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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I just bought 512M of PC133 memory for an older computer that had 128M of PC133 memory from two 64M modules.

This computer has 4 slots for memory. Can I add the two 64M modules without hindering the performance of the new 512M module? IF so, should I install the 64M modules in slots 2 and 3 or slots 3 and 4?

Also, when I boot the computer, the system information only shows 128M even though I now have 512M. Do I need a BIOS upgrade? I'm using Pheonix BIOS.

Thanks

James
 

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Im guessing a bit because I dont know what you have for a motherboard.

From what I understand you took the 2 64m sticks out and put the 512 stick in and got only 128m.

If this is so then I think your lucky to see that much because your board probably does not take 512 sticks.

I would put the 64m sticks back in to the first 2 slots and then try the 512m in the 3rd slot. See if you get 256M and run the machine for a while to see if it's stable.

Let us know what motherboard you have, maybe we can find the specs and figure out whats going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Memory Upgrade

Thanks for the reply Barry.

You're right , I originally took out the 2 64M sticks and put in the 512M stick in slot #1. The computer only recognized 128M but the computer seemed to run a good bit faster??

As you suggested, I put the 2 64's in slot 1 and 2 and the 512 in slot 3 and the computer recognized 384M? I guess this motherboard doesn't support 512M sticks. I got the system info from crucial.com below:

System Info
SY-6VBA 133
168-pin DIMM Banking
4 (4 banks of 1)
Chipset
VIA Apollo Pro133
Error Detection Support
ECC and non-ECC
Graphics Support
AGP 2X
Max Unbuffered SDR SDRAM
1280MB
Module Types Supported
Unbuffered only
SDR SDRAM Frequencies
PC100 and PC133
Supported DRAM Types
SDR SDRAM only

Any advice would be appreciated.

james
 

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Check to see what type of memory you have purchased. There are a couple types of SDRAM memory out there. Low density modules and High density modules. High density modules will only work on a system board that can handle more than 1.5GB of memory. Most the time, in a non compatible system, it will only show as half it's stated size. According to the Soyo website, this board will accept 512MB sticks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi,

How do I determine if this stick is HD or LD? The only identification is a sticker that just says 512 MB PC 133. I'll try to contact the company I bought it from to get more info.

Thanks,

James
 

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You got more ram recognized than I expected when you put the 2 64m sticks back in. The extra 256m will improve performance.
 

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semajbar said:
Hi,

How do I determine if this stick is HD or LD? The only identification is a sticker that just says 512 MB PC 133. I'll try to contact the company I bought it from to get more info.

Thanks,

James
Low density memory has more chips on the stick maybe 8 per side. The chips themselves are for example 16MB. When multiplied by the number of chips on the stick the result is 256MB ram. The high density sticks may only have 8 chips to make up the 256MB because the chips are 32MB.

If your motherboard only recognizes 16MB chips then it will only see half of the memory on a stick with 32MB chips. This may be the reason you only see 256MB of your 512M stick.
 

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Barry_R said:
Low density memory has more chips on the stick maybe 8 per side. The chips themselves are for example 16MB. When multiplied by the number of chips on the stick the result is 256MB ram. The high density sticks may only have 8 chips to make up the 256MB because the chips are 32MB.
This usually isn't always true. High density modules can have 16 chips (8 on each side). 'Standard' RAM chips are organized a DEPTH x 8 Bits. E.g. 32x8, 64x8, etc. That means 8 of the chips make up a 64 bit wide rank (memory bus is 64 bits wide). "Double Sided" is an old term to describe a stick with 16 chips, 8 on each side. And with DEPTH x 8 chips that makes for 2 ranks (or, again in an older style terminology: 2 'banks').

'High Density' chips are DEPTH x 4 bits so it takes 16 to make a 64 bit wide memory rank. And this is why "double sided" is no longer the favored description because when x8 chips are used "Double sided" means "double rank" but with x4 chips it takes both sides and 16 chips to make the ONE, single, rank.

Now to the problem. A memory 'slot' is usually designed for 'standard' x8 chips and memory sticks containing 2 ranks. That is how the 'capacity' will be described. I.E. the SY-6VBA says it can handle up to "1.25GB" with four slots, and that means a possible combination of 2x 2 rank modules and 1 single rank module never exceeding 256MB per rank. You could probably cannot use 512MB in each slot. It has to do with the configuration of the MB chipset.

