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A little Intel help needed for an AMD guy...

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brennan77

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2001
Location
New Orleans
Let me preface this by saying I know very little about Intel setups. I've been into AMD since the K6-III so have patience. :)

Here's the deal. I was going to build a system for my mother. But after piecing things together, it appears I can get the same, if not better performance from a Dell system, with a warranty and software and what not. So I customized a Dimension 4600 through their website.

The only part that I'm worried about with the system is the RAM. I've configured it at 256mb. That's on the low end of things in my book. I'd like to upgrade this for her, but on our own, not through Dell as it's $80 for 256mb more RAM.

So here's my question. Can I just grab some DDR400 RAM to put in there? This is a 800mhz FSB motherboard with 200mhz RAM, or DDR400. The current configuration is 2x128. I believe there are 4 slots for RAM considering that there is an option for 4x512mb. So could I buy my own cheap sticks of 256mb to give her 768mb, while still enabling dual channel?

So what do you guys think?

BTW, in this deal, there is an option for a Radeon 9800 Pro for $140. Guess who's getting that?
 

BaldHeadedDork

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Sure, dropping in another stick of RAM won't be a problem as long as there are four memory slots. If Dell spec'ed a different board for the upgraded memory option on this system it wouldn't be the first time it happened. Give them a call before you order.

I'm guessing that you'll snag the Radeon for yourself. But if this rig is so Mom can lay down the law in UT2K3, check the system to make sure its a 865 board with dual channel DDR. A lot of the low end Dimensions are using a single channel chipset Intel whipped up for just this purpose.





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brennan77

brennan77

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2001
Location
New Orleans
Here's the specs...
Dell-cart.gif


It's the 865 chipset, dual channel, with AGP 8x.

The 9800 is for me. I'm paying the difference for it. I'll probably toss in my Radeon 8500 to give her something decent. And no, she won't me laying down the law is UT. lol

My concern was with the dual channel setup. But I think she'll probably be ok with just 256mb anyway. I'm just curious. It would probably need 2 more sticks in there, no? One for each channel like my nforce 2 board? Or could I possibly run the two 128mb sticks from Dell on one channel with a new 256mb stick on the other side?

Sorry if this sounds silly. I'm totally uninitiated on any Intel since the Pentium 2.
 

klenot

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2003
Location
Prague, Czech Republic
No, you have to use the pair of same modules, or at least "same geometry" (which means the same size, of course).

But the safest way to don't lose the dual channel operation with Intel chipsets, is using memory modules in pairs consisting of wholly the same pieces. WHOLLY.

With only one module, Intel chipsets can't work dual channel. Maybe, it will not see such solitary module at all.
 

BaldHeadedDork

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
brennan77 said:
My concern was with the dual channel setup. But I think she'll probably be ok with just 256mb anyway. I'm just curious. It would probably need 2 more sticks in there, no? One for each channel like my nforce 2 board? Or could I possibly run the two 128mb sticks from Dell on one channel with a new 256mb stick on the other side?


If you pick up another 256MB of memory (which is a good idea in my book) you will need to get two 128MB sticks. The Intel dual channel DDR works as you suspected it does.
 
OP
brennan77

brennan77

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2001
Location
New Orleans
Thanks for the comments. For the price of Dell's memory upgrade, I can add 2 sticks of 256mb. So I may do that. I'm just trying to keep the total cost down for my mom. And this system seems like a good deal. It's just the RAM is a little lacking. 256mb is on the low side these days.
 

BaldHeadedDork

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Yeah, I'm not crazy about running XP with less than 512.

Paying $80 more to have Dell put it in at the factory isn't a bad deal. A 128MB stick of PC3200 at Newegg goes for $35. Strangely, you can get a 256MB stick for about the same price.

Either way it will cost around $80 to get to 512MB. Personally I'd let Dell do it. There's no price advantage to replacing the memory and you'll have a couple sticks of 128 laying around that you'll probably never use.

The system you've spec'ed out isn't the least expensive. But I think you've done a great job of getting a lot of bang for the buck. A 2.6C on an 865 board, with a 9800 Pro, for $750 including a 17" monitor, is pretty damn sweet. Nicely done.





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