PC3500 DDR with 865/875PE Chipset Boards??

Discussion in 'Abit' started by bucko, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. bucko

    bucko Guest

    This is probably a dumb question but the Fry's sales people (as usual) have been saying
    something contrary to what I believe.

    I'm planning to order a 1Gb dual pack (2-512Mb pieces) from Mushkin ......... Black Level II
    2-2-2 (with those "no longer manufactured" high quality Winbond chips).

    Is it okay to use those dual packed PC3500 (DDR433) modules when using the 865/875PE chipset
    boards at 800FSB? ... even if I'm not initially overclocking?

    I realize that PC3200 (DDR400) is the highest "officially" supported by these Intel

    But DDR433 modules should fun just fine at 400 .... Right?

    bucko, Sep 24, 2003
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  2. bucko

    El Jerid Guest

    Not only just fine, but even much better.
    Believe it or not, but some DDR 400 cas 2 rated modules do not work at
    specified speeds !!! I had the experience with the very expensive Corsair
    that refuses to boot at the speed mentioned on the package. Later I
    discovered o their site that the speed is automatically set at cas 3 for bus
    speeds higher than 366 MHz.
    If I had purchased DDR433, it would have worked at 400 MHz at cas 2.
    Another important point is the purchase of twin modules. Not paired modules
    will NOT work at rated speeds at double DDR. Will cost you a lot of dollars
    more, but no way around.
    El Jerid, Sep 24, 2003
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  3. bucko

    bucko Guest

    Mushkin's web site only shows dual packs for use at 800 rated speed on Intel 865/875 and
    nforce2 chipsets. I called them and they said that Mushkin dual packs are twins in so much
    as that they were picked from the same assembly line at the same time and came off the line
    right next to each other. Then they are tested to ensure the quality. Is that what you
    mean by 'Twins'?
    bucko, Sep 25, 2003
  4. bucko

    El Jerid Guest

    Yes, indeed. Twin is in fact the name used by Corsair.
    But the process is identical: it' s just a (electronic) selection of modules
    that fit perfectly together.
    El Jerid, Sep 25, 2003
  5. bucko

    Skid Guest

    Absolutely. You can run that ram at lower than it's rated speed, and it will
    be perfectly stable. On the other hand, you wouldn't be getting all the
    performance you could get.

    I'm using cheap Buffalo Tech PC3700, which uses the same Winbond BH-5 chips
    as the Mushkin PC3500.

    On an Abit IC-7, I'm overclocking a P4C 2.4g to 3.3g at 275 fsb. The ram is
    running 5:4 at 220 mhz, 2,3,2,6. 1.55V on the cpu, 2.8v on the ram. System
    is very quick, Sandra buffered memory scores of 5840, unbuffered 2760. CPU

    The ram will run at higher speeds, but only if I relax the timings. Because
    my cpu can't go much higher, this seems the best overall performance setting
    for me. It's completely stable at this speed in Prime95, MemTest86, Sandra
    burn-in, looping 3DMark 2003, etc. YMMV.

    Contrary to what another poster said, you do NOT need matched ram to run
    dual-channel. Two sticks of the same stuff is preferred, but many people
    have been able to run different brands and specs dual. Those who pay extra
    for a tested pair are merely buying a fairly expensive guarantee.
    Skid, Sep 25, 2003
  6. bucko

    John Smith Guest

    Actually the Mushkin dual packs save you a few bucks (unlike other
    companies) ... Their top end PC3500 Level II Back 512mb modules run $209
    individually and $192 x 2 =$384 if purchased as a 1Gb dual pack.

    And Newegg sells that same identical Mushkin "retail" dual pack for only

    I called Mushkin about this and they said they discount the dual packs for
    competitive reasons ... nice!
    John Smith, Sep 25, 2003
  7. bucko

    O |V| 3 G A Guest

    Another important point is the purchase of twin modules. Not paired modules
    will NOT work at rated speeds at double DDR. Will cost you a lot of dollars
    more, but no way around.

    i say bollox!

    i`m running run of the mill twinMOS pc3200 2x 256mb, non matched on amd
    based nforce 2 in D-DDR format. not only can i run in D-DDR, and overlock
    the fsb higher than DDR400 spec (upto ddr412), but i can run at 3-3-2-2.

    i cant see how MODULES can be the problem when not running matched pair and
    D-DDR. PC3200's are made for either amd or intel based, and all i can say is
    that intel must be very picky about the ram if this is the case.

