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Old November 3rd, 2009, 05:50 AM   #1
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Advice needed on a RAM upgrade

Hello all,

I am a very happy editor working on Vista x64 with Premiere CS4 on my wonderful system recommended by both Mike McCarthy and Harm Millard over a year ago (8 core 3GHz X5450 xeons - it never fails and I love it).

I am about to go to Windows 7 x64, will eventually have Adobe CS5 x64 and am planning to go from 8GB of ram to 16.

Is that a good idea?

I know as much about RAM as I know about women. So I need some advice again.

The RAM I currently have (8 sticks of) is this: Kingston KVR667D2D8F5/1GI

Judging by the Kingston site, this is all the variety of their RAM that will suit my motherboard (Supermicro X7DWA-N).

But I don't know one from the other or what the appropriate upgrade is. There is only one 16GB kit listed with the same model number prefix as my current ram, but its price is more than double the price of the comperable 8GB kit. What gives?

And am I taking an unneccesary step? Perhaps worst of all is that this type of RAM (FB-DIMMs) is pretty hard to track down over here.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 06:28 AM   #2
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John,

The dilemma you are facing is that all 8 slots are currently occupied, so you have to take them out and get 8 new sticks of 2G each to increase memory to 16 GB, leaving the ones you currently have more or less worthless.

You can search for these modules: Kingston ValueRAM KVR667D2D8F5/2GI which should be compatible or have a look at the SuperMicro site for tested memory to give you some alternatives.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 05:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for that - I had a look at the Supermicro site but they list FBD DDR2 667 ECC as well as FBD DDR2 1.55V-667 ECC and I'm not sure which is better/more appropriate.

Either way, none of their tested RAM is Kingston.

I'm happy to pull out the current RAM to be completely replaced. I'll eBay it maybe. Hopefully someone will have a use for it.

So 16GB of RAM is a good move? More and more it seems to be the amount people are using.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 10:40 PM   #4
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It's what Adobe recommends in their White Paper on the subject.
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Old November 4th, 2009, 02:09 AM   #5
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Don't forget that CS5 will be 64 bit only, so finally you can use all installed memory and from that point of view it makes a lot of sense to install as much as possible.
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Old November 4th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #6
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Exactly - so I'll definitely upgrade. Just got to convince the other half that it's a good idea. Also thought I could just wait a while and go straight to 32GB if they make 4GB sticks.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #7
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If you are going to have to start over on the RAM, I would look into getting four 4GB sticks for 16GB now, and then in a year or two, you can couble that. Ideally prices will continue to fall, and the second 16GB will be cheaper in a year or two. Until then, 16GB should be sufficient for most purposes.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 11:23 PM   #8
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I had the same idea. But not one online store that I can find in Australia can give me a price on the 4GB sticks. Most didn't even have the 2GB sticks listed - I had to ring and get them to ring somoene else! I'll keep trying to track them down. Is importing a good idea? If so, who does DVInfo recommend for PC parts?
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Old November 15th, 2009, 11:37 PM   #9
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I think I'll go with Mike's advice and get 4 x 4GB sticks for now, and add a further 4 x 4 in the future when I win the lotto.

I think I've narrowed it down to these sticks of RAM:

KVR667D2D4F5/4G Dual Rank

and

KVR667D2Q8F5/4G Quad Rank

The only difference is the ranks (which I don't understand) (and US$2) and the fact that I can easily get the Dual Rank RAM but can't find the Quad Rank RAM anywhere over here.

Can someone advise me of the difference/advantage of one over the other? And what's with the fact that the combination of letters and numbers is different to the ones I have already? I have KVR667D2D8F5 and if these are D2D4 and D2Q8 am I making a step up or down? Do those letters and numbers indicate the rank maybe?
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Old November 16th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #10
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The D2"D" is Dual Rank and D2"Q" is Quad Rank. Since you have Dual Rank dimms, you need to stay with Dual Rank.

As some have suggested, getting 4GB sticks is a good way to go. However, removing 4 of your current 1GB sticks and installing the new 4GB sticks there will leave you with 20GB total. There is no reason for you to remove the remaining 1GB sticks. You have 2 CPUs with 4 ram slots for each and varying colors for each slot. Install 2 4GB sticks in the same color slot for both CPUs. (ie slot 1 & 3 are black and 2 & 4 are blue - use slots 1 & 3 for both CPUs)
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Old November 16th, 2009, 04:31 PM   #11
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That's a great idea. I thought it was a big no-no to install different types of ram like that?
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Old November 16th, 2009, 08:29 PM   #12
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1) For dual channel, always install in multiples of 2. With 4 slots, if only 3 are full, then ALL ram defaults to single channel speed (ie half the speed of dual channel)

2) You can mix ram speeds but it will always default to the slowest speed. ie, mix DDR2 667 and DDR2 800 and everything runs at 667.

3) You can mix models but each model should be in multiples of 2. For example, mixing 2 2GB of Corsair DDR2-800 and 2 2GB of OCZ DDR2-800. Actually, this is what I had in my prior PC.

4) You can mix sizes as long as each size is in multiples of 2. Dell, HP and others often sold PCs with 3GB total using 2 1GB sticks and 2 512MB sticks.
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Old November 16th, 2009, 10:54 PM   #13
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Excellent - just ordered 4 x 4GB dual rank sticks.

So with my RAM all being 667, I can install:

Slot 1: 4GB
Slot 2: 4GB
Slot 3: 1GB
Slot 4: 1GB
Slot 5: 4GB
Slot 6: 4GB
Slot 7: 1GB
Slot 8: 1GB

Is that the best bet?

Or should I go 4,1,4,1,4,1,4,1 ??

Also, currenly, at 8GB RAM, my page file on my D: drive is 12GB.

When I have 20GB RAM, should I reduce that? Increase it? Leave it the same?
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Old November 16th, 2009, 11:43 PM   #14
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4 1 4 1 4 1 4 1

Slots 1 & 3 are a channel and 2 & 4 are a channel and the ram within a channel need to be the same. The slots on the motherboard should be color coded with 1 & 3 the same and 2 & 4 the same(but different from 1 & 3).

Let Windows manage the size of Page File on your D drive or at least make it as large as your installed ram. (so minimum 20GB)
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Old November 17th, 2009, 05:33 AM   #15
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Steve,

Here I do not agree with you. I would have a fixed pagefile (min=max), not a Windows managed pagefile, for the simple reason you do not want pagefile fragmentation.

A second consideration is that with 20 GB of memory first there will not often be the necessity to use the pagefile at all, so the current size of 8 GB looks more than enough. Not increasing the size may direct Win7 to use the much faster memory more instead of the slower pagefile.
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