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#562954 - Thu Nov 04 2010 09:22 PM Adding Memory
JMElston Offline
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I have a Dell 546 mini-tower PC. It currently has 1Gb of RAM. I have 2 older 1GB modules that I would like to add. There are 4 memory slots. I assume that the older modules are probably 'slower' memory. I just want to know if there will be any problem mixing the two different kinds. If there is a problem, can I use the two older modules instead of the current memory. I need more memory. Dell has been less than helpful in answering these questions.

The info on the modules is:

Old: 1Gb 2Rx8 PC2 5300U 555 12 E3 (Want to add 2 of these)

New: 1GB 1Rx8 PC2 6400U 666 12 ZZ (Currently in PC)

Is there some site that I could have looked this up on?

Happy PC RAM Trivia!
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#563095 - Fri Nov 05 2010 07:05 AM Re: Adding Memory
mehaul Offline
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More data?
End use; RAM or just more drive storage?
If drive storage can't you just hook them up with the USB ports and call them drive G and H? To make them internal RAM I think you need to add some software to manage the processing tasks between the three. But I haven't done it before so I'm not speaking from experience. I use a couple of USB Flash memory cards (less than $20) to add storage to my PC and at 4Gb per, that's way more than your 1's will get you and less power consuming also. Couldn't you treat them like a safety storage/ back-up memory and just connect them once in a while to keep your (Words and names?) files uncorrupted? And if your in a spending mood, There are new Terabyte sized storage devices on the market at less than $100 I believe.
So if they're to be more RAM, you're in the market I think for management software and that'd be like building a whole new computer 'cause isn't the Central Processor built around how much specific RAM is going to be available. If they made that part expandable, none of us would ever have had to buy new ones. But since I haven't done it doesn't mean it can't be done and we're back to the beginning, define your task more specifically.

Then try channeling Babbage.
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#563098 - Fri Nov 05 2010 07:21 AM Re: Adding Memory
mehaul Offline
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If it is the RAM, a change there would very likely require as mentioned new software but the software of the CPU is hard wired, so you may need a new CPU designed to accomodate multiple RAMS in addition to just new software.

My electonics began with vacuum tube triodes and pentodes. This new stuff is mind boggling. I don't think doing a deal over the phone with Dell is your best avenue of procedure. Try going to a geek store (Any Comp USA's out there?) and physically talk to a person. Bring pictures.


Edited by mehaul (Fri Nov 05 2010 07:32 AM)
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#563099 - Fri Nov 05 2010 07:26 AM Re: Adding Memory
flopsymopsy Offline

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Mehaul, RAM has nothing to do with storage.

JMelston, I would suggest using an online tool to scan your computer to see what type of memory is compatible with your motherboard - old memory might not be. Googling for "adding RAM" should come up with a few tools you can use.

I suspect the reason Dell has not been helpful is that they want you to buy their RAM which is probably more expensive than other options. Once you know what memory is compatible with the motherboard, and if your old RAM won't work, you could always try Ebay - I've got good RAM from one of their merchants in the past and at a quarter of the usual cost.
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#563101 - Fri Nov 05 2010 07:41 AM Re: Adding Memory
WesleyCrusher Offline

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JMElston,

if you want to add RAM to a system, you should make sure that all chips have the same timing specifications. Running with different timings at best slows all chips to that of the slowest one, at worst it prevents your system from starting at all.

I would recommend getting new memory to match the fastest one you have lying around or (even more reliable) buying a completely new set for the full desired capacity.

If you are low on cash and don't want to buy anything, using just the two old 1GB modules and upgrading to 2GB instead of 3 might be your best bet.

Wes


Edited by WesleyCrusher (Fri Nov 05 2010 07:43 AM)
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#563103 - Fri Nov 05 2010 07:46 AM Re: Adding Memory
mehaul Offline
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Yes I agree RAM is not storage but they are given in the same measurements and that is all JME had given (He had gigs and one of the ways it sounded like he wanted to use them was to go from RAM to storage devices and not as part of processing, ergo, define the task more). I did say it went one of two ways: storage as in drives or Processing as in RAM. Didn't I? And motherboards can be left in place with the addition of a new CPU plug in device. The geek store is the way to go.


Iwas editing my prior post while yours appeared. I did not try to change anthing I'd said. I just added the "My electronis ..." bit.

