Ram for VA-503+

Discussion in 'FIC' started by Steve, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. Steve

    Steve Guest

    I have an old VA-503+ most recent version. I know its probably a
    regular query but suspect my generic ram is playing up because of
    frequent hangs and reboots. I tried to install XP but it was of end of
    trouble.

    My query is;- can someone please advise the maximum amount of ram the
    m'board can take, plus a reliable brand and place to purchase it from?


    Regards

    Steve
     
    Steve, Apr 11, 2004
    #1
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  2. Steve

    ?uzzled Guest

    I've got 2 x 256Mb of PC133 in my machine. Just generic stuff I picked up
    from a computer fair.
     
    ?uzzled, Apr 12, 2004
    #2
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  3. The DIMM slots can take up to 256 MB apiece, but the memory has to be
    double-sided, with 8 chips on each side. If you use 128 MB DIMMs, they
    must use at least 8 memory chips. The general rule here is, the
    motherboard cannot handle individual memory chips larger than 16 MB.

    Keep in mind that some double-sided DIMMs use 4 chips on each side. This
    may work OK for you with 128 MB DIMMs, but not 256 MB. It is best to ask
    the vendor exactly how many chips the DIMM has.

    I do not remember for sure the largest size of the SIMMs. 32 MB SIMMs
    work for sure. Keep in mind that two of the SIMM slots use the same
    memory bank as one of the DIMM slots. I do not remember which slot is
    which, though.

    You can test your RAM using Memtest86+, which is a free utility you
    install to a boot diskette. You can get it at http://www.memtest.org .

    I have always found Crucial.com to be good place to buy memory, as long
    as you are not overclocking. However, you may end up paying an arm and a
    leg getting it shipped to Australia. One shop in Australia that I know is
    http://www.eyo.com.au , but I have no idea how their prices compare with
    other Oz shops. Their SDRAM selection looks decent, though.

    --Alex
     
    Alex Zorrilla, Apr 12, 2004
    #3
  4. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Cheers

    Thanks Alex for our input. I'll check out eyo


    Steve
     
    Steve, Apr 14, 2004
    #4
  5. Steve

    farmuse Guest

    it also depends on the cpu, K6 2 can cache 256 MB, K6 III can
    cache 512; Kyle knows a lot about this, but I believe these figures are
    right. IOW, if you put 512 MB in a machine with a K6 2 it may actually
    degrade performance. this was true of many of the early chipsets ~
     
    farmuse, Apr 15, 2004
    #5
  6. Steve

    Kylesb Guest

    | Steve wrote:
    | > I have an old VA-503+ most recent version. I know its probably a
    | > regular query but suspect my generic ram is playing up because of
    | > frequent hangs and reboots. I tried to install XP but it was of
    end of
    | > trouble.
    | >
    | > My query is;- can someone please advise the maximum amount of ram
    the
    | > m'board can take, plus a reliable brand and place to purchase it
    from?
    |
    | it also depends on the cpu, K6 2 can cache 256 MB, K6 III can
    | cache 512; Kyle knows a lot about this, but I believe these figures
    are
    | right. IOW, if you put 512 MB in a machine with a K6 2 it may
    actually
    | degrade performance. this was true of many of the early chipsets ~
    |


    The mobo will cache 256 meg (actually 255) with a k6-2, with a k63 or
    2+ or 3+ CPU, the entire memory space is cached by the onboard
    128k/256k cache and the mobo cache becomes "tertiary" in usage.
     
    Kylesb, Apr 15, 2004
    #6
  7. Steve

    Robert Guest

    And in my experience using Win98SE the "actually 255" can become
    significant. I have had video player applications freeze when using 256mb
    but the problem goes away when dropping back down to 192 or 128.
     
    Robert, Apr 15, 2004
    #7
  8. If you have Win98 and 256MB of RAM, try limiting its usage to
    exactly 255MB by putting into the [386Enh] section of system.ini:
    MaxPhysPage=0FF00
    I don't know whether this would also work with XP or not.
     
