Rdram Rambus Memory Rambus RDRAM 184-Pin 232-Pin PC-800  PC-1066  PC-1200


| What is RAM and what does it do? | Different types of RAM | How to identify the size of RAM modules? | How to install RAM? | Frequently asked questions on computer memory RAM | Computer Memory Upgrade Websites | Mixing different kinds of RAM brands | What is DDR SDRAM and Rambus RAM ? | Which DDR RAM to buy? |

What is DDR SDRAM and Rambus RAM ?

DDR SDRAM and Rambus RAM

Until motherboards with chipsets able to use the new DDR RAM, Intel Pentium 4 processors could only use Rambus RAM, which runs at an effective speed of 400MHz, and is comparatively still very expensive compared to standard PC 100 and PC 133 SDRAM, and PC 1600 and PC 2100 DDR RAM. - See below for the news that has just come out that VIA has developed a chipset that supports DDR SDRAM.

Looking to buy RAMBUS memory? Click here.

AMD Athlon processors can run on motherboards that use PC 1600 and PC 2100 DDR RAM. AMD Duron processors run on a 100MHz system bus that can only use the PC 1600 DDR RAM. PC 2100 DDR RAM runs on a 133MHz system bus. - More on this further down the article.

Below is a table that provides some interesting information about the differences between recent types of RAM technologies.

Table showing comparative information about recent RAM technologies

The table below shows the history of RAM since 1987. The PC66 to PC133 in the three purple rows refers to SDRAM. Rambus RAM is shown in the two yellow rows, and DDR RAM is shown in the three blue rows. FPM and EDO RAM is no longer manufacturerd, but it was used for nearly a decade, and was usually supplied in the form of SIMM modules. Towards the end of its life, EDO RAM could be purchased in the same DIMM module form as DDR RAM. Table showing the history of RAM technology

Click here! to visit the New RAM Guide at Tom'sHardware.com.

DDR RAM - what it is -


The DDR RAM Guide for overclocking puposes -


Click the following link if you want to know more about Rambus RAM, an individual module of which is called a RIMM.

Rethinking RAMBUS - on Tom's hardware -


VIA to deliver DDR chipset supporting Pentium 4


256MB RAM - minimum on a new PC

You should not purchase a new computer that comes with less than 256MB of RAM. Especially if the video card is built into the motherboard and shares the system's RAM. (A PCI/AGP video card has its own RAM.) If you purchase a computer that only comes with 128MB of RAM, you will have to upgrade it to at least 256MB in order to be able to run Windows XP and the latest games and applications comfortably.

What is RAM and what does it do?

Installing a DDR RAM module in one of three slots

RAM - Random Access Memory, or volatile memory, is used by the system to store data for processing by a computer's central processing unit (CPU), also known as the processor. The processors used in most PCs are made by Intel, AMD, IBM/Cyrix, and VIA/Cyrix.

VIA has purchased Cyrix, and has issued small, cheap, integrated PC-in-a box units that can access the Internet.

RAM stores the data in memory cells that are arranged in grids much like the cells are arranged in a spreadsheet, from which data, in the binary form of 1's and 0's, can be accessed and transferred at random to the processor for processing by the system's software.

The data stored in a hard disk drive (HDD) cannot be accessed at random. Whole sectors, containing blocks of data, are transferred from a hard disk drive, placed in a large swap file on the same drive, and only then are selected files transferred to RAM for random access by the processor, which is itself only performing the instructions of the system's operating system (usually Windows), and its application software.

When the computer is turned off, all of the data in the RAM memory is lost, hence its alternative name of volatile memory, whereas all of the data on a hard disk drive is retained permanently until it is intentionally erased.

The motherboard (or mainboard) manual (that should be provided with a new or a second-hand PC) will provide all of the details about the different types of supported RAM, and the various combinations of modules per bank for each type that can be successfully installed.

There are many flavours of RAM - with or without error checking (ECC), buffered or unbuffered, etc., but at the moment, two main types of RAM in DIMM modules are available - standard and double density modules. The module can be single-sided (with memory chips on one side of the module only) or double-sided (with memory chips on both sides of the module)..

Not all motherboards can use the double density type, and so will only be able to read the chips on one side if you install double-sided modules (a 256MB module will typically only register as 128MB with Windows), so always make sure that the RAM you are buying as an upgrade is compatible with the motherboard. It is always a sure sign that the motherboard does not support the type of RAM installed if it is not all recognised by the system.

