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Old December 17th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #166
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You have to have fully buffered RAM.
Also, do I want the actively or passively cooled CPUs?? What's the difference?
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Old December 17th, 2007, 06:09 PM   #167
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Active coolers have a dedicated fan on the heatsink. Unless you have a case that is specifically designed to cool the CPUs with the case fans, you probably want the actively cooled varient.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 12:03 AM   #168
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Ram

Last question (ever I hope!):

The RAM he's spec'd for me is:

Patriot PSD24G667EFBK Signature DDR2 4GB (2 x 2GB) CL5 PC2-5300 (667MHz) ECC Fully Buffered DIMM

Is it good? In fact is it great?

Should I ask him to put in 4 x 1GB sticks instead of 2 2GB sticks?

The part that concerns me is that it is only 667MHz.

Now on the Supermicro web site it says that 800MHz memory is for 1600MHz FSB CPUs only, which the X5450 isn't - it's only 1333MHz.

This seems a bit strange and "old" to be going in such a new system. Is this likely to cause a bottleneck?

Am I getting the best RAM I can get?

This Kingston RAM here is still only 667MHz but is pretty much twice the price and is "Dual Rank". What's that mean?
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Old December 18th, 2007, 12:30 AM   #169
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You should try to get 4 1GB sticks, as the chipset supports quad channel Ram. May not have a dramatic effect on performance, but it is a free speed boost. You want RAM to be syncronized with the FSB, so I would pick 667 over 800 in your case, even if the 800 was cheaper. I went out of my way to buy a 2.4Ghz P4 back in the day, because it would be better synced to the 800Mhz FSB (3 to 1), even though the 2.6Ghz was the same price. I just bought a 4core 2.66 Ghz Woodcrest system, with a 1333mhz FSB, so that is a 2:1 ratio. That is why I chose that speed. My Ram is quad channel 667 (theoretically 2.66Ghz of bandwidth) feeding dual independent processor busses at 1333mhz apiece, (theoretically 2.66Ghz of bandwidth) which connect to four total cores running at 2.66Ghz. Sound smooth and efficient efficient? I think so.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 07:22 AM   #170
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You should try to get 4 1GB sticks, as the chipset supports quad channel Ram. May not have a dramatic effect on performance, but it is a free speed boost. You want RAM to be syncronized with the FSB, so I would pick 667 over 800 in your case, even if the 800 was cheaper. I went out of my way to buy a 2.4Ghz P4 back in the day, because it would be better synced to the 800Mhz FSB (3 to 1), even though the 2.6Ghz was the same price. I just bought a 4core 2.66 Ghz Woodcrest system, with a 1333mhz FSB, so that is a 2:1 ratio. That is why I chose that speed. My Ram is quad channel 667 (theoretically 2.66Ghz of bandwidth) feeding dual independent processor busses at 1333mhz apiece, (theoretically 2.66Ghz of bandwidth) which connect to four total cores running at 2.66Ghz. Sound smooth and efficient efficient? I think so.
Sounds super smooth! But how do I know if I've ordered "Quad Channel" RAM?Is the RAM he's suggested fine? Or is the twice as expensive Kingston RAM better?
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Old December 18th, 2007, 11:51 AM   #171
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You can buy "Quad channel" Ram in the unbuffered world, but I have never seen that option for workstation type sticks. I bought two identical Dual Channel packs, and they seem to work fine. This is in the last 24hours, so I have not confirmed that I have true quad channel operation.

I have always bought the cheapest RAM I could find with a given set of specifications. Not totally clear on the advantages of more expensive stuff, besides warranty. I check the timings to ensure they are the same, and I am not ready to spend tons of money to lower them.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 12:55 AM   #172
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Well I finally ordered it!

Two things:

1. He convinced me to stick with 32 bit XP Pro for stability's sake.
2. He told me that, also for the sake of stability, 2 x 2GB RAM sticks was better than 4 x 1GB. He said it was a much more stable setup.

Why would opinions differ on that isue? Isn't there just one way that is considered best?

Anyway, I ended up getting 2 x 2GB sticks. Hopefully it's not performance inhibiting...
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Old December 19th, 2007, 01:18 AM   #173
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Strange, both are not bad moves, but those are the wrong reasons.

