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Thread: upgrading ram on a msi gnb max




  1. #1

    Default upgrading ram on a msi gnb max

    i currently have one 512MB stick of pc2100 level2 mushkin ram in my p4 system.

    i have a msi gnb max mobo that supports dual channel ddr.

    i am wondering if i should buy pc3200 dual channel kit, or stick with pc2100 (which is what my board supports) ??

    i realize pc 3200 would be better for future upgrades, but with ddr2 in the mix now, spending the extra $ on pc3200 might not be a wise idea?

    i read recently that cas latency isn't as important as memory speed, but if my board will only run it at pc2100 why get anything faster?

    my board has some o/c'ing capabilities, but i don't have agp or pci locks, which i think would limit my overclocking.

    any thoughts?
    P4 2.4B (533FSB)
    MSI GNB MAX
    512 DDR Mushkin
    128 ATI Radeon 9100
    80GB WD JB
    Plextor 24/10/40
    Antec 1080 AMG w/ 430 truepower

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: upgrading ram on a msi gnb max

    Your CPU can't really rake advantage of PC3200 as it is, so I'd say don't bother.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: upgrading ram on a msi gnb max

    For dual memory setups its best and recommended to use the exact make and model memory modules (a dual module kit isn't a necessary requirement), so can you still get another memory module the same make and model as you already have?
    Another consideration atm is that PC2100 costs just as much as PC2700 and PC3200 modules but I don't remember that mainboard having voltage adjustment for the memory so don't get any high performance modules that require more than the standard 2.5v to operate.

  4. #4

    Default Re: upgrading ram on a msi gnb max

    Quote Originally Posted by wayout44
    For dual memory setups its best and recommended to use the exact make and model memory modules (a dual module kit isn't a necessary requirement), so can you still get another memory module the same make and model as you already have?
    Another consideration atm is that PC2100 costs just as much as PC2700 and PC3200 modules but I don't remember that mainboard having voltage adjustment for the memory so don't get any high performance modules that require more than the standard 2.5v to operate.
    i can get another stick of what i have, but it would cost me nearly the same to or more that to buy a dual channel kit off of ebay. i was thinking of getting a DC kit and selling my other 51MB stick. i have found in my searching that pc 2100 is the cheapest and pc 3200 and up is more expensive. if they were all evenly priced i would buy the pc 3200 and let it run at pc 2100. yes you are correct about my mobo, it doesn't have voltage adjustments for memory.


    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    Your CPU can't really rake advantage of PC3200 as it is, so I'd say don't bother.
    could you elaborate on this for me please? i trust in what you are saying , but i do not understand why?

    would you both agree that doubling my memory and going dual channel will make a boost in performance?


    option "C" is for me to get a new cpu,mobo and ram and sell my current stuff to my step father, who is badly needing an upgrade.
    P4 2.4B (533FSB)
    MSI GNB MAX
    512 DDR Mushkin
    128 ATI Radeon 9100
    80GB WD JB
    Plextor 24/10/40
    Antec 1080 AMG w/ 430 truepower

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
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    Default Re: upgrading ram on a msi gnb max

    Your CPU bus speed runs at 133MHz FSBx4 for a total of 533MHz. While the total speed of PC3200 memory is 400MHz, the actual FSB is 200. The FSB of PC2100 is 133MHz, which is the most your processor can handle. This makes the P4 quite bandwidth-starved, which is can be countered by running dual-channel RAM. This is way dual-channel makes under 5% difference on AMD systems and large differences on Intel systems, for the most part.

    In terms of price, the different speeds below PC3700 are almost identically priced. While quality CAS 2 PC3200 will be more expensive than a PC2100 equivelent, the value prices are almost exactly the same. Go to Newegg.com and compare the prices on the PC2100 and PC3200 RAM modules. You'll find the cheapest PC2100 RAM is $70, while the cheapest PC3200 is $1. The way prices change, this equates to meaning abosolutely nothing.

