RAM: PC2100 and 2700 okay?

By needhelpinnz
Sep 7, 2009
  1. Hi all, it's been a while since I updated the RAM in my PC, happens when you're a poor college student I guess. Currently have 3 slots, 2 have a 256MB DDR PC2100 chip in them with the third open, so I have less than a gig and want to upgrade.

    Went to Crucial's site to download the tester, and it said my MB can handle PC2700 or 3200. It also said this, which I don't understand:
    I was thinking of just getting a 1024MB chip, but wasn't sure if it needed to be a PC2100 (like the chips in there now) or if I can go with the 2700 (I don't even know what those mean now that I think about it). I want to leave the other two in there as I'm trying to keep this as cheap as possible while getting the most bang for my buck.

    Thoughts on if I should/can go with a PC2700 chip while leaving the two old ones in?
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    The computer will accept a maximum of 2 GB. They do NOT have to be the same.
    You can install PC3200, but ALL memory installed will operate at the speed of the lowest speed module... so a PC3200 400 MHz will work at the same speed as the PC2100 233 MHz or 266 MHz... (I forget which it is)
    DDR PC2100 through PC3200 is no longer being made... so the prices are rising dramatically. I would buy two modules of Buffalo Select ( and others) or Mushkin - These are currently the two lowest price quality brands I know at the moment) of PC3200 ... then wait until the price goes up further on the PC2100 and more than make your money back.
    Some machines cannot use anything but PC2100 so those modules will be in more demand.

    Otherwise, there is no advantage to buy any modules faster than the slowest one you have... though the total memory will be improved.
  3. needhelpinnz

    needhelpinnz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 50

    Sweet, thanks a ton.

    Do you think that keeping the PC2100s in will noticeably bring down the performance of the 3200? If I can avoid spending money on 2GB of RAM, I'd like to...which is a bummer that prices are going up like you say.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Only you can decide. PC2100 runs at 266MHz... usually slower at 233 MHz.
    PC2700 runs at 333MHz, PC3200 runs at 400MHz

    More RAM is better than faster ram... so just believe you got more PC2100, and the old 2100 worked fine, so the new ram will do the same.

    You will only see the difference, really, in processing images, editing photos, and such. Games will take a dramatic hit and some will not work at all at the lower speeds... while others will not work at all at the higher speed where you need a faster processor and faster memory as well as a faster video graphics card, and... so on.

    Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Quickbooks, and other software runs at the same speed regardless of the memory installed.
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