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Topic: Memory upgrade question

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  1. #1

    Memory upgrade question

    Suppose a computer currently has four memory slots, each with a 512MB memory module in it.

    New memory for this computer is $129/GB, and it only comes in 1GB modules.

    There are two possible options:

    (i) buy 2GB of new memory, stick 1GB modules in slots 1 and 2, and keep the original 512MB modules in slots 3 and 4. End result = 3GB installed, and 2x512MB modules sitting in a box in the closet somewhere... Cost = $258.

    (ii) buy 1GB of new memory, stick it in slot 1, and keep the original 512MB modules in slots 2, 3 and 4. End result = 2.5GB installed, and 1x512MB module sitting in that box in the closet... Cost = $129.

    I seem to remember that it is recommended (?) to only keep equally-sized pairs of memory modules in paired slots... is this correct?

    What, if any, are the disadvantages of a setup like option (ii) above?

    A little extra memory would be nice, but this computer's CPU seems to get overloaded long before the RAM runs out... so it's not at all clear that the extra $129 is worth it... since it will only buy half a GB of more memory... that is, of course, unless there are problems with pairing different-sized memory modules that would make it necessary to buy a new pair of same-sized modules in any case.

    Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

    .
    — alanb

    ...........................

    http://alanb.org

    http://www.myspace.com/arsperspicuus

  2. #2

    Re: Memory upgrade question

    Hi Alan.

    It depends on the mobo. If the machine runs dual-channel (mostly for AMD CPUs), you want matched pairs. Some mobos need everything matched, due to design/firmware limitations. Also check that your mobo can handle 1MB sticks. Not all can.

    Hopefully your manual (or an Internet search) will give you the answers.

  3. #3

    Re: Memory upgrade question

    Hey Jon, thanks for the ultra-fast reply:

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    Hi Alan.

    It depends on the mobo. If the machine runs dual-channel (mostly for AMD CPUs), you want matched pairs. Some mobos need everything matched, due to design/firmware limitations. Also check that your mobo can handle 1MB sticks. Not all can.

    Hopefully your manual (or an Internet search) will give you the answers.
    Hrmmmm... I have no idea how to tell what my motherboard is... although I can say that it's running a Pentium D, 3.0GHz. I poked around in Device Manager, but could see anything that readily identifies the board... where should I look?

    The machine will definitely take 1GB sticks... it's all that Dell offers, and these are specifically spec'd for my model.

    --------------------


    Hrm... so basically, I can get a 512MB gain for $129 (assuming that the "dual channel" option doesn't apply to me), or a 1GB gain for $258...

    Thanks for all current and future input!!

    .
    — alanb

    ...........................

    http://alanb.org

    http://www.myspace.com/arsperspicuus

  4. #4
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    May 2004
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206 USA
    Posts
    1,425

    Re: Memory upgrade question

    CPU-Z will tell you what your motherboard is.
    It's free and a very simple dos type program.
    No install necessary. Just download and run it.


    http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

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