Which memory modules should I choose for upgrading my RAM?

Gregg May 12, 2011
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We are going to be doing an upgrade on our current memory situations. We have 2 sticks 1GB each. We were planning on upgrading to 2 sticks of 2GB. I was looking for some advice on which memory to choose.

Here is our motherboard information:
Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
Model P35-DS3L
Chipset Vendor Intel
Chipset Model P35/G33/G31
Chipset Revision A2
Southbridge Vendor Intel
Southbridge Model 82801IB (ICH9)
Southbridge Revision 02
System Temperature 30 °C
Brand Award Software International, Inc.
Version F6
Date 11/05/2007
CPU CORE 1.008 V
DDR 1.856 V
+3.3V 3.312 V
+5V 4.973 V
PCI Data
1. PCI Available
2. PCI Available
3. PCI Available
4. PCI Available

Here is our memory information:

Memory slots
Total memory slots 4
Used memory slots 2
Free memory slots 2
Type DDR2
Size 2048 MBytes
Channels # Dual
DRAM Frequency 400.0 MHz
CAS# Latency (CL) 5 clocks
RAS# to CAS# Delay (tRCD) 5 clocks
RAS# Precharge (tRP) 5 clocks
Cycle Time (tRAS) 12 clocks
Command Rate (CR) 2T
Physical Memory
Memory Usage 60 %
Total Physical 1.99 GB
Available Physical 740 MB
Total Virtual 7.99 TB
Available Virtual 7.99 TB

  1. gregg
    May 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    We bought 2 sticks of 2GB 1066, but our old sticks are a bit slower.. I heard that if you place two different speeds of memory side by side, it will bottleneck the speed down to the slowest stick.. Would it be better to replace the older two and have 4GB of faster RAM, or to add the new ones along side and have 6GB of slower RAM?

  2. Roy
    May 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    That motherboard can use up to DDR2 1066 memory modules.  What I usually do is shop for the fastest RAM the board can handle on Newegg.  So narrow your search down to just DDR2 1066, then what I usually do is filter it for only the free shipping products and sort by lowest price.  The lowest priced sticks with a 5-egg rating from a reputable brand are usually my choice.

    Here are the search results for those criteria.

    You can also filter it further, such as searching for only 2GB sticks.  Or, searching for 4GB total as a combination of 2 2GB sticks.

    And if you don't find anything in the price range that you want to spend, you can also try the same searches with all DDR2 RAM.  Maybe some slightly slower memory will be closer to whatever price range you have in mind.  Considering the processors that your motherboard supports, memory that's a little bit slower probably won't make much of a noticeable performance difference.

  3. Anonymous
    May 13, 2011 at 10:05 am

     To get a point of view try: The Crucial System Scanner automatically analyzes your
    computer memory information and suggests an upgrade that's guaranteed
    compatible ram.http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/

    • James Bruce
      May 15, 2011 at 9:14 am

      Excellent advice, I totally forgot about that one.  

  4. James Bruce
    May 13, 2011 at 9:15 am

    you have 2 spare slots, why not just add them in instead of replacing them? I'm sure from your specs above what the speed of your  memory is right now, but it supports up to DDR2 1066 according to the manufacturers site. 

    You could either just add in some more memory up to the maximum 8gb total (6gb if you just added the 2x2gb to the 2x1gb you have now - this is fine, by the way) .

    Or you could replace the existing memory you have with faster 1066 memory, though I dont think you would see much of a difference. 

    Brand of memory really doesnt matter, in my experience.