Note that the amount of RAM is actively counted when the system boots (visit the BIOS page on this site to see images of start-up screens showing the memory count), and is reported in the Windows Device Manager, or by entering msinfo32 in the Start => Run box.

ECC stands for Error-Correcting Code. It is error correction hard-coded into the RAM chips themselves. This type of RAM is more expensive than other types, and is mainly used in mission-critical systems.You can install it in a system if it is supported by the motherboard.

Registered or buffered RAM has a built-in buffer that stores the data before it is transferred to the hardware memory controller. It increases the reliability of the RAM enormously. Even so, most of the RAM used in personal computers is unbuffered, and works reliably enough in that role.

How to install RAM

Installing the DIMM modules (that have been used in all new computers for several years) is merely a matter of pushing the module directly down into the DIMM slot as shown in the diagram below. Note that the notche(s) along the connector edge of the module must match the divisions in the slot.

Depending on its architecture, there will always be at least one notch in a RAM module, but never more than two. The SDRAM module below has two notches, but a DDR DIMM module (below that) will only have one, and a RIMM module (used only in motherboards designed for Pentium 4 processors) has two closely-spaced notches.

Fitting a DIMM RAM  module

View of a DIMM slot showing the notches that must match those on a DIMM module

128MB DDR RAM module showing its single notch

Note that you should consult the motherboard's manual to find out if the slots have to be filled in an order of rank. Some motherboards require that Bank 0 be filled first, followed by Bank 1 and 2, etc., while some motherboards allow any bank to be filled.

Systems using certain BIOS versions and 768MB or more of RAM suffer a marked slow-down

Certain versions of the Award (now owned by Pheonix) BIOS installed by many motherboard manufacturers slow down the computers that use them very markedly when more than 768MB of RAM is installed. This problem affects BIOS versions prior to number 1004, so, if you have not done so, and you have or want to install 768MB or more of RAM, download and install the latest BIOS, currently at number 1011, from the PC/motherboard manufacturer's site.

Too much RAM can cause problems with some versions of Windows

Note that if you are upgrading your RAM memory, a computer using Windows 95 or Windows 98 (first edition) will not recognise more than 256MB. Moreover RAM that Windows cannot cache (recognise) will be accessed as slowly as the virtual memory swap file (win386.swp) that Windows creates on the boot hard disk drive to use when the amount of RAM runs out. Therefore, adding too much RAM can slow down a system considerably. Unless you are using a non_Windows operating system such as Linux, and unless you employ the fix a link to which is provided below, your must have Windows 98SE or run a later version to use more than 256MB of RAM.

This limitation does not apply to Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Moreover, it has now become known the Windows 98 SE (second edition) has trouble with 512MB of RAM and more. Windows 9.x systems were not designed to use large amounts or RAM. Most home users of Windows 9.x are unlikely to require this much RAM in any case, so, if possible, it is advisable to install less than 512MB. If you need to use more, use Windows 2000, or Windows XP, both of which are based on the Windows NT architecture. Windows 95, 98, and Me are based on Windows 95 architecture.

If you have more than 512MB of RAM installed and this causes any problems, you can restrict the amount of RAM used to 512MB (or any other amount) by entering msconfig in the Start => Run box, clicking the Advanced button, and enter the appropriate restriction in the Limit memory to... box - and enable it with a check mark.

There is a configuration file fix that can be applied to make Windows 98 function with as much RAM as you are likely to throw at it. See this excellent article - Windows 98 & WinME Memory Management -


You can also read more about this in a Knowledge Base (KB) article Q253912 at Microsoft's site -


Microsoft has a tendency to change the links to KB articles, so if a link fails to work enter the article's Q number in the search box on the following page. As you can determine from the information in the link itself, the Microsoft link above leads to the article with the Q number of Q253912.


Memory-card readers

If you use several different kinds of devices that use their own kinds of memory cards, you can purchase memory-card readers that can read the different cards.

For instance, an MP3 player uses MMC cards, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) uses Compact Flash cards, and a Sony Vaio notebook computer uses it own Memory Stick cards.

You could spend a long time transferring files from the devices to a desktop computer by using, say, USB cables. But if you buy an inexpensive memory-card reader, you can eliminate the need to plug and unplug lots of different USB cables.

