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A question about RAM

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    Hello, I'm looking to upgrade my PC. The first way I wish to do so is to upgrade the RAM because at the moment it's only got 2GB..

    However, before I do so I've got a few questions:
    1) Can I mix and match the RAM or does it all have to be the same type/brand/size?
    2) Is there a limit to the amount of RAM I can put into the computer or does this completely depend on the motherboard?

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by audi_turbo)
    Hello, I'm looking to upgrade my PC. The first way I wish to do so is to upgrade the RAM because at the moment it's only got 2GB..

    However, before I do so I've got a few questions:
    1) Can I mix and match the RAM or does it all have to be the same type/brand/size?
    2) Is there a limit to the amount of RAM I can put into the computer or does this completely depend on the motherboard?

    Thanks!
    You can mix and match but it would default all your RAM speeds to your slowest RAM speed (oh except they must all be DDR or DDR2 or DDR3). If your PC is more than 2 years old, your RAM is likely slow enough that it's worth chucking it out completely (or give to someone/flog on ebay) and buying new.

    The limit depends on your motherboard (make sure you realise that you need a 64-bit operating system to put any more than about 3.5GB RAM to use).

    The main limitations to which RAM you can get is your motherboard and processor. What motherboard & processor do you have?
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    (Original post by audi_turbo)
    Hello, I'm looking to upgrade my PC. The first way I wish to do so is to upgrade the RAM because at the moment it's only got 2GB..

    However, before I do so I've got a few questions:
    1) Can I mix and match the RAM or does it all have to be the same type/brand/size?
    2) Is there a limit to the amount of RAM I can put into the computer or does this completely depend on the motherboard?

    Thanks!
    1) Brand doesn't really matter, but the type definitely does (ddr, ddr2 or ddr3)and possibly the size
    2)Yes it's completely dependent upon your motherboard for example some have 4 slots, but some can only allow 8 or 16 or 32 gb at most.
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    (Original post by audi_turbo)
    Hello, I'm looking to upgrade my PC. The first way I wish to do so is to upgrade the RAM because at the moment it's only got 2GB..

    However, before I do so I've got a few questions:
    1) Can I mix and match the RAM or does it all have to be the same type/brand/size?
    2) Is there a limit to the amount of RAM I can put into the computer or does this completely depend on the motherboard?

    Thanks!
    Well it's best if you give us the motherboard/specs of your PC so we can tell you more! You can mix and match RAM, but it's not recommended, it's so cheap nowadays it's not worth it. Check if your motherboard supports DDR2 or DDR3 RAM, as DDR3 is much newer and faster.
    It depends on the motherboard! You shouldn't need more than 8GB.
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    Make sure you get the right kind (DDR 1, 2 or 3). The wrong one won't fit. Look on your manufacturers site for more info.

    This was posted from The Student Room's Android App on my E15i
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    (Original post by iqbal007)
    (Original post by JOR2010)
    (Original post by A.J10)
    Processor: (CPU) Intel® Core™2 Duo E4500 (2 X 2.20GHz) 800MHz FSB/2MB L2 Cache
    Motherboard: ASUS® P5VD2-VM: DDR2, S-ATA II, 1 x PCI-E x16, 2 PCI, etc
    Windows Vista 64bit (which I want to upgrade too)

    So I'm guessing this means that I'll need DDR2 RAM.
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    Yeah, also, if you have a 32 bit OS, the upper limit is 4GB. Some motherboards have restrictions that you'll have to Google, for example mine has the aforementioned 4GB limit, despite having a 64 bit processor.

    This was posted from The Student Room's Android App on my E15i
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    (Original post by audi_turbo)
    Processor: (CPU) Intel® Core™2 Duo E4500 (2 X 2.20GHz) 800MHz FSB/2MB L2 Cache
    Motherboard: ASUS® P5VD2-VM: DDR2, S-ATA II, 1 x PCI-E x16, 2 PCI, etc

    So I'm guessing this means that I'll need DDR2 RAM.
    Frankly your processor will probably hold you back before your RAM does. Well either way; it's not worth getting any more than another 2GB DDR2 because it'll completely go to waste.
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    (Original post by audi_turbo)
    Processor: (CPU) Intel® Core™2 Duo E4500 (2 X 2.20GHz) 800MHz FSB/2MB L2 Cache
    Motherboard: ASUS® P5VD2-VM: DDR2, S-ATA II, 1 x PCI-E x16, 2 PCI, etc

    So I'm guessing this means that I'll need DDR2 RAM.
    Yeah, DDR2 type ram

    - Single-Channel DDR2 667/533

    2 x 240-pin DIMM sockets support max. 4GB, DDR2 667/533/400 MHz, non-ECC, un-buffered memory

    So you can only add another 2gb more, just hope your system isn't using 2 x 1gb otherwise you'll need to spend more cash. And you can't get dual channel ram.
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    (make sure you realise that you need a 64-bit operating system to put any more than about 3.5GB RAM to use).
    (Original post by A.J10)
    Yeah, also, if you have a 32 bit OS, the upper limit is 4GB. Some motherboards have restrictions that you'll have to Google, for example mine has the aforementioned 4GB limit, despite having a 64 bit processor.
    That's only a limitation of windoze, most other 32-bit OSs will support 64GB.
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    No point getting more with that setup. Won't make a difference.
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    Okay. I don't really use this computer but when I do it's quite slow. I don't know if this is down to Windows Vista or because you think the processor's pretty bad.


