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Quick Memory Question For Dell Dimension 2400 Desktop


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#1
JeffM

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Hi, I've done some research at crucial.com about memory upgrades and still am not sure about the following.

I am going to someone's house to install more memory in their Dell Dimension 2400 desktop, which currently has 256MB.

Can I buy one stick of 512MB, DDR, PC2700 and snap it in and have 768MB of memory or doesn't it work that way?

Is it more likely her computer has 128 x 2 or one 256 stick? Or too hard to tell? The PC was bought directly from Dell back in 2002 or 2003.

Or is my best bet to remove the current 256 (whether there's currently one stick of 256 or 2 x 128), and snap in one 512MB? I don't think I need 2 X 256, according to crucial.com.

Thanks for any help. It will save me a lot of time as I'll know what to buy before I actually see her computer.

Jeff
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#2
rshaffer61

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From the specs I'm seeing it is DDR type.

Here is the spec sheet for the system. It is showing DDR so that would mean you could put one stick of 512 but if she is running XP I would suggest going to 1 gig at least.
512 is the minimum to run XP

Edited by rshaffer61, 25 April 2009 - 03:38 PM.

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#3
JeffM

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Cool, thanks for the reply. Back in the day, before the Service Pack's, wasn't XP not too bad with 256MB RAM? And, yes, I went to this lady's house and did a scan via crucial.com and it said inside her computer there is currently one 256MB stick and one other available slot. So I probably will pick up two sticks of 512MB DDR PC2700 so she goes from 256MB to 1GB.

I did scans with Rooter, OTListIt, Malwarebytes and Avira and only one small problem Avira picked up and no suspicious entries in Rooter or OTListIt.

Main symptom is when you click the start button, it takes a while for the menu to pop-up, and if you try to run a few things at a time, and then minimize one, a window crawls upon minimization.

This could totally be a RAM issue and not virus?

Thanks again for your help.

Jeff
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#4
rshaffer61

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Everything you are describing can be caused by the lack of ram.
512 will work as I stated before. One gig would be much better by far. Go HERE for the price of one gig of memory in one stick. You are talking a couple of dollars of difference between buying two sticks of 512 versus buying one stick of one gig. I believe her system max memory is 2 gigs so this way she has the capability to get that in the future by using only slot.
Let me know if i can answer any other questions as I'm always willing to help if I can.

Edited by rshaffer61, 26 April 2009 - 04:08 AM.

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#5
JeffM

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Excellent, thanks again. Just one last question. If I buy either one 512MB or one 1GB stick, can I still keep her current 256MB in the computer? For example, if I went with the 512MB stick, she'd then have a total of 768MB of memory?

She didn't give me that much money to buy more memory so I'm thinking I should go with the product which I'm linking to below. That would work too, wouldn't it?

512MB RAM - $19.99 + free shipping

Thanks again!

Jeff
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#6
rshaffer61

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Yes you should be able to. :) FYI the memory will only run as fast as the slowest memory so if 256 is 2100 and 512\1 gig is 2700 then the latter will slow down to match the 256. You will not notice it but just some Information to let you know. Please let me know how everything works out when you get the new memory. If this doesn't work then remove the 256 and replace with the 512 and bootup again.
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#7
JeffM

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Wow, that was fast, thanks! When I scanned her system with crucial.com I think it said her 256MB was PC2700 as well. There's no way I'll find 512MB of RAM at a PC shop for $20, like at Newegg, right? I am assuming Newegg are pretty fast with shipping. If I order it today or tomorrow, hopefully I'll have it by Friday or Saturday of this coming week. Never ordered from them before. I appreciate all your help on this thread.

EDIT: I also wanted to install 2 x 256MB additional memory (PC2700) on another person's PC, which currently only has 256, but their crucial.com report says the memory must be installed in pairs. Right now they have 2 x 128MB and two available slots. So I can buy two of the below item and be all set? That would take up all four slots since two are currently occupied.

Kingston ValueRAM 256MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 333 (PC 2700) System Memory Model KVR333X64C25/256 - Retail

Edited by JeffM, 26 April 2009 - 10:25 AM.

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#8
rshaffer61

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You are correct on both questions
You should get it by Friday or Saturday based on how they ship it. The other system would show 768 megs also
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#9
JeffM

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Cool, thanks. I'll let you know how it goes.
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#10
rshaffer61

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Thank you and I;ll monitor this topic for your response :)
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#11
JeffM

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rshaffer61,

Got the RAM in the mail and it was smooth sailing. I upgraded two different computers to 768MB for two friends.

They are much happier with 768MB than the previous 256MB, as you can imagine.

