Memory and CPU upgrade question

I have a Shuttle AK35GT2/R which supports (at max) PC2700 DDR. I currently have 512 of PC2100. My video card is a Radeon 9600 AIW XT

Couple of questions:

  1. Crucial is claiming that I can get PC3200 for my MB. Is this going to end up running as PC2700?

  2. What makes more sense…getting an additional 512 or upgrading to PC2700 or PC3200?

  3. Is more memory going to make any difference for HL2?

  4. I currently have an Athlon 2200+…would I be better off getting an Athlon 3000+ (the max the board supports) and sticking with the same memory?

Yes. But you’ll be able to use it as PC3200 in a future system, if you want.

If you plan on upgrading in the future to a system that supports 3200, then I suggest upgrading to the faster memory.


That’s a tough call. HL2 makes heavy use of both CPU and graphics card, though the game doesn’t get really CPU bound until you have a pretty high end graphics card.

If he sticks an additional 3200 in there, will the memory controller automatically downgrade its speed to 2100, to match the existing module?

Most likely. At least, with systems I’ve built tend to run at the slowest memory speed detected, assuming the usual “Auto” or “SPD” settings are enabled.

Thanks for the info! Greatly appreciated.

I’m definitely going to get PC3200 then since it’s about 1 dollar more expensive on Crucial.

Actually, I’m pretty sure the XP 2200+ has a 133MHz FSB, so that’s the speed your RAM would run at (PC2100), regardless of what kind you bought. [Unless the AK35GT2/R supports async memory bus - not familiar with that model - but even if it does, it doesn’t matter much.]

That said, yes, PC3200 RAM is a more sensible long-term investment, since you can use it with a 200MHz FSB CPU somewhere down the line. [Unless you expect to be switching to a DDR-2 system sometime soon…]

BTW, here are a ccouple of HL2 benchmarks for you to mull over - the first focuses on Athlon XPs, the second on mid-range video cards like your 9600:

You’re kinda gonna have to mentally mesh them together yourself to infer what your HL2 performance will be like.