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Adding Memory / DDR2


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#1
indieangler

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Hello.

I wouldn't say I'm a new computer user, but I'm definitely not an expert. I have a decent amount of both software and hardware experience. I've installed memory before but it's been awhile.

Just recently I purchased a Dell Dimension 4700 desktop computer. It's a P4 3.2 Ghz, 80 gig HD, ATI 128mb video card, and it has 512 MB DDR2 (PC2-4200 I believe) ram. I am wanting to upgrade my ram and I'm curious how the DDR2 works. I'd really like to gave a gig of a ram in the system and I'm pretty sure I have 4 slots total. Right now, it's configured with 2x256 DDR2 chips. Should I simply add 2 more 256MB chips or should I buy 2 512MB chips and run them side by side? I'm quite curious as to what my best bet it for getting a gig of ram that will run fast.

On a side note, does the brand of the ram make a lot of difference? I found some pretty cheap ram on ebay but then I also found more expensive ram like Corsair and Crucial. Hope someone can help, I'm looking to order ram tonight if I can find out what I should do. Feel free to e-mail me with you have experience with this and know what my best bet is. Thanks!
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#2
indieangler

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To clear up some confusion, I got my memory specs from Dell. I've got 4 total slots, its DDR2 PC2-3200 dual channel memory and comes with 2x256. My question truly is.....can I just add two more 256 sticks to hit a gig, or would it be better to run two 512 sticks? If i run two 512 sticks, can I still somehow use my other two 256 sticks?
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#3
audioboy

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in theory, you should be able to add 2 more 256 sticks, to achieve your desired 1 gig of ram, and still run in dual channel mode, keeping the ram speed as high as possible.
in practice, dell can do some strange things with their setups, using propietary equipment, etc. so its hard to say for sure.

note for dual channel config, the ram must be matched- brand, speed, timings, etc. best to buy a dual channel ram kit, so you know it will work right.

always go with name brands like crucial, corsair, kingston, OCZ. quality ram costs a bit more, but it will work for a long time, and its worth it.
chekc out crucial.com, input you PC info, they will tell you what ram will work, and its guaranteed to work! (thanx murray! hope you dont mind my borrowing your cool answer on that)
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#4
techroy

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The recommended memory configurations are:

A pair of matched memory modules installed in connectors DIMM1 and DIMM2

A pair of matched memory modules installed in connectors DIMM1 and DIMM2 and another matched pair installed in connectors DIMM3 and DIMM4

Memory clips will be color coded (White, Black, White, Black -- Moving away from the processor). In order for the system to run in Dual Channel mode, the slots with the WHITE clips must have a matching pair, and the slots with the BLACK clicks must also have a matching pair or be empty.

DIMM slots numbers will be silk screened on the system board (1, 3, 2, 4 -- Moving away from the processor). The DIMM slot numbers are analogous to the insertion order.

It should not matter if you have a matched 512 and a matched 256. It would also be okay if you have 4 256 chips in there.

Note: If your system is within warranty, please buy your chips from Dell to avoid any inconvenience if ever you have a problem.
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