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Upgrading RAM


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#1
mintchip

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I would like to increase my Windows XP RAM in the near future. My computer's capacity is 4 GB. I have 4 slots. Is this difficult for someone who is hardware challenged? I've only replaced a modem, but haven't done much else inside my tower. I have a phobia about opening it up, but please tell me it's unjustified and this is not a difficult project. Also, if I want to go to 2 GB, and currently have two 128MB modules, I'm assuming I would need four 512 modules? Can I save the modules that are in there now and reuse them in the future if I have a need to? Someone told that the amount of RAM I have cannot possibly run a computer and that XP alone would need more than that. Does this person even know what they're talking about? They said that their little "camera" (1 GB) even has a lot more memory than my computer. I find all of this very funny, since I've been running XP with the factor installed amount of RAM for 4 years without any problems, but I don't run many heavy apps on my system. As for camera GB, is that the same thing as RAM? :)

Could I start by adding two 512 modules and use those with the two 128 ones I have now, or is mixing sizes a bad thing?

Edited by mintchip, 29 January 2008 - 06:55 AM.

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#2
Titan8990

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Go to Crucial's website and use their memory advisory tool: http://crucial.com/. Don't buy RAM there because it will be overpriced. Just report what it says is compatable with your PC.

Installing new RAM is not very different that installing a PCI modem. It is one of simplest tasks to upgrade a computer.

Also, if I want to go to 2 GB, and currently have two 128MB modules, I'm assuming I would need four 512 modules?


I would recommend getting two 1GB modules.

Someone told that the amount of RAM I have cannot possibly run a computer and that XP alone would need more than that. Does this person even know what they're talking about?


What you have is minimum required by XP to run. XP runs best on 512mb to 1GB of RAM. Any more is typically a waste. I actually have a Windows ME machine running only 64MB of RAM.

They said that their little "camera" even has a lot more memory than my computer (1 GB).


They are confusing memory with storage.

Could I start by adding two 512 modules and use those with the two 128 ones I have now, or is mixing sizes a bad thing?


Nothing wrong with mixing sizes but mixing speeds can be a bad thing.

Let us know what the Crucial Advisory Tool tells you.
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#3
mintchip

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Thank you for responding Titan, and for answering my questions! The help is appreciated. Yes, I was aware that I probably have the minimum amount of memory to run XP, but certainly enough to run it for what I've done with it up to this point. I'd like to go beyond those limitations now. I have the specs that the scan gave me. I hope this is what you were asking for. They also gave various module upgrade recommendations for my computer, which I'm not including, and you're right - a bit expensive. Let me know if you need more information than this:

Maximum Memory Capacity: 4096MB
Currently Installed Memory: 256MB
Available Memory Slots: 2
Number of Banks: 4
Dual Channel Support: Yes
CPU Manufacturer: GenuineIntel
CPU Family: Intel® Pentium® 4 CPU 2.66GHz Model 2, Stepping 9
CPU Speed: 2660 MHz
Currently installed memory: DDR PC2700
128MB 128MB
EMPTY EMPTY
Each memory slot can hold DDR PC3200,DDR PC2700 with a maximum of 1GB per slot
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#4
Titan8990

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I recommend this: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820141434.



Edit: Also, here is a decent guide to installing it: http://lifehacker.co...-ram-138665.php

Other than physicall installation there is nothing else required

Edited by Titan8990, 29 January 2008 - 09:46 AM.

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#5
mintchip

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Thanks Titan! You've been a huge help. :) Those Newegg prices look much better, and that's important to me.

I guess it would have been more appropriate to post this in the forum about upgrades. I wasn't thinking. :)
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#6
The Skeptic

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If I may add:

Your computer runs in dual channel mode which is superior to single channel mode. To keep the computer running in dual mode you must install two identical modules (e.g two modules of 512, two modules of 1 GB). For a little extra money you can buy a matching set. A matching set includes two modules that are identical and ensure optimum dual channel operation.

Alternatively, you can save some money by buying just one module of 1 GB and run it in single mode. The performance will be somewhat inferior.

If you buy two modules and wish to run them in dual mode you have to install the first module in the slot closest to the cpu and install the second module in the third slot.

Regarding the old modules: they are tiny and slow. I don't think you will ever use them in this computer. Please note that the new modules that you buy should be DDR400 (pc3200).
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#7
Ztruker

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The NewEgg link Titan8990 provided is for a matched pair for $56.99 + $4.99 S/H:

Kingston ValueRAM 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 333 (PC 2700) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
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#8
Doby

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Hi Guys, just had to add my 2 cents, and thats about all its worth :)

Someone told that the amount of RAM I have cannot possibly run a computer and that XP alone would need more than that. Does this person even know what they're talking about?


No they don't, When XP first came out some brand computers only had 128mb and they sold them this way and as you know you have been running it for years on 256mb. When XP first came out I installed XP on a machine with a 455mhz processor and 64MB ram just to see if I could, it installed and ran, slowwwwwwwwww but it ran.

For a internet pc or word processing 512mb works ok, 1 gig is the sweet spot, gaming, high end apps 2 maybe 3 gig but its a waste to go over that.
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#9
mintchip

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Wow, what great information from all of you! Thank you very much. All of this input has been extremely helpful. :)
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#10
The Skeptic

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According to post no. 3 your motherboard is supporting DDR 400 (pc3200). Buy your modules accordingly and you will get better performance for the same price.
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#11
mintchip

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OK, thanks Skeptic. I'll do that. :) I sure am glad I asked you guys, instead of trying to figure this out for myself. Many thanks.
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