Memory upgrade question

I'm not ready to go through the misery of reloading all my programs to a new computer so I'm thinking of adding memory to my slightly slow Dell Dimension 4550. I use it for some casual gaming, web browsing, finances and it's taking a while to start certain aps, runs slow if I have 2 spyware scanners running etc. I periodically defrag, use CCleaner and Adaware/AVG spyware programs.
I'm running Win XP and have 2 stcks of 256 memory in (I believe) the 2 memory slots. Dell has told me different times it'll take a max of 1 or 2 gig of RAM.

Any suggestions on memory? IS there a big difference in quality of RAM? On eBay I found a 1 gig stick of Samsung PC2700 for $40 with shipping which seems low. Crucial has 1 gig for $62 + shipping.

Thanks in advance!
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More about memory upgrade question
  1. There is actually not a huge performance difference between expensive and inexpensive RAM, unless you plan to overclock and / or take your RAM to its limits.

    So just get the cheapest brand, but make sure it's compatible with your PC.

    You will certainly notice the difference between 512MB & 1GB RAM.
  2. Thank you, Ethel. Does brand matter in terms of lifespan, reliability?
  3. Arrgh! Dell tech support chat tells me I can take 1 gig max memory. They linked me to a Dell page that says I can take 2 gig, with 1 gig per slot for the 533 FSB. Crucial's "configurator" says 1 gig max, 512 per slot, (for the 533 FSB, 2 gig for 400) as does Kingston's sight.
    Who should I believe?

    Would my DxDiag tell me which FSB I've got?
  4. well.. what you can do if you are unsure of how much ram you are able to use, ask a friend to borrow his/her ram. Or go to your nearest bestbuy/futureshop, buy a 1gb stick, try it out and then return it =].
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