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RAM Question

 
 
ChrisCoaster
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      01-03-2009
My friend decided to upgrade his Dell XP tower from 1Gig to 2Gig of
RAM. This Dell can be expanded to 4Gig.
The current configuration(as bought) was 4 memory slots with a 512mB
stick in 2 of them totally 1Gigabyte of RAM.

He purchased a 1Gig stick and placed it in the third slot, next to the
two slots which each had 512mB in them.

When he called Dell to ask if this was ok, he says the reps in India
could not give him a "straight simple" answer. The owners manual
from the PC stated that memory should be replaced/upgraded in pairs.
I.E., 2Gig ideally should be supplied via two 1Gig sticks.

According to my friend, the bootup screens show the full memory being
recognized, or more typically 1.8 ~ 1.9Gig of it. BUT, he claims the
computer takes no less time than it previously did to boot up or to
run programs.

So my question is:
Even though his Dell recognizes the additional memory, is it being
accessed to run the OS and any programs he's running, based upon how
his RAM is configured?

Thanks and apologies for the long-winded recitation.

-ChrisCoaster
 
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Paul
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-03-2009
ChrisCoaster wrote:
> My friend decided to upgrade his Dell XP tower from 1Gig to 2Gig of
> RAM. This Dell can be expanded to 4Gig.
> The current configuration(as bought) was 4 memory slots with a 512mB
> stick in 2 of them totally 1Gigabyte of RAM.
>
> He purchased a 1Gig stick and placed it in the third slot, next to the
> two slots which each had 512mB in them.
>
> When he called Dell to ask if this was ok, he says the reps in India
> could not give him a "straight simple" answer. The owners manual
> from the PC stated that memory should be replaced/upgraded in pairs.
> I.E., 2Gig ideally should be supplied via two 1Gig sticks.
>
> According to my friend, the bootup screens show the full memory being
> recognized, or more typically 1.8 ~ 1.9Gig of it. BUT, he claims the
> computer takes no less time than it previously did to boot up or to
> run programs.
>
> So my question is:
> Even though his Dell recognizes the additional memory, is it being
> accessed to run the OS and any programs he's running, based upon how
> his RAM is configured?
>
> Thanks and apologies for the long-winded recitation.
>
> -ChrisCoaster


I examined a Dell in detail in the last couple days, and for
the chipset used, it actually supports dual channel as long
as the quantity of memory installed in one channel is equal to the
quantity of memory in the other channel. So even with
three sticks installed, 2x512MB on one channel, and 1GB
on the other channel, it might still be a dual channel
setup. I need the exact model number, to take a stab at
it.

A computer doesn't have to boot faster because it went from
1GB to 2GB. My computers here, might use anywhere from 116MB
to 200+MB at startup (depending on whether the bloated .net
loads), which leaves some room with respect to
2x512MB original configuration. Moving up to 2GB is only
going to matter, if the memory usage at some point goes
above 1GB. The owner can check Task Manager, Commit Charge Peak,
to get some idea of the peak consumption of RAM during the day.
On my old 1GB machine, one game brought the usage to 800MB peak,
leaving room for other things if I alt-tabbed out.

To dig up more info on RAM, you can search the Dell site
for "dimension 4400 overview" or the like, to find a
technical manual. In there, look for a spec page in the
online manual, with mention of the chipset. Then, if it is
an Intel chipset, you can download the datasheet for the
chipset from Intel, and figure out what memory features the
box has that way.

There are some things that will be harder to figure out,
such as the Dell box that had memory remapping permanently
turned on, which caused only 2GB of 4GB installed to be
visible. I couldn't really figure out that problem, using
the datasheet alone. Dell warned of that, but did not
explain the limitation (that it would cut off at precisely
2GB if a 32 bit OS was used, due to memory remapping). Retail
motherboards can have that setting visible in the BIOS,
so it can be turned off as needed.

Paul
 
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gnu / linux
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-04-2009
On Jan 3, 3:52*pm, ChrisCoaster <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> My friend decided to upgrade his Dell XP tower from 1Gig to 2Gig of
> RAM. *This Dell can be expanded to 4Gig.
> The current configuration(as bought) was 4 memory slots with a 512mB
> stick in 2 of them totally 1Gigabyte of RAM.
>
> He purchased a 1Gig stick and placed it in the third slot, next to the
> two slots which each had 512mB in them.
>
> When he called Dell to ask if this was ok, he says the reps in India
> could not give him *a "straight simple" answer. *The owners manual
> from the PC stated that memory should be replaced/upgraded in pairs.
> I.E., 2Gig ideally should be supplied via two 1Gig sticks.
>
> According to my friend, the bootup screens show the full memory being
> recognized, or more typically 1.8 ~ 1.9Gig of it. *BUT, he claims the
> computer takes no less time than it previously did to boot up or to
> run programs.
>
> So my question is:
> Even though his Dell recognizes the additional memory, is it being
> accessed to run the OS and any programs he's running, based upon how
> his RAM is configured?
>
> Thanks and apologies for the long-winded recitation.
>
> -ChrisCoaster


Sounds like your friend did the right thing but as someone else said
you won't see faster boot times however when several programs are
running at the same time (e-mail, web browser, music player, Java etc)
less swapping will be going on and that good !
 
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sandy58
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-04-2009
On Jan 3, 9:52*pm, ChrisCoaster <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> My friend decided to upgrade his Dell XP tower from 1Gig to 2Gig of
> RAM. *This Dell can be expanded to 4Gig.
> The current configuration(as bought) was 4 memory slots with a 512mB
> stick in 2 of them totally 1Gigabyte of RAM.
>
> He purchased a 1Gig stick and placed it in the third slot, next to the
> two slots which each had 512mB in them.
>
> When he called Dell to ask if this was ok, he says the reps in India
> could not give him *a "straight simple" answer. *The owners manual
> from the PC stated that memory should be replaced/upgraded in pairs.
> I.E., 2Gig ideally should be supplied via two 1Gig sticks.
>
> According to my friend, the bootup screens show the full memory being
> recognized, or more typically 1.8 ~ 1.9Gig of it. *BUT, he claims the
> computer takes no less time than it previously did to boot up or to
> run programs.
>
> So my question is:
> Even though his Dell recognizes the additional memory, is it being
> accessed to run the OS and any programs he's running, based upon how
> his RAM is configured?
>
> Thanks and apologies for the long-winded recitation.
>
> -ChrisCoaster


"According to my friend, the bootup screens show the full memory being
recognized, or more typically 1.8 ~ 1.9Gig of it. BUT, he claims the
computer takes no less time than it previously did to boot up or to
run programs. "
RAM, Random Access Memory accesses the memory WHEN it needs it.
 
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