Agreed are we that it isn't even worth the effort to make them storage drives? And that as RAM they will need CPU architecture change, either real or virtual?
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#563106 - Fri Nov 05 2010 08:02 AM Re: Adding Memory
mehaul Offline
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Wesley's compromise approach is good if the old RAMs are compatible with the CPU that runs the new New: 1GB 1Rx8 PC2 6400U 666 12 ZZ (Currently in PC), if it's RAM expansion JME wants. (He has mentioned here before that his dictionary and persons files are getting quite large so it followed he might be seeking storage expansion, not faster prosessing) In fact if faster is what is desired, the change in RAM won't really help there would it? The internal clock will still tick as fast as it did before. The change would just allow more complicated calculations to occur. Is there some other point we haven't been told like is this to run a heftier Video card/processor?

Again, more background on what the desired end effect is expected to be.
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#563112 - Fri Nov 05 2010 08:43 AM Re: Adding Memory
mehaul Offline
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Original posting segment:::
have a Dell 546 mini-tower PC. It currently has 1Gb of RAM. I have 2 older 1GB modules that I would like to add. There are 4 memory slots. I assume that the older modules are probably 'slower' memory. I just want to know if there will be any problem mixing the two different kinds. If there is a problem, can I use the two older modules instead of the current memory. I need more memory. Dell has been less than helpful in answering these questions.

That penultimate sentence "I need more memory" needs clarification because more RAM (in Gigabytes) does not increase memory (in gigabytes) it just increases the amount of simultaneous processing which can be done. As for speed and the 'slower' issue, The PC should list in the my computer what the internal clock speed is (Listed as MHz, megahertz or GHz, gigahertz) Then you can look up the specs for the extra memories you have.

RAM is memory the CPU uses to store info during calculations. When you type a certain sequence of keys on the keyboard, the CPU stores those initial responses generated until the last response is generated and then extracts the result from the RAM and does a display. That memory is different than the memory where you store Frances Gumm was Judy Garland (though if doing an entry on Judy, your CPU may go to your disc hard drive storage and extract that info and put it into the RAM for the time of the calculation of what to display.) When you save a picture to 'memory' it goes to a storage memory, not the CPU's memory.

But one answer to the questions is also, "Try it." One result will be that your computer will detect new devices and may start a 'Wizard' to help you install them (If you're using Windows). It may not recognize the devices and will ignore them, it may as Wesley said, slow down the other RAM module/board or you may not have strapped yourself to ground doing the insertions and end up frying the good board. Go to a geek you can get face time with.
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#563120 - Fri Nov 05 2010 10:20 AM Re: Adding Memory
tellywellies Offline
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Memory is detected by the BIOS before the OS starts up. The memory you have will either work or it won't with the memory already there but no harm usually comes from trying it. However, if it was me, I'd rather match any additional memory to the existing 1GB. The online scan is good. I've used it myself for finding out what memory would match existing RAM. Typing 'memory compatibility checker' or 'memory scanner' into a search engine should find a somewhere that does it.
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#563352 - Fri Nov 05 2010 03:04 PM Re: Adding Memory
ladymacb29 Offline
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mehaul - when someone says they have RAM and want to add more, that means they want to add more RAM, not more hard drive space.

I agree with TW - from what I've learned, it's best to add the same type and size of RAM. (For example, don't put in a 2GB and a 1GB together - it should be either 1 and 1 or 2 and 2.)

If the two types aren't compatible with each other but are compatible with your motherboard, you can always use the two older RAMs together and save the one currently in your PC for another project.
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#563362 - Fri Nov 05 2010 04:30 PM Re: Adding Memory
mehaul Offline
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But JME didn't say he wanted more RAM did he? He said in that next to last sentence He wants more memory. He says he has some memory, he says he has some slots. To me that means more storage space not speed of computation. Really, I only tried to cover both sides of the issue, only to be told that he only wants more RAM. How do you know? If he would reply, the options have been laid out for him to choose from. But having taught basic computing to a hundred people in classes of 4 students, I know some fairly computer literate people get confused when the items are measured in the same language, i.e., gigabytes of space. Means storage to many and many would grab on that Ram is a storage device because it is measured in Gb's. Please. I know what the 80 series of Pentiums were and though I don't know current model numbers, I do have a grasp of how the things work. And the only task a lay person should attempt to perform on their own is to add extra memory to the USB port. Stay out of the interior of the machine. There are people who have just come out of college to do those jobs. And not all Ram is detected at booting (Basic In/Out System which runs on Basic programming), only enough to get the CPU running is necessary and some are brought online later.
My cousin did all his computer building, couldn't write a line of code. Cripes for his mother's EMachine, he diagnosed a bad hard drive and got her a new PC (she wouldn't have one of his hybrids, it had to be from a reputable Mfr), gave the old one to me figuring I could use the power supply or something. Know what the problem was? A mouse that doesn't always read the click as having happened! I use that mouse now. Once a day I just have to clean the wiper on the contacts by doing repeated rapid clicks. But he knew the hard drive was bad. And I'm looking at a Dell Tower right now. They are terrible about letting you know what's inside (as if it was a great secretof their invention)