    Thanks for your help everybody.

    Oh also I do realise that the specs of this computer are pretty bad, but it's from 2007.
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    Vista won't be helping too much. I'd recommend xp, 7 or a linux distro over vista.

    This was posted from The Student Room's Android App on my E15i
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    (Original post by James82)
    That's only a limitation of windoze, most other 32-bit OSs will support 64GB.
    Really? I've been googling around for a while and everything I've found seems to disagree with you (you may indeed be right so I'm not accusing you of lying per se - just wondering where you got this information).


    (Original post by audi_turbo)
    Okay. I don't really use this computer but when I do it's quite slow. I don't know if this is down to Windows Vista or because you think the processor's pretty bad.
    Probably a bit of both - but probably the hardware overall. Software demands more and more resources as hardware advances. Even £250 laptops have processors that are twice as good as your PC's, now.
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    Probably a bit of both - but probably the hardware overall. Software demands more and more resources as hardware advances. Even £250 laptops have processors that are twice as good as your PC's, now.
    Well, thanks for your help, you've probably saved me about £30 on RAM which wouldn't have been useful.
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    Really? I've been googling around for a while and everything I've found seems to disagree with you (you may indeed be right so I'm not accusing you of lying per se - just wondering where you got this information).
    The information just comes from my head, it's only a limit imposed by Microsoft of addressing 4GB total memory (including video memory, which is why most people are limited to 3.x GB) and 2GB per process. They claim they were imposed for stability reasons (I recall it was something to do with cache flushing, but don't quote me on that bit), but I've done kernel hacks in the past to remove the limits and never had any stability issues.

    I've never had to do kernel hacks in Linux for the OS to use all of the installed memory, but I admit it might depend on what kernel you choose to install. Mac OSX has always been able to address up to 64GB of memory on a 32-bit system since they moved over to intel hardware, no idea what their limitations were before that, but I know I've seen some pretty old Macs with more than 4GB of memory.
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    (Original post by James82)
    The information just comes from my head, it's only a limit imposed by Microsoft of addressing 4GB total memory (including video memory, which is why most people are limited to 3.x GB) and 2GB per process. They claim they were imposed for stability reasons (I recall it was something to do with cache flushing, but don't quote me on that bit), but I've done kernel hacks in the past to remove the limits and never had any stability issues.

    I've never had to do kernel hacks in Linux for the OS to use all of the installed memory, but I admit it might depend on what kernel you choose to install. Mac OSX has always been able to address up to 64GB of memory on a 32-bit system since they moved over to intel hardware, no idea what their limitations were before that, but I know I've seen some pretty old Macs with more than 4GB of memory.
    Hmm, info I found seem to say different with regards to Linux - and this seems to disagree mac-wise:

    http://guides.macrumors.com/Understanding_Intel_Mac_RAM

    Not quite sure when Mac started using x86 and when they switched/if they switched to x64 though so I'm not sure. Frankly I know very little about what x86/x64 really means in general.
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    Hmm, info I found seem to say different with regards to Linux - and this seems to disagree mac-wise:

    http://guides.macrumors.com/Understanding_Intel_Mac_RAM

    Not quite sure when Mac started using x86 and when they switched/if they switched to x64 though so I'm not sure. Frankly I know very little about what x86/x64 really means in general.
    That is just saying how much physical memory the motherboard (or in Mac speak logicboard) supports, not the limitations of the addressing architecture, by the way the only 32 bit board on that list is the Yonah I believe. Macs also used daughterboards extensively to expand memory beyond the physical capacity of the logicboard.

    I don't like using Wikipedia as a source, but as it seems to be the only thing I can find at the moment here is a link showing that Linux and Mac OSX do support up to 64GB addressing on 32 bit systems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_Address_Extension

    Intel versions of Mac OS X support PAE. The Linux kernel supports PAE as a build option and most major distributions provide a PAE kernel either as the default or as an option (Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6+ kernels expect PAE). FreeBSD and NetBSD also support PAE as a kernel build option.
    Microsoft Windows implements PAE if booted with the appropriate option, but current 32-bit desktop editions enforce the physical address space within 4GB even in PAE mode.
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    (Original post by James82)
    I don't like using Wikipedia as a source, but as it seems to be the only thing I can find at the moment here is a link showing that Linux and Mac OSX do support up to 64GB addressing on 32 bit systems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_Address_Extension
    An important distinction to acknowledge is that while PAE can increase total addressable memory up to 64gb, individual processes are still using 32-bit addressing and, hence, can still only address up to 4gb.
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    (Original post by Planto)
    An important distinction to acknowledge is that while PAE can increase total addressable memory up to 64gb, individual processes are still using 32-bit addressing and, hence, can still only address up to 4gb.
    Yep, but Microsoft still limit it to 2GB, Unix and OSX don't limit PAE, they use the maximum 64GB and 4GB per process, whereas Microsoft, save some of their NT releases, limit both total and per process addressable memory. I seem to remember it was claimed to be due to stability issues regarding cache flushing, but the Wikipedia article seems to suggest it was to do with licensing issues.

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