One exit question I did have is this:

Is it bad to mix manufacturers of RAM? For example, one computer I worked on has a stick of Kingston and one stick of some brand I'd never heard of. I paid $20 in used condition at the local computer store for a stick of 512MB, DDR, PC3200, but I had never heard of the brand and don't recall the name. I should have just been patient and ordered more Kingston from Newegg.

The 512MB is in the first slot and it's PC3200 and the 256MB is in the second slot (there's only two slots). The 256MB is PC2700.

Is there such thing as old and tired out RAM or are specs. specs. so to speak? In other words, it is what it is: when you right click on the My Computer icon and look at the details, it now shows 768MB of total RAM vs. 256MB before.

However, the computer I used the brand new Kingston in is faster than the computer which has the no-name brand memory I installed. Could it just be that the other computer has a new, faster processor?

Any more info on this would wish to provide, I would be most grateful for.

Thanks again.

Jeff
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#12
rshaffer61

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Ok lets see if I can answer all this for you :)

"Is it bad to mix manufacturers of RAM? For example, one computer I worked on has a stick of Kingston and one stick of some brand I'd never heard of. I paid $20 in used condition at the local computer store for a stick of 512MB, DDR, PC3200, but I had never heard of the brand and don't recall the name. I should have just been patient and ordered more Kingston from Newegg. "
It is fine to mix as the newer memory will only go as fast as the slowest memory.

"Is there such thing as old and tired out RAM or are specs. specs. so to speak? In other words, it is what it is: when you right click on the My Computer icon and look at the details, it now shows 768MB of total RAM vs. 256MB before."

Memory can and will go bad if the situation is right. In your case it does seem to be working.

"However, the computer I used the brand new Kingston in is faster than the computer which has the no-name brand memory I installed. Could it just be that the other computer has a new, faster processor?"

It is very well possible that the one system has a faster CPU installed.
If you want to make sure then download CPUz by following the steps below to each system and on the first page that opens it will show the CPU in that system. There is no need to give em the info it request unless you would like.

Please download CPUz from my signature below

1: Save it to your desktop.
2: Click on the icon it creates and let it run
3: I need the following information from it.
4: First click on the Mainboard tab at the top of the window and give me Manufacturer and Model number it shows
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#13
JeffM

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Thanks for your continued help with this. Really appreciate it.

Faster computer with same amount of RAM (768MB):

Dell
Dimension 2400

Slower computer with same amount of RAM (768MB):

Gateway
310

If you need more info, please let me know. I won't be able to run c-puz on the faster computer until a few weeks, as that person lives far away from me.

The slower computer which I installed the "no-name" brand in last weekend I will be on likely later tonight or tomorrow, so I can send you any additional details you may need for that one.

Thanks again very much. :)

Edited by JeffM, 08 May 2009 - 10:41 AM.

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#14
rshaffer61

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Can you supply hd sizes and total free space for each?
The CPU will make some difference for sure.
The amount of free space, cpu, memory size and type, programs running in the background and age will be contributing factors to speed all around.
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#15
JeffM

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Wow, thanks for the speedy reply.

I believe, IIRC, that both of the hard drives are 40GB (the faster computer has 25GB free, while the slower one only has 13GB free). And they both have roughly the same stuff installed on them.

I totally removed what they didn't want using Revo Uninstaller, including Adobe, and gave them FoxIt instead.

The slower computer was purchased at a local Gateway store circa 2003, which eventually closed due to bad local press. They admitted to using cheap parts in building their computers and basically cutting corners where they could in order to maximize their profit margins. Please note that this is not a slam against Gateway in general, just what the manager of this particular Gateway store confessed to eventually. So it likely is not a reflection of Gateway in general.

Given this info, I am somewhat surprised the PC is still in as great of shape as it is, however, it very well could have been purchased before the problems starting at this particular outlet, since I believe the media jumped on it sometime in 2004.

I used Black Viper's "safe" recommendations for their services.msc at Start > run. And I gave them both Avira for an anti-virus, with realtime protection (that does take up quite a bit of memory, it seems). And I gave them both the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

I ran OTListIt and Rooter on both computers and see no rogue drivers/files or inappropriate entries in the registry dump. And everything the anti-virus or anti-malware picks up is minor, like coupons.com garbage, nothing as serious as Vundo and certainly nothing as damaging as Virut, so I am thinking the slow-down on the one computer, despite the same amount of RAM, is not due to viruses or spyware, but just that one has better specs. Plus, as I noted above, one has much more HD space.

Less HD space can seriously slow down a computer? I always thought the slow-down was minor, but perhaps I'm wrong.

For example, on MY OWN computer I have a 150GB HD and only 3.5GB free. That's awful isn't it? Hopefully it won't damage the computer. I just need to get an external HD and spend a few days transferring files, to free up the internal HD. I just keep putting it off.

I treat my computer worse than I would ever treat someone else's! :)
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