    L David Matheny, Apr 15, 2004
    #8
  9. Steve

    wally chambe Guest

    I have a 503 plus with Win98SE & a K6-III+450mhz running at 500mhz with
    generic stick of double sided 256mb/pc133 sdram. Runs very stable. I had
    a stick of PC100 64mb I added and it didn't like it, started getting
    lots of errors.Ran Doc Memory tester and didn't find anything. Went back
    to 256 only and ok now.
     
    wally chambe, Apr 23, 2004
    #9
  10. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Thanks guys for your input

    Steve


     
    Steve, May 17, 2004
    #10
  11. Steve

    farmuse Guest

    long live the 503+

     
    farmuse, May 18, 2004
    #11
  12. Steve

    edi Guest

    I didn't catch the previous part of a thread. And I find it very important
    to clear out some oversights (or downsights) about max instalable memmory in
    general. Is there, and where is it that one can find the info 'bout this
    matter in general (for instance if one wants to feed some old Pentium II
    board with RAM or alike). Witch part of a PC, MBo or the CPU architecture
    declares this values of max insttalable RAM.
    I 'm a proud ovner of VA503+ with 1 MB L2 cache on board, also have
    2x128 pc 133 RAM instaled, with K6 II @ 500MHz. So what's my RAM upgrade
    option. I'm looking for puttin' in it some more RAM. And witch BIOS settings
    aply to it. Thanx in advance
     
    edi, May 22, 2004
    #12
  13. Hi, Edi.

    The type of memory that a motherboard can handle is determined by the memory
    controller, which is usually in the northbridge of the system chipset (VIA MVP3
    for the 503+). One exception, though, is the AMD Athlon64/AthlonFX/Opteron,
    which has the memory controller on the CPU itself.

    In general, if you do not know what type of RAM to use, you can use an online
    configurator to get a basic idea. Try the ones at http://www.crucial.com or
    http://www.kingston.com , for example. The motherboard manual or website is
    also another place to look. You can even go online to the chipset
    manufacturer's website and look up the chipset specifications yourself, if you
    really want to (and are really technically inclined ;-) ).

    In the case of the VA-503+, you can use SDRAM, EDO, or FPM RAM. Since you have
    a K6-2 500, you will probably only want to use SDRAM, since the other memory
    types will only slow you down. The SDRAM density is limited to 16MB/chip, which
    means that your maximum is 256MB per stick (double-sided, 8 chips/side). Since
    you have 2 DIMM slots, that means you can go up to 512 MB total SDRAM.

    By the way, the 16MB/chip limit is very important. If you get a single-sided
    256MB (8 chips), it will not work, since that is 32MB/chip. Your computer may
    not boot, or it may only recognize 1/2 the memory. You also have to be careful
    not to get double-sided, but only 4 chips per side, since that is the same
    thing.

    Lately, I have seen some memory manufactuers say that "PC133 is not compatible
    with PC100 motherboards". This is not totally true. What is really happening
    here is that the company's PC133 RAM uses 32MB chips, while their PC100 RAM uses
    16 MB chips. Rather than explain the technical difference, they just make that
    statement instead, since it is easier. I am not sure how it is in Croatia. The
    important thing is the memory density, not the speed.

    Hope this helps.

    --Alex
     
    Alex Zorrilla, May 24, 2004
    #13
  14. Steve

    edi Guest

    Thanx mr. Z.

    This was an oversight I was pointing at. I knew there was a trick that I was
    missing.
    Cose, SDRAM sticks whatever speed are backward speedvise compatibile. But
    some board adress only half of sticks capacity. I'm talking 'bout same mem.
    types.
    Actualy my point was, that I am in computer from early 80's and also know
    'bout programin' 'n stuff. But in time trough 90' till today when PCs vent
    boomin' many issues about some standars, like memory types, where left to
    PCs techs and builders to inplement in thoes computers. So, many unfortunate
    ovner of PC bough in that PCs boomin' timespan where left without proper
    support and options of upgrades cose thoes who sold them their PCs vent on
    in using advanced techs (new mem. types and similar). I think they are just
    a traders not real XPerts.
    I have an example of what I'm speakin' of in a situation where a guy deals
    in his store in my town , with hardware without knovin' for shure why one
    mem. stick doesn't aply properly on some PII boards.
    Knoving what you have told me now, gives me a chance to offer a quality
    upgrade option to many SDRAM based MBo user in my region. If I get a chance
    to supply them with 16 MB /chips RAM sticks.

    Thanks again this matter helped me a great deal.
     
    edi, May 25, 2004
    #14
  15. Glad to help! Keep in mind that older chipsets may have other limitations. For
    example:

    16 MB/chip is the limit for VIA MVP3 and Intel 440BX
    8 MB/chip is the limit for SiS 5597/5598 (used in PCChips M571 motherboard)
    older chipset may have limit of 4 MB/chip

    It can get very confusing.

    --Alex
     
    Alex Zorrilla, May 27, 2004
    #15
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