    Here's what I suggest: Either upgrade now and replace in the near future, or just replace the whoel thing now. If your current RAM doesn't run at CAS 2, get some value (less than $100 U.S.) PC3500 rated at the same latency (CAS at least, but you don't want to buy 2.5-4-4 RAM and mix it with RAM that will run at 2.5-3-3 or something) as your current RAM. Use it like this until you feel like replacing everything. Running it in dual-channel should be okay, although you should use the same make and model in normal situations. When you replace, transfer the new RAM to the new computer and give the old stuff to your stepdad. PC3200 and PC3500 are not standards that you will see drop anytime soon, so don't worry about that. In fact, they have much more upgrading potential than DDR2 modules, plus they're much better for the money.

    I think replacing everytihng is the better option, though. This little RAM upgrade won't make much difference in games (assuming you play games, since you do have a video card useless for someone who doesn't play games) due to your video card (which is in desperate need of replacement), and it won't make that 2.4B be something other than a slow 2.4B. A brand new Athlon 64 system (although you can keep everything but the motherboard, CPU, and RAM) won't be too incredibly expensive for you, depending partly on where you live.

  6. #6

    Default Re: upgrading ram on a msi gnb max

    Thank you for elaborating on my cpu's FSB issues when compared to ram. i understand now.
    this link is from a CDN retailer. i feel that there is a significant difference in prices on memory: http://www.atic.ca/index.php?page=Pr...f105d4c9739b14

    Although my best option would be to replace my system, this is not finacially possible. i have $250 CDN plus the $50 i got for my old vid card and approx $125 i'm hoping to get for my ram. i think i should be able to pick up an ati 9800 and a 1GB dual channel kit for $400-450. this should tide me over until i am able to make a full system upgrade. i'm also considering bypassing the desktop and going mobile, but either way, this will not be for a year or so.

    as mentioned earlier, i am from Canada and haven't found a lot of cheap retailers. going to the US causes me more grieve with custom fees and brokerage fees.

    thank you for taking the time to explain things to me as well as offer your advice.
    P4 2.4B (533FSB)
    MSI GNB MAX
    512 DDR Mushkin
    128 ATI Radeon 9100
    80GB WD JB
    Plextor 24/10/40
    Antec 1080 AMG w/ 430 truepower

  7. #7

    Default Re: upgrading ram on a msi gnb max

    one more quick question. which brand name should i look for?

    mushkin, corsair, kingston, ocz, samsung???
    P4 2.4B (533FSB)
    MSI GNB MAX
    512 DDR Mushkin
    128 ATI Radeon 9100
    80GB WD JB
    Plextor 24/10/40
    Antec 1080 AMG w/ 430 truepower

  8. #8

    Default Re: upgrading ram on a msi gnb max

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    I think replacing everytihng is the better option, though. This little RAM upgrade won't make much difference in games (assuming you play games, since you do have a video card useless for someone who doesn't play games) due to your video card (which is in desperate need of replacement), and it won't make that 2.4B be something other than a slow 2.4B. A brand new Athlon 64 system (although you can keep everything but the motherboard, CPU, and RAM) won't be too incredibly expensive for you, depending partly on where you live.
    i just got a call today from my step dad. he wants a new system. he currently has a 266 or 300 MHz system and wants to get into burning music and stuff. i was thinking of selling him my system and keeping my case, then putting all my stuff in a new case for him. what would my system be worth to him minus the case?
    as for me, what would it cost to get into a new athlon 64 system with a gig of high speed brand name RAM, a newer video card and a good overclocking mobo? i was also thinking of going SATA for a hard drive?? as well, what is a good dual format dvd-writer?
    i will do some searching on my own, but if you could offer some advice and some good parts, please do

    thanks
    P4 2.4B (533FSB)
    MSI GNB MAX
    512 DDR Mushkin
    128 ATI Radeon 9100
    80GB WD JB
    Plextor 24/10/40
    Antec 1080 AMG w/ 430 truepower

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    4,543

    Default Re: upgrading ram on a msi gnb max

    Those are good brands. Some really good value brands are Kingmax, Kreton, and Crucial.