The 6-in-1 Media Reader requires a 3.5" drive bay of the kind that houses a floppy disk drive. It reads Multimedia Cards (MMC), Secure Digital (SD), Memory Stick, PC Card (PCMCIA), Compact Flash, and SmartMedia card formats. You can copy the contents of one type of card to the desktop computer's hard drive, insert a different card, and copy the contents to it, or you can just copy the contents to the hard drive.

You can buy the 6-in-1 Media Reader from http://www.simply.co.uk/.

The USB 2.0 6-in-1 Flash Reader, is an external USB device that can be connected to either a notebook or desktop computer. It also has a USB 1.1 port that enables you to connect a printer or scanner to it.

You can buy a 6-in-1 Flash Reader from http://www.watford.co.uk/.

Motherboard and BIOS settings

The motherboard's manual will also provide you with any jumper settings that might be used to set the RAM's speed - for 66MHz EDO RAM, PC 100 SDRAM at 100MHz, PC 133 SDRAM at 133MHz, etc. - and the BIOS settings that might set the speed instead of motherboard jumpers, as well as set other optional settings such as the bank interleave and timing settings.

For images of and information on the jumpers and DIP switches used on motherboards to enable various functions, visit the Motherboard page of this site.

You can also visit this page of the PC Guide - http://www.pcguide.com/ref/mbsys/cache/char_Cacheability.htm to read an article on RAM cacheability. There are also several other pages devoted to RAM on this site.

Visit this site for a guide called How to Install Memory in Your PC.

And visit http://www.geocities.com/budallen98_98/dennis.html and search for the article called How Much RAM Will Windows 98 "USE".

Unfortunately, the ability of Windows to use RAM does not always coincide with ability of a motherboard's chipset to cache RAM, so be sure to check your motherboard's manual before you upgrade. The motherboard's chipset determines how much RAM can be cached. If the motherboard has an elderly chipset, the amount of RAM it can cache might be limited to as little as 64MB.

If a motherboard can only cache 64MB of RAM, such as one with the elderly Intel TX chipset, and you install 128MB, even if it works, it will slow the system down significantly, because the excess RAM cannot be cached, and so will be accessed in the same relatively slow manner as the virtual memory swap file that Windows sets up on the hard disk drive is accessed.

The moral of the story - if you have an ageing PC, always find out how much RAM your motherboard can cache before upgrading.

Only purchase a new computer that has at the very least PC 133 SDRAM. This kind of RAM is certified to run at 133MHz.

If you are looking for a system with the fastest available RAM consider one with DDR RAM, or the more expensive, but not necessarily superior Rambus RAM, which is supplied in modules called RIMMs.

If you are buying RAM as an upgrade, purchase it from a supplier of quality RAM such as Crucial.

RAM of poor quality will isn't worth any savings you can make, because it can be the source of all kinds of system failures.

Motherboards that use EDO RAM supplied as SIMM modules are no longer being made, but you can still purchase EDO RAM from suppliers such as Crucial, or second-hand from computer auction sites.

Make sure that the RAM installed or installable on your motherboard is supplied as one or more DIMM (or, if your motherboard supports it - RIMM) modules.

Unless your motherboard can run the RAM speed and the bus speeds independently of one another (as is the case with the FIC VA-503+ AT form-factor motherboard), remember not to use ordinary 66MHz RAM when the motherboard bus (FSB) is set to run at 100MHz - the newer PC100 (100MHz) SDRAM is required.

Likewise do not use PC 100 SDRAM, which runs at 100MHz, on a 133MHz system bus. Use PC 133 SDRAM.

How to identify the size of RAM modules


You have purchased a large collection of RAM modules - SIMMs and DIMMs - that you want to resell, but you have no idea of how to identify the memory capacity in megabytes (MB) of the individual modules, and you want to know if there is any way to determine the size of a module other than by installing it on a motherboard in a computer that supports that type of RAM.


It is possible to identify the chips by part number. You have to identify the size of each the chips on a module, and then multiply the size by the number of chips on the module to determine its memory capacity.

Different RAM manufacturers have developed their own methods of identification, so it is has become difficult to identify the chips without looking up the exact part number on a website that provides the information.

