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Upgrading memory on Dell dual channel system. Questions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
So this system came with 512 mb memory (2x256). I'd like to upgrade to at least 1gb, and don't really see the need for much more than that right now. I'm not a hardcore gamer or anything, so 1gb should be enough for my needs. It seems like I read somewhere that 4x256 is a bad setup. Is there a significant performance hit using this? Should I instead get 2x512? And if I do, should I just replace the existing memory, or add it in to have a total of 1.5 gb ?

Side note - this is obviously not the system in my profile specs. It's a Pentium 4 3.0 Ghz.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5-4460 ASUS Z97-E/USB3.1 SAPPHIRE 100362-3L Radeon R9 290 4GB G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 ... 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
ADATA XPG SX900 ASX900S3-256GM-C 2.5" 256GB SAT... Windows 8.1 XFX TS Series P1550SXXB9 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP1... RAIDMAX Narwhal ATX-920WBTI Black/Titanium Stee... 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5-4460 ASUS Z97-E/USB3.1 SAPPHIRE 100362-3L Radeon R9 290 4GB G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 ... 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
ADATA XPG SX900 ASX900S3-256GM-C 2.5" 256GB SAT... Windows 8.1 XFX TS Series P1550SXXB9 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP1... RAIDMAX Narwhal ATX-920WBTI Black/Titanium Stee... 
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post #2 of 8
You will want to use 2x512 as the AMD CPU'S have the memory controller on the CPU and it struggles when there are 4 modules of ram installed so you will get better performance and a better overclock with 2x512.
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ENTERPRISE1701
You will want to use 2x512 as the AMD CPU'S have the memory controller on the CPU and it struggles when there are 4 modules of ram installed so you will get better performance and a better overclock with 2x512.
I also agree

I think only intel can cope with 4 sticks as they are controlled from the northbridge not on-die
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Opteron 165 CCBBE 0615DPMW 2.6GHz (9x290) DFI NF4 SLI-D (HR-05-SLI Passive Chipset Cooler) BFG 8800GTS OC 640MB 620/1860 Mushkin Redline 4x1GB DDR475 (3-3-2-7 2T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x 74GB WD Raptor (RAID 0) + 2.2TB of SATA HDDs NEC DVD/RW SATA XP Home Edition SP3 IIyama H481S 19' TFT 1280x1024 
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Eluminix (Backlight) OCZ Modstream520w 28A,12v Single Rail Antec P182 Razer, Copperhead Blue 
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
No, it's not my profile system. It's a Dell Intel system I'm trying to advise a friend on how to upgrade. Pentium 4 3.00 Ghz with hyperthreading - not sure of the exact model.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5-4460 ASUS Z97-E/USB3.1 SAPPHIRE 100362-3L Radeon R9 290 4GB G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 ... 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
ADATA XPG SX900 ASX900S3-256GM-C 2.5" 256GB SAT... Windows 8.1 XFX TS Series P1550SXXB9 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP1... RAIDMAX Narwhal ATX-920WBTI Black/Titanium Stee... 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5-4460 ASUS Z97-E/USB3.1 SAPPHIRE 100362-3L Radeon R9 290 4GB G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 ... 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
ADATA XPG SX900 ASX900S3-256GM-C 2.5" 256GB SAT... Windows 8.1 XFX TS Series P1550SXXB9 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP1... RAIDMAX Narwhal ATX-920WBTI Black/Titanium Stee... 
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MjrTom
I also agree

I think only intel can cope with 4 sticks as they are controlled from the northbridge not on-die
Yes Intel Cpu's will not have this problem as all memeory functions are dealt by the Northbridge which makes life easier for the CPU.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by thatguymark
No, it's not my profile system. It's a Dell Intel system I'm trying to advise a friend on how to upgrade. Pentium 4 3.00 Ghz with hyperthreading - not sure of the exact model.
In that case you will probably be ok, for the reason stated above
Desktop
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Opteron 165 CCBBE 0615DPMW 2.6GHz (9x290) DFI NF4 SLI-D (HR-05-SLI Passive Chipset Cooler) BFG 8800GTS OC 640MB 620/1860 Mushkin Redline 4x1GB DDR475 (3-3-2-7 2T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x 74GB WD Raptor (RAID 0) + 2.2TB of SATA HDDs NEC DVD/RW SATA XP Home Edition SP3 IIyama H481S 19' TFT 1280x1024 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Eluminix (Backlight) OCZ Modstream520w 28A,12v Single Rail Antec P182 Razer, Copperhead Blue 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactamat 
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Desktop
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Opteron 165 CCBBE 0615DPMW 2.6GHz (9x290) DFI NF4 SLI-D (HR-05-SLI Passive Chipset Cooler) BFG 8800GTS OC 640MB 620/1860 Mushkin Redline 4x1GB DDR475 (3-3-2-7 2T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
3x 74GB WD Raptor (RAID 0) + 2.2TB of SATA HDDs NEC DVD/RW SATA XP Home Edition SP3 IIyama H481S 19' TFT 1280x1024 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Eluminix (Backlight) OCZ Modstream520w 28A,12v Single Rail Antec P182 Razer, Copperhead Blue 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactamat 
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by thatguymark
No, it's not my profile system. It's a Dell Intel system I'm trying to advise a friend on how to upgrade. Pentium 4 3.00 Ghz with hyperthreading - not sure of the exact model.
Remember when buying new ram you get the Right speed rating for that motherboard..For example if your friends motherboard can only take up to pc2700 ram then only get up to that as pc3200 wont be compatible.
post #8 of 8
Depending on the board, 4 sticks can still overload the memory controller on the board, so I would still recomend using less sticks unless you were trying to max out a boards memoery (running 4x1GB for a total of 4GB for instance). I would just get 2x512MB sticks and see if he can sell the old sticks on eBay for a few bucks.

Also, most times faster RAM can be used, it will just underclock to the max the board can handle. So PC3200 could be put in but it would only run at PC2700 or whatever the max speed of the board is. However, as it's a prebuilt Dell, buying faster RAM that will be underclocked by the board will give no benefit as you will not be able to tighten the timings, taking advantage of the underclocked sticks.
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