buying some more RAM... Oh, and a new CPU too

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Calum
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buying some more RAM... Oh, and a new CPU too

Post by Calum »

will this work in my PC?

I had a look earlier to see what kind of RAM i have, and it has the same pins/bits on the edge/whatever that this one has, and i have two spare slots. My current RAM is 128MB of SDRAM and says it is a DIMM module. and its bus speed appears to be PC133 (that refers to bus speed, yes?) and so this 512MB stick of RAM seems to be right up my alley, but i have never bought or installed RAM before, it's not 128 MB like my current RAM, does that matter? i suspect not but just wanted to check. also, i can just slap it in the next spare RAM slot can't i? and then it'll detect it and use it on bootup? hopefully so.

edit: oh yes, i have a celeron 700, is there a lot of point in me throwing a lot of RAM at it? I am faced with the choice of buying 2x 64MB RAM (making a total of 256MB with no more slots left) or getting one stick of 512MB (making 640MB with 1 slot left) - which is best. i know, i know, i meant which is more sensible, there's bound to be a point above which extra RAM makes no noticable difference.

edit:
Motherboard must be able to take 512 MB in each slot
damn! how do i find this out?
can i do it without taking the 'hood' off? is there something in /proc that will tell me this? damn, i know nothing about hardware...
Last edited by Calum on Tue May 27, 2003 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Ice9 »

I had a look earlier to see what kind of RAM i have, and it has the same pins/bits on the edge/whatever that this one has, and i have two spare slots. My current RAM is 128MB of SDRAM and says it is a DIMM module. and its bus speed appears to be PC133 (that refers to bus speed, yes?) and so this 256 stick of RAM seems to be right up my alley, but i have never bought or installed RAM before, it's not 128 MB like my current RAM, does that matter? i suspect not but just wanted to check. also, i can just slap it in the next spare RAM slot can't i? and then it'll detect it and use it on bootup? hopefully so.
The item for sale is a 133MHz 512MB Dimm so it should fit into your motherboard yes, however to my knowledge Celeron cpu's have no support for PC133, even my Celeron 1.7 only supports PC100, but PC133 should work too, only at 100MHz though.
Next you can just slap it into the free slot and if it's ok it will be detected and used.
But first you should check with your motherboard manual to see if you can use whatever type of Dimm you want, I know some Intel motherboards act somewhat critical about this, I had one which only recogtnized 128MB out of the 256MB because I could only use single-sided memory and I had bought a double-sided Dimm ...
i have a celeron 700, is there a lot of point in me throwing a lot of RAM at it? I am faced with the choice of buying 2x 64MB RAM (making a total of 256MB with no more slots left) or getting one stick of 512MB (making 640MB with 1 slot left) - which is best. i know, i know, i meant which is more sensible, there's bound to be a point above which extra RAM makes no noticable difference.
More memory is always a good thing, the limit up to which it would be useful for you entirely depends on the applications you use.
I would say for a "regular" user 512MB should be enough.

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Post by Panos »

I agree with Ice-9 that this is a bit tricky. My Toshiba laptop (Celeron 1.33) supports only PC100 as well. More RAM however is always definitely worth it, so I'd recommend also that you get more RAM.

Oh, and consult your motherboard's manual as Ice-9 mentioned. :)

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Post by Calum »

hmm, i have no manual, got it second hand.
how aggravating.

will i have to open it up and look for stickers and strange inscribings on the motherboard within?

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Post by Ice9 »

I'm afraid so, unless your pc is a so-called "A-brand" with a known model number, then you could look up the specs ... :?

Edit: do you still have windows on that pc?
If you do, there's software like Sandra from Sisoft (if I remember correctly) that you can run and it will tell you what kind of hardware you're running (I believe even the brand/make of the motherboard but I'm not 100% sure).
Perhaps there are such programs for Linux as well but I never heard of them.

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Post by Calum »

well, as it happens i do still have windows on here, and wonder of wonders i actually had a CD with SiSoft Sandra 2001se on it, so installed it and got it to run off some diagnostics on the motherboard.

i get used to linux though. if that were a *ix program, it would print the info as text to stdout. But no. It has a point & click GUI which you must use to get the info. it prints out the info as text, but you CANNOT select it to copy and paste it. If you want to get this information once the 30 days runs out, you must pay for the program, or else write it all down. SO i typed it all into a text file, grumpily. I don't like being pissed about by my computer. I could just about have opened the damn thing up in the time it took to type all that crud out. Somebody should make a utility that does this properly for *ix.

anyway:
System Mainboard Information:
Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co Ltd
Model: 693A-596B-8671

Extended Mainboard Data:
Manufacturer: Giga-Byte
Model: GA-6VXE7
Serial Number: 07/06/2000-693A-596B-867-2A6LGGONC-00
Chipset: VIA VT82C693 Apollo Pro Chipset

System Memory Controller:
Memory Slots: 3
Bank_0: DIMM EDRAM 128MB

System Chipset:
Model Giga-Byte Technology VT82C691 Apollo Pro System Controller
Bus(es): ISA AGP PCI USB SMBus/i2c
FSB Speed: 67MHz
ACPI Support: Yes

