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Old 12-11-2005, 13:03   #1
Wayne02
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Corsair memory confusion

My son has an alienware system that has 1gig memory - two sticks of Corsair xtreme memory speed, cmx512-3200LL, xms3200, 512mb 400mhz, 2326, xms3205v1.2, 0405090.........at least that's all the numbers I can find on the side of the memory stick.

I need to replace one of these sticks as it is bad. I search on ebay and find this:
http://search.ebay.com/corsair-cmx51...fkrZ1QQfromZR8

Which numbers do I have to match to ensure the new stick will work in his machine???

Where is a good place to buy this? Are those prices on ebay any good? I don't do the auction thing, so unless there is a buy it now I don't do ebay.

Thanks
Wayne
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:30   #2
Wayne02
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Help me out here guys. If I'm buying this corsair ram to match the one good one left in the machine, what do I have to look for to make sure it is properly matched? What does the v1.2 mean on the end of that number? Is that voltage or version????

Bonus question:
I have some miscellaneous other ram sticks around here, like:

256mb dt 133256mb 3.3v

128mb pc133 7.5

256mb 32x64 dimm pc133-sdram

128mb kingston3.3v

Can I put one or more of these sticks in his alienware machine to get him through to Christmas when he gets the replacement corsair 512 stick? What's the rule on mixing and matching ram sticks? There appear to be four slots available on this motherboard. Two of the slots are blue (this is where the two corsair 512s are located) and there is one white slot right next to each blue slot... if that makes any difference.

Thanks
Wayne
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Old 12-12-2005, 13:16   #3
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edit: i was wrong.
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Old 12-12-2005, 18:11   #4
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If it is Intel-based, then using an odd number of DIMMs (other than one, obviously) will cause problems.

Since in an Intel rig the FSB is set up to use HyperThreading and Dual Channel on the newer processors, they need to be purchased in matched pairs. A lone survivor of an old twin-DIMM array can be kept for a spare or for later resale, but trying to match PC RAM can be a nightmare, with ultra-high prices and a slim chance of avoiding a mismatched array.

I'd just go buy two already-paired PC3200 512's or 1024's, myself. And if it is an AMD-based unit, he can use all three sticks at once.

Have fun!
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Old 12-12-2005, 18:42   #5
HAVOC
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wayne02
Help me out here guys. If I'm buying this corsair ram to match the one good one left in the machine, what do I have to look for to make sure it is properly matched? What does the v1.2 mean on the end of that number? Is that voltage or version????

Bonus question:
I have some miscellaneous other ram sticks around here, like:

256mb dt 133256mb 3.3v

128mb pc133 7.5

256mb 32x64 dimm pc133-sdram

128mb kingston3.3v

Can I put one or more of these sticks in his alienware machine to get him through to Christmas when he gets the replacement corsair 512 stick? What's the rule on mixing and matching ram sticks? There appear to be four slots available on this motherboard. Two of the slots are blue (this is where the two corsair 512s are located) and there is one white slot right next to each blue slot... if that makes any difference.

Thanks
Wayne
From your description of the RAM slots, it sounds like a newew board running dual channel RAM. The suggestion of buying another gig and running split sizes across the channels is probably not the best.

The RAM you have looks to be discontinued. The LL series went to the C2 series, at a guess. CMX512-3200LL is the part number. See Corsair's site for more information. The LL RAM in the previous poster's link is CMX512RE-3200LL, Registered, ECC server RAM. You don't want that. That v1.2 is a revision number.

All of the spare stuff you have laying around seems to be PC133. Useless here.

Have you considered Corsair's warranty? It's supposed to be lifetime, and while I've never had cause to find out how serious they are, I've not heard anything about them playing games with it. How about Alienware's warranty? How old is this box? The one down side might be, if the RAM was bought as a dual channel kit, they will want both sticks back. The dual kits carry TWINX part numbers rather than CMX, but I don't know if the sticks are marked that way or not. You'll likely have to get in touch with Alienware to find out.
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Old 12-12-2005, 18:54   #6
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And as for matching just so it'll work...

Theoretically any PC3200, 512MB stick of unregistered RAM will work.

The system SHOULD just clock all the variables down to match the speed of a new, cheap stick, essentially running the XMS well below it's potential. You might have to set the RAM timings to auto in the BIOS. Alienware may do some tweaking in there.

In reality, mismatched sticks in a dual channel system can cause all sorts of small, irritating issues. Noting catastrophic, and it could work perfectly.

