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How Do I Check Memory Speed To Upgrade Memory?


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#1
coalhalo

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I want to upgrade the memory of one of the pc's in our house. I get low memory alerts often and I can't delete much else to create room. I have never opened up a pc before, and I don't want to screw up and make things worse. The pc in question is a HP Pavilion a1150Y with a Intel Pentium 4 (3.00 GHz). OS is Windows XP SP2. It came with 512MB RAM and I would like to go up 2GB. I went to www.crucial.com, ran the system scan, and it says that this type of memory can go into that pc: "DDRII memory with support for DDR2 PC2-4200,DDR2 PC2-5300,DDR2 PC2-6400,DDR2 PC2-8500 speeds." I don't know what speed I should be installing. Any help would be greatlt appreciated.
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#2
PsychPosse

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Hi Coalhalo,

I get low memory alerts often and I can't delete much else to create room

Deleting things on your computer won't give you more RAM. Closing programs that are running will free up RAM. So, from what you said, I am wondering if you are getting low memory alerts (low virtual memory), or if you are running out of disk space (storage).

There are a few ways to check disk space. One way is to go to "My Computer" and right click on your "Local Disk" then click "Properties". It will show you how much space your using, and how much is free.

However, it is very likely you are running out of RAM.
Your computer has 4 slots of 2 banks. The 2 banks are pairs. RAM has to be the same in the pair. You should have at least 1 empty pair on your computer. So you can order 2 more RAM modules to fill those 2 slots. Crucial is recommending the DDR2 PC2-4200. That is what I would use. You can choose either the 512MB kit or the 2GB kit. A kit is a pair of either 256MB's or 1GB's.

Although you can put in one single module, in a bank, your computer suggests a matching pair for better performance.

If you want, you can remove the RAM you have and install the maximum of 4GB.

PsychPosse

Edited by PsychPosse, 27 October 2007 - 12:05 PM.

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#3
coalhalo

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Hi Coalhalo,

I get low memory alerts often and I can't delete much else to create room

Deleting things on your computer won't give you more RAM. Closing programs that are running will free up RAM. So, from what you said, I am wondering if you are getting low memory alerts (low virtual memory), or if you are running out of disk space (storage).

There are a few ways to check disk space. One way is to go to "My Computer" and right click on your "Local Disk" then click "Properties". It will show you how much space your using, and how much is free.

However, it is very likely you are running out of RAM.
Your computer has 4 slots of 2 banks. The 2 banks are pairs. RAM has to be the same in the pair. You should have at least 1 empty pair on your computer. So you can order 2 more RAM modules to fill those 2 slots. Crucial is recommending the DDR2 PC2-4200. That is what I would use. You can choose either the 512MB kit or the 2GB kit. A kit is a pair of either 256MB's or 1GB's.

Although you can put in one single module, in a bank, your computer suggests a matching pair for better performance.

If you want, you can remove the RAM you have and install the maximum of 4GB.

PsychPosse



Thanks for the response.

"So, from what you said, I am wondering if you are getting low memory alerts (low virtual memory), or if you are running out of disk space (storage)."
The answer to that is, both. The disk space capacity of the drive in question is 141GB. 132GB are being used with 9GB free.

I was unable to figure out which one I should go with, but your answer; "Crucial is recommending the DDR2 PC2-4200. That is what I would use.", clears it up for me. I'm going to go with a 2GB kit. I'll check TigerDirect and NewEgg first, but do you have any recommendations for picking one brand over another? Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it.
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#4
Troy

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Hi coalhalo!

If your motherboard can support these speeds, then they have been listed in order from slowest to quickest:

DDR2 PC2-4200,DDR2 PC2-5300,DDR2 PC2-6400,DDR2 PC2-8500 speeds

I'm interested, though, because your computer has a Pentium 4 processor (they're pretty old now). I've just researched your computer, and your motherboard can support PC2-4200, and PC2-5300. (not the rest) This would mean that if you were to order a 2x1GB kit like this one, you could pull the old stuff out, put this kit in and it would run very sweet.

