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1 GB of Single Rank Memory on EPOX 8KDA3J?

by jrpd / July 20, 2006 11:05 PM PDT

A year ago, I tried upgrading RAM in my son's system, which has an EPOX 8KDA3J motherboard and an AMD64 processor, from .5GB to 1GB. I called Kingston memory, and they gave me the number of a product they said would work. However, when I installed it, the memory speed dropped from 200MHz to 166MHz. I called Kingston again, and this time they said this motherboard can only handle 3 ranks of memory (aka ''sides'' or ''banks'') without problems, and they don't make anything larger than 256K in single rank. I could not find any other manufacturers who did, although finding out is pretty hard since most manufacturers don't list this information in easy-to-find places. I contacted EPOX, but they were not very helpful.

I decided to wait and see if more single-rank memory came on the market. Finally, this past June, I decided to contact EPOX again and ask what memory they recommend to bring this board up to its advertised capacity of 3GB. After a month of runaround, (e.g., ''check with Kingston and Crucial'' -- Kingston's largest is still 256K, and Crucial said they don't make any!), I sent EPOX a somewhat different reply.

Apparently they designed the motherboard around a memory format that does not exist. I suggested that ethically they have an obligation to make sure their motherboards realistically work as advertised. This could be by posting the names and model numbers of 1GB single-rank memory modules (the maximum the board's user manual says it can handle), by upgrading the bios and chipset, by swapping for a board that does not require single-rank memory, by giving instructions for overclocking, or anything else that makes the board work as advertised with memory that's actually on the market. This was over two weeks ago, and so far EPOX has ignored my reply.

My son will be starting college next month. Before he leaves I would really like to be confident his computer is working properly. Can anyone advise me what I should do?

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EPOX 8KDA3J?
by Bob__B / July 21, 2006 2:38 AM PDT

If I go to crucial and plug the above into their mem finder I seem to come up with more than a few choices.

Is their something unique about the mobo you have...like maybe a specific version number?

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re: 1 GB of Single Rank Memory on EPOX 8KDA3J?
by ramarc / July 21, 2006 2:51 AM PDT

The Kingston site has 1GB sticsk that are compatible with your motherboard. 1GB should be sufficient for your son's needs for a year or so.

Also, its not unusual for mobos to drop ddr-400 to ddr-333 speeds when completely filled. (Usually its when 4 slots are filled, but since you only have 3 slots...)

As for your mobo being designed for memory that doesn't exist... that's not unusual either. the ddr-400 spec was really late -- it was finalized after ddr-400 sticks were already on the market. also mobo manufacturers often try to anticipate future tech but the tech world changes so fast some of those predictions don't pan out.

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RE: 1 GB of Single Rank Memory on EPOX 8KDA3J?
by jrpd / July 22, 2006 2:19 AM PDT

Thanks for the tips. Both Kingston and Crucial list their memory as being compatible, but (unless things have changed in the past week or two) both are double rank. This means they will lower the speed. EPOX won't even say this is to be expected but acceptable. EPOX only says that the motherboard needs single-rank memory (three ranks max) to work properly with more than one stick.

If I understand ramarc's comment, he's implying that slowing down the memory is normal and I should not worry about it. The system will just work at less than optimal performance, but since ''optimal'' is defined in relation to non-existant memory, this slower preformance is the real, rather than theoretical, optimum. Is this correct?

Should I worry about using 4 ranks if I'm willing to accept slower speeds? Is there any way to get a board such as this to perform at speeds comparable to its original design but using 4 ranks?

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Give Crucial a call or do a Live Chat session .info below
by VAPCMD / July 22, 2006 3:11 AM PDT

Live Chat
Get your questions about Crucial memory answered instantly by one of our Expert Online agents.
Customer support representatives are also available by phone at 800-336-8915 (U.S. and Canada only).

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.asp?Mfr%2BProductline=EPoX%2B+Motherboards&mfr=EPoX&tabid=AM&model=EP-8KDA3J&submit=Go

Whatever you buy, test it thoroughly with MemTest+86 or your favorite RAM test program as soon as you get it.

VAPCMD

PS...Probably ought to make sure the MB BIOS is up to date too ... that often reduces RAM incompatability issues.

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