Is your memory not fully recognized? (Intel VX chipset Memory recognition)
#34958 by bacchus
Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:37 am
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Last edited by bacchus on Fri Nov 11, 2005 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#34958 by bacchus
Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:37 am

I have a circa 1999 Gateway GP7-500. I would like to upgrade the RAM beyond the three 128Meg DIMMs I presently have. The system has three slots, so I know that means replacing at least one of my present ones with something "bigger."

Gateway tech support says the MOBO only supports three 128Meg DIMMS (CL2 3.3v PC100)...
...more details...

128Meg may have been the biggest DIMM they could make when the specs for the system were developed. I've read anecdotal reports that people have successfully used 256Meg DIMMs on their mobos having Intel 440BX chipsets...
...and at least one guy says he has a 256Meg DIMM in his WS440BX Gateway...

At least one online retailer (no personal affiliation / not even a customer) recognizes that you have to make some special memory considerations for 440BX mobos...

The Intel-branded WS440BX mobo seems to support 256's...

I'm sure Intel can do it differently on the boards they make for Gateway, but it seems to suggest the chipset is capable of handling that size DIMM.

I'm confused regarding what specifications a 256Meg DIMM needs in order to be compatible with the 440BX chipset. I found a handfull of posts describing problems with 256's on these mobos - some not recognized at all, some recognized as 128's. The replies always linked to the Gateway tech support docs for the mobo (above) quoting the 128Meg/DIMM limit.

However, the same Gateway document says RAM is "Expandable to 384-MB of SDRAM (CAS latency of 2) using 64-Mbit chips." The 128Meg DIMMs I have (more below the quote block) have only 8 components each, implying that they use 128-Mbit chips. You would need sixteen 64-Mbit chips to make 128MBytes, right? Or am I confused?

I'm sure compatibiliby has to do with memory density / the number of components on the DIMM / the way the components are logically interconnected (how they are addressed).

My system has the following bios / mobo (as identified by SiSoftware Sandra)
System BIOS : Intel Corp. 4W4SB0X0.15A.0019.P14
System:Gateway GP7-500
Mainboard : GATEWAY Tabor3 WS440BX

Everest gets a bit more specific

Code: Select all--------[ Motherboard ]-------------------------------------
    Motherboard Properties:
      Motherboard ID        4W4SB0X0.15A.0019.P14.0005091032
      Motherboard Name      Intel Warm Springs WS440BX

    Front Side Bus Properties:
      Bus Type              Intel GTL+
      Bus Width             64-bit
      Real Clock            100 MHz
      Effective Clock       100 MHz
      Bandwidth             800 MB/s

    Memory Bus Properties:
      Bus Type              SDR SDRAM
      Bus Width             64-bit
      Real Clock            100 MHz
      Effective Clock       100 MHz
      Bandwidth             800 MB/s

    Motherboard Physical Info:
      CPU Sockets/Slots     1
      Expansion Slots       1 ISA, 5 PCI, 1 AGP
      RAM Slots             3 DIMM
      Form Factor           ATX
      Motherboard Size      200 mm x 300 mm
      Motherboard Chipset   i440BX

    Motherboard Manufacturer:
      Company Name          Intel Corporation

    Motherboard Properties:
      Motherboard ID         4W4SB0X0.15A.0019.P14.0005091032
      Motherboard Name       Intel Warm Springs WS440BX
                             (1 ISA, 5 PCI, 1 AGP, 3 DIMM)

    Chipset Properties:
      Motherboard Chipset    Intel 82440BX
      Memory Timings         2-2-2-?  (CL-RCD-RP-RAS)

    SPD Memory Modules:
      DIMM1: Micron Tech. 8LSDT1664AG-10EB1
             128 MB PC100 SDRAM  (2.0-2-2-5 @ 100 MHz)
      DIMM2: Micron Tech. 8LSDT1664AG-10EB1
             128 MB PC100 SDRAM  (2.0-2-2-5 @ 100 MHz)
      DIMM3: Micron Tech. 8LSDT1664AG-10EE3
             128 MB PC100 SDRAM  (2.0-2-2-5 @ 100 MHz)

The BIOS is updated to the most recent version available from Gateway.
All three of my present 128Meg DIMMs are MT8LSDT1664AG-10E (manufactured at different times, two on different dies). All of them work fine.

The 128Meg DIMMS I have are Micron PC100 non-ECC non-buffered and have eight components on a single side.

The tech sheet from Micron shows that they make a 256Meg DIMM using sixteen of the same components found on the 128's I already have. Hopefully that would mean the 256Meg DIMM and the 440BX chipset would be able to talk to each other. (I know there are memory design issues I do not know about, and that it would be physically possible for a manfacturer to design a DIMM that would have components on each side and still be treated as "single sided" by the chipset. Why that is, I do not know yet.)

I'd like someone to post something like "Yes, I have the same mobo and the 256Meg DIMM I use is [manufacturer's part number]."

Furthermore, I'd like it if someone could explain why a DIMM designed with xxx characteristics works just fine and is recognized at its full capacity while DIMM yyy doesn't work or gets recognized as smaller than it is.

Before anyone tells me to just build a new system - I am. Still, I want to keep this system around for other purposes, and a bit more memory than 384Meg would be nice.

Thank you.
Last edited by bacchus on Fri Nov 11, 2005 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.