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Siryak

Need Computer Upgrade Advice....

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I have been pondering upgrading my comp for a while now, just never have got around to doing it. I don't really do much gaming on my comp(I do pretty muchly all my gaming on my 360). The main thing I am trying to do is just increase the performance a bit. I figured the easiest way to do this would be to upgrade the RAM. The RAM in my comp is only DDR-400 and I only have 1GB. This was fine whenever I was running XP. Now that I am running Vista I figure I can get a pretty good performance boost from having bigger and faster RAM because of it's new cache techniques. Now here is the question I face. #1 I am not really sure which RAM I should go with. Also is it ok if I mix it in with my DDR-400 or do I need to take the DDR-400 and replace it with another DDR2.

Here are the exact specs on my comp: http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?InvtId=A1520N&cm_mmc=Froogle-_-DesktopComputers-_-AMDAthlon/SempronComputers-_-A1520N

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here is 2gb of ram that is fairly cheap and is good.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820141227

i'm not 100% on this but i dont think you can mix ddr and ddr2 ram, when a more experienced member reads this they will tell for sure, but when i upgrade ram i always keep the same brand, model, etc so i know it is compatible.  :smile2:

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here is 2gb of ram that is fairly cheap and is good.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820141227

i'm not 100% on this but i dont think you can mix ddr and ddr2 ram, when a more experienced member reads this they will tell for sure, but when i upgrade ram i always keep the same brand, model, etc so i know it is compatible.  :smile2:

Isn't that RAM just DDR-400 like what I got though?

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Isn't that RAM just DDR-400 like what I got though?

:oops:  yeah your right sorry i'll look up another link for you

edit- also this helps out alot, go here http://www.crucial.com/ and click scan my system (you'll have to download like a 200kb file) and it will say what ram is reccommended for your system

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You can only use DDR400, unless you upgrade your motherboard.  With Vista, you will notice a difference just by adding another gig, to give you 2gig.  Or you could add more..

Are you using the ram in Dual Channel(if your board supports it)?  Do you have 1 - 1gig stick, or are you using dual channel (2x512)?  If you are using a single chip, you would notice an increase in performance by using dual channel as opposed to single channel.  Most DDR400 boards can handle up to 4 gigs, so you can run 2 dual channel sets (2x1024/2x1024).  If you have 2x512 already, you can add another 2x512 set, or even a 2x1024(some boards say to use the same size memory sticks if populating all, including mine, but I've used 2x512 + 2x1024, and it worked fine).

Most important thing with the memory, as far as being compatable with the existing ram, is the speed(ddr333/400/etc) and the timing(CL2/2.5/3.0).  Most likely you have CL3 memory...You could get a slight performance increase with CL2 memory, but if you do not play games, or do anything truly intensive, you wouldn't notice the difference.

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DDR is 184 pin and DDR2 is 240 pin and they are not compatable.

It looks like you are probably right. His website did not recommend any DDR2 memory. The ones it recommended were all DDR memory. http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=Pavilion+a1520n Any and all info is welcome though. I only know enough about RAM to be dangerous.

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You can only use DDR400, unless you upgrade your motherboard.  With Vista, you will notice a difference just by adding another gig, to give you 2gig.  Or you could add more..

Are you using the ram in Dual Channel(if your board supports it)?  Do you have 1 - 1gig stick, or are you using dual channel (2x512)?  If you are using a single chip, you would notice an increase in performance by using dual channel as opposed to single channel.  Most DDR400 boards can handle up to 4 gigs, so you can run 2 dual channel sets (2x1024/2x1024).  If you have 2x512 already, you can add another 2x512 set, or even a 2x1024(some boards say to use the same size memory sticks if populating all, including mine, but I've used 2x512 + 2x1024, and it worked fine).

Most important thing with the memory, as far as being compatable with the existing ram, is the speed(ddr333/400/etc) and the timing(CL2/2.5/3.0).  Most likely you have CL3 memory...You could get a slight performance increase with CL2 memory, but if you do not play games, or do anything truly intensive, you wouldn't notice the difference.

# 1 GB PC3200 400 MHz DDR RAM (4 GB max.) That is the RAM that is currently in my computer. So what would you guys recommend I use to get the best performance boost. TY very much for the help btw guys.

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It depends on how much money you want to spend...Memory can get expensive if you start looking at overclocking ram..

I've been using OCZ ram for a while now, and I like it, but it all depends on personal preference..

This is cheaper ram, but I've used it with no problems-

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2824012&CatId=1352

You could max out the ram for about $260.  I've set that ram @ CL2.5, without errors.

If you don't plan on overclocking, don't go crazy on the ram....Generic ram will probably be fine.  The better ram is generally only going to benefit you if you do a ton of video encoding, gaming, or overclock beyond 10%(depending on other system components of course).