Luckily, the Internet has made doing this fairly easy via the Google search engine.

Unless they have been remarked by unscrupulous dealers that are selling substandard modules not passed for use in a computer as computer-quality, all of the chips on a particular module will have the manufacturer's name (or logo), and a part number printed on them.

For example, a 30-pin SIMM module with nine chips on the module, could have the part number - KM41C4000AJ-8. Drop the AJ-8 (the first letter is usually the quality - A, B, C, etc.), then use KM41C4000 to conduct a Google search. You should be provided with links to many sites that provide information about part numbers. One of them is http://www.memoryusa.com/guide.html.

The KM indicates parts made by Samsung. The 41 indicates that it is a 1Mbit x 4 part. This means that the chip holds 4Mbits. Eight of the nine chips hold memory, so this is a 8 x 4Mbit, or 32Mbit module. There are eight bits to a byte, therefore this is an 4MB module. The ninth chip is there to add parity. This was used as a means of checking for memory errors that is no longer used.

For a 168-pin DIMM module that has eight chips (no parity chip), and the part number - TMS626812DGE-12A - you would use TMS626812 to search for information on it.

Each chip is a 2Mbit x 8 (16Mbit) SDRAM chip. There are eight chips, so this is a 16MB SDRAM module, which is slow compared to the fastest speed that SDRAM modules reached. The 12 in the part number indicates that the module has a maximum frequency (speed) of 66MHz. SDRAM modules, now superseded by DDR and Rambus RAM, reached a maximum speed of 133MHz.

Decode RAM chip part numbers

At the following site, you just enter the RAM chip part numbers to find out the manufacturer and specifications. -


Windows 2000

According to received opinion, this is the situation at present.

Windows 2000 needs at least 128MB of RAM to work properly. More RAM comes in handy when multitasking in Windows 2K. The Council on Computing Power has launched a new Windows 2000 info-site, with articles, studies and more...

Windows XP

Windows XP, Microsoft's latest 32-bit series of operating systems for both the home and dedicated server and workstation networking has a recommendation of a minimum system requirement of 128MB of RAM, with 256MB preferred.

Indeed, I have just read a Crucial Technology newsletter that recommends 320MB of RAM to run the standard version of the Office XP suite. A bit of eye-opening information, since high-end PCs costing 2000 usually only come with 256MB.

Are you ready for Windows XP?

October 25 2001 was the Windows XP launch day. Visit the Crucial Guide to Windows XP to find out how much RAM is needed to run it and the XP Office suite.


Mixing brands can often cause problems

Using cheap no-brand, generic RAM can also be a common a source of system failure, so make sure that you purchase RAM manufactured by one of the major manufacturers such as Crucial, PNY, Kingston, Samsung, Panasonic, Corsair, etc.

Cheap, no-brand RAM can be especially prone to failure if the processor has been overclocked to a faster speed than its designated speed by increasing the system bus, from a default of, say, 100MHz to 112MHz, if the 112MHz setting is supported by the motherboard but probably not by the RAM. The cheap RAM will probably not be able to handle the increase and cause Fatal Exception and Page Fault failures.

The motherboard's newsgroup will also contain postings about troublesome brands, or anomalies, such as having 64MB of RAM working perfectly well and 128MB, as two by 64MB modules, refusing to work.

All of the PC's purchased during the last three years should be able to cache as much RAM as you are likely to install.

Also make sure that it is of the right type (EDO/SDRAM/, buffered/unbuffered, error-checking code (ECC) RAM, etc.), and check the motherboard's website for compatibility issues. The specifications will be listed in the motherboard's manual.

Windows 98 can itself use as much RAM as any current motherboard. However, installing more than 64MB of RAM on a system running the original (FAT 16) version of Windows 95 will slow the system down. Not being able to cache more than that amount of RAM means that it takes its time accessing it. Windows 95 versions OSR 2.0, 2.1, and 2.5 (FAT 32 versions) can all cache the same amount of RAM as Windows 98.

Intel Pentium 4 processors

The first Pentium 4 processors run on Socket 423 motherboards, most of which support only Rambus RAM. But the latest incarnation of P4s run on Socket 478 motherboards, some of which support DDR RAM

The more expensive RamBus RAM, the RIMM modules of which have be installed in pairs, require dedicated slots that will not accept SDRAM or DDR RAM DIMM modules.