But a 'high density' memory stick crams the 512MB into ONE RANK by using 16 deeper (twice as deep) x4 bit width chips. And this is how they arrive at the confusing term 'high density'. The chips themselves are no higher in density than the x8 chips but since they are organized as x4 they can cram more 'bytes' into a single rank because 16 chips make up a rank rather than 8, not that it helps make the stick itself any 'higher' in 'density' because you can still only get 16 chips mounted on the thing.

So, a 512MB 'high density' stick puts 512MB in ONE RANK and a 'standard' (low) density 512MB stick is two 256MB Ranks. Same size, same 'density'. It's the RANK organization that's different.

Conclusion, I always look at the max amount of memory the MB can handle. If it cannot accept more than 1.5GB of memory, than it will not accept high density memory. (normally the manufacturer of the MB will state the max memory in the description)
 

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semajbar said:
This stick has 16 chips all on one side. I guess each chip is 32M?. Does that mean it is HD or LD?
Look at the chips on the memory module. If they are labled 64x4 or 32x4 these would be 'high' density.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Hi JamesO,

Here is the info from memoryx:

MemoryX.com
YOUR COMPUTER CHECK RESULTS

Computer Make: VIA Technologies, Inc.
Computer Model: VT82C692BX
Computer Version:
Motherboard Model: 693-596B-977
Motherboard Version:
CPU: Intel Pentium III 450Mhz
Installed Memory: 4 slots: empty, 256 MB, 64 MB, 64 MB
Match - Model: http://www.memoryx.net/


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MEMORY THAT MATCHES YOUR COMPUTER

Unfortunately, we were unable to provide an exact match.

Please E-mail Tech Support or call them at 866.636.6799 for further assistance.


What I don't understand is why the computer sees the 512M stick as 128M when installed by itself, but sees the 512M as 256M when installed with the 2 64M sticks? (64M + 64M + 256M = 384M that the computer sees. )


P.S. - craziejoe: I can't make out any markings or text on these chips other than the sticker that says 512M 133.


Thanks,

James
 

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Funny things happen with RAM.

I really do not think your board will support 512 MB RAM modules based upon its age. Probably 256 or lower?? There is something within the memory mix with the original modules to make the new 512 MB read up to 256 MB, but only 128 MB when installed by itself.

I would contact Technical support or look on line for more info.

Search the part numbers on the 64 MB modules to see if you can determine what they are.

Here are some links that might be helpful as well:

http://forums.viaarena.com/messageview.aspx?catid=25&threadid=63693&enterthread=y

http://www.askmehelpdesk.com/forum/printthread.php?t=7452&pp=40

http://discussions.virtualdr.com/showthread.php?threadid=146999&goto=nextnewest

JamesO
 

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@ semajbar
according to page 8 of the manual, you need to populate the memory slots from slot 4 to slot 1, and put the larger 512 sticks in slot 2 or 1. DIMM slot #1 is closest to your CPU slot. Slot 4 is closest to the IDE connectors. So your config should work if you try

slot4- 64mb (nearest to your IDE connectors)
slot3- 64mb
slot2- 512mb
slot1- empty (nearest to your CPU slot)

a single stick should be recognized as 512 in slot 2.
If it doesn't, then I am sure there is a logical explanation...I just don't know what it is :smile: , but as JamesO states, funny things happen with RAM.

@ crazijoe nice density explanation...I did not know that!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Reply to Please

I tried the confuguration you suggested:

slot4- 64mb (nearest to your IDE connectors)
slot3- 64mb
slot2- 512mb
slot1- empty (nearest to your CPU slot)

I also tried the 512M stick in slots 1 and 2 (nearest to CPU) by itself and still the computer would only see the 512M stick as 256K.

I haven't had much luck with help from the company I bought the 512M stick from, but I will keep trying.

I appreciate the feedback from everyone.

Thanks,

James
 

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@ semajbar
Have you tried updating your BIOS to the most recent version? That has been know to help in some cases. It couldn't hurt(famous last words :wink: ). You can follow my previous link to the BIOS download page.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I finally got a response from the company I bought the 512M stick from. They say the stick I received was High Density 64x4 and is not compatible with my MB, which only supports 32x8.

One of the previous posts where I listed my computer info mentioned that my MB only supported 32x8 sticks. Craziejoes response that explained the HD LD and x4 and x8, etc. was over my head at first :eek: but after I had time to look it over it made sense :idea: .

Anyway, I'm returning the stick and after testing they're going to email with refund/ exchange options.

Thanks for the help.

James
 
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