Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Memory Upgrade for a Dell XPS 600


  • Please log in to reply

#1
Maryarena

Maryarena

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
Hi,

I recently tried to upgrade my Dell XPS 600 to 4 RAM as I use Photoshop and other photo programs, but was told by the Crucial representative that my computer will only accept 2 RAM, if it is a 32 bit XP operating system.

I would like to know, if it would be too costly upgrading to 64 bit and if I would not have problems with my installed programs or maybe a workaround that might work. I guess, if it is too expensive, I would just have to wait and buy another computer. My computer is running fine and I have no problems other than it's slowness running CS3.

These are the specification of my computer that I think are pertinent:

Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 (build 2600)
Dell XPS 600 Intel ® Pentium ® 4 CPU 3.00 Hz, 2.99GHx
Dell Inc. Dell DXG051
Enclosure Type: Tower
Processor a Main Circuit Board b
3.00 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4
16 kilobyte primary memory cache
2048 kilobyte secondary memory cache

Board: Dell Inc. 0GC375
Bus Clock: 800 megahertz
BIOS: Dell Inc. A03 12/13/2005
Drives Memory Modules c,d
640.02 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
106.75 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

Memory

Slot 'DIMM_1' has 1024 MB (serial number 75467B1F)
Slot 'DIMM_3' is Empty
Slot 'DIMM_2' has 1024 MB (serial number 75467B1B)
Slot 'DIMM_4' is Empty

Thank you very much!

Gloria
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
The Admiral

The Admiral

    Trusted Tech

  • Technician
  • 1,067 posts
Hi Maryarena, and welcome to Geeks to Go!

The service manual states that in a 32-bit configuration, your computer will only use 2 GB of RAM, while a 64-bit configuration will use up to 8 GB. The 32-bit cap seems to be an OS limit, and the 8 GB cap is a motherboard cap. Normally, the 32-bit OS cap is just under 4 GB of RAM, but it looks like on the XPS 600 it is only 2 GB, and I'm frankly not sure why.

I have top men looking into it at Dell.
  • 0

#3
Maryarena

Maryarena

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
Hi, Admiral :-) I went to the Top Men link and had to laugh :-)

I sure hope something economical can be done.

Thanks sooooooooooooo much for looking into this.

Gloria
  • 0

#4
performance nut

performance nut

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
I am interested in this as well. I went ahead and got the 4GB of DDR2 and entered the physical address extension as per the Microsoft tech page. Should be using most if not all of the 4GB; however, it doesnt seem to be using all of it (ie: not that much faster and still has issues with resource intense programs).

I have read that you can't upgrade from XP Media Edition but rather have to buy a whole new version of XP Pro x64.
  • 0

#5
XOR42

XOR42

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

I recently tried to upgrade my Dell XPS 600 to 4 RAM as I use Photoshop and other photo programs, but was told by the Crucial representative that my computer will only accept 2 RAM, if it is a 32 bit XP operating system. I would like to know, if it would be too costly upgrading to 64 bit and if I would not have problems with my installed programs or maybe a workaround that might work.


I recently installed 4 GB in my XPS600 with the same result. I returned the memory. Dell support later confirmed that XPS600 motherboard reports only a maximum of 2 GB to 32 bit Windows 32 systems (XP or Vista). With many other motherboards, you can install 4 GB and get a little more than 3 GB for use by the operating system after the BIOS reserves most of 1 GB for its own address space.

Dell, however, chose to disallow *any* memory beyond 2 GB in 32 bit mode. It may have been a simple support issue whereby they didn't want the complication of dealing with memory issues when customers install 4 GB and get only 3+ GB. They may have also incorrectly forecast that 64 bit Windows would be a more popular option when, actually, it took 3+ years to be accepted due to very slow adoption of 64 bit support in drivers and software.

As to your cost question:
There is no question that it is FAR cheaper to add memory and upgrade the operating system. That should cost roughly $300 whereas a new brand name machine with 8 GB and Vista 64 would cost about $800-$1000.

The problems to deal with are:
(1) compatibility with your software, drivers, and the costs needed to upgrade them
(2) the hassle of upgrading the operating system from 32 bit to 64 bit.

Problem (1) will not be fixed with a new machine. You will still have to upgrade any 32 bit software to use the extra memory in 64 bit mode. Please note that most 32 bit programs WILL RUN in Windows 64 but only in 32 bit mode so they will NOT see or use the extra memory. I believe Adobe CS3 does load in x64 but runs in only 32 bit mode so won't use the extra memory.

Problem (2) is certainly avoided by having it installed from the factory but there is no great cost advantage other than it being bundled in the much higher cost option of getting a newer machine.

