256Meg DIMM on WS440BX mobo?

Is your memory not fully recognized? (Intel VX chipset Memory recognition)
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bacchus
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Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:37 am

Hello,

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)...
http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/I ... 1002.shtml
...more details...
http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/J ... 3301.shtml
http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/i ... 1004.shtml

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...
http://www.wimsbios.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4589
http://www.wimsbios.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3082
http://www.hardwarebanter.com/printthread.php?t=3445
...and at least one guy says he has a 256Meg DIMM in his WS440BX Gateway...
http://groups.msn.com/PCHC/pcspecs.msnw ... ortstring=

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...
http://store.yahoo.com/pcmemory-stores/ ... moem1.html

The Intel-branded WS440BX mobo seems to support 256's...
http://config.vikingcomponents.com/deta ... el=WS440BX

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.
http://download.micron.com/pdf/datashee ... 2x64AG.pdf

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.
jimjones
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Fri Nov 11, 2005 10:58 am

http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/ubb ... 1000044631

and

http://homepage.hispeed.ch/rscheidegger/ram_bx_faq.html
(from the sticky on top of this page)

as how you can now what the internal chiporganisation really is, i have no idea (there's a link to a utility from c't but that thing crashes my comp - neway you would have to have the chip already, so then it's too late :cry: )

rumours are that if you have chips on both side of the stick that you have a good chance it will work

which may be right as i have a kingston 256 mb mem module from which the datasheet says it's a ...x8 but only shows up as 128mb on a bx motherboard

and since they say newer modules have this annoying design which makes them (partly) unusable for old mobos maybe you can check production date?

good luck :)
if all else fails, try brute force :)
bacchus
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Fri Nov 11, 2005 7:27 pm

Thank you for the additional links - very helpful.

Based on the number of questions similar to mine that I found while googling for an answer, I hope that someone stumbles across the information in the present thread and also finds it helpful.

In my research, I found an Abit BX-based board (Abit BX-133 RAID 440BX)...
http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content ... e%5Ftest=1
...other Abit mobos aparently using the 440BX chipset...
http://www.abit-usa.com/products/mb/retired.php

(I just listed Abit here because it was easy to use their website to find legacy mobos based on chipset.)

Putting such mobos into memory configurators on the websites of various memory vendors may provide at least some leads regarding compatible DIMMS. Naturally, get a manufacturer's part number and find the spec sheet for the DIMM to confirm it's design.
gatekeeper75
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Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:57 am

don't woory when it comes to memory, the gateway board you are speaking of can handle just about anything you throw at ot, i my self have one of these boards and it easily read and used 512 memory. i also happened to have the 600 cpu on it and a 20 gig 7200 ata 100 maxtor hard drivebeing used prity nicely, not a bullet mind you, but not bad for a 10+ yaer old computer, of course the hard drive is ran by a controler card. it's an all around decent system, hope that helps. ps the memory was two 256 stick
basskozz
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Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:45 am

I am in a similar situation with the Tabor mobo (my current config: 128+64+64=256), at the very least I want to get 3 128meg chips in there so I ordered some 128meg and 256meg sticks off eBay for cheap, I'll keep my fingers crossed.
gatekeeper75 wrote:don't woory when it comes to memory, the gateway board you are speaking of can handle just about anything you throw at ot, i my self have one of these boards and it easily read and used 512 memory. i also happened to have the 600 cpu on it and a 20 gig 7200 ata 100 maxtor hard drivebeing used prity nicely, not a bullet mind you, but not bad for a 10+ yaer old computer, of course the hard drive is ran by a controler card. it's an all around decent system, hope that helps. ps the memory was two 256 stick
Even thou the user manual (http://download.intel.com/design/mother ... 258701.pdf) page 16 says max memory = 384megs?

bacchus,
Were you able to use a 256meg chip in any of the slots?
TIA,
-BassKozz

On another semi-related note, I am using Bios v13, and planning on upgrading to 14 (http://support.gateway.com/support/driv ... A.0019.P14) but the upgrade doesn't explain what exactly it fixes it just says:
Reason for Update