I attached CPU-Z, it will give you info on your ram/processor.

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It depends on how much money you want to spend...Memory can get expensive if you start looking at overclocking ram..

I've been using OCZ ram for a while now, and I like it, but it all depends on personal preference..

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2824012&CatId=1352

You could max out the ram for about $260.  I've used that ram, and have set it @ CL2.5, without errors.

If you don't plan on overclocking, don't go crazy on the ram....Generic ram will probably be fine.  The better ram is generally only going to benefit you if you do a ton of video encoding, gaming, or overclock beyond 10%(depending on other system components of course).

I have never really gotten into the whole over-clocking bit. I do a little bit of video encoding, but not a massive amount.

Edit: Just saw this on their site...So looks like pairs may be a must?

Q: Do I have to install matching pairs?

A: Yes.

Your system requires that you install memory in pairs.

Also to whoever said something about whether it supported dual channel memory the test said yes...

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Edit: Just saw this on their site...So looks like pairs may be a must?

Q: Do I have to install matching pairs?

A: Yes.

Your system requires that you install memory in pairs.

For dual channel you need to match them, or you will have problems most likely.  Normally you buy them in pairs, as they have been tested to work together.  I've used a mix of different brands on the same board, but they were the same timing/speed.

Best to buy a dual channel set.

Your board probably can only run on either 1, 2 or 4 chips.  Mine is like that.  3 chips will not work.  You can run a single chip, one set of dual, or 2 sets of dual.

For your needs, I would just look for the cheapest 2x1024 set you can find....

Edit: by cheap I don't mean bad ram, just generic..I don't think overclocking ram with really benefit you for the price.

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For dual channel you need to match them, or you will have problems most likely.  Normally you buy them in pairs, as they have been tested to work together.  I've used a mix of different brands on the same board, but they were the same timing/speed.

Best to buy a dual channel set.

Your board probably can only run on either 1, 2 or 4 chips.  Mine is like that.  3 chips will not work.  You can run a single chip, one set of dual, or 2 sets of dual.

Considering the fact that I don't game I wonder if adding 2 more GB of RAM is necessary or would I be able to tell the difference between that and 1 GB(2x512mb).

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For dual channel you need to match them, or you will have problems most likely.  Normally you buy them in pairs, as they have been tested to work together.  I've used a mix of different brands on the same board, but they were the same timing/speed.

Best to buy a dual channel set.

Your board probably can only run on either 1, 2 or 4 chips.  Mine is like that.  3 chips will not work.  You can run a single chip, one set of dual, or 2 sets of dual.

I believe Voltage pretty much hit it. The ram will work fine. But if you dont buy he DDR in pairs it will not run at double data rate. Basically you will be crippling your brand new ram. It will work, and work well... but not AS well as if you had two. I learned this the hard way.  :cussing: :cussing: :cussing: :cussing:

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Considering the fact that I don't game I wonder if adding 2 more GB of RAM is necessary or would I be able to tell the difference between that and 1 GB(2x512mb).

If you are not a gamer I dont think you would notice a difference. Unless you open alot of apps at once or say do something labor intensive like decode a DVD and browse the net at the same time. Then you will notice. If you are a normal user 1 GB is good. IMHO.

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With vista the extra gig will make a difference probably in normal everyday use..

XP...Borderline...If you are like me and open a gazillion things at once, and have 5,000 things going at once, then it will also help.

More ram can never hurt.  Probably make a boot a bit faster and be a little more reactive.

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If you are not a gamer I dont think you would notice a difference. Unless you open alot of apps at once or say do something labor intensive like decode a DVD and browse the net at the same time. Then you will notice. If you are a normal user 1 GB is good. IMHO.

Actually I am already at 1GB. I was just wondering if it was necessary for me to go all the way up to 3(the RAM Voltage posted would have put me that high). My goal was 2GB. I do decode DVD's every once in a while and browse the web while doing it. I multi-task...A lot. That is why I went with the Dual Core :grin2:. Would have got a Core 2 Duo, but they weren't out yet when I bought the comp. TY for all the help!!! Now I wont make the same mistakes Shug did. :2funny:

Edit: TY Voltage. I will go find me a 512 pair right quick.

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Considering the fact that I don't game I wonder if adding 2 more GB of RAM is necessary or would I be able to tell the difference between that and 1 GB(2x512mb).

If your going to have vista the more the better. Vista with use all the avaiable ram and the more you have the faster it will be.

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Adding memory will help your computer to a point.  If you owned 2GB ram and never used more then 1.5 GB at a time then going to a 3GB will not help you.  On the other hand, if you have used over 90% of your ram at one time then more memory would help.  But I would think the cache speed of 2GB dual channel is faster (in miliseconds) then 3GB single channel.

Did you read this?  It might answer your question.

http://www.testmy.net/t-10322

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