    O |V| 3 G A, Sep 25, 2003
  8. bucko

    Skid Guest

    And Buffalo Tech uses exactly the same Winbond BH-5 chips as the Mushkin
    PC3500. Without the fancy heatsinks NewEgg sells a 512-meg stick of PC3700
    for $99 -- less than half the price. It's nice that Mushkin discounts them
    in pairs, and they have a great rep for reliability and service. But I
    wouldn't call it a bargain.
    Skid, Sep 25, 2003
  9. bucko

    El Jerid Guest

    I did noy say that you need matched ram to run dual DDR, but only that you
    will not be able to run them at optimum speed. What I mean is that you will
    probably never succeed to run DDR400 cas 2 at those speeds if the modules
    are not paired. Or the speed will automatically be lowered to less MHz, or
    the modules will only run at cas 2.5 or 3, or your system will not boot. I
    say probably, because you could always be (very) lucky and have paired
    modules by accident.
    El Jerid, Sep 25, 2003
  10. bucko

    Skid Guest

    And once again, I say balderdash. Ram should run at it's rated speed,
    whether or not you run in dual channel and whether or not somebody stuck a
    label on it that says it's a matched pair. If you buy two sticks of PC3200
    CAS 2 and it doesn't run DDR40 at CAS 2, you should return it.

    I know that running one stick of PC2700 CAS 3 and one stick of PC3700 CAS
    2.5 is not a great idea, as you will have to run at the slower speed if you
    can get it stable at all.

    But if you buy, say, two sticks of Crucial PC3200 CAS 2.5, you should have
    no trouble running it dual-channel at its full rated speed. If you can't,
    you've either misconfigured the system or gotten a bad stick of ram which
    should be replaced.
    Skid, Sep 25, 2003
  11. bucko

    El Jerid Guest

    Interesting and open discussion...
    I bought two 512 MB modules of Corsair DDR400 cas 2 (rated 2-2-2-6) and they
    can not run at those speeds in dual DDR mode. Only at 2.5-3-3-8 !
    Motherboard is an Asus P4P800.
    And let me ask you the question: if you are right, why should paired modules
    cost up to twice the price of the same not paired modules?
    El Jerid, Sep 26, 2003
  12. bucko

    bucko Guest

    But they don't ... not at least for Mushkin (even if bought through Newegg) ... their dual
    packs are less that if each module was purchased individually ... check out the websites and
    see for yourself.
    bucko, Sep 26, 2003
  13. bucko

    Skid Guest

    I'm glad you consider it a discussion instead of an argument ;>)

    People pay more for matched sets because some of them, like you, believe
    it's the best or only way to guarantee two sticks of ram will work together
    in dual mode.

    That's NOT true.

    It IS true that the latest Intel Springdale and Canterwood chipsets are
    picky about ram, and some of the first boards built with them had trouble
    booting with specific brands and modules -- including the Corsair you are
    using. But that has been largely fixed with bios updates by motherboard
    manufacturers and changes in the SPD setup by memory makers.

    My experience has been the opposite of yours. I bought two sticks of
    inexpensive ram rated 2.5,3,3,7. They weren't "matched," but they run dual
    channel at 2,3,2,6 in my Abit IC-7.

    In fact, posts here and on a variety of other forums across the web show
    very few people ante up the extra money for matched pairs, and there are
    many using sticks from different makers with different ratings in dual
    channel. (For the record, ALL memory on Springdale and Canterwoods is DDR,
    whether used in single or dual channel mode. Check your terminology.)

    Whatever you buy, timings are not set in stone. Because there is no JEDEC
    standard or certification process for anything beyond PC3200, most
    PC3500,3700 and 4000 is simply overclocked by the manufacturer using relaxed

    If you read the fine print on most PC4000, the SPD timings are usually
    3,4,4,8. Some of it will run with tighter timings at lower fsb, some of it

    The good thing about most Springdale and Canterwood boards is that they
    offer a range of manual settings for fsb, ram timings and voltage. If you're
    willing to experiment, you can often get a lot more performance with no loss
    of stability.

    For example, you might be able to get a higher fsb than 200, or better
    performance at your existing fsb, by raising the DDR voltage and lowering
    the timings one at a time, using MemTest86 in between to check stability.
    Try 2,3,3,8 -- then 2,3,3,7 -- then 2,3,2,6 -- which is where I wound up.

    Bios settings are critical to overal system speed and bad configurations can
    kill overclocking chances or limit performance at stock settings. There's a
    very good guide at www.rojakpot.com that helps make better sense of them
    than the average owner's manual.

