I'm not a hardware guy at all, but I'm trying to select memory that will work with a new motherboard. The new motherboard (model KM800-M2 -- in a bundle) can be found here.

The manual states the following:

Memory
? Supports 400/333/266/200 MHz DDR SDRAM memory module
? Accommodates two unbuffered 2.5V 184-pin slots
? A total maximum capacity 2 GB

Oddly enough, the manual also has a qualified vendor list with part numbers for tested RAM.... But it only lists 128mb, 256mb, and 512mb DDR400 sticks. So much for compatible 1gb sticks.

Anyways, from pricewatch (which has somehow gotten a really sh**y interface since the last time that I used it) I found this site, which has a 1gb PC2700 for $87, but it has a weird warning that because it uses 128x4 DRAM chips, that it's only compatible with 1 chipset. Is that true or are they just trying to scare me into paying twice as much for the same capacity stick but with 64x8 DRAM chips??

Other than complaining about my lack of knowledge in this area, I'm also looking for good websites/stores where I might find some inexpensive RAM. So if you know of any good sites please post them here. Also, if you know what will/won't work or a good site which explains it, please post that info here as well.

thanks,
will
Posted on 2004-12-31 14:47:50 by Will
Memory for your motherboard comes in pairs, so to get 1GB you would need two 512 Mb sticks.

I can't say that I know but, as a former hardware guru many years out of the running, to me a memory chip is a memory chip. A commodity item. They all design to the same spec. So go for cheap as long as it's not labeled "Joe's memory chips and pizza bar".
Posted on 2004-12-31 16:26:56 by drhowarddrfine
Memory for your motherboard comes in pairs, so to get 1GB you would need two 512 Mb sticks.

I can't say that I know but, as a former hardware guru many years out of the running, to me a memory chip is a memory chip. A commodity item. They all design to the same spec. So go for cheap as long as it's not labeled "Joe's memory chips and pizza bar".


Ya it seems like they are just trying to get customers to buy the more expensive RAM. But they could be truthful, look on some forums(like amdmb.com or anandtech.com <--maybe) for more info.
Posted on 2004-12-31 18:19:56 by x86asm
The xx*xx figure used to matter in the old days - I have a motherboard that that thinks my 128meg stick is 16meg... but that was in the pc133 days, so... if your board doesnt eat the memory, get your money back.
Posted on 2004-12-31 19:38:58 by f0dder
I am not adventurous with memory as you can learn the lesson the hard way. The people who build my computers are generally good at knowing what is reliable in what board and I have tended to use them to supply memory for my recent boxes.

512 DDR 400 is commonly available and worth using in pairs as most boards are designed that way currently. I would be inclined to wait for the next generation of boards, probably with 64 bit processors before spending much money on 1 gig simms.

32 bit Windows runs fine on 2 gig of DDR 400 and there is little to gain from using more, even if the board supports it. I use an Intel board with this 2.8 gig Prescott that does support 4 x 1 gig simms but the cost was a lot higher and the advantage was hard to work out so I did not bother.

I am generally working with about 1.8 gig memory available so its not like you are missing much. Next generation hardware in 64 bit will handle far more memory so I would save the bucks until then.
Posted on 2004-12-31 21:24:50 by hutch--
If the DDR is like the SDR (original single data rate) SD-RAM cards, then there is a potential compatibility problem with the highest density cards. It has to do with how the individual memory banks on the card are "selected" for access. The company I work for and the vendor that supplied us with inexpensive PC-133 cards got caught on this. It turns out the PC-100 system did not have the set of lines needed to use the specific PC-133 configuration. Only half the memory was accessible. A lower density PC-133 would have worked without a problem.
Posted on 2004-12-31 23:44:54 by tenkey
Go for a gig of memory... you probably won't need more, and while less could be okay, a gig of memory allows you to run without a paging file :). Go for one of the larger vendors... things like the ?ber-expensive brands aren't necessary, but stay away from the cheap noname brands. Something like samsung is good value for your money.
Posted on 2005-01-01 10:32:19 by f0dder
I don't understand the gigabyte memory thing but I don't play games. My son has 512 Mb and is heavy into games but never complains about any problems. (And he is one to complain!)

I used to do video and film editing but not lately but I'm sure that would come in handy if you were doing that sort of thing but, until I got this new box I'm running on now, I was using 256Mb just fine. But once I started server and .NET programming it did bog down, however I was also using a PIII at 500Mhz.
Posted on 2005-01-01 16:15:42 by drhowarddrfine
Well I've never really been one to go out and buy the latest and greatest hardware but this one was pretty cheap ($29 + cpu + hdd + ram). I've got spare hdd's, and even a spare graphics card if I don't like the onboard one. I don't play many games or do any resource intensive multimedia stuff. Hell, I've been using the same main home pc that I built back in 99 or 2k (600mhz athlon w/ 512mb ram). I figured that 1gb of ram would keep me in good shape for awhile. Oh, and newegg has a p4 2.4ghz cpu for $72. So far I've only had to pay about $100 + s/h. The only thing left is the memory.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I figured that a bunch of assembly programmers would know a thing or two about hardware! ;)


drhowarddrfinedrhoward:
I didn't see anything in the manual about having to pair memory. Can you give me any more information on that?


thanks again,
will
Posted on 2005-01-01 18:37:39 by Will
Doc,

Try running 7zip with all of its dictionary options turned up and you will need more that a gig. The compression for the last distribution of MASM32 used about 1.1 gig of memory to get the minimum file size.

Memory is cheap along side what it used to be a few years ago so it not a big deal to put a couple of gig into a box these days. About the same price as puting 128 meg in a few years ago.

Will,

Check the board info as most modern boards require paired simms. It usually means the memory runs at maximum speed as well.
Posted on 2005-01-01 18:58:02 by hutch--
1.1 gig
if i recall correctly the 7zip performed absolutely well uncompressing the
devpack (the thread about winapi) with just 64 mb ram on 633 mhz celeron :) anyway 7zip sure looks nice with zillions of context menus on right click never had the time to look into it as i uninstalled it after uncompressing the devpack :)
Posted on 2005-01-02 04:23:12 by bluffer
The thing about pairing memory is for boards that support Dual DDR - which has much the same effect as putting harddrives in RAID stripe mode. Access is interleaved, so while one memory module is "busy", the other one is used. This makes it easier to achieve good throughput... but at least some boards are very picky about the modules used, so you should use modules that are identical.
Posted on 2005-01-02 05:25:34 by f0dder
Found this the other day:
http://arstechnica.com/paedia/r/ram_guide/ram_guide.part1-1.html
Posted on 2005-01-06 00:13:01 by eet_1024