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Upgrading RAM

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Splatted
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Upgrading RAM

Postby Splatted » Sun, 11 Feb 2007 6:19 pm

I'm upgrading RAM for the first time, and need advice on what to look out for when buying.

According to HP's website, the maximum RAM my pc can support is 2GB for my motherboard - RC410-M (Alhena):

* Single-channel memory architecture
* 2 x 240-pin DIMM sockets support unbuffered non-ECC 400/533 MHZ DDR2 memory modules
* Maximum HP/Compaq approved memory is 2 GB


I'm told that the above specs are also called PC2-4200 modules as well.

Anything I should be watching out for?

Also, any advice where is the best place to buy, and whether there is a brand difference between modules?

Thanks in advance for any replies

PS: also an indication of price for anyone that's bought 2x 1GB sticks lately of the same specification

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Postby ksl » Sun, 11 Feb 2007 10:03 pm

I've not done a upgrade for many years, so not 100% sure if things have changed, however their used to be compatibility problems, when mixing brand names.

1. ensure you purchase the same brand if possible and same nanosecond speed.

The largest ram should be the closest to the CPU for optimal performance on a dual piped board.

Some motherboards will give an error beep, if ram is mixed in size, like 1gb on one side and only 512 on the other, although I would just go ahead and not worry about the trouble shooting just yet.

8 out of 10 boards have no problems at all!

But it is easier, and safer to stick to the original brand of memory, don't forget that the speed is important, and will run at the slowest link, if you put a slower memory module in. Jot down the number and code of the one that is in, and you'll be okay.

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Postby sniper968 » Mon, 12 Feb 2007 12:42 am

http://forums.hardwarezone.com

Best to ask there. Goto the HP section and ask around. They would know better.

RAM is pretty cheap these days- S$150 will get u a 1 gig ram stick (DDR333). but to avoid complications you want to get a shop that can install it for you on the spot. Then if its not compatible they can swap u another one- but first acertain whether they can do that for u.

Its not too difficult- on my Dell- just pop off the memory panel - remove the ram and put the new ones in.

You can also download this useful program CPUZ

Version 1.38
November 2006
Contact : cpuz@cpuid.org
Web page: http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php
Validation page : http://valid.x86-secret.com/
Forum : http://forum.x86-secret.com/forumdisplay.php?f=16
Developers page : http://www.cpuid.org/developers.php

The program will tell u what ram u have - and even tell u how many ram slots are in your machine.
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Postby Bremen » Mon, 12 Feb 2007 11:07 am

sniper968 wrote:RAM is pretty cheap these days- S$150 will get u a 1 gig ram stick (DDR333).


Note that he needs DDR2.

Compatibility issues, nanosecond speed, etc, don't really matter anymore. On your board you don't need to worray about dual-channel as your motherboard only supports single-channel operation.

Basically, go here:

http://sg.hardwarezone.com/priceguide/p ... php?id=307

1GB of high-quality corsair is about SGD 99.
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Re: Upgrading RAM

Postby saint73 » Tue, 13 Feb 2007 1:06 am

Splatted wrote:I'm upgrading RAM for the first time, and need advice on what to look out for when buying.

According to HP's website, the maximum RAM my pc can support is 2GB for my motherboard - RC410-M (Alhena):

* Single-channel memory architecture
* 2 x 240-pin DIMM sockets support unbuffered non-ECC 400/533 MHZ DDR2 memory modules
* Maximum HP/Compaq approved memory is 2 GB


I'm told that the above specs are also called PC2-4200 modules as well.

Anything I should be watching out for?

Also, any advice where is the best place to buy, and whether there is a brand difference between modules?

Thanks in advance for any replies

PS: also an indication of price for anyone that's bought 2x 1GB sticks lately of the same specification


:mrgreen: :mrgreen: I prefer to Used "KINGSTON"brands....already DIY 2 - 3 PC my own....No problem at all....

Go to SIM LIM SQ.to buy ...but check with few shop before you buy.... :roll:

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Postby vink » Tue, 13 Feb 2007 3:40 am

I think the IT show in Suntec is coming this March.. might have good deals there...

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Postby MoTokyo » Tue, 13 Feb 2007 5:56 am

If your pc is suddenly dragging its feet aross the floor when you're browsing the Internet, it's probably spyware or viruses. If the computer is slow in general, the processor could be outdated, which would require a new pc. If it's the latest games you're trying to access, maybe you should think about upgrading your video or sound card. Or maybe the pc just needs a fresh reinstall of Windows.

Ram only acts as a filter between applications and windows. So if you're taking on heavier applications or using multiple applications at once, a ram upgrade is definitely necessary. Otherwise, more Ram might not give your pc the boost you're expecting.

Ram -

As ksl pointed out, you should purchase identical sticks when replacing ram. PC's will run ram at the slowest possible speed, without exception. So if you purchase an expensive stick and place it next to a dusty slow one, both will run at the same speed. Motherboards are tuned to do this to prevent either stick from overheating.

Optimal ram setups should be identical in cached memory. I don't know what you're upgrading from but lets say you want 2 gigs, your setup should be:

2gigs:
1GB x 1GB

For 1gig:
512mb x 512mb

For 512:

256mb x 256mb

ECC ram is mainly for network servers, it will not run in most pcs.

