Need help with memory (Horrible with computers)

First thing. I'm horrible with computers. So if anything sounds like its a no brainer thing I'm sorry. :(

AMD64 3500+
x800 ati 256mb pci-e
windows xp
was 2gb now 1gb ram

Heres my question. I bought this computer
and it came with this cheapo ram 2 x 512mb no name on it or anything. I wanted to play that new game Oblivion so I bought a 1gb PNY stick of ram from compusa. I installed it worked fine, but didnt really see any changes. The the computer started to crash randomly alot. At least 20 times a day almost. I then decided to take out the ram that I bought and the crashing went away, and everything was normal. Does that mean I need to buy the same brand of ram?

Like take the 2 x 512 out and just buy another 1gb PNY?

Is this compatablity thing also the reason I didnt see any performance upgrade when I installed the 1gb stick?

If anyone can help Thanks

PC N00b
14 answers Last reply
More about need memory horrible computers
  1. you need to use identical sticks and it would be alot better to have only 2(for 2gb buy 2*1024 mb)
  2. I was also told that it could be the timings are off. And I should go to the BIOS and change everything to AUTO. How do I check it? I hit F1 and I went to the BIOS screen. but the memory slots are not colored blue so I cant seem to move down and select them. All it does is show the 2 x 512mb sticks. Its unselectable.

    I have a phoenix - award bios cmos setup utility. But everywhere I go talks about an advanced chipset features. My BIOS dosnt seem to have that at all. thats what everyone is talking about. But mine is so plain compared to this. Theres nothing that lets me adjust the timings or anything.


    Or should I just get rid of the 2 x 512's and just buy another PNY 1gb stick. So i'd have 2 x 1gb PNY. Save alot of time and trouble.?

  3. well because its HP, i might even suspect power supply, they have been known to give cheap ones as they r simply a company out to maximize profits.

    As for timings, becuase its a HP pc.. timings will always be on auto or manufactured specified so you cant change taht.

    To see if there's a compatablity between ur ram and motehrboard, i would recommdn you take out the original ram and only use ur new PNY ram and see if the pc crashes. if it doesnt then its not that. THen it might actually be too weak of a powersupply. just my 2 cents.
  4. Because I was just going to buy another 1gb PNY stick so I'd have 2 PNY sticks. Instead of the cheapo brand + PNY. Could that be the problem? Cheapo + PNY = Crashing.

    PNY + PNY = Fine ? haha

    I hope its not my powersupply because I don tknow how to install one.
  5. i doubt there is a ram ram compability issue. But i would take out hte cheapo ram and insert hte PNY ram and see if hte pc crashes.. if it doesnt then let me know.. ill think from there.
  6. You should just take out the cheapo ram, and buy another PNY stick, that way you can have it in dual channel. This will give you a performance increase from both increased bus width and increased memory capacity. Running three sticks of RAM is not advised, either use two or four sticks to get the dual channel advantage.
  7. PNY, why??
    :lol: :lol:
  8. Okay,

    I took out the PNY ram that I had with the cheapo ram. I think that caused it to crash alot. It has now stopped. I then switched the cheapo ram with the PNY and its still fine. So the cheapo ram is sitting in a box. I do see some improvement in the computers performance. So I might just buy another PNY stick and hopefully it'll give me the performance boost I hoped to get with the cheapo + PNY that never happened.

    Sound good?
  9. Yes, that is the best way to upgrade your computer, you'll notice a difference when playing games and in the responsiveness of your computer. Hope I helped :)
  10. No way its the power supply. At work I have an HP Media Center Edition PC and I've added an ATI x600 Pro card to it at times and its still worked. Theres no way an added memory stick would pull so much more wattage from the power supply as to cause it to not work stably.

    Its probably an issue with the motherboard being designed by HP to be set to work in dual channel mode and it doesn't have good compatibility with running 3 sticks. Or that the cheap ass sticks in there aren't very compatible with PNYs.

    I agree with the others that the best bet would be to get another PNY stick and run 2x1GB. Throw the 2 512MB sticks in another computer that needs more RAM.
  11. That sounds good. The cheap ram and the PNY probably have a major compatability problem, hence your crashes. I'd rather use Corsair, Kingston, or some other top quality ram than PNY, but that's what you've got in one stick so another like it should work. When mixing ram sticks, the computer will always either set to the slowest timings, or just crash entirely, as it does know which to set itself to. Your power supply shouldn't be affected by the ram sticks.
  12. They did sell you PC3200 DDR I hope and not some cheap PC2700 or god forbid PC2100.

    Sell the 2 512s on eBay and make sure to get EXACTLY the same PNY RAM as before. You'll be fine.

    It is not the PSU.
  13. I have to agree to get the second PNY but I also have to state that the PSU's used by Compac/HP do suck bawls. A friend of mine asked me to check why her computer was running slowly, bought it last year, bestbuy sales guy tells her it's top of the line.... AMD Sempron 3400+ socket 754... I almost crapped myself I was laughing so hard. Anyway the PSU was a 250W POS, gah...
  14. OK, but was that the reason it was running slowly?
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