Unless that system is running a bleeding edge overclock, you don't need to EXACTLY match everything, but the closer you get, the better off you'll be.
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Old 12-12-2005, 19:03   #7
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This is as exact a match as you're likely to find. There may be revision issues, and possibly even different chips in there, but it SHOULD work.
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Last edited by HAVOC; 12-12-2005 at 19:13..
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Old 12-12-2005, 19:25   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by HAVOC
From your description of the RAM slots, it sounds like a newew board running dual channel RAM. The suggestion of buying another gig and running split sizes across the channels is probably not the best.

The RAM you have looks to be discontinued. The LL series went to the C2 series, at a guess. CMX512-3200LL is the part number. See Corsair's site for more information. The LL RAM in the previous poster's link is CMX512RE-3200LL, Registered, ECC server RAM. You don't want that. That v1.2 is a revision number.
Ouch, I was afraid I screwed that up. I ordered the CMX512re-3200LL as it was the closest I could find in that link. Been on hold for 20 minutes now with newegg to try and cancel the order (they close in 5 minutes).

The motherboard is an Asus p4c800-e deluxe. Looks like the system was delivered in Feb of 05. My son was given this system used by one of my wifes co-workers, so I didn't think about warranty. Not sure if a second owner can claim on the warranty or not.

He has had trouble with the machine locking up during online games and such. We tried different video cards and some other stuff. I tested the memory and found one bad 512 stick. I pulled the bad stick and the machine has been running on 512 with no more lock-up problems, but it is of course much slower.

Not sure what to do next. The ebay link in your post doesn't seem to be working.

Thanks
Wayne
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Old 12-12-2005, 22:23   #9
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I had some initial problems with the link. Try it now. Otherwise it's item number: 6830756583 Same part number, and same revision.

That BiN price is stupid though, as you can buy a new, same brand, similarly specced dual-512 kit for a hundred bucks, delivered.

If you're not terribly worried about the whole RAM timings thing, then you can get a gig for about $75. Maybe less if you shop around. I'm sure it's criminal to put pedestrian "value" RAM in an Alienware, but $25 is $25...

Heck, you can get a 2GB kit for not a lot more than you were wiling to spend in a "proper" replacement. It's a slower rated kit than what you have, but I'm not convinced anyone can tell the difference outside a benchmark suite anyway. Even tweaky, low-latency 2Gig kits are $210ish if you look.

Out of curiosity, how did you determine the bad stick? Just pull and try?

Something to try, if you haven't already; moving stick around to different slots can sometimes fix this sort of weird problem. It's not as common a fix as it was 4 or 5 years ago, but it can still make a difference.

Try the other colored slots, try reversing which stick is in which slot. Try the stick you've determined to be bad by itself.


I don't know if Alienware went in and played with the RAM settings in the BIOS, but it might be worth looking, and even setting the system to slower settings than the RAM is rated for.

The closest rating you can get new these days is the C2 series, but it's a might SLOWER and proably uses different chips. The XL series is faster and almost certainly uses different chips.
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Old 12-12-2005, 23:04   #10
Wayne02
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Quote:
Originally posted by HAVOC
I had some initial problems with the link. Try it now. Otherwise it's item number: 6830756583 Same part number, and same revision.

Out of curiosity, how did you determine the bad stick? Just pull and try?
Yes, just pulled one and then the other.
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Old 12-13-2005, 10:56   #11
Wayne02
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Quote:
Originally posted by HAVOC
I don't know if Alienware went in and played with the RAM settings in the BIOS, but it might be worth looking, and even setting the system to slower settings than the RAM is rated for.
I wouldn't even know how to do that. This "free" system has been a pia to get running reliably, and I'm about to the end of my rope with this thing. It's screaming fast.... when it actually runs right for any length of time. I'm tempted to put this pos alienware in the crusher and make my son use his old gateway again... yeah it's a cruel world.

Been trying for hours to get a hold of newegg to cancel my initial order. I either go into the hold loop or the line is busy from the get go. At this rate it will ship before I can cancel. Not sure if I can return it or not.

I guess I'll order the dual channel kit for $108 and hope it works.

Thanks
Wayne
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Old 12-13-2005, 17:44   #12
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Playing with RAM settings in the BIOS isn't that hard, you seem to have something between your ears besides oatmeal...

No need to stuff it in the crusher... you can send it to me and I'll put it out of it's misery...

It's just standard, off the shelf PC parts. If Alienware has gone whole hog and tweaked avary setting to within an inch of it's life, you wind up with NO margin for error. Mildly excessive heat, dried up thermal compounds, minor ESD damage, slightly tweaky PSU, things that won't ever show up on a normal system, can take center stage on a system with everything set to the bleeding edge.
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