Ok, I know just enough about PCs to be dangerous. I'm looking at crucial.com for RAM upgrades and the cost has really gone down for the ones I need. They are 184 pin Dimms, DDR 400 for my Dell Dimension. It has been a great machine. I get great results for the most part. With GPO I get around 30 instruments loaded before I run out and even more on libs with streaming engines. But now I want to be able to load more and I'm looking at Spectrasonics libs and they only run from RAM as I understand. I've got 1 gig now with two slots wide open so I'm looking at a pair of 1 gig chips for a total of 3 gigs. Is DDR 400 a good standard speed? It's like $189.00 for the set of 1 gig (=2 gigs) chips right now. Can anyone comment on this as a good deal and are they fast enough? Thanks.
Thanks Geronimo. Mine is a Dimension 4600. It must be about three years old and has been extremely stable throughout. I've blue screened it a few times but who hasnt. Mine has four slots but I know the 4600c has only two. Even if I had only two I could still double my ram. Thanks for the help.
There's more to worry about than the base speed. There's also the timing, which is listed in four numbers, something like 3-4-3-6. Those define the latency. You want the first three numbers to be low.
If you want no headaches, get some of the faster latency RAM from OCZ, Mushkin or some other name brand. PC400 is probably fine for speed.
Some mobos run two sockets well and four poorly. If you have problems, remove the old RAM and just go with the new 2 GHz. The new RAM will almost certainly be solid with the RAM settings on the mobo. The machine should hum.
If you buy RAM that's not fast enough for your stock mobo settings, you'll need to adjust the BIOS settings. If your cool with that, you can risk buying slow latency RAM. If you want no headaches, get small latency numbers.
Make sure the mobo supports more than 2 gigs of ram. My ol' P3 I purchased maxed out at 512 ram even though I had 4 slots, I had a 1 512 stick in it and had to wait quite a while to update the system....
I was a bit peeved that the chipset , mobo and maxed out ram meant I had to rebuild the entire system! But all is cool now with Amd.