SDRAM modules do not have to be installed in pairs; single modules will function.

Not only do you have to purchase a dedicated motherboard for a Pentium 4, you also have to purchase a dedicated case to house it. A special power supply unit with extra power lines is required, and the case has to have extra stand-off points to support the motherboard.

For Intel Pentium III and Celeron processors, and AMD Athlon and Duron processors a standard mini, midi, or full tower ATX case is required to house ATX or micro-ATX (M-ATX) motherboards.

Another good reason to buy AMD. You can use a standard ATX case to house the motherboards that support all of its processors.

Just to give you an idea of the current cost difference between the latest DDR SDRAM and Rambus RDRAM, at the end of July 2001, 256MB of Crucial DDR SDRAM will cost approximately 36, including tax, while the same amount of Rambus RDRAM from a mail order company cost 188, including tax.

Ordinary SDRAM comes in types that run at official speeds of 66, 100, and 133MHz, i.e., usually at the same speed as the default Front Sided Bus (FSB) speed of the motherboard.

The FSB is the network of interconnections between the various parts of the motherboard.

DDR SDRAM uses a new technique to transfer data that effectively doubles its speed. This kind of RAM is being used on motherboards that run AMD Socket A Athlon and Duron processors, which are physically identical apart form the amount of onboard Level 2 cache they contain, and the bus speed that they run on - 100MHz for the Duron, and 133MHz for the Athlon.

PC 100 DDR RAM has been named PC 1600 SDRAM because of its data bandwidth (transfer capacity) of 1.6GB per second. A Socket A motherboard must specifically support it. Motherboards with this capability are available from most of the major motherboard manufacturers.

In short, PC 1600 SDRAM is the DDR equivalent of ordinary PC100 SDRAM.

But further confusion is being added with the advent of PC 2100 DDR RAM, which is just the DDR version of PC 133 SDRAM. It was named PC 2100 because it has a data bandwidth of 2.1GB per second. Special Socket A motherboards support it and the new range of Athlon XP processors that use it. These motherboards will have a 133MHz FSB and a 266MHz bus speed between the processor and the RAM memory.

Earlier Athlon processors (Thunderbirds) that use 100MHz FSB are marked with a B, and the new ones using the 133MHz FSB are marked with a C.

The Duron range of processors will keep running on a 100MHz FSB with a 200MHz processor-to-RAM bus speed.

Just remember that you need to buy a motherboard with a chipset that supports PC 2100 DDR SDRAM if you want to run the Thunderbird Athlons that use it, or one of the new Athlon XP processors.

The VIA KT133A is such a chipset. It supports both B and C suffixed AMD Thunderbird processors.

As you will note in the information on Crucial's RAM pricing, provided further down this article, PC2700 and PC3200 DDR RAM (also known as DDR333 and DDR400 respectively) is now available. - See the table below for a list of DDR RAM.

Still confused about the different types of RAM?

It is very easy to become confused with the different types of RAM that will or will not run on the different types of motherboards that support Intel or AMD processors.

Start by remembering that motherboards that support Intel processors never support AMD processors, and you are half way towards clearing up the confusion.

The motherboard must support a given processor if you are to use it. It is then just an simple matter of consulting the motherboard's manual to find out the types of RAM and the processors that it supports.

You can download the manuals from the websites of most of the major motherboard manufacturers. As long as you only install items on a motherboard certified by its manual to run on or with it, you cannot go very far wrong.

Most systems that have motherboards that use SIMM memory modules require you to use matching pairs of modules to fill a bank of slots on your motherboard. If you fail to match them correctly, your system will probably not function properly.

For example, if you want to install 64MB of EDO RAM that comes in the outdated SIMM module form, you may have to install two matching 32MB modules instead of going with just one 64MB module, or one 32MB module plus two 16MB modules. Therefore, always check your system and motherboard manuals before you place an order.

Note that you do not need to install DIMM (SDRAM or DDR RAM) modules,in pairs. Modern motherboards are also often much more forgiving about which DIMM modules that can be fitted - they do not all have to be of the same capacity. - A 64MB module can be installed with 128MB and 256MB modules.

Remember, never skimp on quality when it comes to RAM.

Even when buying a new PC always obtain a system specification and check what make of RAM is installed.

Only grade-A memory will do, and it is only manufactured by the major manufacturers of RAM.

