Dell Inspiron RAM Upgrade Query


I had 1GB RAM installed in my Dell Inspiron(2*512Mb, 2 slots)

Then i purchased an additional 2Gb of RAM.
Removed 1 512Mb ram module and replaced it with the newer one.

How my query is , are these two RAMs compatible ? cause i have noticed only a slight change in my overall performance(not huge as noW it has 2.5 Gbs of RAM)

1) RAM 1 (512Mb) is Hynix. Model number: HY5PS121621BFP-C4 623A
2) RAM 2 (2 Gbs) is Hynix. Model number: HY5PS1G831CFP-Y5 811AA

Do the speeds of these RAMs vary ?
Which would be the slower one ?
Will this matter in getting a better overall performance?
24 answers Last reply
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  1. Most newer system use ram in a dual channel config. which is why you had 2 x512 slots to begin with. by not using identical sticks you cut cpu's access to memory in half. which can account for the not so impressive perfomance gain.

    Also memory only provides performance gain if you use it. Use windows task manager performance tab to get a rough idea how much memory your system is acutally using. if the graph is less then half full then chances are good more memory will not help you.
  2. Thanks Psy..

    My only issue is that i shd be able to heavy applications like Photoshop n things alike ... plus to make my PC future safe.

    havin 2.5Gigs of ram would help anyways ... but are my mdules compatible ?

    The usage fluctuates from 2 to 30% after i have installed it..

    Please comment
  3. It would seem that the extra memory is helping.

    No your sticks are not compatible. For a dual channel config the memory has to be identical in size. While not always true. when buying memory for dual channel configs buy 2 of the same sticks to be safe. so buy another 2 GB stick if you can get ahold of on or return the other and buy a 4 gig set. (2X4GB ram sticks).

    Being your system only had 2 ram slots i'm assuming its from the budget line. Most budget CPUs are fine in a single channel mode you may just wanna leave your system be for now.

    I can give you a more exact answer if you tell me what model number you dell is or what cpu is in it.
  4. Thanks Psy

    I have a Dell Inspiron 640M
    Processor : Centrino Duo T2250 @ 1.73 Ghz
  5. HAHA I should have read more carefully. didn't realize you had a laptop. your memory is fine. really the only thing you can do to improve performance is to disable any of of the power saving features while the laptop is plugged in.

    In windows vista you simply right click the battery icon ont he lower right and take it from there.

    Can't remember how to do it in XP.

    Sorry of the unnecessary confusion
  6. Thank God !!

    that means i can put any RAM in the slots as long as it is DDR2
    do i have to worry abt clocking speeds or any such details of the RAM ?

    My power settings have been set to work on max ...
    As in when plugged never shut down, never do anything .. just keep working :P

    the only thing that as troubling my was that the rating of the RAMs
    one said C4 and the other Y5
  7. Your two sticks of memory have different speeds and different timings.

    The 512MB is DDR2-533 4-4-4
    The other is 1 GB of DDR-667 5-5-5

    According to the Hynix product coding table, the "1G" in the 6th and 7th positions of the number identify this as 1 GB memory, not 2 GB which would be "2G".

    I know the slower speed of the 512MB memory will cause the 1GB to operate at the slower speed of 533 MHz.

    But the higher speed (originally) 1 GB memory has slower timings. I am not sure how the timing differences are negotiated but I would guess it is not good. It might mean the timing of the 512 MB memory is slowed to 5-5-5. If so, this makes your memory run slower and applications or tasks that are not using more than your original memory would run slower. But I would think some applications requiring more than the old 1 GB might be speeded up by having more memory avaiable, even if at a slightly slower speed.

    The differences in memory could be keeping it from running in dual channel mode which might slow it down some. However a previous review by THG showed little difference between single and dual channel memory.,1705-11.html

    Maybe someone with a little more knowledge of memory can provide a more definitive response.
  8. Thanks Rocky..
    I have a Laptop
    1st RAM is 512Mbs 2nd is a 2Gbs Module

    If u say that the 512 one is slower, shd i remove that and keep my config to 2Gbs of total RAM ?
  9. Removing the other module will have little to no impact in performance in your case. I would leave it in. However the argument is sometimes made that having the single stick is better for battery life.
  10. ankitmadan said:
    that means i can put any RAM in the slots as long as it is DDR2
    do i have to worry abt clocking speeds or any such details of the RAM ?

    No, you cannot put any RAM in ths slots as long as it is DDR2. Your laptop manual should tell you what is c ompatible and you might need to check their website to get specific brands and configurations that are checked out and known to work. You should always try to get memory the manufacturer has said is compatible, match what you already have if possible, or use a vendors memory configurator. It is possible that other memory will work - but there is no guarantee.

    I addressed some of the issues above under speed and timings. In addition, your mobo probably only supports a small range of speed and timings. and within those only some have been checked to ensure they work. In addition, mobos generally have a limited range of voltages that are acceptable and these should not be mixed either. There are other specifications that can cause issues with mobos or conflicts between memory. Basically each numeral, or sometimes pair of numerals, in the product number has meaning. You can see from the differences between the numbers of your two chips that there are other differences between them.
  11. battery Life :P i dont have to care much abt it right now ... thanks for the insight Psy
  12. I guess I was editing my last message above while you were writing the following message. As I stated, the product number you listed indicates that your new memory stick is 1 GB not 2 GB. What does sysinfo report as your total physical memory?
  13. Hello,

    Just wanted to chime in on the RAM timings. The DDR2 667 5-5-5 module (if it is running at slower speeds) probably has tighter timings. You can check the timings with CPU-z. The manufacturer should have the default timings for certain standardized speeds in the RAM.

