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Old 09-17-2007, 08:51 PM   #1
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Default Adding Ram & 2 SATA Drives - What Should I know?

I currently have 2 SATA drives (an 80 gb and a 140 gb) running on an AA8XE A-BIT Motherboard. I have a few video editing projects to finish in the near future, and my current 200gb of storage isn't nearly enough. I plan on adding 1 terabyte (2x 500gb drives) of memory, but don't want to go the external route as my desk is cluttered as it is. Unfortunately, I don't know much about adding internal drives.

Here are the two drives I currently have, 2 Seagate Barracudas 7,200 RPM w/8MB Cache:



I plan on keeping these drives, as well as adding the 2 500gb drives. Since I've had these two drives for 2 years without a problem, I decided to go with the same company for the additional drives: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA

Please let me know if there's anything I'm overlooking in my choice of new drives.

Moving on, I see that my motherboard does in fact have two more SATA slots:



So, I need to plug each drive into each SATA slot using the SATA cable, no problem. But, I also need to plug a power cable into each drive; so where does this come from? I see in the first picture that the orange/red/black/yellow cables are the power cables, but those come straight out of the power supply and the cable ends on the second drive. Where do I plug the power in for the new drives?

My knowledge of adding RAM is even smaller than my knowledge of adding drives.

I currently have a gig of RAM (1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz - 2x 512 MB)



Upon scanning my system at crucial.com, I see that the most RAM I can add is 4 gigs:



Additional Info:
USB Support: 2.x Compliant Error
Detection Support: Non-ECC only
Chipset: Intel 925XE
DDR2 SDRAM Frequencies: PC2-3200 and PC2-4200
Supported DRAM Types: DDR2 SDRAM only
Max Unbuffered DDR2 SDRAM: 4096MB
Module Types Supported: Unbuffered only
Max Component Density: 1024
Graphics Support: PCI Express x16
240-pin DDR2 DIMM Banking: 4 (2 banks of 2)
Although the memory can be installed one module at a time, the best performance comes from using matched pairs of modules.

Since I can add up to 4 gigs of memory, that's what I'd like to do. However, the site states "your system requires that you install memory in pairs", so does this mean that if I have a gig in one pair of slots (2x 512mb), I must have a gig in the other pair of slots? Or can I have a gig in one pair of slots (2x 512 mb) and 2 gigs in the other pair of slots (2x 1gb)?

The site states "your system requires that you install memory in pairs", so does this mean that if I have a gig in one pair of slots (2x 512mb), I must have a gig in the other pair of slots? Going by the numbers on the above image, would I be able to move memory 2 over into slot 1, and then add a 2gb kit (2x 1gb) into slots 3 and 4? What's the most amount of memory I can add without having to ditch the 2x 512mb cards I already have?

Sorry for my lack of knowledge regarding this and as a result my possibly confusing post.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Adding Ram & 2 SATA Drives - What Should I know?

Add another 2GB's of RAM if you can afford it, as 2 1gb sticks, so you'll have 3. Make sure they are the same speed as your ones now though.

As for the hard drives, that shouldn't be a problem.

The power does come from the PSU though yes, so your PSU needs enough power connectors to supply another 2 drives.

Luckily for you, you can get a molex (standard power to case fans, graphics cards, etc) to SATA splitters.

Ones I've seen give 2 extra SATA power connectors for one molex, so plugging them up shouldn't be an issue

If you don't have enough molex connectors though, you can also buy splitters for these too.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Adding Ram & 2 SATA Drives - What Should I know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kage View Post
Add another 2GB's of RAM if you can afford it, as 2 1gb sticks, so you'll have 3. Make sure they are the same speed as your ones now though.
How do I find out the speed of my current RAM?

Also, how much should I expect to spend? For a 2GB kit, crucial gives me 32 suggestions that range from $80 to $200.

Quote:
Luckily for you, you can get a molex (standard power to case fans, graphics cards, etc) to SATA splitters.
Something like this? Molex to 2 SATA Adapter

Thanks so much for your answers.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Adding Ram & 2 SATA Drives - What Should I know?

Thats the sort of adapter yeah, but don't spend that much on one. You can pick up ones with no said brand for a lot less, and its not like they can be any less reliable.

Download SIW:

http://www.gtopala.com/siw-download.html

Its a free program and is great for finding out system specs and the like for future reference.

As for your RAM speed though, on that screenshot, it says:

DDR PC2 4300

So, your looking to buy 2 1GB modules, or even 2 512MB modules to make 2GB, of that speed.

For video editing though, buying extra will do no harm, and you can pick up 2 1GB memory for quite cheap now as a bundle pack.

As for prices, they will differ yeah, but you'll find the more expensive ones are meant for overclocking, etc.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Adding Ram & 2 SATA Drives - What Should I know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kage View Post
As for your RAM speed though, on that screenshot, it says:

DDR PC2 4300

So, your looking to buy 2 1GB modules, or even 2 512MB modules to make 2GB, of that speed.
SIW gives me this:


What number up there tells me the speed?

I'll go with 2 1GB sticks, as I'd like all the RAM I could get. Is there a specific company I should keep an eye out for? Should I go with SAMSUNG as that's what my current sticks are, or does pairing brands make no difference?
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Adding Ram & 2 SATA Drives - What Should I know?

DDR2 533 is another way of saying PC2 4200

Its weird your RAM is saying 4300 though, when running at that speed.

If you can get the same RAM manufacturer, it'll help, as different RAM runs at different latency settings (Different access speeds, etc), and so getting slower/faster RAM might cause system instability, but most boards will just slow down RAM to achieve the same settings.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Adding Ram & 2 SATA Drives - What Should I know?

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DDR2 533 is another way of saying PC2 4200

Its weird your RAM is saying 4300 though, when running at that speed.
Out of curiosity, where does it say 4300, and what makes it weird?

So, would these chips be a good choice?
Samsung 2GB (1GBx2) DDR2 533 PC2-4200 CL4 240-Pin DIMM

They're Samsung, DDR2 533, but they're $74.89 which is a lot less than I expected to pay. Is that a good thing? Are there better options or is this as good as any other?

Also, I have no idea what the "CL4 240-Pin DIMM" means.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Adding Ram & 2 SATA Drives - What Should I know?

Says it under Computer Configurations in the screenshot you gave

I don't know about that 4300 thing, but it shouldn't matter if your computer is running fine.

Yeah, that price is good, go for it I say
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Adding Ram & 2 SATA Drives - What Should I know?

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Originally Posted by Kage View Post
Says it under Computer Configurations in the screenshot you gave

I don't know about that 4300 thing, but it shouldn't matter if your computer is running fine.

Yeah, that price is good, go for it I say
Ah! I see it. Brain fart.

Well, thanks so much for the help. I've been putting this upgrade off for a while because I thought it would be so confusing, but you made it quite easy. Thanks again!

EDIT: One last question. When I get these 2 cards, I should move card 2 over to slot 2, and put the new cards in slots 3 and 4, correct?

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Old 09-17-2007, 11:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Adding Ram & 2 SATA Drives - What Should I know?

Also, I've just read that if all my RAM isn't the same speed I might lose my second channel. Is this true?
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