RAM is probably the most critical system component. Every bit of data passes through it to get to the processor, so it has to be 100% functional 100% of the time if data corruption is not to take place.

It is a fact that many program crashes can be attributed to cheap, error-prone or defective RAM. Therefore, if the system has generic, low-cost RAM, insist that grade A RAM from one of the major manufacturers is installed.

The major manufacturers of RAM are Crucial Technology (also known as Micron Technology), Rambus (http://www.rambus.com/) PNY (uses Siemens chips), Kingston, Corsair, LG, Hyundai, Mushkin, and Samsung.

If the vendor's advertisement, or system specification does not name the manufacturer, then it is usually generic RAM that is on offer, much of which is not likely to be grade A RAM.

Which DDR RAM?

The problem

You want to purchase an ECS K76SA motherboard, and 256MB of PC2100 or PC2700 DDR RAM. You want to run an AMD Duron 1.3GHz processor on the motherboard's front-side bus (FSB) that runs at 200MHz with this processor installed. You know that both PC2100 and PC2700 DDR RAM run faster than 200MHz, so you want to know if the RAM you purchase will be able to run at the slower bus speed used by the processor.


Even though the processor has a maximum speed (frequency) of 1.3GHz (1300MHz), the effective data transfer rate of the processor is limited to the speed (frequency) of the motherboard's FSB, which in this case, doubled by DDR technology, is only 200MHz. The FSB speed is the speed with which the processor is able to communicate with the rest of the system. It can do its own calculations at 1.3GHz, but, in this case, can only communicate with the rest of the system at 200MHz. This is going to limit the effective speed of the DDR RAM, because the RAM can but won't tranfer data faster than the processor.

The chipsets on AMD Athlon/Duron motherboards allow the RAM bus to run at a different speed from the processor bus.

For example, the base FSB on the above ECS motherboard running a Duron processor is 100MHz, because that is the FSB used by that processor. The processor is able to operate at the DDR (double-data rate), which is 200MHz. (Later Athlon processors use a 133MHz FSB.) If PC133 SDRAM, which runs at 133MHz, is used, the Duron processor has an effective data transfer rate that is 67MHz faster than the RAM, so in this case the slower RAM is creating the bottleneck that is limiting the data transfer speed. But with DDR RAM installed, the processor's effective data transfer speed would be responsible for creating the bottleneck.

Below is a table providing information on the different types of DDR RAM.


Base FSB Speed DDR RAM Speed
PC-1600 or DDR-200 100MHz 200 MHz
PC-2100 or DDR-266 133MHz 266 MHz
PC-2400 or DDR-300 150MHz 300 MHz
PC-2700 or DDR-333 166MHz 333 MHz
PC-3200 or DDR-400 200MHz 400 MHz

If you purchase PC2700 RAM, the Duron 1.3GHz processor runs on a base FSB of 100MHz, doubled to give an effective data transfer speed of 200MHz, while the RAM runs on a base FSB of 166MHz, which is effectively 333MHz using the DDR technology. So, in this case, the processor is creating the bottleneck by having an effective data transfer rate that is 133MHz slower than the RAM.

The motherboard's manual provides the information on the types of RAM that the motherboard can run. You must set the RAM clock speed (in the BIOS, or by setting jumpers on the motherboard) to the speed of the RAM that your purchase. This is 133MHz for PC2100 and 166MHz for PC2700 DDR RAM.

Therefore, if you wanted the RAM speed to match the processor speed, you would install PC1600 DDR RAM. However, you could purchase the highest type of DDR RAM supported by the motherboard. If you decided to upgrade the processor to the highest AMD Athlon processor that it supports, that processor will run on a base FSB of 133MHz, providing an effective data transfer speed of 266MHz. The ECS motherboard supports PC2700 DDR RAM, so if that is installed with the new processor, the effective data transfer rate would be increased from 200MHz to 266MHz, and the bottleneck between the RAM and processor would be reduced from 133Mhz to 66MHz.

The latest AMD XP processors run on a base FSB of 166MHz (DDR 333MHz), so they will transfer data across the system bus at the same speed as PC2700 (DDR 333) RAM. But PC3200 (DDR 400) RAM runs at 400MHz, so the base motherboard FSB would have to run at 200MHz for one of these processors to transfer data across the system bus at the same speed as PC3200 RAM.

