Did I get the proper RAM memory for my Dell?

By xbocksaddict
Nov 18, 2008
  1. OK, I just went to Fry's earlier to replace my rather crappy original "Hynix-brand" PC2-5300U 1Rx8 512MB x 2 RAM memory (not sure about the Mhz speed) that came the Dell Dimension E521 PC with the AMD 64 (x2). I upgraded it to a "Patriot-brand" PC2-5300LL 677mhz 2GB x 2 4-4-4- 12 1.8. So I could use it for Photoshop CS4 and so I could play Flight Simulator without the terrible lag.

    It's the cheapest RAM they have and the "tech-guys" there have no idea what those numbers and letters mean at all. They actually got me a notebook memory at first. : (

    Anyway, how would I know if the one I got is compatible with my motherboard's clock speed and such stuff like that? Also, why does Windows Vista Premium always show 25-30% less memory than the actual memory size? I haven't assembled a computer so I have no idea on the proper upgrades. I need info ASAP.

    Thanks! : )
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  3. southside419

    southside419 TS Rookie

    as far as the timings go on the memory if they arent set correctly in the bios then you can always change them, what kind of mobo do you have?
  4. xbocksaddict

    xbocksaddict TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What's a "mobo"???

    The Dell specs said that the maximum memory is only 1GB, but the one I got is 2GB x2 and only 3GB reflected on Vista. Does someone have an explanation on this?
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Actually that is strange
    It should only take 1Gig maximum size in 1 slot
    Unless you have four 1 Gig cards :confused:

    Can you just Autodetect (view system information) your system here, and re-confirm the Model number again:

    And also re-confirm that you have two 2Gig ram cards, installed?
  6. xbocksaddict

    xbocksaddict TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I definitely have 2GB x2 RAMs right now. I don't why, but it can use the 2GB per stick and could have 3GB... Is it a better idea to take the 2GB x2 back to a 1GB x4 to have 4GB for real, or does Vista really take the extra 1GB?

    I don't know the motherboard, it's a Dell Dimension E521 with the AMD 64 Athlon X2. I didn't assemble it.
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Well the link (on my last post reply) will fully confirm what the computer is
    Especially if using the service tag option (or any really)
    If your motherboard can take 2Gig Ram cards in each slot, then best to stay with that
    But if your manual (and so far - yes) states maximum 1Gig cards, then go 1Gig x 4

    You need to really confirm at that above link
    I'd even recommend live "chatting" with Dell support over all this. It's still strange.
  8. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 136

    The numbers are a rating of the clock speeds and latency of the memory modules. The lower the number, the faster information is passed through.
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