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What is the worst that can happen

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December 21, 2010 8:30:40 PM

Hi, what is the worst that can happen if I exceed the manufacturer's supported memory in a Dell Inspiron 518 running Windows 32 bit? Crucial.com says that I shouldn't have more than 1 GB per slot (I have 4) and I have 2 Gb's in 2 slots. Thanks

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a b K Overclocking
December 21, 2010 11:00:50 PM

Hello,

Your PC will simply not boot. You can be certain of it. If it says that the motherboard does not support more than 1Gb per DIMM, then do not exceed that number. It means that you can only have a maximum of 4Gb of RAM in your system (4x1Gb).

Hope this helped,
al360ex
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December 22, 2010 3:21:19 PM

Are you certain it wont boot? I have a similar problem.

Because i am currently using a CPU that is NOT supported by my motherboard officially and it hasnt been a problem for almost an year or so now... And its not that i dont stress it, i run the best of games and am a heavy user of Photoshop/Cinema4D etc.

So maybe there is a possibility that it can run more memory than supported?
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a b K Overclocking
December 22, 2010 3:29:56 PM

How can you possibly run a CPU that is not supported by your motherboard ? Each CPU "family" has its own unique socket. For example, you can't put a an Intel Core i5 in an Asus Rampage III Formula, because the i5 has a LGA1156 socket (1156 pins on the CPU) and the Rampage III Formula has a LGA1366 socket. One will simply not fit in the other.
The same principle applies to memory...except that the 2Gb DIMM will fit into the motherboard...but your computer won't POST, because a DIMM of more than 1Gb is not supported by the motherboard.
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December 22, 2010 5:19:52 PM

I dont use a different socket CPU, just the model was a much newer C2D (e7500) so it wasnt basically supported by the motherboard (which supported upto 6xxx series i guess?).
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a b K Overclocking
December 22, 2010 5:26:37 PM

rockerdish said:
I dont use a different socket CPU, just the model was a much newer C2D (e7500) so it wasnt basically supported by the motherboard (which supported upto 6xxx series i guess?).

Your motherboard supports the socket LGA775. The "older" C2Ds had 775 pin...the new ones have also 775 pins. That's why it works. The CPU you currently own is supported by your mobo, it's simply that it didn't exist when you bought it. But as long as you don't change socket, any CPU will fit in it.
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December 22, 2010 5:30:34 PM

The same should go for RAM right? The pins are same.... so if you put in 2gb in 1gb space, it should work. Just tell me if you are speaking from experience or theoretically....
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a b K Overclocking
December 22, 2010 5:50:20 PM

rockerdish said:
The same should go for RAM right? The pins are same.... so if you put in 2gb in 1gb space, it should work. Just tell me if you are speaking from experience or theoretically....


It will physically fit...But the motherboard won't recognize the DIMM, because its 2Gb, and it can only process 1Gb per DIMM. Your computer will simply not boot. I'm not speaking from experience, because I've never done it...because I know that it won't work !
When the manufacturer says 1Gb max per slot, you obey it.

Here are similar cases :
http://www.weeklytech.com/4840/computers/hardware/memor...
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080101164...
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December 23, 2010 9:46:01 AM

al360ex is right, it definitely WILL NOT boot lol

If your board says 1GB max it won't even recognize that there's a ram stick in it. RAM is a finicky thing.
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a c 163 } Memory
a c 286 K Overclocking
December 23, 2010 11:45:13 AM

Hi jbmc and welcome to Tom's forum.

You can't boot OR the rig can boot but only with 1GB per slot.
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December 23, 2010 11:51:43 AM

manufacturers are stupid when it comes to this - check what the CHIPSET is actually capable of - seen this before, first gen DDR2 motherboards with Intel chipsets in most manuals state max 1gb sticks, whereas 2gb sticks work fine etc

worst case? sure no post (99% of ram support is dictated by the chipset, 1% bios support etc) but alot of the time the manufacturer is wrong, and if you have a Core 2, the minimum chipset you have is a Intel 945 (few different versions) - they support 2x2gb easily.

al360ex - reguarding sockets etc, it all comes down to VRM design, bios support, pin-out and FSB support, doesnt matter if the sockets are the same they dont all just "work" with anything - Prescott P4's for 775 work in Pentium D supported motherboards yet Pentium D's wont work on first gen 775 boards, Core 2 Duo's required all new motherboards reguardless of the same socket, 45nm variant core 2's rarely work in boards that support 65nm Core 2's from the day, core 2 quad's required new motherboards also.

kickflipper1087 RAM is not a "finicky thing" - follow the golden rules: 1) least ammount of sticks 2) perfect matched pairs or as matched as posible 3) 1:1 ratio (old school rigs) or to Jedec spec for best results/stability, manually set timings and speed
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December 25, 2010 5:19:45 AM

Ok so basically, try it and see if it works...theoretically it should not. But you shouldn't get into the mindset that everything will work on everything because manufacturers can mess up.

Apparently it can happen, but do some research before to see if people have done it. Unless you're typing from the computer you exceeded the RAM specs for already...in that case congrats!

If not, just try it. I'd just be careful when you go to by some 2GB sticks if they don't work. I see a lot of keywords in apache_lives' post like "rarely work" and "a lot of the time". Go for the "is compatible with" keywords on the box.
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a b } Memory
December 25, 2010 6:30:50 AM

Worst case, it will fail to POST, or will boot, but only see 1gb per slot (if you do something like install 2gb DIMMs in each slot). However, i've seen big sticks work on older systems with no problems, but you sometimes run into a total size limit (like your system with 4 slots, and mfg says 4gb max, you install 2 2gb sticks and get 4, but installing 4 2gb sticks won't get you 8, it'll stop at 4).
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December 25, 2010 6:48:25 AM

Perhaps if you update the BIOS?
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January 4, 2011 2:51:12 PM

No, I didn't have to, the computer boots and it recognizes the total 4 GB that I have in it. I guess I just got lucky that I was able to exceed the manuf's specs. I notice a small boost in performance, thanks for the help.
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January 4, 2011 2:53:48 PM

Best answer selected by jbmc.
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January 14, 2011 8:57:13 AM

32bit windows supports no more than 3.5GB of ram, upgrade to a 64bit OS if you are considering more RAM than this :) .
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a c 163 } Memory
a c 286 K Overclocking
January 14, 2011 10:58:31 AM

This topic has been closed by Saint19
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