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Matching MB to CPU and What kind of RAM?

I'm not completely new to the world of assembling a computer (have built one and changed out almost every part in others), but I have two questions.

1. What info is needed to match a motherboard to a CPU? Seems like the socket type is basically the pin pattern, but that doesn't seem like enough to me (for a match). Is it socket type and chipset? Or what?

2. I have 3 computers that I would like to get some more RAM for. Unfortunately, I can't look at a RAM chip (module?) and know what kind it is. Does anyone know of a site that would have pictures (or something!) so I can see the difference?

(For anyone who wants to know how I built a system without knowing how to match the CPU to the MB, I bought them bundled because I didn't know)

Oh, all right, one more question: Any recommendations for a good site with low prices?

Comments

  • ibyiby Posts: 323Member
    [b][red]This message was edited by iby at 2002-8-26 16:49:40[/red][/b][hr]
    : 1. What info is needed to match a motherboard to a CPU?
    : Seems like the socket type is basically the pin pattern,
    : but that doesn't seem like enough to me (for a match).
    : Is it socket type and chipset? Or what?

    When you buy motherboard you buy it for particular CPU.
    If your CPU is P4, motherboard MUST be for P4, period.
    You CANNOT use it with P3 or Athlon.
    It is listed on motherboard box/manual what CPU's are
    supported.


    : 2. I have 3 computers that I would like to get some
    : more RAM for. Unfortunately, I can't look at a RAM
    : chip (module?) and know what kind it is. Does anyone
    : know of a site that would have pictures (or something!)
    : so I can see the difference?

    Don't know. Good site is for example www.tomshardware.com
    but I'm not sure you will find site that has them all
    side by side neatly pictured and described.
    If you are just after pictures go to say www.google.com
    click on "Images" and type DDRAM or SIMM or RDRAM.
    If you are after part numbers on the chips, usually they go
    like XXXYYYY-ZZZ where:
    X - Model number (series)
    Y - Size
    Z - access time
    Note that number of characters will vary...
    The three popular models nowdays are:
    1. RDRAM - just for P4 and bus speeds ranging 600-1066MHz
    don't be fascinated by big numbers. RDRAM is fast
    in burst mode thats why synthetic benchmarks look good.
    In real world applications, there is not too much
    difference from the rest of the crowd. Also
    even though prices are falling this is still
    quite expencive solution.
    2. DDRAM - new alternative, speeds 200-400MHz (up to 333 is common)
    3. SDRAM - older style, there are motherboards for all
    common CPUs nowdays that support it. Speeds
    ranging 66-133MHz
    What is definigtely obsolete nowdays are the PS2 memory modules
    and SIMM/SIPP oldtimers (SIPP was very rare even in the past).
    I haven't seen in years motherboard that supports more than ONE
    type of memory. In other words if you got motherboard for SDRAM
    that's the type of memory you must buy.

    So selection proces goes like this:
    1. CPU
    2. Motherboard that matches CPU
    3. Memory that matches Motherboard.

    Rest of the components are the same. However, even there you have
    to do some matching. For example, If you want to buy SCSI
    harddrive or CDROM, you will have to buy SCSI contriller etc.
    But, since this is very expencive, it is not likely that you will
    be buying it for your home PC.

    Iby


  • KDivad LeahcimKDivad Leahcim Posts: 3,948Member
    : When you buy motherboard you buy it for particular CPU.
    : If your CPU is P4, motherboard MUST be for P4, period.
    : You CANNOT use it with P3 or Athlon.
    : It is listed on motherboard box/manual what CPU's are
    : supported.

    I know that. The problem is that I can go to, for example, tccomputers.com and buy both a CPU and a MB. I don't know what info I need to look for to be sure they match. It's easy to get both a Socket A MB and a Socket A CPU, but will they work together? That's what I need to know.

    : but I'm not sure you will find site that has them all
    : side by side neatly pictured and described.

    I didn't think so, but it was worth a try.

    : I haven't seen in years motherboard that supports more than ONE
    : type of memory.

    Haven't looked very hard, have you? Several of them at above mentioned site. One, for example, supports 184pin DDIMs and 168pin SIMMs. I could have both numbers and types wrong, but I do recall two types. Several boards like that, or do you mean something else entirely?

    : Rest of the components are the same.

    Yup, rest are easy enough. Those I have no trouble with. It's just these two issues...

    Thanks,
    KDL
  • ibyiby Posts: 323Member
    :It's easy to get both a Socket A MB and a Socket A CPU,
    :but will they work together? That's what I need to know.

    Possible, but still no guaranties:
    You really have to *read* the MB spec to be sure.
    Reason why wouldn't they match is different clock
    speed for example (you get MB that goes up to 1 or 1.2GHz and
    your CPU runs faster and you don't know how or cannot
    change multipliers). They could have different voltage.
    Particular Socet A CPU (just an example) might not be
    supported and/or recognised by BIOS etc.

    : Haven't looked very hard, have you? Several of
    : them at above mentioned site. One, for example, supports 184pin
    : DDIMs and 168pin SIMMs.

    You are right, I did find some MBs online but couldn't find
    one in my area ( I hate to shop online - by the time stuff
    arives it's obsolete and if not I don't have free time to put
    it together). Anyway, thats me...

    Iby
  • KDivad LeahcimKDivad Leahcim Posts: 3,948Member
    : You really have to *read* the MB spec to be sure.

    That is what I thought it might be, but was hoping there were only a couple of specs I would have to look at to know.

    Thanks for your help!
    KDL
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