Questions about hardware. RAM, graphics, motherboards.

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by JayOfTruth, Aug 1, 2006.

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  1. JayOfTruth

    JayOfTruth Registered Member

    Jul 24, 2006
    SA Texas
    Another thread about using software to make the computer run faster has slowly changed directions to hardware. I decided to make a new thread with a new title to continue the discussion and get more peoples input. Here is the original thread:

    So here are my questions.

    What is the difference between DDR SDRAM, DIMM, (eg. 240) pin, DDR2, etc??
    How can you find out what motherboard you have (and other hardware components)?
    And when does the motherboard matter when adding hardware ?
    Do some hardwares require different motherboards and visa-versa?
    How does upgrading the motherboard improve your computer?
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2006
  2. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    use a program like sandra or everest (free version no longer developed btw)
    your motherboard can affect the number (and type) of drives and cards ur computer can use.

    also ur motherboard (and chipset) determines the kind of processor u can use. for example the Asus A8N-SLI is for socket 939 Athlon 64 procs.
    well some memory sticks (enthusiast/overclocking brands especially) may only work well on some motherboards, likewise some motherboards only like certan brands of memory.

    theres also the cpu. ur processor and motherboard have to be compatible.
    it depends. if the new motherboard works with ur current processor, the upgrade may give u more card slots or more sata ports for your drives.

    u can also get a whole new motherboard, cpu, and memory. that would be mroe lke upgrading teh computer tho.
  3. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

    May 28, 2004
    Portland, OR (USA)
    Different speeds and sizes, mostly. What you need depends on what your motherboard will take. I'd bet you need DDR.

    The best way to find out is if you have a manual for the computer that gives technical specs. You an also use something like SIW to get the manufacturer and model, followed by the chipset (it's generally the Northbridge chipset that's most relevant). SIW should also tell you what kind of RAM it will take.

    Since the motherboard is what everything plugs into, this will determine what *kind* of hardware you can get.

    This can really help quite a bit. Some are really fine tuned for performance and can make a big difference. Some will take faster hardware (memory, CPU, hard drive, etc.), so this can help in many different ways, but upgrading the motherboard is often the most dangerous thing you can do to your budget, relationship, social life... :D
  4. furballi

    furballi Registered Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    Depends on the current rig, and what the user want to do with the PC. For office, web browsing, DVD transcoding, and casual gaming, a 1 to 2.5GHz processor with 512MB of RAM should be adequate.

    Launch TaskManager and run your most demanding applications. Now check the PEAK COMMIT CHARGE. If PCC is less than 500MB, then there is no need to add more RAM. 1GB should be adequate for most users with WXP.

    The minimum requirements for the latest games is a +3.0GHz processor, 1GB RAM, and the best video card one can afford. One can purchase a decent AMD 64 CPU/MB combo for $80 (ECS NF3 socket 754 with A64 3000). Add another $85 for 1GB PC3200 RAM. An AMD socket 939 combo will run about $120.
  5. as1m

    as1m Registered Member

    Jul 9, 2006

    Just a quick question for the people with more knowledge.

    I have 1.5Gig ddr2 ram. 2 of the modules (the first pairing) is 512 MB (2*256MB) but are at 400mhz. The other pair is 1G (2*512MB) at 533 mhz. I understand that with this setup the modules function at the slower speed of 400mhz.

    So my question is, am I better off running 1G ram @ 533mhz, or 1.5G @ 400mhz.

  6. furballi

    furballi Registered Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    Depends on your PEAK RAM load. If above 1GB, then the extra RAM would be needed. Download SuperPi (free) and run the 8M digits test. Compare the results between 1 and 1.5GB. Any improvement at normal use would be INVISIBLE to the user.

    The RAM speed also depends on the MB. Older MBs cannot run at the higher speed.
  7. MikeBCda

    MikeBCda Registered Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    southern Ont. Canada
    Take a look at PC Wizard as a possible replacement for Everest -- if I'm not totally out of date, that's still free.
  8. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

    Jun 29, 2004
    yes, it's still free. it's one of my favourite programs. i installed it last week, but i've wiped Windows from my HDD now.

    i only ran it once and didn't look to see how it had changed since i last tried it, but in the past it would show you all your hardware, then, if you want, open your browser to the correct site to update your drivers :cool:

    you can get either the zip (standalone), or .exe (install) versions. everyone should try out PC Wizard, right now!!!

    here's another program by the same people, also a standalone, which tells you everything you need to know about your processor - CPU-Z
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