C2PT G to replace slower PC2700?


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Hi -

I have a Compaq S3500CL desktop (2.66g P4 845GE) with an MSI MS-6577 motherboard. I've always run 2 sticks of basic 512k PC2700 memory because that's the max Compaq says it can support. However, I recently upgraded the OEM BIOS with a much newer version of AwardBIOS 6.00 (5/22/06) purchased from e-support that exposes all the BIOS features Compaq doesn't let you see. It also now supports a full 2g of RAM, which the MS-6577 can apparently handle just like the equivalent non-proprietary MSI board (MS-6714).


Your Memory Configurator only shows 512k sticks as being compatible with the S3500CL, as expected per Compaq's specs. However, for the actual MS-6577 motherboard, you list TWINX2048-3200C2PT as being compatible -- and that's what I just purchased and installed.


The system boots and runs fine (Vista Ultimate), detects the full 2g with no problems, and is very stable. However, the Everest Ultimate benchmarks show that my memory performance is actually LOWER with this zippy new XMS memory than it was with half as much of the junky old generic stuff (about a 3% loss in every category). And the CPU and FPU benchmarks also show similar dropoffs in performance; I'm assuming this is due to those slower memory speeds?


Obviously I'm disappointed, since this memory costs way more than your newer and much higher-speed DDR2 and I had expected at least some improvement. So I have two questions: a) Why did performance go down vs. up when using twice as much (and much faster) DRAM; and b) What BIOS settings or other tweaks should I use to coax more performance out of it?


Some other background data: Everest shows this SPD data for the memory:

* Module Name: Corsair XMS CMX1024-3200C2

* Memory Speed: PC3200 (200 MHz)

* Module Voltage: SSTL 2.5

* Refresh Rate: Reduced (7.8 us), Self-Refresh

* Memory Timings: @ 200 MHz 3.0-3-3-8 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 11-13-2 (RC-RFC-RRD)


* DRAM:FSB Ratio: 5:4


Yet under "Chipset Properties" I see this:

* Motherboard Chipset: Intel Brookdale-G i845GE

* Memory Timings: 2-3-3-7 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS)


...why the discrepancy vs the SPD and also vs. the settings auto-sensed by the BIOS in these these RAM-related settings:


* Memory frequency [auto / DDR266 / DDR333] --> currently on 'auto'

* DRAM Timing Selectable [manual / by speed] --> currently 'by speed'

* CAS Latency Time [2.5]

* Active to precharge delay [7]

* DRAM RAS to CAS delay [3]

* DRAM RAS precharge [3]


You can override the latter four settings by picking 'manual' DRAM Timing. I tried setting these to 2-3-3-6 as your specs show, but I got a BSOD trying to boot so put them back to 'auto' again.


If it matters, the BIOS supports basic overclocking via three settings; but there is no control over voltages:


* Auto-detect DIMM/PCI clock [enable/disable] --> currently enabled

* Spread spectrum [disabled; +/- 0.25%; - 0.5%; +/- 0.5%; +/- 0.38%] -- currently disabled

* CPU Host/PCI Clock [default; 133/33 Mhz; 148/37 Mhz; 152/38 Mhz; and a few others] --> currently set to default



Any help or advice on how to get more out of this investment would sure be appreciated!! Hope I gave you all the data you need; just ask if there's anything I missed...


Many thanks...


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Ram Guy,


Thanks for the quick response. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my posting, I'd already tried setting the BIOS to 2-3-3-6 at DDR 333 -- and all it earned me was a BSOD when Vista tried to boot. Everything else in the BIOS is set at the defaults. Based on your advice I'll sure give it another shot, but I'm not overly optimistic...



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