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Unread 29 Dec 2008, 23:05   #1
All Systems Go
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N00b RAM Question

I want to add more RAM to my desktop. I don't know how to work out what RAM it has, or what RAM it can physically fit.

I am using Windows Vista.

How do I tell?
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The 20th century has been characterised by three developments of great political importance. The growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.
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Unread 29 Dec 2008, 23:10   #2
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Re: N00b RAM Question

Hi,

I used http://www.crucial.com 's "Scan my system" option. It downloads a small piece of software and has hit 9 times out of 10 for me. The other times i manually put in the manufacturer etc and it told me.
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Unread 29 Dec 2008, 23:45   #3
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Re: N00b RAM Question

To make 100% sure open you case and search for a name on the mainboard. Make sure you also search for the correct revision. (It often happens that from rev. 1.0 to a later version the ram type changes )
In the manual of the mainboard you can find that info.

I have also tried that tool r2baz provided and it worked for me!
nice tool btw

But to make 100% sure i would search for some documentation material of your mainboard.
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Unread 30 Dec 2008, 15:18   #4
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Re: N00b RAM Question

Thanks. Where is the best place to buy some extra RAM? Good website?

Edit: I have a 32 bit OS (Vista Home Premium). Should I bother upgrading by 2 gig in the hope of getting 1.5 gig extra memory or should I just go with an extra 1 gig of memory?

Using the program listed above, it has recommended that I remove the 1 gig chip already in my PC and replace it with a 2GB chip only. Does this make sense?

Edit edit: No Dual Channel Support.
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The 20th century has been characterised by three developments of great political importance. The growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

Last edited by All Systems Go; 30 Dec 2008 at 15:29.
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Unread 30 Dec 2008, 15:39   #5
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Re: N00b RAM Question

In theory, it is always best to buy memory in doubles, because they benefit from a higher bandwidth (wiki dual-channel architecture). In practice however, the difference is negligible.

I would add 1 or 2 additional modules of 1 GB, of the same type as you already have (DDR-xxx or DDR2-xxx, where xxx is a number between about 400 and 1066). Windows should be able to utilise about 3 to 3.5 GB of memory, so it might be worthwhile to get 2 modules.

As a final note, get the cheapest RAM you can find. Here too, expensive RAM is only marginally (0-2%) faster than cheap RAM.
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Unread 30 Dec 2008, 18:15   #6
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Re: N00b RAM Question

I am not sure about Vista, but Windows XP 32bit and Windows Server 2k3 can only adress 3gig? total memory.
Perhaps its worth reading this before:
http://www.vistaclues.com/reader-que...windows-vista/
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Unread 30 Dec 2008, 18:45   #7
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Re: N00b RAM Question

its 4 gig, but included in that is graphics card memory and so on, every bit of additional memory that needs addressing - so say you had a 256mb graphics card, you would get 3.75gb of ram available
I think there was something to extend that a bit further for 32bit server os's though, cant remember what though.
32 bit vista should also have the same limitation as the limitation is a hardware one - not a software one
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Unread 30 Dec 2008, 20:16   #8
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Re: N00b RAM Question

PAE - Physical Address Extension. It's not really worth the trouble, considering the availability of 64bit drivers.

I also think Windows allocates another half a GB of the address space for other purposes. I've always heard that 3.5 GB is the maximum Windows can use, including video memory.
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The outraged poets threw sticks and rocks over the side of the bridge. They were all missing Mary and he felt a contented smug feeling wash over him. He would have given them a coy little wave if the roof hadn't collapsed just then. Mary then found himself in the middle of an understandably shocked family's kitchen table. So he gave them the coy little wave and realized it probably would have been more effective if he hadn't been lying on their turkey.
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Unread 31 Dec 2008, 10:06   #9
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Re: N00b RAM Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mzyxptlk View Post
In theory, it is always best to buy memory in doubles, because they benefit from a higher bandwidth (wiki dual-channel architecture). In practice however, the difference is negligible.

I would add 1 or 2 additional modules of 1 GB, of the same type as you already have (DDR-xxx or DDR2-xxx, where xxx is a number between about 400 and 1066). Windows should be able to utilise about 3 to 3.5 GB of memory, so it might be worthwhile to get 2 modules.

