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More memory

My main XP box had an odd amount of memory installed - three 256MiB and one 512MiB DDR modules (giving 1280MiB). It was running XP with that and a 2.4GHz Pentium4, so it was never especially fast.

I held off on upgrading it because, being an Intel chipset of some sort, it wanted a specific type of memory. I do have another PC (unused) that has some memory modules, but they don't work.

I decided to go ahead and order 2GiB (2 × 1GiB) from Amazon. I took a chance as the description mentioned nothing about ECC or buffering, but coming from Amazon itself, if they didn't work I'd just return them. I'm not expecting great - they effectively cost six euros each.

As expected, they arrived quickly, in little antistatic cases. Here they are out of the wrappings.

I have installed them into the PC along with the 512MiB and the 256MiB modules, to give a total of 2,816MiB onboard.

The side effect of doing this mash-up is that the older modules can only manage running at 200MHz, while the new memory claims to be 400MHz capable. On the plus side, the system won't be any slower than it used to be. In actual fact, I noticed a distinct difference on my EeePC when I changed the 1GiB (factory) for 2GiB. It's the same here, even though the memory speed has not changed, things just seem so much slicker now that there's plenty of memory available.

There's not much benefit in adding more memory (another two 1GiB modules) as 32 bit XP doesn't really cope with more than 3GiB of RAM.

Now to turn attention to the new memory itself. The processor is running a around 2794.8MHz with the FSB clocking 199.6MHz (but since it's quad-pumped on Intel, it is achieving 798.5MHz). The memory subsystem is dual channel DDR1, with a CAS latency of 3 clock ticks, RAS to CAS delay and precharge of 3 ticks, and a cycle time of 8 ticks.
There is some interesting trickery going on here. The modules are rated at 400MHz but the memory bus is actually running at ~200MHz. So what gives? Well, the truth is that memory is moved on the rising and falling edge of the clock signal, so while the FSB speed is the literal speed of the bus, the speed printed on the memory module is its rated bandwidth, in other words the 200MHz bus is making two transfers every clock cycle so it is effectively passing data at 400MHz.

For some reason the memory slots are numbered from right to left, but, okay...

Slot #1 Slot #2 Slot #3 Slot #4
Size 256MiB 512MiB 1GiB (new) 1GiB (new)
Max bandwidthPC3200 200MHz PC3200 200MHz PC3200 200MHz PC3200 200MHz
Manufacturer Samsung Kingston Kingston Kingston
Part number M3 68L3223ETM-CCCK K K
Serial numberF108A1EF 641B9E3C 01127342 6D1DF146
Week/year 24/05 46/07 49/07 02/02

Just looking at that list, it would seem as if none of the Kingston modules are genuine, unless "K" really is all that they could be bothered to use for a part number. I doubt it, as these ones were branded QUMOX, not Kingston. I also find the manufacturing date of the supposedly identical 1GiB modules to be suspicious - one made on the 49th week of 2007 (believable) and the other one made on the 2nd week of 2002? Hmm...

Still, it works... for now. ☺


Playmobil spare parts

I got myself a Playmobil camper at a boot sale the other weekend. It had endured a hard life, but it cleaned up nicely.

The problem was, a number of parts were missing. No antenna, no wing mirrors, and no adult beds.

Playmobil to the rescue. They have a spare parts service where you can order parts that you need. So I got myself a new antenna (€0,20), and a set of wing mirrors (€0,45). They did not have the original beds for the camper, so I decided to try something else that had adult sized beds (€1,80 for four) plus bed frames in case they were needed (€1,40 for two). Add in €2,30 for postage and €1,02 for taxes, it all came to €6,15.
The order was placed on the 30th of June. I was advised to wait 4-6 weeks for spare parts. A little more than the 2-3 days that ordering actual packs cost, but then I guess an employee has to actually go rummaging in a warehouse to find this stuff.
It arrived last Wednesday, so it took a little over two weeks. Not bad.

Being German, it was packed in a way that puts Amazon to shame. Here's the box:

Open it up, take out the order form (with each part checked off), there's a neatly folded piece of soft paper that wraps around a zip-lock Playmobil bag.

And here are all the parts, completely unaffected by the postal journey. Well, it's not a surprise given it was better wrapped than British fish and chips!

Unfortunately the beds didn't quite fit. The length is good, but they are more narrow. It isn't a problem. A bit of blu-tack or hot-melt glue will hold them in place.

The antenna and wing mirrors, on the other hand, just clipped into place. No problems at all.


French Frog

Say hello to my little friend...



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David Pilling, 26th July 2019, 01:46
Playmobil put makers of real products to shame by selling spares at such low prices.

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