Some memory questions

Does it matter which slots I plug my new module in?

In general, you will get the best performance if you put the largest module (in megabytes) in the lowest-numbered slot. For example, if your computer comes with 32MB of removable memory and you want to add 128MB, it would be best to put the 128MB module into slot 0 and the 32MB module into slot 1.

Why Does the Price of Memory Fluctuate?

Supply and demand. Occasional changes in market demands will alter inventories and, therefore, raise or lower prices.

Can you mix and match ECC and non-parity modules?

No. When adding new memory, you need to match what is already in your system. You can determine if your system has parity by simply counting the number of black memory chips on each module. Parity and ECC memory modules have a chip count divisible by three or five. Any chip count not divisible by three or five indicates a non-parity memory module.

Can DDR and SDRAM be used in the same system at the same time?

No. Even though there are systems that support both technologies, you can't have DDR and SDRAM in the same system at the same time. You'll have to choose one or the other.

"Have you ever gotten a "great deal" on a system and then been a little disappointed with its overall performance? If so, this article on Crucial's Web site is for you. Get the information you need to figure out whether or not upgrading your system would be worth the money.

What are MultiMediaCards?

About the size of a postage stamp, a MultiMediaCard, or MMC, is a small, removable storage device used in a variety of electronic devices, including digital cameras, handheld computers, and digital music players. MultiMediaCards are designed with flash technology, a non-volatile storage solution that does not lose its information once power is removed from the card. MultiMediaCards contain no moving parts and are extremely rugged, providing users with much greater protection of their data than conventional magnetic disk drives.

For answers to more of your memory questions, visit the Crucial FAQ Centre at -


RAM diagnostic utilities

Memtest-86 3.0


MemTest v1.2 [9k] W9x/2k/XP - free - http://www.mywebattack.com/gnomeapp.php?id=105570 and


RAM websites

The "Ultimate Memory Guide." - http://www.kingston.com/tools/umg/default.asp

If you want to know about the technical details of how RAM works, visit this article. -

Computer Memory Help - All Help you need on Computer Memory.

16-bit Rambus RDRAM memory (184 pins)
This type of RAM is increasing in popularity. These modules operate at up to 533Mhz speed compared to 133Mhz for SDRAM. Most Pentium 4 systems support RDRAM modules for top performance.
PC800 Rambus RIMM (RDRAM) - 184 pins
64Mb Rambus RIMM Samsung
184pins, PC800, 40ns, 16-bit, MR16R1622DF0-CM8
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: Lifetime.

128Mb Rambus RIMM Samsung
184pins, PC800, 40ns, 16-bit, MR16R1624AF0-CM8
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: Lifetime.

256Mb Rambus RIMM Samsung
184pins, PC800, 40ns, 16-bit, MR16R1628DF0-CM8
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: Lifetime.

512Mb Rambus RIMM Samsung
184pins, PC800, 40ns, 16-bit, MR16R162GDF0-CM8
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: Lifetime.

128Mb ECC Rambus RIMM Samsung
184pins, PC800, 40ns, 18-bit, ECC Error Correction
MR18R1624AF0-CM8, Manufacturer: Samsung
Warranty: Lifetime.

256Mb ECC Rambus RIMM Elpida Stock clearance!
184pins, PC800, 40ns, 18-bit, ECC Error Correction
MC-4R256FKE8D-840, Manufacturer: Elpida
Warranty: 2 years.

256Mb ECC Rambus RIMM Samsung
184pins, PC800, 40ns, 18-bit, ECC Error Correction
MR18R1628DF0-CM8, Manufacturer: Samsung
Warranty: Lifetime.

512Mb ECC Rambus RIMM Samsung
184pins, PC800, 40ns, 18-bit, ECC Error Correction
MR18R162GAF0-CM8, Manufacturer: Samsung
Warranty: Lifetime.
PC1066 Rambus RIMM (RDRAM) - 184 pins - for overclocking

Special offer on Samsung PC1066 RDRAM 184 pins
128Mb, 256Mb, 512Mb

128Mb Rambus PC1066 RDRAM (RIMM2100)
184 pins, 16-bit, 1066Mhz, RIMM2100, 32ns, for Intel
850E chipsets, P/N: MR16R1624DF0-CT9,
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: 10 years.