The XPS600, though quirky and aging, still has a fairly speedy processor. Mine came with a dual 3.2 GHz Pentium Extreme Edition. A newer Quad PC would certainly be faster but that's adding the cost of a new machine to your upgrade. An XPS600 with 8 GB and Vista 64 should hold its own for another 2-3 years. By then, your new machine options should be very interesting - like 6 cores, 16 GB of RAM, and Solid State Drives. Or, at worst, you'll have great deals on "old" Quad CPU's. Ha!

Bottom Line:
If your goal is to have more memory for Adobe CS3, then there are no solution. CS3 runs in 32 bit mode even if loaded in 64 bit Windows and will not see or use the extra memory. HOWEVER, Windows will see and use the extra memory for its own tasks and for running multiple programs at once even if those programs cannot use more than 2 GB.

If you DO upgrade to the newer Adobe CS4 versions which supposedly supports 64 bit in Windows only (not Mac), then upgrading to Widows 64 (XP or Vista) should give you the desired result. You should also check which of your OTHER software is Windows 64 compatible. Only the larger more memory intensive programs make use of 64 bit memory. Many well-known programs still run in 32 bit - even if running on Windows 64. Check the manufacturer web sites for each of your major software items to see if they will USE the extra memory in 64 bit, not just run in it. Beware of ad hype like "64 bit compatible" which could mean simply only that it can load and run within Windows 64 but still executes in 32 bit mode.

If you decide go to 64 bit to get more memory then you do NOT need a new machine. Your costs will be for a copy XP Pro 64 or Vista Premium 64 (Vista Premium 64 OEM versions are about $120) or Vista Ultimate 64 bit (about $190).

Upgrading Memory:
The XPS600 is a DDR2 machine so you want to upgrade in matched pairs of memory. It is not worth the hassle to only go to 4 GB. You should go to the max of 8 GB using 4 x 2 GB memory sticks. Prices are reasonable these days. Roughly $40 per 2 GB DDR2 chip ($160 total). Prices vary wildly on a daily basis so search the web for the best deal on a brand name with the correct specs. Also make sure you are buying single 4 x 2 GB chips all of the same model. You need that to get 8 GB in 4 slots. Many "2 GB" deals are really "2 x 1 GB" which would require 8 chips.

A note about Retail Vs. OEM Versions:
Most Internet comments suggest you can do an upgrade-in-place of Windows 32 to 64. But it is ALWAYS best to do a NAKED install to ensure you don't inherit all the problems you developed over time with the previous version. That, of course, means you would have to reinstall all your software. If possible, it is worth the hassle.

Many also report that the full RETAIL version of Vista Ultimate contains media for BOTH 32 and 64 bit Vista. I can testify, however, that the much cheaper OEM versions of Vista Ultimate DO NOT! They are either 32 or 64. Not both. OEM versions are "intended" for naked installs - not upgrades - since they are meant for newly-built naked machines. However, contrary to the fine print, the OEM versions I have bought allow for upgrades, anyway. E.g., my OEM Vista Ultimate 32 disk allowed me to upgrade my Vista Home Premium 32.

I hope the helps. In the process of writing the above, I have convinced myself to download the Windows 7 64 bit Beta to test on my XPS in a separate partition. Initial reviews suggests it is a smaller, faster, and more solid Vista. If so, then there is finally a worthy successor to XP. The hassle is it that its release is probably 9-12 months away.

PS. I cannot guarantee any of the above as 100% accurate. It is just what I have seen, read, and/or learned first hand. As always, check with your software and hardware manufacturer's for the final word. Likewise, do your own research on latest prices as they change constantly.
  • 0

#6
Maryarena

Maryarena

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
XOR, I want to apologize for not replying to this before! I had not seen it!! It can't come at a better time, because at this moment I have a friend who is a computer tecnician, which will come and check out my computer. I am printing your valuable information for him.

I think that even installing the 4 ram and have at least Windows recognize part of it will help me and is very encouraging.

Thank you sooooooooo much for your time and help!

Gloria
  • 0

#7
diabillic

diabillic

    Member 1K

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,370 posts
If you wanted to upgrade to x64, just make sure x64 drivers are available for your machine and you should not have a problem.

Something you can try to increase the amount of memory the machine uses in 32 bit mode, is to add the /PAE or Physical Address Extension switch to your boot OS in the boot.ini file.

Example:

[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT=”Microsoft Windows Vista”
/fastdetect /PAE

This can sometimes squeeze out more memory to be used to ~3.5GB.
  • 0

#8
Maryarena

Maryarena

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
Right now, I'm checking for all of the drivers I would need. I will check for prices also.

This suggestion you have given me is the one that a local tech friend suggested, as the cheapest, while I decide what I'm going to do.

Thank you so much. I think this thread is very valuable for people in my situation.
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP