Question about DDR SDRAM...

Funny, 'til now, I’ve considered myself a computer geek…now I actually have to ask a question…I’m beginning to doubt myself.

Honestly, I’ve been sticking to PC133 this whole time just 'cause it happens to be loads cheaper. Thus, I’ve never had the chance to mess w/ DDR. Well, I found some cheap DDR and want to buy two sticks. Does DDR require that the two sticks be “matching” or “compatible” in some way (ECC, Registered, whatever), or not? Like RAMBUS has to be installed in pairs, or with a “blank”, right? DDR isn’t this way to the best of my knowledge, but to install two sticks, more than likely the same brand, size, etc., do they have to be Registered/Unbuffered/ECC/whatever…anything special I gotta know before I dump some cash into it?

Thanks in advance…

Sorry for my lack of knowledge, although I do know a little bit about ram. No, you do not need to buy matching sticks of DDR, one would suffice if you want. You need to check to make sure your motherboard supports DDR, although I assume you already know that it works since you’ve gotten this far. As for ECC and non-ECC, all I know is that I had to match the stick my computer already had, so just check with your motherboard again and if it doesn’t matter, get the cheaper. I’m not aware of any differences. Hopefully someone else can provide a more precise answer, but that’s all I have to add to this post.

Yeah, my board supports DDR (two DIMM and two DDR slots, the whole reason for me buying it over a year ago, and now I’m FINALLY thinking about upgrading to DDR). The problem is, I can’t afford to buy one 1GB stick of DDR, but I can afford to buy two 512MB sticks. The 512MB sticks are Non-ECC, not Registered, and non-parity. Don’t want to buy them both if they’re not going to work in conjunction with one another. (And more than likely, they’ll be two of the same brand and everything…“clone chips”) :wink:

They will work just fine together, just make sure they are the same speed - PC2100, PC2700, and PC3200 are common speeds right now. I had one module of 512 megs of DDR, and I just added in a second module of 512 megs and it works fine.

Sweet. Thanks. :wink:

if your cpu is a year old I doubt you’ll see much performance difference. You really need an Athlon 1 ghz plus to really use the power of DDR. If you’re on intel, A p4.

Harmonix: And an Athlon 1Ghz happens to be about two years old:)

Along those same lines, when I bought more SDRAM a couple of months ago, I found out that my system had been overclocked, and that the PC100 RAM I just bought wouldn’t work unless I took it down. Would I need to have the same consideration with DDR?

Possibly, but probably not. DDR SDRAM is, IME, more overclocking friendly than the old PC100 stuff was. OTOH, it really depends on how far you want to OC your CPU.

I have a couple things to add:

  1. as Harmonix said, if your comp is several years old, and you’re fsb is 133MHz or less, you won’t really see a boost in speed over sdram.

  2. make sure your OS is either 2000 or XP, cuz 98 and Me don’t really like more than 512mb of ram. (btw, 1GB seems a tad excessive to me. I don’t really see the need in anything more than 512mb except on servers)

  3. while DDR doesn’t need to be in pairs, if your mobo supports dual channel DDR, you’ll probably want to take advantage of it and go with a pair. (although that seems to be your plan already)

  1. I’ve got an Athlon XP 1800+ (yeah, that’s over a year old, but hey…it’s serving me fine.) :wink:

  2. Windows XP Pro, so no problems there. (And believe me, Maya 4 requires a minimum of 512MB, and runs like crap if I have it open along with Photoshop 7, more or less half the other stuff I have open at the same time…1GB isn’t excessive) :wink:

  3. Don’t know if my board supports dual-channel DDR, but if that’s a price difference from what I’m buying, it doesn’t make any difference anyway. I’m cheap (read: poor). :wink:

well, I didn’t take into account the possibility that you were using resource-hog graphics programs like Maya, so no, 1GB isn’t really that excessive (though in that case you won’t need windows default pagefile size of 1.5x the amount of ram, so you might want to lower that). that aside, you won’t need to worry whether or not your board supports dual channel DDR cuz you’re gonna buy dual sticks anyways (dual channel DDR basically means that both sticks of can be accessed simultaniously, thus theoretically doubling memory bandwidth).

If you have an Athlon XP, you really want DDR. Athlon XPs are designed to take advantage of DDR, and not feeding it to them will decrease their performance significantly.

Mr Urt, glad to see you understand my desire for 1GB. :wink:

However, I’ve still got 1GB (Min) to 4GB (Max) pagefile set already, and, though I pretty much don’t need it…I figured I’d mess around with using a “Pagefile” partition, which, actually, seems to be pretty nice…moreso because the pagefile doesn’t interfere with the rest of my files being nice ‘n’ defragmented. (Don’t you hate when you look at your “visual representation of file fragmentation” on your hard drive and, even though you just defragged it, there are gaps all over the place 'cause your pagefile got in the way?) :wink: