RAM upgrade from PC 2700 to PC 3200 SLOW BOOT

Hewlett-packard / Hp d330 ut(dm528p)
January 13, 2011 at 00:11:07
Specs: Windows XP, 2.394 GHz / 1527 MB
My specs:

Manufacturer Hewlett-packard

Model Hp d330

Board ut(dm528p)


CPU 2.394 GHz

RAM 1527 MB

128 x 2 (DDR 333)

256 x 1 (DDR 333)

1 GB x 1 (DDR 400)

Dual channel support : Yes

FSB speed : 533 Mhz

Number of RAM slots : 4

I have an Intel P4. Earlier I had 512 MB RAM

128 x 2 (DDR 333)

256 (DDR 333)

Yesteray I just added another stick

1 GB (DDR 400)

Immediately my boot time has increased by 30 seconds. I am running XP and as soon as I enter my administrator account, the computer freezes for 30 seconds and then resumes. It's definitely a memory issue, although I haven't been able to put my finger on the exact reason why this is happening.

I am now considering going for the following RAM setup.

512 x 2 (266 MHZ)

256 x 2 (266 MHZ)

This will give me 1.5 Gigs RAM (the amount I currently need), all nicely paired up and the memory bandwidth will also match my FSB width which is quad-clocked at 533 Mhz.

This is one option.

Now I have read in elsewhere that P4's perform better with the memory bandwidth being slightly more than the BUS width. And the recommendation was a memory speed of 333 MHZ for P4's with 533 Mhz FSB.

In that case I would go for the same configuration above with sticks of 333 Mhz in place of 266 MHz. In this case I could perhaps also use one of my old sticks of 256 MB (@ 333 MHZ)?

The most important thing for me is that the annoying boot lag needs to disappear and I am not sure which RAM configuration will solve it.

Also, my board supports dual channel as I have found out from www.crucial.com

Please tell me which one of the above configuration need I go for to remove the boot lag and also get some speed benefits or if there is some other configuration I might need to go for for optimum performance. Also if there might be some other reason why I am getting this boot lag.

I am wondering if it's even possible to avoid a boot lag with a RAM of this size (1.5 Gigs, which is the size I need given my computing requirements as of now).

Please let me know.

Thanks for all the help!

See More: RAM upgrade from PC 2700 to PC 3200 SLOW BOOT

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January 13, 2011 at 06:07:08
A few things you need to know:

1. The P4 is a highly inefficient CPU. To help make up for that inefficiency, the RAM frequency should be one "step" faster than the CPU frequency. The term "frequency" is important. You should always work with actual speed (frequency), not theoretcial quad-pumped or double pumped numbers. The proper RAM to run with a 533MHz FSB P4 (133MHz frequency) is DDR333 (166MHz frequency).

2. When you pair up RAM of different speeds, all RAM will run at the speed of the slowest. So even though you added 1GB of DDR400 (200MHz frequency), it will downclock to 166MHz to match the DDR333 it's paired up with.

3. To enable dual channel mode, you must pair up the RAM correctly - either 2 matched sticks, 4 matched sticks, or 2 x 2 matched sticks. Your current configuration of 2 x 128MB + 1 x 256MB + 1 x 1GB DDR400 = 1536MB DDR333 in single channel mode.

4. Whenever new RAM is installed, it should ALWAYS be tested with memtest86 to confirm it's error-free.

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January 13, 2011 at 15:56:42
Hello Mickliq,

Thanks a LOT for all the pointers, especially the first one. I have a couple of questions.

1) What exactly do you mean by 2x2 matched sticks? When you say 2x2, do you mean four sticks A,B,C,D where A and B are identical, C and D are identical but A and C are not identical? If this is what you mean, then it would follow that a configuration such as :

2 x 512 M

2 x 256 M

will allow me to enable dual channel mode. However I am not sure about this, because when I read the HP documentation for my PC, it says that to enable dual channel mode I either need 2 identical sticks, or 4 identical sticks. It doesn't say anything about a 2x2 pairing which you seem to have suggested.


The above PDF is the manual for my PC. The second chapter has all the information about RAM compatibility and installation. Please go through it, if needed and if you will so that it may be possible to confirm that a 2x2 system (assuming I understand you correctly) will allow me to enable dual channeling on my PC.

2) I am yet to use memtest. When I checked out their website, I learnt that I need to make a bootable floppy disk through which memtest checks the system. Is this so? Or is there another way to get memtest to check the RAM?

3) My documentation says that my FSB (533 Mhz) can only handle DDR RAM upto 333 Mhz. It says that if I install DDR 400, it will be automatically down-scaled to operate at 333 Mhz.

Now, the 333 is a little hard to find. So can I just go for DDR 400, all paired up of course and have it work at 333 Mhz which is what is optimum for my PC?

Thanks again for all the help!

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January 13, 2011 at 16:05:21
This I am copy-pasting from my PC's manual.

■ In dual channel mode, all DIMMs must be identically matched. DIMMs in the XMM1 and XMM3 black sockets must be identical; DIMMs in the XMM2 and XMM4 blue sockets must also be identical. Therefore, if you have one preinstalled DIMM in socket XMM1 and are adding a second DIMM, it is recommended that you install an identical DIMM into the XMM3 socket.

"If you are populating all four DIMM sockets, use identical DIMMs in each socket. Otherwise, the system will not operate in dual channel mode."

The above paragraph, in quotes, seems to disallow the kind of 2x2 pairing which you have suggested, as I understand it.

Please let me know your thoughts on this.

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