Grab that kit quick while you have an awesome rebate. It's top quality with a lifetime warranty - can't go wrong!

EDIT: Sounds like you need another hard drive, too. With your drive that full, performance would be affected. Grab another drive and move your personal files (music, documents, movies etc...) onto the new one, freeing up space on the OS drive. You have an upgrade manual for that model, click here to download it. Make sure you have your hard drives defragged, also.

Edited by FPVDriF6, 28 October 2007 - 05:09 PM.

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#5
coalhalo

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Hi coalhalo!

If your motherboard can support these speeds, then they have been listed in order from slowest to quickest:

DDR2 PC2-4200,DDR2 PC2-5300,DDR2 PC2-6400,DDR2 PC2-8500 speeds

I'm interested, though, because your computer has a Pentium 4 processor (they're pretty old now). I've just researched your computer, and your motherboard can support PC2-4200, and PC2-5300. (not the rest) This would mean that if you were to order a 2x1GB kit like this one, you could pull the old stuff out, put this kit in and it would run very sweet.

Grab that kit quick while you have an awesome rebate. It's top quality with a lifetime warranty - can't go wrong!

EDIT: Sounds like you need another hard drive, too. With your drive that full, performance would be affected. Grab another drive and move your personal files (music, documents, movies etc...) onto the new one, freeing up space on the OS drive. You have an upgrade manual for that model, click here to download it. Make sure you have your hard drives defragged, also.



Since this pc can support PC2-5300, should I go with that before PC2-4200?

You're right about my needing another hard drive. We have a bunch of Iomega 500GB USB 2.0 external hard drives at my office that we use as backup redundancy, and I'm trying to get one for personal use. I know that if I can free up space on the pc's hard drive it will improve performance.

Thanks for the link to the upgrade manual. I've never opened a pc before and I'm a bit hesitant. I figured I'd start small with the memory and move on from there. Speaking of which; how hard is it to replace a Pentium 4 with something better like a dual or quad-core? I figure I might as well upgrade one of our pc's as best I can, and getting a newer, more powerful processor is something I'll want to do eventually.
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#6
Troy

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Yes, the PC2-5300 is faster (667MHz as opposed to 533MHz). The RAM I linked you to is very good quality - it has low latencies as well.

To replace your processor, you'd need to make sure the motherboard is compatible. I don't have a lot of time right now, I'll research it again in a bit.
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#7
coalhalo

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Yes, the PC2-5300 is faster (667MHz as opposed to 533MHz). The RAM I linked you to is very good quality - it has low latencies as well.

To replace your processor, you'd need to make sure the motherboard is compatible. I don't have a lot of time right now, I'll research it again in a bit.



Thanks for all the help. I'll check in later about the motherboard, etc...
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#8
Troy

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http://h10025.www1.h...product=1130802

This link tells you everything you need to know. Your computer is not compatible with a Core 2 Duo/Quad processor. In all honesty, upgrading from the Pentium 4 you have to a Pentium D would not be worth it.
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#9
coalhalo

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http://h10025.www1.h...product=1130802

This link tells you everything you need to know. Your computer is not compatible with a Core 2 Duo/Quad processor. In all honesty, upgrading from the Pentium 4 you have to a Pentium D would not be worth it.


Thanks for the link. It seems that I need to install a new motherboard on that pc if I want to upgrade it's processor. Never done that before either; can't be too hard can it? Any advice on what motherboard I should look for when I upgrade the processor?
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#10
Troy

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One that supports the components you have (or are going to upgrade to at the same time). So if you want to put a nice Core 2 Quad in with fast DDR2 RAM, then make sure the motherboard supports that. If you have an IDE hard drive, you would need to find one that supports IDE hard drives (SATAII is more popular now, and much faster).

I wouldn't really go spending too much on a HP computer, I think you'd get much better value building a new system, although that's dependent on the budget...!
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