RAM Question

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by ChrisCoaster, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. ChrisCoaster

    ChrisCoaster Guest

    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
     
    ChrisCoaster, Jan 3, 2009
    #1
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  2. ChrisCoaster

    Paul Guest

    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
     
    Paul, Jan 3, 2009
    #2
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  3. ChrisCoaster

    gnu / linux Guest

    On Jan 3, 3:52 pm, 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


    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 !
     
    gnu / linux, Jan 4, 2009
    #3
  4. ChrisCoaster

    sandy58 Guest

    On Jan 3, 9:52 pm, 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


    "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.
     
    sandy58, Jan 4, 2009
    #4
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