Memory Question...

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MasterPrime
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Memory Question...

Post by MasterPrime » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:24 pm

I'm using an nforce730i board with onboard Geforce 9300. 32-bit P4 2.8GHz processor. I have 4GB of DDR2 667 PC2 5300 dual channel SDRAM.

The OS (XP Pro SP3) takes it's little bit, and the onboard 9300 takes 1GB of my physical RAM bringing me down to 2.75.
My question is, what is doing the addressing in this instance? would I be able to add another stick or two to circumvent this problem?
I ask because I occasionally do video editing and once I get a project near completion, or even after working on something high quality for a bit, it's start to lag to the point it's hard to work with and I'd like to alleviate some of the stress by adding more memory.

Thanks.
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Jaruff
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Re: Memory Question...

Post by Jaruff » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:51 pm

Purchasing a dedicated graphics card would be your best option. Four gigabytes of RAM is plenty for an XP system and you would eliminate the lag by purchasing the graphics card. A decent one for your video editing purposes is going to cost $75-100 new.

Reading up on your board, you could replace the 667mhz RAM with 800mhz RAM. If you want more than 4 gigabytes of RAM, you're going to need to upgrade to a 64-bit OS and 64-bit CPU. The 730i, from what I read, supports 64-bit CPU's.

It all depends on how much money you want to spend. A solid graphics card will solve your problems but you might want to go ahead and upgrade your RAM and CPU at the same time to achieve greater performance.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... CatId=3669" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

That would be my recommendation for a nice graphics card for under $100. It's a nice deal and it will do exactly what you need it to.

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vskid
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Re: Memory Question...

Post by vskid » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:46 pm

You might be able to free up some of the memory used by the graphics. See if there is a BIOS setting to turn it down, I would try 256MB (if you can) and see if you notice any performance change (either better because the OS has more memory, or worse because the GPU has less). If it hurts performance, try giving the GPU a bit more memory to work with. If you only notice worse or the same performance, or you can't reduce the GPU's memory usage, then you should consider a dedicated GPU.
Are you sure it isn't the P4 that is holding you back? You'll also want to make sure your motherboard can take more RAM before you buy any, if you decide to go that route.
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MasterPrime
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Re: Memory Question...

Post by MasterPrime » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:59 pm

All good information, The board can support up to 8GB. I do believe the chip might be part of the problem. I plan on getting this as soon as I can afford it. I am quite broke. If I wasn't broke you would most likely have seen my NES HTPC with bluetooth NES controller mouse/keypad (it's gonna be awesome) by now.

My question is about address space though. I have 4GB of address space. 1 GB being taken used by the GPU. Does that 1GB count as part of the 4GB or can I add a bit more? I plan on getting the 8GB anyway once I get the chip so I'm not too bumped about it. I just wasn't sure of the mechanics of the situation.
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Re: Memory Question...

Post by vskid » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:55 pm

Actually, your OS is limiting your upgrade options. 32 bit Windows can only address about 4GB of memory, including RAM and GPU memory. So decreasing your GPU's memory usage (or getting a dedicated GPU with less than 1GB of memory and disabling the onboard GPU) is the only way you can increase your usable RAM without going to a 64 bit OS and CPU. I think a decent part of your problem is the P4, so that C2D should really give it a speed boost when you can afford it.
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Jaruff
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Re: Memory Question...

Post by Jaruff » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:11 am

Plus, you have to remember that you aren't getting the full 4gb's from a 32-bit processor, you're not even getting 3.5gb's.

Buy a dedicated graphics card (you can actually go above 1gb on the dedicated graphics card memory if you wish, but those can be expensive) and the issue will go away. You'll have better performance as the RAM will be free to do other tasks.

As far as your address space question, most of that 1gb is provided by RAM. On-board video comes with a dedicated amount of memory. This amount is always low and I believe the largest amount I've ever seen on a desktop motherboard is 256mb. Your RAM supplies the rest of the amount. The good news is that your GPU is using the RAM that the OS can't use due to the 32-bit limit. The bad news is that the GPU is also using RAM that your 32-bit OS can use. The motherboard also reserves some RAM. For example, while I have 8gb's installed, Windows only registers 7.5gb's.

While 8gb's of RAM will help, there is no reason to purchase four more gb's of 667mhz memory when your board supports 800mhz memory.

My suggestion: Purchase a nVIDIA graphics card ($50-$100) and link it to your on-board GPU with hybrid-SLI. If you can afford it, purchase 4gb's of 800mhz RAM as well ($75-125 probably, depending on the type that you need). Sell the 667mhz to help pay for it. Upgrading the processor should be another goal but it can wait as P4's are still very formidable.

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Biased
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Re: Memory Question...

Post by Biased » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:37 am

I'm using the exact same motherboard as you and I know for a fact if you're having troubles with your RAM or PC speed, you should go with PC2-6400 RAM instead of the slower 5300, and/or an add-in graphics unit. My setup ran like junk and froze all of the time with windows xp until I changed my RAM out for new stuff and got a low-end add-in graphics card.

nubie
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Re: Memory Question...

Post by nubie » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:08 pm

Get this video card for $15 (free shipping)

http://computers.shop.ebay.com/Computer ... 86.c0.m282" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I know it is only 128MB of ram, but trust me on this, it is faster than your onboard, much faster, and it will take the video load off of your system as well.

Plus it will free up all that RAM that you aren't using, it supports CUDA, PHYSX and accelerated video on Flash 10.1 .

Don't spend more for a card that you don't need.

nubie
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Re: Memory Question...

Post by nubie » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:15 pm

MasterPrime wrote:All good information, The board can support up to 8GB. I do believe the chip might be part of the problem. I plan on getting this as soon as I can afford it. I am quite broke. If I wasn't broke you would most likely have seen my NES HTPC with bluetooth NES controller mouse/keypad (it's gonna be awesome) by now.
If you really do video editing, look at this processor, same price, same cache, double cores: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819115131" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The P4 architecture is just poor, the 2.66Ghz of the quad core will definitely be faster per core than your old P4 (by at least 50%), and more cores is better.
My question is about address space though. I have 4GB of address space. 1 GB being taken used by the GPU. Does that 1GB count as part of the 4GB or can I add a bit more? I plan on getting the 8GB anyway once I get the chip so I'm not too bumped about it. I just wasn't sure of the mechanics of the situation.
You need a 64-bit OS to use any more than 4GB of ram (or even see more than 3.x GB), so plan on Windows 7, or XP 64-bit, or Vista 64-bit (I think 7 is the best choice)

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