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Question about RAM

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Hey guys, i have a quick questions for you. Right Now i have in my computer a 512mb DDR pc2100 chip. I went to crucial.com and thats what they reccomended for my dell dimension 4400. Im looking at this right now, click

and was thinking of gettin 2 of these so that they will match. DOes the pc2300 mean its faster? Any other suggestion are greatly welcome but i have to have 2 512 chips....thanks


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Your link went to a Tiger-Direct site selling PC 3200 DDR chips.


You want to stick with the type of memory that Dell/Crucial recommend for your system - same speed, etc.


Crucial is a good supplier. Their prices may be a little higher than Tiger Direct. I've bought memory from both. No problems.



"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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I've had a huge adjust in my ram learning curve over the past two years and here's my 4 step take on how to think out your situation...


1. Pc3200 is faster than the 2100 but the way things work is that the existing slower pc2100 in the computer will be the top speed..the pc3200 will only "work" at a pc2100 speed. Which won't cause problems. Usually.


2. With ram in general...all kinds of things can crop up as problems (pc won't boot etc), but mixing ram types isn't usually a cause of this type of thing. And if you do encounter ram problems, it's usually right away. Not six months from now. Now that being said...


3. I used to buy only Crucial or Mushkin..but no more. I do often go to the Crucial memory finder (or whatever) to get specs for needed ram type if I can't find it elsewhere, but that's all I use Crucial for. Mushkin also has a cool downloadable cpu and memory id utility that's free and handy for lots of memory related testing of pcs. That's all I use them for.


4. Write down your memory specs from the Crucial page and then go to Newegg.com and find the memory type you need in the absolute CHEAPEST sale brand they have at any one moment. Don't be afraid...just try it. If it doesn't work, they'll take it back.


What happened to me was that after spending a lot of money with Crucial etc over the years (and hearing the virtues of low latency "premium" ram) I decided to test out if this was all true. I bit the bullet, bought 2gb of Rosewill ram (which I had never heard of) at fifty dollars a gb (or whatever it was that day at Newegg), stuck it into an HP that already came with some unknown ram anyway, and happily ran 3gb of ram ...for almost a year now with no problems, good latencies, smooth audio operation.


Three or four weeks ago, I tried it again with some dirt cheap "All Components" brand from Newegg. Bought 2gb for another machine. No problems whatsoever over the past weeks I've had it.


As long as this approach continues to work, I'll continue to stay away from high price brands. After all, your ram will be totally obsolete whenever you get to the point of a new pc anyway. Your current pc2100 (or 3200) is already eclipsed by the current ddr2 type ram used with newer machines/mobos.

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Another thing...Dell is like everyone else (Hp etc). If you check the specs, it's very likely the mobo in the Dell is simply an Asus or similar like everyone else uses. Which means the mobo is using any old common ram that anyone else uses. Dell doesn't "invent" parts.


In a way, for the purpose of matching parts, it's always nice to know that underneath all these logos, it's the same pile of stuff inside.

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As Tom mentioned, it is a good idea to stick with the same speed of memory that your system is designed for. Check you manufacture's specification sheet ( Dell Dimension 4400 URL )


If your system is designed for PC2100 RAM, it is also referred to DDR266. It is easier to reference the DDR266, because that is the MHz rating of the RAM.


When choosing replacement RAM, it is usually true that picking RAM with double the clock rate will result in a non-bootable PC. And, gi=oing 1.5 times faster will depend on your system board as to if it will be stable.


PC3200 RAM is also known as DDR400 RAM. That is 1.5 times faster than your system is rated. I find that PC2700 (DDR333) will normally work in place of PC2100 (DDR266). But, there is also a caviat to this... Some systems cannot use use memory modules over 256MB in size. And, it shows in the Dell manual that the best you can do is a pair of 256MB modules, for 512MB.


The memory upgrade from 128MB to 512MB will be great for XP. But, be careful to get the correct memory!


"It's all about the... um-m-m, uh-h-h..."

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Originally posted by BOOKUMDANO:

........Speaking of which, how does one determine exactly what type of ram is in thier system?...


That free Mushkin (sp?) utility I was talking about will tell you everything ram-related about your system.

I pull the memory and look for the label.


On the really cheap-o generics, I've actually had to use the manufacturer ID off the ICs and scan the model number. They post a list of companies that OEM their ICs. I usually don't find the exact vendor in those cases. But, I know the group.


BTW -- On the generics, the big differences are that the ICs don't pass the manufacturer stress test (but don't fail), and, the low end modules are usually using cheapr circuit board material. It is always likely that general use will not over-stress the memory. But, my take is that if I am charging someone money to record a session, I don't want to have a crashing PC because I saved $15 on a memory module.


"It's all about the... um-m-m, uh-h-h..."

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