Adding more ram lowers ram speed??

September 4, 2010 at 17:28:13
Specs: Windows 7, athlon 64 3700+/1gb ddr400
I am running an old acer aspire e360 desktop with the following specs:

-Athlon 64 3700+
-1 GB DDR400 pc3200 (512MB x 2 in dual channel)
-nForce 410 chipset.

For some reason, the memory is underclocked by default and the acer bios will not allow me to change this. CPU-Z shows that it is running at 157.9 mhz instead of the correct speed which should be 200 mhz. In addition, after adding another 2gb of ram (2 x 1GB), the ram speed drops to 100 mhz! Now my memory is running at half the speed it should be. Does anyone know if this is intentionally done by acer and for what reason? I am hoping there is a workaround. Thanks!

EDIT: I am running windows XP pro 32 bit.

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September 4, 2010 at 19:45:41
Running 4 sticks of RAM will certainly cause the memory to underclock. This is a limitation of both the CPU & nForce4 chipset. Do you have a manual for the motherboard or know the make/model? Are your sticks single or double sided?

If both the 512MB sticks are double sided, the RAM will most likely underclock to 166MHz (DDR333). "157.9 mhz" doesn't make sense though. Anything added after 2 double-sided sticks will force the RAM to run at 100MHz (DDR200).

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September 4, 2010 at 23:14:29
Most boards allow you to "overclock" the memory back to 200MHz. Not sure about Acer.

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September 4, 2010 at 23:29:45
Thanks for the reply. I was not aware of this limitation. Does it apply to most chipsets?

All four of my sticks are indeed double sided. On CPU-Z it says the memory divider is cpu/14, the fsb is 200.9, and the multipler is 11x. So I guess 200.9 * 11 / 14 = 157.9 mhz. When I add another two sticks the divider becomes 22, yielding 100 mhz.

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