    Edit: You can skip to the bottom since you posted while I was typing.

    I wouldn't buy a 1GB dual channel kit. A GB of RAM won't make a huge difference on that system. I'd say either keep your RAM and get a single 512MB stick, or sell your RAM and get a dual-pack (or just two of the same thing) of 2x256MB PC3200. Make sure you get PC3200 or greater, too, because you'll acutally be able to use it when you do upgrade.

    By not getting 2x512MB (which really won't be much better in most applications, including games), you can get a GeForce 6800 (or at least I could; Canadian prices differ from American. The 6800 is $270 U.S. and a 9800 Pro is $190, but it might be different for you). That would actually have some use in the future, while you may be wanting to upgrade that 9800 when yuo do the rest of your system. at the very least, get a 9800 Pro instead of the NP. If it's gaming performance you are going for, just upgrade the video card and wait on the RAM, if you need to. Your gaming performance will more than double with a 9800 Pro or 6800, but dual-channel RAM wouldn't do anything for gaming with your old card. If you do a lot of other intensive application (video encoding is really what I'm thinking of), then the RAM becomes extremely important, while the card becomes irrelevant.

    Bascially, go for a regular GeForce 6800 (non-GT, non-Ultra), unless X800 Pros are somehow cheaper (I doubt it) if gaming is your main thing, with the RAM being a side thing to try to fit in the budget. If you do video encoding, maybe CAD, and just lots of multitasking in general, just be good with a stick of 512MB and a 9800 Pro.

    I can't give any good Canadian online retailers, but eBay would be a great place to get the RAM and save yourself some money.

    Edit: Damnit. Hold on, I'll edit in my respone to your new post when I'm done reading it.

    I'm thinking somewhere around $250-$350 U.S., since there's no video card. Convert it to Canadian and add about 5%.

    Hardware choices? That's easy. The cheapest thing I would suggest would be this:
    Athlon 64 2800
    Chaintech VNF3-250
    512MB PC3200 or PC3500 (any of the brands, but go for value RAM with CAS 2.5; many CAS 2 modules won't run at CAS 2 in A64 system and it doesn't matter much, anyway). Get a GB instead of 512MB if you can afford it. Dual-Channel isn't an option, but 512MB sticks will probably be cheapest anyway.
    GeForce 6800 (you really should cut corners to get this or an X800 Pro)
    An 80GB Seagate SATA drive or a 120GB 8MB cache Seagate IDE, depending on what you need. (Seagate has a five-year warranty compared to a 3-year from WD and 1-year from Maxtor)
    A 420W+ PSU. Thermaltake easily has the best bang-for-buck here. If it's not the same for you, Antec also makes great PSUs.
    Can't tell about the burner, though. Hell, I don't even own a DVD burner, just yet.
    Last edited by Yawgm0th; 09-15-2004 at 07:53 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: upgrading ram on a msi gnb max

    WOW!

    thanks for the fast reply!

    i will probably keep my antec amg case and psu. it would be to big for my step dad. i was thinking of getting a 350watt or 400watt mid tower for him for around $40.

    i guess i should look into the 6800? i really don't like new vid cards because they change so fast :(

    is there much performance gain from going SATA as to regular IDE? i'll look into prices on those products.

    tom's harware recently wrote on the unimportance of cas latency when compared to ddr speed. i think corsair has some value ram that is ddr400?

    i'll lookinto the chaintech mobo. does it have many o/c'ing options?

    sorry you had to write all that before you were able to read my latest post :)
    P4 2.4B (533FSB)
    MSI GNB MAX
    512 DDR Mushkin
    128 ATI Radeon 9100
    80GB WD JB
    Plextor 24/10/40
    Antec 1080 AMG w/ 430 truepower

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