So JME, go to a geek to help you and even let them do any modifications for you and ask for some assurance.
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#563366 - Fri Nov 05 2010 04:47 PM Re: Adding Memory
flopsymopsy Offline

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First line of JMelston's post:

"I have a Dell 546 mini-tower PC. It currently has 1Gb of RAM. I have 2 older 1GB modules that I would like to add. There are 4 memory slots."

That's how we knew. By reading what he said. RAM. Random Access Memory. Gets stuck in slots. The modules he quotes the names of are RAM modules. RAM. RAM. RAM!

And really, you don't need to be a technical genius to add RAM. You need to be able to Read the Manual first (a strange notion for a techie job but one I recommend in this instance), you need special screwdrivers, rubber bands to ward off static electricity, and clean hands.
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#563375 - Fri Nov 05 2010 05:38 PM Re: Adding Memory
tellywellies Offline
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Quote:
And not all Ram is detected at booting

It is if it's compatible with the motherboard.
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#563381 - Fri Nov 05 2010 05:56 PM Re: Adding Memory
mehaul Offline
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RAM is not ROM (which is part of BIOS boot-up).

If he wants expanded storage memory, I've recommended flash on the USB. Right or wrong? If he wants expanded computing capacity, his CPU may not even be able to handle the extra, slots or no slots (they're mass produced to handle many configurations). I've said if he wants faster calculating, not extra memory (ala RAM memory), a faster clock is probably a better improvement than a whole bunch more RAM (but then the CPU needs to be able tyo handle the faster bit rate). And as I think we've all said except Wesley, mixing RAM MAY be a bad idea (Why would I say that if I'm only pushing the storage issue?) Motherboards contain the CPU which are plug-in devices these days. You do not replace a motherboard unless it is cooked, you upgrade the big arsed CPU IC (definitely a can do at home job but best left to a techie). I know some things. You know some things, He, she and they know some things. We are not all identical in our knowledge. Why are you so quick to jump on my request from JME to further explain his intended outcome? Does he know that some of the slots may be for video processors and not RAM? sound cards, not RAM? other Parallel processing ports? No, we do not know that he has adequately identified those and Dell I'm sure is reluctant to tell exactly what they're for. One way he could find out is if he has five slots and his current 1Gb RAM is in one of them. Just change slots and he'll know if they're RAM slots or not (But that jeopardizes the good RAM). I've had students tell me that their RAM was full and they needed more RAM not comprehending it was disk space they needed.
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#563384 - Fri Nov 05 2010 06:07 PM Re: Adding Memory
mehaul Offline
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I just examined the front of my DELL. It has four expansion slots inside a front door. How many think those four slots are RAM slots? They are probably for controller boards for some industrial type controller boards to give cable access to the boards. Somehting as simple as a security system hook-up, not computational purposes. So, Is JME talking about slots in the front of his DELL or slots on a piggy backed port array off the motherboard?

Some good has come of this for me. I thought my sound card was dead as my monitor mounted speakers haven't worked since I acquired this PC. Inside that door I found the headphone jack! I am now listening to Sade Lovers Rock. I'm happy. I'm nearly in heaven. JME go do what they say.


Edited by mehaul (Fri Nov 05 2010 06:20 PM)
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#563386 - Fri Nov 05 2010 06:24 PM Re: Adding Memory
WesleyCrusher Offline

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mehaul, since I'm not a mod, this isn't a request, but merely a suggestion smile

However - if you have several things to say in a row, consider editing your post instead of replying multiple times. It keeps more content on a page and makes things easier to read.

Thanks smile

Wes
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#563387 - Fri Nov 05 2010 06:24 PM Re: Adding Memory
JMElston Offline
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I'm sorry for causing any confusion with my request. I had meant to check here often and provide any added info necessary but I got distracted.

The situation is that I originally had 2 Gb of RAM in my Dell. One module went bad giving me numerous BSoD and failing the memory tests. I'm on a fixed income so I can't buy more memory and Dell is giving me the run around on replacing the bad module (it is still under warrantee for another 6 weeks or so). A friend sent me the 2 1Gb 'old' modules from a previous PC that was working but upgraded to better memory.

