Couple Dell questions.

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by [DWI], May 4, 2006.

  1. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    I said I'd try and help my GF's parents with their desktop. The only problem is how fast it loads programs.

    About the machine

    1)It is a couple years old.

    2)It is a Dimension 4550 series computer

    3)It is a 2.0 GHZ P4

    4) its recently been reformatted with a clean install of windows XP home (within 6-9 months)

    5) Currently its RAM 256 MB DDR SDRAM 233 Mhz 128 MB AGP Aperture (from bios settings)

    6) Disk is routinely defragged, Anti-virus scanned, ad-aware and spybot scanned.

    7) With no virtual memory the computer cannot load all programs at start up (it loads most but when norton system works goes to load show in the area I get an error message saying there is not enough memory and with CRTL+ALT+DEL and performance the bar is mostly green and up to 233.

    8) The virtual memory has been set to 1024 (MB starting) and max of 2048

    9) The PC is used mostly for Email and word (even these take forever to load)

    Now for the questions.

    1) Given what I mentioned that its 233 of 256 committed without Norton loaded (would be over 256 at and the computer is a 2.0 ghz and is used mostly for browsing and word processing along with AIM from time to time when their kids are home and other odds and ends DVD maybe a burnt CD and or music (so a simple use computer) how much RAM would you suggest, I personally would to 1 GB but they won't use the computer like I would. So 512 or 768 or 1024?

    2) Is there a loss of performance if I were to choose to mix sizes of Sticks of RAM? ( 256 and 512 for example)?

    3) Is dell a company and the requires certain brands RAM to actually work or will any old brand work?

    4) If it comes you having say 1 GB of RAM in the machine is 2x512 or 1x1024 the better choice? (I've always been told 2x512 is better than 1x1028 because data from RAM can be recovered quicker?

    Thanks for your input guys, I've built my own systems before, but if I did something less than perfect i was the one that had to live with it and I always did the 2x sticks of ram of the same size. But this is the first time I will try and upgrade an OEM computer.
     
  2. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    1) Take out the existing stick, and get a dual-channel kit of Corsair ValueSelect 1GB (2x512MB).

    2) Don't mix memory.

    3) Use Corsair.

    4) 2x512MB is better. Usually better latency, and possibility of Dual Channel support, depending on chipset.

    5) GET RID OF NORTON! Use AVG and things will be faster. Reformat would be best.
     
  3. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    1) dual channel kit? Let me guess dell's construction makes only 1 ram slot?

    2) That's what I figured

    3) Is there a specific reason you recommend corsair? Are there other brands that will work?

    4) That is what I have always bee taught

    5) On my PCs I have always used AVG however this is their system and it their call, but they won't change it is a name brand with support from a major company which they like) plus it is system works so it has go back and all those other "fun" tools norton's disk defram diskchecker windoc ect
     
  4. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    a dual channel kit is one package that contains two sticks. A 1GB kit will have two sticks of 512MB... The kits are TESTED to work together. As where mixing and matching RAM can be a crap-shoot, the kits are designed for these situations.

    As for brands, I use Corsiar almost exclusively. There are other decent brands (Crucial, OCZ) but they are almost always more expensive (OCZ) or are not as good (Crucial) as Corsair. STAY AWAY from Mushkin or Kingston. Also stay away from "generic" memory.
     
  5. DAN513

    DAN513 OT Supporter

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    most of the dell's that I've worked on have 2 or 3 ram slots. I could count the number of systems I've seen with 1 ram slot on one hand.
     
  6. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    In the hundreds of thousands of sticks I've seen of corsair, i can count a VERY VERY VERY small percentage that went bad -- mostly due to installer error (static). This would not surprise me as the case with you (cold brew).

    There is absolutely no memory that beats Corsair... Their ValueSelect is most certainly the best value, and their XMS has proven time and time again that it is the performance benchmark.
     
  7. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    um, computer parts wholesaler... Been doing it since 1999... With all the direct-sale machines I've built, and all the pallets of memory I've gone through, I promise it's up in the hundreds of thousands. Average 2 sticks per machine, anyway, and I build several machines per day. and we're already at 10,000+ sticks just in machines I've built. Now factor in all the parts-only memory sold (that I have to be the RMA channel for) and Corsair has proven to me to be a VERY reliable product. About the only thing I've RMAd less than Corsair memory is Intel Boxed CPUs.
     
  8. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    I have to agree with Jolly (and that's saying something!) Corsair is pretty rock solid and worth the price.

    Oh, and I would add PQI to the list to stay away from.
     

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