As a final note, get the cheapest RAM you can find. Here too, expensive RAM is only marginally (0-2%) faster than cheap RAM.
I currently have a 1 GB chip in my PC. I have one additional memory slot. The software recommends I remove my 1 GB chip and get a single 2GB chip. If I'm doing this I may as well leave the 1 GB chip and put the 2GB chip in the additional memor slot?
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Unread 31 Dec 2008, 11:09   #10
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Re: N00b RAM Question

Yes. Make sure your motherboard is ok with modules of 2 GB though.
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The outraged poets threw sticks and rocks over the side of the bridge. They were all missing Mary and he felt a contented smug feeling wash over him. He would have given them a coy little wave if the roof hadn't collapsed just then. Mary then found himself in the middle of an understandably shocked family's kitchen table. So he gave them the coy little wave and realized it probably would have been more effective if he hadn't been lying on their turkey.
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Unread 31 Dec 2008, 12:19   #11
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Re: N00b RAM Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mzyxptlk View Post
Yes. Make sure your motherboard is ok with modules of 2 GB though.
There seems to be no DDR PC2-5200 RAM (which is in my PC) but there is plenty of DDR PC2-5300. Does it make a difference or will I have to take the 1GB out?
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Unread 31 Dec 2008, 12:50   #12
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Re: N00b RAM Question

No, I don't think it'll make a difference. Go into a store and ask.
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The outraged poets threw sticks and rocks over the side of the bridge. They were all missing Mary and he felt a contented smug feeling wash over him. He would have given them a coy little wave if the roof hadn't collapsed just then. Mary then found himself in the middle of an understandably shocked family's kitchen table. So he gave them the coy little wave and realized it probably would have been more effective if he hadn't been lying on their turkey.
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Unread 31 Dec 2008, 16:32   #13
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Re: N00b RAM Question

PC2-5300 is a pretty common module so just see if a friend has some which you can test on your machine although it should be fine to use anyway.

My most recent purchase was made from http://www.mrmemory.co.uk/ was cheap and arrived next day. Although i hear crucial are also a good supplier so i would just go with the cheapest.
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Unread 31 Dec 2008, 19:28   #14
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Re: N00b RAM Question

I have bought RAM from Amazon before and it was cheap and works fine.

Not sure of the differences between 5200 and 5300 or whether they can be mixed but found a few results for 5200.

http://www.google.co.uk/products?q=D...&hl=en&show=dd

hth
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Unread 16 Jan 2009, 11:48   #15
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Re: N00b RAM Question

http://www.memory-express.co.uk/

used in the past for cheapish

also

http://www.kingston.com/

has a ram checker on their site in case you went with kingston
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Unread 5 Jul 2009, 17:07   #16
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Re: N00b RAM Question

*BUMP*

After running the RAM scanner from www.crucial.com, it said I had two memory slots and that I should replace my 1GB chip with a 2GB chip, leaving the second memoy slot empty.

It also says that the maximum amount of RAM my PC can support is 2GB. How is this worked out, why does it not support 3GB?

Would a 2GB chip be noticably faster than having 2 1GB chips?
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Unread 6 Jul 2009, 06:17   #17
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Re: N00b RAM Question

It would probably be a bit faster but nothing noticeable, as for the maximum supported ram this is decided by what your motherboard can handle putting any more than this in would most likely not work or do some damage to your system. Although you could try a bios update and see if that makes a difference to the maximum supported.

Whats the price difference between the two memory modules? if it isn't a great deal i would opt for the 2gb incase at some point you wish to upgrade again.
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Unread 6 Jul 2009, 17:42   #18
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Re: N00b RAM Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by All Systems Go View Post
*BUMP*

After running the RAM scanner from www.crucial.com, it said I had two memory slots and that I should replace my 1GB chip with a 2GB chip, leaving the second memoy slot empty.

It also says that the maximum amount of RAM my PC can support is 2GB. How is this worked out, why does it not support 3GB?
It is likely a limitation of your chipset. You need to supply us with the name (and probably hardware revision) of your motherboard to answer that. But it is likely that the answer will be, that it is a limitation of your northbridge.
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Unread 6 Jul 2009, 20:37   #19
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Re: N00b RAM Question

Your Packard Bell iStart C2389 Specifications
# Maximum Memory Capacity: 2048MB
# Currently Installed Memory: 1GB
# Available Memory Slots: 1
# Total Memory Slots: 2
# Dual Channel Support: No
# CPU Manufacturer: GenuineIntel
# CPU Family: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20GHz Model 6, Stepping 5
# CPU Speed: 3192 MHz

Each memory slot can hold DDR2 PC2-5300 with a maximum of 2GB per slot.*

*Not to exceed manufacturer supported memory.
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