Re: buying memory

By Marker ยท 4 replies
Jul 30, 2006
  1. I've read a number of postings but am still going to post this question because I want to make sure I have this absolutely right. From what I understand a system memory involves 2 memory sticks, not just 1 . For instance, my currect system (A Dell Dimension 3000) is currently running with 512 MB of system RAM. If my math is correct, that means I currently have two 256 MB sticks. And, If I'm going to increase my systems RAM from 512 to 1024, then I'll want to buy 2 512 MB sticks, because if I buy just a 1024 stick and use it to replace one 512 MB stick, the computer will still run at 512 MB. Does this sound right? I'm currently in the process of some upgrades (added DVD/CD Drive, added a GE Force 6200 OC graphics chip) to play Oblivion and believe the final upgrade should be a memory upgrade. So, am on the path or still floundering in the dark re: memory? Thanks for the help.
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    nope. not necessarily. It depends on the type and configuration of ram you have. You can have 1 stick of ram in single channel mode.

    If you have more than 1 stick, your motherboard may or may not support dual channel. In which case you have twin pairs of matched sticks. The combined memory is larger and the memory runs faster in dual channel. If you have more than 1 stick in single channel mode- you have more memory, but it doesn't run as fast as duel channel. The speed difference is not really noticable.

    There are some cases where you can have 3 or more sticks in dual channel. Most often dual channel is an even number. In some rare cases it is not.

    Some types of ram like rambus, require twin sticks. These are not duel channel and it is a proprietary format used in some editions of dell.

    almost always memory runs better when you have matched sticks.

    get two 512 sticks for 1gb of memory rather than 1 stick of 1gb.

    sell the old memory. be sure to read the FAQs on installing.
  3. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    There are at least two sticks of ram in systems that are running ram in dual channel mode. if you are unsure how many sticks of ram you have, you can download this freeware program and it will tell you.

  4. Marker

    Marker TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So here's what I see...

    Based on what I can now see,

    Capacity: 512 MBytes
    Maximum Capacity: 4096 Mbytes
    Memory Slots: 2

    Slot 1 and 3 contain:
    ProMos/Mosel Vitelic 256 Mbytes memory sticks with a speed of 3200 (200 MHz)

    If I buy two 512 MBytes sticks (or higher) that run a 200 MHz, I should be in good shape, right?
  5. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    Yeah, buy 2 sticks that are 512 each, whether you buy them separately or in a dual channel kit. You probably want 200MHz.
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