Logical/Chipset Memory Banks
Bank 0 Setting: 128MB SDRAM 7-1-1-1R 4-1-1-1W 3-2-2CL
Memory Bus Speed: 67MHz

Memory Modules:
Memory Module 1: Micron 128MB 8x(16Mx8) SDRAM PC133U-333-542 (CL3 upto 133MHz)
Memory Bus Speed: 67MHz
so now i am off to google the model number.
that auction has run out but several of the exact same item seem to be being auctioned over the next day or so, so i will keep plugging away till i find out whether it will all work or not.
One thing i am a bit annoyed at is it looks as though my bus speed is only 67MHz! any idea how this can be upped? probably nothing i can do about it, yes?
Last edited by Calum on Mon May 26, 2003 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Ice9 »

You're right, your bus speed is probably 66MHz, I think Intel stepped up the Celeron line to 100MHz when they introduced the P4 and actually altered the L2 cache from the P3 in order to sell it as a Celeron.
In this case you should watch out, because there's only a slim chance that a PC133 Dimm will actually run in a PC66 slot, it might but there's absolutely no guarantee!
I could just about have opened the damn thing up in the time it took to type all that crud out
It's not at all sure that you would have found relevant information on your motherboard, at least not on the side you can see when it's inside the case.
:wink:

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Post by Calum »

ice9, my cut and paste windows woes were worse than i thought, i had to reboot into linux to get the information into my post!
as you can hopefully see now though the current RAM is PC133 so this should be okay.

edit: hmm,
Model: GA-6VXE7
Cost-effective S370 board supporting Coppermine P3s. Plagued by problems with VIA chipset such as inability to disable un-used IDE channels, problems with sound cards and general compatability problems - poor board from an otherwise excellent manufacturer.
from http://www.romulus2.com/feedback/company.php?277
i certainly know how to pick them! :roll:

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Post by Ice9 »

Like I said, sometimes it will work and sometimes it won't.
Don't remember exactly why (the times when I used to sell Kingston memory for a living are far away :wink: ) but I think you have to make sure to pick CL3 modules and not CL2 if you buy a PC133 module.

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Post by Calum »

oh okay, not sure what that means, i suppose i don't have to though.
thanks for your input.

PS: while we are at it: this is a socket 370 board, can i just go and buy a superfast cool pentium 3 and slap it in there (if i can find a socket 370 one) and it'll work? if it can cope with a higher bus speed, will it take advantage of the higher capability of the RAM bus speed? or does the motherboard have to support that too?
i still haven't got the motherboard manual (although i think i have got it downloading as we speak (i say 'think' as it is a 'zip' file, which might mean anything)).
So can i? will i need to recompile all my software for the new chip? shouldn't think so, celery and P3 are both i686 as far as software goes, yes?

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Post by Ice9 »

I found the manual in pdf if you're interested ...
Looks like you have a few different options with that board.

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Post by Ice9 »

PS: while we are at it: this is a socket 370 board, can i just go and buy a superfast cool pentium 3 and slap it in there (if i can find a socket 370 one) and it'll work? if it can cope with a higher bus speed, will it take advantage of the higher capability of the RAM bus speed? or does the motherboard have to support that too?
i still haven't got the motherboard manual (although i think i have got it downloading as we speak (i say 'think' as it is a 'zip' file, which might mean anything)).
So can i? will i need to recompile all my software for the new chip? shouldn't think so, celery and P3 are both i686 as far as software goes, yes?
I looked into the manual and yes you could put a PIII up to 850 MHz in there apparently, but I don't know if you would have to recompile stuff.
I guess not because compiling for a specific architecture is about optimization of instructions and a PIII 850 would be in the same category as a Cel700.
Last edited by Ice9 on Mon May 26, 2003 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Calum »


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Post by Calum »

So, bought some RAM, i printed out the manual there and had a bit of a look through it and it appears that it supports all the stuff i was worried it didn't support, Click here to see a quick synopsis of the relevant info (20k) so i bought a stick of 512MB of RAM which i hope to be able to slap into my computer in the next couple of days when it arrives.

Now though i know the motherboard supports PC133, and so does the RAM, i will have to look into the whole CPU issue. Next on the list is to buy a CPU that supports a decent bus speed. i was thinking about this one but it's also a celeron. Might hold my horses and wait for a decent P3 type one (i suppose it's all too out of the question to want to stick an AMD chip in there, since the motherboard only supports Cyrix and Intel chips).

PS: is it worth getting a 733MHz pentium 3 to replace a 700Mhz celeron? or should i get more like a 950MHz/1.something GHz CPU to really notice any increase in performance?

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Post by Ice9 »

PS: is it worth getting a 733MHz pentium 3 to replace a 700Mhz celeron? or should i get more like a 950MHz/1.something GHz CPU to really notice any increase in performance?
When I looked into the manual yesterday I saw you could replace your current cpu with a PIII 850 but I didn't see anything higher.
You will have to change your jumper settings though.

A PIII 733 would already be a major step up from a Celeron 700, be it for the L2 cache alone.
Also, you might check if there are some Bios upgrades available for your mobo, its possible that they added support for PIII's higher than 850MHz.

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