ASROCK M3A UCC M/Bd, Phenom II 4 Core 3200 MHz and FAST RAM recommendations
Hello ASROCK Assistance Forum,
I'm an "ol' geezer" [well-retired Mech Engineer] and am struggling with what should be an easy choice. I've done a week of days of the FAQs on various sites [inc this one] which have helped to frame the questions. In comparison to the other very technical questions in this Forum, I feel I'm in the wrong place - but I need ASROCK-specific help/advice. Which I can't find elsewhere - after a week of searching.
Just bought [2nd hand] a complete tall tower PC with ASROCK M3A UCC m/board [Dual Channel DDR3], AMD Phenom II x4 core 840 3200 MHz processor and with 4 GB [2 cards] of DDR3 RAM of [as yet] unknown make but are of 1600 speed [last owner says]. I can take them out - if needs be - and check exactly what they are.
It was used purely for playing Films/Music to a huge TV/cinema kit. He admits that it never did go on the 'net, but has a TV Card, Blu Ray/HDD DVD, CD, 2 HD [1x 1TB and 1x 60 GB C: Drive] and uses WIN7 Home Premium O/S.
I have bought a Seagate 1 TB Extension HD to clear off the internal 1 TB HD and act as a back-up. This can use both USB 2 and 3 connections, but presently running on USB2. The m/board has two PCI Express slots [both short, and unused] and 1 long slot already used.
The PC is quick [compared to the 1300 I had previously] but struggles when many windows in IE are open. I note the RAM is only showing 2.7 GB available, altho' Virtual Memory is now set around 10 GB - and that [I guess] is slowing the PC. I have followed the advice from the downloaded M/board Manual and looked up the m/board's RAM compatibility at ASRock's web-site. There are a hundred recommendations, all different sizes/speeds, SS/DS, etc. Problem 1: ASROCK's QVL for recommended DDR3's was last revised in April 2010 - so is not up-to-date. When I talked to Offtek's [Memory Retailer] assistance they recommended putting in 2 x 4GB 'cos I'll never have to replace them. Fine - except the only ASROCK rec'd 4 GB's are 1066. Then he added "You can run your old chips alongside the new ones" - but that doesn't fit with ASROCK's Cautions [in Manual] about using identical cards of make/speed. I'd rather leave them out than "mess up" something.
The Offtek assistance states "Your machine requires ‘240 Pin DDR3 PC3-10664 - Unbuffered - DDR3-1333 - 1.5V - Non-ECC’ modules." Would you agree? I get an increase in size [at 2 x 4 GB] but the speed slows - I notice.
I have read a LOT about SS/DS DDR3 RAM chips, speeds etc. And I am much wiser - and more confused. So my two questions are these: -
1. With the above AMD & M/board, what would be ASROCK's recommendation for a fast 4GB RAM Card? Is the 1066 SAMSUNG still the only choice? I will be writing a book using the latest Dragon Speech Recognition software as my hands don't work at all well, and it's degenerative. So I do need to err on the side of ensuring it all works - rather than hold up my thoughts waiting for the PC to "catch-up" with me.
I am happy to completely replace the present RAM [whatever make it is]. OR just add 2 more, new, identical, 2 GB cards to ensure it doesn't struggle with the Speech Recognition software and with my simultaneous research on the 'net. But - then if it does struggle - I've wasted my money on these new 2 x 2 GB cards. 2 x 4 GB cards make sense - as I can add another two - even if the 4 GB cards are slower.
2. I can fit a USB 3.0 card [I am advised] into one of the PCI Express short slots to run back-ups to the new 1 TB extension drive faster/regularly. I have two free slots - PCIE1 & PCIE3. USB 3.0 is relatively new [it seems?] so I have done the FAQs on this also, to "get a grip" on the requirements/prices and which slot to use. I have read loads of reviews - but none mentioning this m/board. I have now two USB 3 cards in mind - both seem to have low incidences of compatibility issues. Can anyone give any pertinent advice/problems [or cards] to watch out for?
Anyone with a "tried, now trusted" compatible-make of faster 4 GB ram - or using a particular make of USB 3 card - with this M/board would make my day/week/year! I'm not "miserly" - I just can't afford to make avoidable mistakes...
Thanks very much - in anticipation of any "old fashioned" assistance. David.
Also you say (RAM is only showing 2.7 GB available) if your operating system (Windows)is only 32bit then it will only have support for 3gb of memory, reinstall a 64bit O/S and it will support up to 16gb of memory (DDR3).