This BIOS upgrade resolves some minor technical issues.
Is it worth the effort?
Denniss
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Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:56 pm

every i440LX/EX or i440BX/ZX based board is technically able to fully support 256MB DIMMs per Slot if you use compatible ones (8x16 internal org, 16 memory chips (8 per side)). Just ordering 128MB is not free of problems as you might get 128MB with only 4 memory chips (capacity halved at best).
basskozz
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Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:33 pm

Denniss wrote:every i440LX/EX or i440BX/ZX based board is technically able to fully support 256MB DIMMs per Slot if you use compatible ones (8x16 internal org, 16 memory chips (8 per side)). Just ordering 128MB is not free of problems as you might get 128MB with only 4 memory chips (capacity halved at best).
Would This Work?
Denniss
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Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:17 pm

baskozz wrote:
Denniss wrote:every i440LX/EX or i440BX/ZX based board is technically able to fully support 256MB DIMMs per Slot if you use compatible ones (8x16 internal org, 16 memory chips (8 per side)). Just ordering 128MB is not free of problems as you might get 128MB with only 4 memory chips (capacity halved at best).
Would This Work?
Probably not, no image to look at and Kingston page lists it only as compatible with certain Dell models.

Search for i440BX compatible RAM, it could be either PC-100 or PC-133. This one from Kingston would fit:
http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/configu ... 0X64C2/256

Found matching SDRAM on Ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/2-X-256MB-512MB-PC1 ... dZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/MICRON-512mb-2-256m ... dZViewItem
edwin
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Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:47 pm

KTD-XPSRN/256

http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/configu ... it1=Search

Listed as being compatible with the Dell Dimension XPS T series which hold an SE440BX-3 OEM Intel motherboard of the same era as the WS440BX, I'd say it will work.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
basskozz
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Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:42 pm

I purchased a stick of the KVR100X64C2/256 here, I just got it today, and plugged it in, and it recognized it just fine.
I am running Memtest86+ v2.01 and so far so good after 1 pass, I'll probably let it run for a few more just to be sure. :wink:
Thanks for the help Denniss & edwin... I am off to go find a deal on two more sticks to bring my rig to 768 :D
edwin
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Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:25 pm

You're welcome and thanks for reporting that stick as working, might help someone else out.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
basskozz
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Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:00 pm

edwin wrote:You're welcome and thanks for reporting that stick as working, might help someone else out.
np, glad I could help out :wink:
BTW, MemTest86+ after 7 passes all is well... :D
JonahB
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Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:43 pm

Yes. You can get extended memory on this mainboard and, I HAVE had on this one a couple of 512 MB sticks.

Until I got hungry and sold them to buy food.

As of right now GP7/500 I've got 2 256 megs and 1 128 meg sticks.

I've also just purchased two pair of motorola 256 m Synch pc100 cl3 error checking.
My question, since this is a three-array board, and these are usually done in pairs (even number of sticks)
if anybody has experience with the cl3 combined 2 sticks plus one of non-ecc as the third module? The sticks are a pull from a server and functioned happily together as long as they were all together. I already found out that ONE ecc standalone on this board ain't gonna hit it. I'm throwing this question in and then I'm going to reboot and head for BIOS setup and see if I have to toggle ECC on for the RAM or not. Ordinarily I wouldn't sweat it because I get other boards on a regular basis, but this one is a project I have to finish quickly on Somebody Else's Computer.

So, I answered part of the original question. Yes, this board WILL take the larger capacity sticks.

Here's one thought (and I'm going to try it) I had some old i586 and i486 machines that I used to rig the RAM together, two 16 meg sticks of SIMM and 2 32 meg sticks of DIMM by putting them in 16, 32, 32, 16. It wouldn't work mixing them any other way.

But I'd also like to hear if anybody has had a success story with the ECC pc100 on a similar mainboard to this.
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