    It all depends on your components and willingness to spend some time
    tweaking your system. It has very little to do with how much money you're
    willing to spend on ram with fancy heat spreaders and expensive labels.

    Some of the best overclocks are done with brands like Crucial and Buffalo
    Tech, Kingston Value Ram, etc.

    My rig:
    P4C 2.4g @ 3.3g (275x12)
    2x256 Buffalo Tech PC3700 running 5:4, 220mhz, 2,3,2,6 @ 2.8v.
    Abit IC-7
    Sapphire Radeon 9500 modded and overclocked to 9700 Pro

    Sandra scores 10K+ cpu, 5800+ memory
    3DMark 2003, 5200+
    Skid, Sep 26, 2003
  14. bucko

    Thomas Guest

    Maybe, but the NForce 2 has two seperate memory controllers, which could
    even handle one module of PC2100, and one of PC3200. The P4 boards use
    dual-DDR, that use the memory in real 128 bit mode. Hence, they would be a
    lot 'pickyer' in the memory modules.

    I have this info from a dutch tweaking site, www.tweakers.net , and i didnt
    really bother to check for english references, though i guess they should be

    Thomas, Sep 26, 2003
  15. bucko

    El Jerid Guest

    Thanks for this detailed and interesting message. I' ll try a lot of
    Very surprised by your outstanding benchmarks !!!
    First, the fsb at 4x275 MHz and the cpu at 3.3 are rather exceptional
    Your good idea was to purchase PC3700 instead of PC3200, which should be
    normal for 800 MHz fsb.
    Another one was the purchase of the Sapphire 9500, that you were lucky to
    I think one reason of your succes is in fact that your memory is
    underclocked at 220 MHz (rated speed is 230 MHz). This allows you to set at
    cas 2 and keep your system stable.

    My system:
    Asus P4P800, P4 2.4 @ 3 Ghz (250 x 12)
    2 x 512 MB Corsair PC3200 (std voltage)
    Sapphire Radeon 9600 Pro (not oc'ed)
    Mem stettings: 320 MHz (2x160), cas 2.5-3-3-6. Any better value crashes.
    Sandra form mem: 4904 - 4905.
    Anyways, I ask myself if it makes sense to invest in achieving better
    values. Compared to other systems (in Sandra) they already are excellent.
    Ansd should we notice a difference in practise ???
    The most system intensive application I have is video editing, and most
    rendering is now practically in real time. Even if I have to wait sometimes
    for a few seconds, that's more efficient than restart the system after a
    Keep you posted!
    El Jerid, Sep 27, 2003
  16. bucko

    bucko Guest

    What cooler and voltage are you using on your 2.4C o/c'd to 3.0 .... would a stock boxed
    retail cooler be okay in a well ventilated case for a 2.4C o/c'd to 2.7 or 2.8?
    bucko, Sep 28, 2003
  17. bucko

    El Jerid Guest


    Cooler is the standard one that came with the boxed cpu.
    Voltage was not ghanged (auto). Only the DDR voltage was increased to 2.65
    Highest temp I' ve seen (with Asus Probe) is 32 °C (for 24 °C external). I
    couldn' t believe it and compared with the readings of the bios and Sandra
    Pro. I found ony minor differences of 2 or 3 °C. Case is a Lian-Li, with 3
    build-in fans (2 in and 1 out). I mounted a small additioal fan on the north
    bridge chipset.
    Power supply is Enermax 465 W (with dual fan).
    El Jerid, Sep 28, 2003
  18. bucko

    John Smith Guest

    Wow ... Nice. Thanks for the info, I'm installing my new 865PE mobo, boxed
    P4-2.4C and the Mushkin Level II Black PC3500 1Gb Dual Pack modules today.
    Wish me luck.
    John Smith, Sep 28, 2003
  19. bucko

    Rick Perez Guest

    I'm using 4 sticks of Corsair PC3500 256 that weren't matched or
    paired, running at cas 2 on a MSI 875P. Running a 2.6 @ 3.2 without
    any problems.

    Internal clock: 3201.86 MHz
    System clock: 246.30 MHz
    System bus: 985.19 MHz
    Multiplier: 13

    Bios: v1.8
    Rick Perez, Nov 12, 2003
  20. bucko

    Rick Perez Guest

    Bump up the DDR voltage to 2.6volts.
    Rick Perez, Nov 12, 2003
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