My main problem is that I'm typically at 99% memory usage (CPU at 5 to 10%) currently and I get lots of 'Not Responding' messages from various tasks (mostly internet but not exclusively so). I wanted to make sure that installing the 'old' modules would not damage the working 1Gb of RAM giving me a non-working PC. I have swapped memory modules before (with appropriate grounding).

I'm not too concerned with memory speed so I'll probably try adding the 2 old modules first and seeing how that goes.

My internet searches hadn't turned up any useful memory info, but I'll continue looking.

I have a 320 Gb hard drive for storage (about 60 Gb used). It will be a while until it is full. I use RW DvDs and a free online service for file backup.

Thanks to all of you for your help. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Happy PC RAM Trivia!
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#563391 - Fri Nov 05 2010 06:37 PM Re: Adding Memory
tellywellies Offline
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The RAM we are talking about is that which is put into the computer in the motherboard slots. You talk about RAM to anybody regarding computers and they'll all know you're referring to that.

Whilst you can go into the nitty gritty steps of boot-up, I believe it is fair to say that the entire amount of RAM is certainly checked before the operating system comes into play and that this is a result of the BIOS function.

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/bios2.htm
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#563479 - Sat Nov 06 2010 04:18 AM Re: Adding Memory
WesleyCrusher Offline

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JME, I'd say it's safe to go ahead and try to upgrade, but use the strategy mehaul and I already suggested because it's the best and safest thing to do: First take out the existing RAM and upgrade with the two 1GB modules only (that way, you also don't risk killing your existing RAM if something is wrong with the added chips). If that runs stably and you find you can work with 2GB (which should be very likely unless you are doing multimedia stuff or running Windows 7), I would suggest to stick with it. If you really find 2GB to be insufficient, you can try re-adding your existing module, but don't get your hopes too high for that one. Mixing 2R and 1R modules is usually the hardest combination to get to work properly and many CPU/board combinations will not run any of them. If you find you need more than 2GB, you're most likely better off getting a new PC or at least a set of DELL-certified RAM chips.

Wes
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#563485 - Sat Nov 06 2010 07:20 AM Re: Adding Memory
mehaul Offline
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"If anyone from DELL is reading this, you should do what is right regarding JME's Warranty. Almost two hundred people have read this thread and we connect to a few hundred team message boards and if someone has to ask why the Word Wizard isn't getting fixed..."

That is something like what I might say to try to help JME get his broken parts replaced if I had the opportunity to bring an opinion to DELL's attention. I might also add that it might be a wonderful opportunity to show good conduct to potential customers.


__BROKEN_STUFF__





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Edited by mehaul (Sat Nov 06 2010 07:26 AM)
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#563490 - Sat Nov 06 2010 08:21 AM Re: Adding Memory
ladymacb29 Offline
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Originally Posted By: mehaul
"If anyone from DELL is reading this, you should do what is right regarding JME's Warranty. Almost two hundred people have read this thread and we connect to a few hundred team message boards and if someone has to ask why the Word Wizard isn't getting fixed..."

That is something like what I might say to try to help JME get his broken parts replaced if I had the opportunity to bring an opinion to DELL's attention. I might also add that it might be a wonderful opportunity to show good conduct to potential customers.


__BROKEN_STUFF__





Fixing rbenko fufts


If you're trying to get Dell to do something, it's best to write the corporate offices. The chances that someone from Dell would do anything because of a mere 200 pages views is nil.
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#563491 - Sat Nov 06 2010 08:51 AM Re: Adding Memory
mehaul Offline
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No, chances are not nil, but yes, not as great as they could be. Good idea, a letter campaign.
JME, either here or through a PM, could you get us a web address for getting in touch with their customer service department regarding your current dilemma? I think we could be able to identify you to them by location and problem.

I've gone to their web site (began from the wiki web page link to them) and it is a difficult navigation to leave messages at. I tried going through Michael Dell's Corporate Responsibilities page, Customer Service for non technical problems and got nowhere fast.


Edited by mehaul (Sat Nov 06 2010 09:21 AM)
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#563531 - Sat Nov 06 2010 11:09 AM Re: Adding Memory
ladymacb29 Offline
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mehaul - please do not change the topic of the thread. A letter writing campaign for one person's account will be ineffective. The affected party needs to Google the address for Dell's corporate offices and/or CEO themselves and work on the issue. Dell will not work with third parties like friends to get the issue cleared up.

Now back to the topic of adding RAM to a computer.
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