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DDR and DDR2 Memory on a Single Motherboard

If you have invested serious dollars in DDR400 or faster memory, you might not be happy about the prospect of replacing your memory with DDR2 memory when you move up to a PCI-Express motherboard. Fortunately, unlike the kludgy AGP on PCI graphics solution we talked about earlier in this article, several current and new Pentium 4 chipsets support both DDR and DDR2 natively. These chipsets include:

  • Intel 915P
  • Intel 915G
  • Intel 915GV
  • SiS649
  • SiS656FX
  • VIA PT894 Pro
  • VIA PT894
  • VIA PT880 Pro

Although you have a wide variety of chipset choices which are designed to handle both types of memory, most motherboard makers support DDR/DDR2 memory on only a few of their products, or not at all. Check the motherboard specification sheets to determine if a particular motherboard or system using one of these chipsets can use either type of memory.

Table 2 lists some of the current motherboards offering DDR and DDR2 compatibility.

Table 2 – Motherboards Supporting DDR and DDR2 Memory

Vendor

Model

Chipset

Website

ASUS

P5GDC Deluxe

Intel 915P

http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socket775/p5gdc-d/overview.htm

 

P5GDC-V Deluxe

Intel 915G

http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socket775/p5gdc-v-d/overview.htm

DFI

LANParty UT 915P-T12

Intel 915P

http://www.dfi.com.tw/Product/xx_product_spec_details_r_us.jsp?PRODUCT_ID=3201&CATEGORY_TYPE=MB&SITE=NA

Gigabyte

GA-8GPNXP Duo

Intel 915P

http://www.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Products/Products_GA-8GPNXP%20Duo.htm

 

GA-8I915P Duo Pro

Intel 915P

http://www.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Products/Products_GA-8I915P%20Duo%20Pro.htm

MSI

915P Combo-FR

Intel 915P

http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=915P_Combo-FR&class=mb

 

915P Combo-F

Intel 915P

http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=915P_Combo-F&class=mb

 

915G Combo-FR

Intel 915G

http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=915G_Combo-FR&class=mb

 

915G Combo-F

Intel 915G

http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=915G_Combo-FR&class=mb

PCChips

T18 TidalWave

Intel 915P

http://www.pcchips.com.tw/PCCWeb/Products/ProductsDetail.aspx?DetailID=298&MenuID=92&LanID=0

Keep in mind that there are two limitations in having DDR and DDR2 memory support on the same motherboard:

  • You must use one type of memory or the other. DDR and DDR2 cannot be used at the same time because of timing issues.
  • Systems running either DDR or DDR2 memory usually have maximum memory capacities of 4GB. Systems supporting both memory types limit you to 2GB of DDR or 2GB of DDR2. If you need memory sizes beyond 2GB, you should not use a DDR/DDR2 motherboard.
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