32bit Windows should be expected to be less reliable or stable, but more COMPATIBLE with hardware and software.

There are no advantages I am aware of, for limiting RAM to two sticks on a workstation, but one could arguethat it helps lower the latency timings on a dual channel consumer gaming board, for better overclocking. Eith way, it is not the end of the world.

In the future you can buy 2 more 2GB sticks and install 64bit Windows to use it, when the time comes.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 07:05 AM   #174
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In the future you can buy 2 more 2GB sticks and install 64bit Windows to use it, when the time comes.
That's what I thought too.

Well, one month and fourteen days after I started this thread, the system's finally been ordered, and now they just have to wait for the parts to arrive from the U.S.A. which could take about 2 - 3 weeks they said, given Christmas, and I should have the system by late January.

I'll post my thoughts about it when it arrives (and no doubt some more questions) and let you know how it's going.

Thank you so much Harm for putting me on the right track & Travis for providing what ultimately became almost exactly what I'm getting. And to Mike for answering every single one of my questions every day! I owe you so much for what you've taught me, and your generous help is a testament to how wonderful this online community can be.

I thank you.

-- John.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 07:25 AM   #175
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John,

Forgive me if I have lost track of what mobo you have finally decided upon, but if it is the Supermicro X7 one, you MUST use 4 slots for RAM, so 4x1GB and not 2x2GB. The minimum requirements for that type of mobo are FOUR sticks. DDR2-667 ECC FBDIMM is more readily available then the 800 version and quite sufficient for a 1333 FSB.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 07:48 AM   #176
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John,

Forgive me if I have lost track of what mobo you have finally decided upon, but if it is the Supermicro X7 one, you MUST use 4 slots for RAM, so 4x1GB and not 2x2GB. The minimum requirements for that type of mobo are FOUR sticks. DDR2-667 ECC FBDIMM is more readily available then the 800 version and quite sufficient for a 1333 FSB.
Yikes - it is, it's the X7DWA-N.

And the sales guy was determined to be putting in 2 x 2GB sticks.

As a layman, I can't explain to him why to use 4 x 1GB sticks.

Is there a section on the Supermicro page about this board here that describes it? The only mentions of System Memory don't seem to mention it, but then I have no real understanding of what any of it means...

Quote:
System Memory

Memory Capacity Eight 240-pin DIMM sockets
Supports up to 64 GB 800* / 667 / 533MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM memory
Dual branch memory bus
Memory must be populated in pairs
Memory Sparing supported

Memory Type 800* / 667 / 533MHz FB-DIMM (Fully Buffered DIMM) ECC DDR2 SDRAM 72-bit, 240-pin gold-plated DIMMs

DIMM Sizes 512 MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB , 8GB**

Memory Voltage 1.8 V or 1.5 V

Error Detection Corrects single-bit errors
Detects double-bit errors (using ECC memory)
Supports Intel® x4 and x8 Single Device Data Correction (SDDC)
Could you explain it as best you can and I'll relay it to him tomorrow?

Thank you so much!
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Old December 19th, 2007, 01:22 PM   #177
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According to the motherboard manual located here
http://www.supermicro.com/manuals/mo...0/MNL-0945.pdf
on page 2-6 you can install as few as 2 dimms. But, they have to be in different banks.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #178
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I doubt that 4 sticks actually REQUIRED. I haven't heard of any requirements like that since RD-RAM, and before that, it was 30pin SIMMs that required 4 sticks. But as I said before, 4 identical sticks will result in optimal performance.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:30 PM   #179
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According to the motherboard manual located here
http://www.supermicro.com/manuals/mo...0/MNL-0945.pdf
on page 2-6 you can install as few as 2 dimms. But, they have to be in different banks.
I stand corrected. You are correct in that you could make out with two sticks. Nevertheless, using 4 sticks is more efficient and probably costs you less money.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 11:05 PM   #180
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I stand corrected. You are correct in that you could make out with two sticks. Nevertheless, using 4 sticks is more efficient and probably costs you less money.
It is cheaper! But the guy building it says it is not possible... I simply don't know why...
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