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[Help] Upgrading notebook RAM

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December 16, 2009 12:41:22 AM

I'm using a 3-4 year old notebook (Compaq M2000) with 512mb RAM (2 x 256mb DDR 333Mhz) and have decided to upgrade. I won't get a new notebook now because I want to save money (my parent's money to be precise). I intend to get a 2Gb DDR3 RAM and re-use them when I get my next notebook (2Gb+2Gb) in 2-3 years time. I want to ask:

1. Is notebook RAM more expensive than desktop RAM? How do you tell which is which?

2. I checked and it says the max memory my notebook supports is 1Gb (2005). Does this still apply even now? Or did they simply state that because 1Gb was the largest RAM available at that time?

3. Will a DDR3 RAM work if my laptop doesn't support it? (I know there's no way for it to work at DDR3 speed of course)

4. Which set up will be faster? 1x 2Gb RAM or 2Gb RAM + 256mb RAM?

5. Is there any way to tell how many RAM my notebook is using? Because I'm not sure if my notebook uses 2 x 256mb or 1 x 512mb RAM.

Thanks!

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December 16, 2009 4:14:42 AM

Wow, I can't believe someone with more notebook experience than myself hasn't already answered... of course, the way I type, there may be 5 responses before I finish. ;) 

Anyway, I think I can at least confidently tell you that you that you're not only "not on the right track" but possibly in the wrong type of conveyance too. Just kidding and not very funny I know... but here are the things I think I know about your questions...

1. Don't actually know right now... but what does it matter? It is what it is and you can't put desktop RAM in your notebook. For the record I'm pretty sure notebook RAM is a little more expensive.

2. I imagine the memory limitation is restricted by the motherboard and/or BIOS and will not increase with the passage of time.

3. I can't imagine that you can even put DDR3 chips in the slots made for DDR... and even if you could, I can't imagine they would work. There goes that pesky motherboard and BIOS again!

4. I don't know, but since it wouldn't run in dual channel either way, I'd think that the extra RAM would be the better way.

5. If you can get into your system BIOS, your manual should tell you how (usually a key pressed during startup), you should be able to see the memory as installed in the slots. But that's just going by my experience with the BIOS on most desktops that I've seen.

Good Luck!
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December 16, 2009 7:32:49 AM

Thanks bytor54. Looks like I'll have to bear with my agonizingly slow notebook... Until budget quad-core notebooks become mainstream. And god knows when that will happen :( 
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December 16, 2009 3:10:21 PM

1. Is notebook RAM more expensive than desktop RAM? How do you tell which is which?

YES, generally it cost more. Laptop memory is normally referred to as SODIMM

2. I checked and it says the max memory my notebook supports is 1Gb (2005). Does this still apply even now? Or did they simply state that because 1Gb was the largest RAM available at that time?

Generally yes, it would be best to just get 2 x 512MB DDR SODIMM's. Get then at 333 not 400. Sometimes laptops do not give enough voltage for the 400mhz stuff to work right. I have an R3000 notebook with that issue, I flashed one stick to 333 to fix it :) 

3. Will a DDR3 RAM work if my laptop doesn't support it? (I know there's no way for it to work at DDR3 speed of course)

DDR3 is fully incompatible with that system

4. Which set up will be faster? 1x 2Gb RAM or 2Gb RAM + 256mb RAM?

The system is most likely running in single channel memory more anyway, there should be no difference in speed.

5. Is there any way to tell how many RAM my notebook is using? Because I'm not sure if my notebook uses 2 x 256mb or 1 x 512mb RAM.

Sure, Get CPU and check the memory tab, it should show your installed sticks as well as speed and size as well as many other things
http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

Look on the bottom of the notebook for an exact number it may help us find more info.

My r3000 is a r3320CA
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December 16, 2009 8:56:51 PM

Thanks nukemaster! It turned out that my notebook really did have 2 x 256mb, obsolete RAM. I guess I'll find another way to reduce RAM usage for now...
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