    Edit: Wait, I just reread the posts here. I get the impression you've already installed the module you purchased, and the computer seems to work. When you ask if the modules are "compatible," what do you mean? Are you asking whether or not your setup is optimum? If you've already installed the module, and the computer works, then I'd say the modules are compatible enough. Of course, you won't be getting dual channel...
  14. @rocky the total RAM stated is 2.49Gb

    @ahmshaegar yep i have installed my RAM and the PC is running fine .. my only trouble is, am i getting proper 2.5 Gigs out of this config ?Also, will there be any complications in future use ?
  15. Very strange.

    I beleive you do have the 2.5GB installed, but the number you provided is definitely a 1GB model number. You can find their numbering system on their website at or if you want to send me a private message with your email address I will send it to you the document as a PDF attachement.

    If you still have concerns about your memory, you might go to and run their diagnostic program. I think memory is one of the things it tests and it should tell you if yours is running up to snuff.
  16. Thanks Rocky, i would like to have a look at the docu.Kindly send it to me.
    I verified the number on the Chip.Its a Chipset made by some other company than Hynix, using hynix chips.Could it be a spurious one?
  17. I went thru the document.
    you are right.i guess i have been given a spurious ram.but it seems to work fine.
    I talked to my dealer.he says i checked everything before giving it to me.
    He also says kingston ram is also available in 2 Gb slot i fi need ot get mine replaced.

    Shd i go for it ?

    Are Kingston RAMs good ?
    Please recommend something rocky...thanks for your help.
  18. Hynix makes chips for a lot of other "manufacturers". Did the manufacturer say what brand of memory it was? Could he tell you the real speed and timings?

    Download CPU-Z and run it and report the actual speed and timings of your memory as intalled. If possible, also run it once with each memory stick alone to veryify the individual speeds and timings.

    Will he give you the Kingston RAM as a straight trade for what you have now? That might be the way to go. What are the speed and timings of it?
    Kingston is a highly regarded manufacturer that makes several classes of memory from basic to premium. Are you sure it is really Kingston memory tho?

    Going with Kingston would also be the safest thing. If your current memory is working fine, another option would be to ask for a discount on it if you are willing to keep it. If he is selling mis-branded memory he might be very negotiable. How miuch did you pay for it in the first place?
  19. hey rocky .... i exchanged the previous RAM with a Kingston RAM at no extra cost ($46.25) .
    Its working fine.... lets hope i get my desired results :)
  20. So what is the speed and timing on the Kingston?
    What is the fastest speed supported by your system?
    The answers to those two questions may determine whether you should be running the extra stick of 512MB of just the Kingston.
  21. Hi Rocky

    Posting the CPU-Z Screen Shots ..
    I haven't taken out any of the RAMs ... if you want ... i'll post separate screen shots with individual RAMs plugged in

    I was not able to comprehend much from this ...
    But what does it say abt the Speed/Freq Compatibility with the motherboard?
  22. What it says it that your memory is operating at 533MHz. See the third screen above - the memory is "dual pumped" so the 266.1MHz x 2 - = 533Mhz. That screen also shows that all 2560MB of memory is working.

    The memory is working at 533MHz because that is the top speed of the 512MB memory - see the next screen- althought the 2GB memory is capable of speeds up to 667Mhz - see the next screen which shows the three possible settings that memory can use. Mixed memory always works at the speed of the slower memory.

    If you mobo supports the higher speed of 667MHz, then taking out the slower chip may allow the larger one to speed up. Nothing on the CPU-z says what will happen - but if you don't have mobo specs you could just test it for about a 25% increase in top speed.

    However, speed (bandwidtth) is actually only part of the "speed" equation - actually calling the MHz alone the speed is a bit of a misnomer. The timings address lags and times between operations. Your computer is now operating at 4-4-4-12 - see screen three above again- which is actually quite good. This is because both chips can operate with this setting.

    Note that on the Kingston screen, under the 333 MHz frequency (which times two equates to the 667 MHz "speed", the timings are slower at 5-5-5-12 - or roughly - and this is only approximate - 20% slower. So even if the Kingston will run faster at 667 MHz, the speed gain will be mostly offset by the 20% decrease caused by slower timings. Note that the 5-5-5-12 timings are the same as the ones I reported above for the mislabelled 1 GB Hynix with the 667 speed. It is pretty common for basic mainstream memory - and timings typically increase (decreasing speed) as the MHz increases. That is one reason that newer faster memory is not that much faster. They have to increase the timings to let the faster memory stay stable. Over time they usually find ways to better "tune" the memory or manufacture it better and can reduce the timings, but usually not all the way down to the slower memory. I did however, just buy 800MHz memory on sale with the 4-4-4-12 timings.

    Anyway, your memory will probably run about the same with one or both sticks and with both you get the larger memory so you are probably better off with both. And now you should know a little more about memory and your computer.

    If you don't have it yet, you might want to download PC Wizard to learn more about your system.
  23. Thanks Rocky !!
    i'm going thru this pcwizard s/w, interesting ...

    Thanks a lot for the insight ...
    so i'm better off keeping both the RAMs ... 2.5gigs at whatever speeds sure does give me a kick :P

    uhhh .... little off topic ... but how do i know that my DVD rom is working fine or not ... its writing DVDs but at a slower spped than usual ... takes abt 15-20 minutes per dvd, earlier 7-8 minutes ... but no errors ... just slow writing speed .... does this mean its life is getting up ?
  24. Sorry, I know little about DvDs - you might want to start a new thread for that as it is an interesting question.
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