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Dell Dimension 2400 (XP)

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November 17, 2013 10:29:40 AM

Ok, so recently, I got hold of an old cast off computer. I took it apart and salvaged the parts I could and the parts worth salvaging.
A main part of interest was a stick of RAM. A 1GB DDR DIMM 184 pin stick.
This was of interest because my main home computer is a Dell Dimension 2400 (This isn't the computer is use, I use a HP Pavilion DM1 Laptop). For obvious reasons I wanted to speed the Dell up because I think what it lacks most is RAM. It usually comes with 0.5GB (2x 0.25GB sticks).
When I opened up the Dell to replace one of sticks with the 1GB stick, I noticed that only one of the slots were taken up by a 0.5GB stick. This must have been because a few years ago, we had someone take a look at it because it was having a few problems. The person must have replaced both of the sticks with just the one.
I put the 1GB stick in the second slot with the 0.5 in the first and booted the computer without problems. Later, while a family member was playing a game, a few minutes into gameplay, they started to notice extreme choppiness. So I took the 1GB stick out and the problem still persists.
Does anyone have any insight into why this is happening?
Thanks in advance.

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a b } Memory
November 17, 2013 10:41:16 AM

I would guess that another program has started up and is consuming (rather limited) resources leading to your 'choppy' experience. For example maybe the virus software started something or a windows update started running. There could be a ton of legitimate reasons. Adding RAM could only help; Leave the extra RAM in it.

Although I would put the larger stick in slot 1 and the smaller one in slot 2. Consult your system documentation (support.dell.com) for what arrangements of memory are appropriate.

When the RAM is in it, check to see that it has been recognized by Windows (it has been a long time since I used XP, but try right clicking on "my computer" and choose properties, it will hopefully be there somewhere)

Modern games just aren't meant to be run on systems that old, but you've done great to get some extra life out of it.
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November 17, 2013 12:00:22 PM

2x4b said:
I would guess that another program has started up and is consuming (rather limited) resources leading to your 'choppy' experience. For example maybe the virus software started something or a windows update started running. There could be a ton of legitimate reasons. Adding RAM could only help; Leave the extra RAM in it.

Although I would put the larger stick in slot 1 and the smaller one in slot 2. Consult your system documentation (support.dell.com) for what arrangements of memory are appropriate.

When the RAM is in it, check to see that it has been recognized by Windows (it has been a long time since I used XP, but try right clicking on "my computer" and choose properties, it will hopefully be there somewhere)

Modern games just aren't meant to be run on systems that old, but you've done great to get some extra life out of it.


Thank you so much for the advice, I can only hope this works. I will post back the results.
EDIT: Would you suggest updating the drivers?
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a b } Memory
November 17, 2013 12:14:14 PM

There are no drivers associated specifically with RAM that you can update.
Try a manual windows update, and look at the optional updates section. Any drivers that Windows thinks are worth updating will be listed there.
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November 17, 2013 2:33:31 PM

2x4b said:
There are no drivers associated specifically with RAM that you can update.
Try a manual windows update, and look at the optional updates section. Any drivers that Windows thinks are worth updating will be listed there.


Ah, it appears the cause of the stuttering is a recent XP update where having windows auto update enabled causes svchost.exe to hog 100% of your CPU power. I'm fairly certain it hasn't the slightest to do with the RAM. Thanks for your advice and suggestions, they helped greatly!
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