More than 2 gigs isn't necessary unless you're upgrading to Vista. Windows XP and below will not allocate more than 2 gigs of ram to any individual program, so it's useless to have more than 2 gigs in the system. XP will cache the first 2 gigs and leave the rest for windows, which it will never use or need. Interestingly enough, Microsoft never thought that pc users would ever be able to use or afford more than one gig of ram when it released xp...

If it's cheap, it's probably worth every penny. Purchasing a gig of no-name brand ram will probably run worse than 256mb from a reputable supplier. The machine from HP probably came supplied with a no-name brand from a cheap supplier. HP, Dell...etc make their money by throwing in as many cheap parts as possible. Strangely, you can purchase all of the parts individually, take it to a pc repair shop to have it built, and you would still end up with a pc that is not only faster than the store brand, but drastically cheaper.

Good ram -

OCZ ram is great for overclocking abilities but Corsair in my opinion offers the fastest and most reliable out-of-the-box ram on the market. They generously serve lifetime warranties on all products as well. I purchased this set: TWINX2048-3500LLPRO (2x1gb - 350$USD) : from newegg.com last spring. If you have relatives or friends in the states, newegg.com and pricewatch.com offer the best prices available for pc parts. Kingston is also a reliable manufacturer but not all of their products offer lifetime warranties.

If you must buy from SimLim, go armed with printouts of the cheapest prices from maybe 5 - 8 reputable Online retailers. Find a shop that you know you won't buy the from at SimLim, show them your printouts and get them to committ to a lower price than what is listed. Tell them the shop upstairs (or downstairs) is offering the ram at "xx" price (10% less than what they've agreed to match with your online retailer). At this point, they're going to become frustrated and start to argue a bit or tell you it isn't possible. The point here is to find out how low he can go, because that's the price a different retailer in the building is willing to give you.

But since you pissed this guy off, you can't purchase anything from him. Why? Because he'll give you something used, or without the warranty, or... well you get the picture.



Let us know how it goes -

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Postby Splatted » Tue, 13 Feb 2007 10:07 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies. I really appreciate it

MoTokyo wrote:If your pc is suddenly dragging its feet ...


Great advice. My pc isn't slow - just I want more grunt. Also I've ordered my vista upgrade disk.

MoTokyo wrote:Ram -

As ksl pointed out, you should purchase identical sticks when replacing ram. PC's will run ram at the slowest possible speed, without exception. So if you purchase an expensive stick and place it next to a dusty slow one, both will run at the same speed. Motherboards are tuned to do this to prevent either stick from overheating.


My motherboard only has 2 slots, and I'm told by the technician that replaced my HD one week after I got the pc in December that the MB has not been tested for higher than 2GB.

Essentially I am replacing a 512mb stick with 2x 1gb sticks, though for warranty purposes I'll be keeping the 512mb stick for the next year. That technician mentioned that removing the original memory voids the warranty (if hp finds out). So, if i have any problems for the remainder of the warranty, I'll need it just in case to pop back in the PC like as if it were never taken out.

MoTokyo wrote:Good ram -

OCZ ram is great for overclocking abilities but Corsair in my opinion offers the fastest and most reliable out-of-the-box ram on the market.


The Corsair's mentioned earlier are only $99 each - is there a big difference between Corsair sticks, or are the ones offered for $99 fairly good?

MoTokyo wrote:But since you pissed this guy off, you can't purchase anything from him. Why? Because he'll give you something used, or without the warranty, or... well you get the picture.


Great advice, though I'm not a real haggler. I'd rather find out what's a good brand (such as Corsair?), and see who's offering it at the cheapest at the time eg such as hardwarezone comparison guide & go straight there. I might pay ~$20 more, but for me it's less headaches.

[/quote]

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Postby Splatted » Sat, 17 Mar 2007 6:55 pm

Just a little bit of feedback re buying the RAM.

I ended up looking for the cheapest sticks listed on that url previously mentioned:

http://sg.hardwarezone.com/priceguide/p ... php?id=307

by this weekend the corsairs weren't at the same price as that week when I originaly posted, so I went for the Kingstons.

Only thing is, when I arrived at the particular shop that advertised $100 for Kingstons, the lady that served me denied that it was that cheap and that that price was only when buying a complete PC & upgrading the package.

Anyway, I avoided that particular store, as it smelled like a scam.

What I quickly discovered were that other retailers within Sim Lim had prices even lower than mentioned on that comparison website.

I bought my Kingstons 1GB rams for $90 each.

Anyway, thanks once again to everyone for your advice. It was very much appreciated.

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Postby bigfilsing » Mon, 19 Mar 2007 7:47 am

If the computer is slow in general, the processor could be outdated, which would require a new pc.


What cobblers!! Although some of Motokyo's advice was sound.
Still got a P2 running a FTP and Web server not to mention running some graphic games.

We all seem to be at the mercy of the vendors ( hard and soft ware) the more ram you have the more software demands and on and on.

Well done for gettin the ram you need. Not the easiest of tasks especially on "brand" PC's. Make sure you adjust your window settings to get the most of your new ram ( virtual memory etc). You may also have some applications that need a tweak as well. Most software looks at the ram size during the install and adjusts itself accordingly. You might need to re-install some applications to be sure.
Good luck


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