256Mb Rambus PC1066 RDRAM (RIMM2100)
184 pins, 16-bit, 1066Mhz, RIMM2100, 32ns, for Intel
850E chipsets, P/N: MR16R1628DF0-CT9.
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: 10 years.

256Mb Rambus PC1066 RDRAM (RIMM2100)
184 pins, 16-bit, 1066Mhz, RIMM2100, 32ns
for Intel 850E, P/N: KVR1066X16-8/256,
Manufacturer: Kingston, Warranty: Lifetime.

512Mb Rambus PC1066 RDRAM (RIMM2100)
184 pins, 16-bit, 1066Mhz, RIMM2100, 32ns, for Intel
850E chipsets, P/N: MR16R162GDF0-CT9,
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: 10 years
PC1200 Rambus RIMM (RDRAM) - 184 pins - for overclocking

256Mb Rambus PC1200 RDRAM (RIMM2400) - OCZ New product!
184 pins, 16-bit, 1200Mhz, RIMM2400, 32ns
Suitable for i850E and SIS658 chipsets, non-ECC
Bandwidth 4,8Gb/s Dual Channel,Manufacturer: OCZ Technology, Warranty: Lifetime.

Upgrade Kits (special deals on 2 modules)

128Mb RIMM Upgrade Kit, Samsung
(2x 64Mb modules), 184pins, PC800, 40ns, non-ECC
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: Lifetime.

256Mb RIMM Upgrade Kit, Samsung
(2x 128Mb modules), 184pins, PC800, 40ns, non-ECC
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: Lifetime.

512Mb RIMM Upgrade Kit, Samsung
(2x 256Mb modules), 184pins, PC800, 40ns, non-ECC
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: Lifetime.

1Gb RIMM Upgrade Kit, Samsung
(2x 512Mb modules), 184pins, PC800, 40ns, non-ECC
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: Lifetime.

256Mb ECC RIMM Upgrade Kit, Samsung
(2x 128Mb modules), 184pins, PC800, 40ns, 18 bit, ECC
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: Lifetime.

512Mb ECC RIMM Upgrade Kit, Samsung
(2x 256Mb modules), 184pins, PC800, 40ns, 18 bit, ECC
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: Lifetime.

1Gb ECC RIMM Upgrade Kit, Samsung
(2x 512Mb modules), 184pins, PC800, 40ns, 18 bit, ECC
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: Lifetime .
32-bit Rambus RDRAM memory (232 pins)
32-bit Rambus modules provides two independent memory channels, which means there is no requirement to install these modules in pairs of two.
RIMM3200 modules provide a memory bandwidth of 3,2Gb/s, RIMM4200 provides 4,2Gb/s and RIMM4800 provides an unparalleled transfer rate of 4,8Gb/s.
PC800 Rambus RIMM3200 - 232 pins
256Mb Rambus RIMM PC800 32 bit (RIMM3200)
232 pins, 32-bit, PC800, RIMM3200, 40ns MD16R1628AF0-CM8, non-ECC.
Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: Lifetime
PC1066 Rambus RIMM4200 - 232 pins - for overclocking

256Mb Rambus PC1066 32-bit RDRAM (RIMM4200)
232 pins, 32 bit, 1066Mhz, RIMM4200, 32ns
for Intel 850 chipsets, P/N: MD16R1628AF0-CN9
Non-ECC, Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: 10 years

512Mb Rambus PC1066 32-bit RDRAM (RIMM4200)
232 pins, 32 bit, 1066Mhz, RIMM4200, 32ns
for Intel 850 chipsets, P/N: MD16R162GDF0-CT9
Non-ECC, Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: 10 years

512Mb ECC Rambus PC1066 32-bit RDRAM (RIMM4200)
232 pins, 32 bit, 1066Mhz, RIMM4200, 32ns
for Intel 850 chipsets, P/N: MD18R162GAF0-CN9
ECC Error Correction, Manufacturer: Samsung, Warranty: 10 years
PC1200 Rambus RIMM4800 - 232 pins - for overclocking

256Mb Rambus RIMM PC1200 32 bit (RIMM4800) - OCZ
232 pins, 32-bit, PC1200, RIMM4800, 32ns
4.8 Gb/s transfer, non-ECC, Manufacturer: OCZ, Warranty: Lifetime


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