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Dell E521 memory upgrade choice...

Last response: in Memory
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December 31, 2009 8:15:13 PM

Hi ...
I need some advice in my upgrade for a Dell E521 system.
Currently has 1gb (2x512mb) of stock PC2-5300 (667 I presume).

I was looking at the following Corsair memory on Newegg as it was also listed as official upgrade on the Dell site;

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400 - ($56.99 after $8 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145590

But I just spotted this PNY deal from Newegg - this memory shows up in the Memory
Locator on Newegg, as being compatible;

PNY Optima 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model MD2048KD2-533 ($35.99 after $10 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820178095

Can I possibly have some input from folk as to the merits of either one of these upgrades?
I understand that the PNY memory will be slower than the Corsair. But is the speed increase on an e521 with a single core 3800+ AMD going to be wildly different with either memory?

Will at least adding 2gb of the PNY to the current 1gb of PC2-5300 be a fast enough difference?
Can I keep the old memory and the new memory in there to make it 3gb in total?

The machine is not a gaming rig ... mainly video, surfing, email. It has just been upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Pete - long time admirer of the site ... first time user (since I re-registered, anyway)
December 31, 2009 8:51:18 PM

The Corsair will work just fine.
You may also consider this GSkill for $50 + 0 shipping:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Both will clock down to match your original ram speed. This is OK.
When they clock down, they will run fine at the stock 1.8 volt spec.
Adding ram in your case is NOT a speed issue as much as it is a Win7 need.
1 GB is the bare minimum to run 32 bit Win7.
3 GB will work well.
December 31, 2009 9:02:18 PM

Thanks...
Sorry if it's confusing in my main email (I'm tired here at work :)  ) but I'm leaning towards the lowest cost memory (the PNY), not trying to get the 800.
It's clock setting is PC2-4200 (lower than my pc2-5300 stock memory).
Like you said, about the Win7 need ... I'm thinking that I'll gain more from jumping to 3gb than I lose by dropping the speed from 667 to 533.

I did ask G-Skill support, the other day, about that Ram you mentioned and after I told them my specs they didn't recommend it.

Thanks again

Pete
January 14, 2010 10:02:03 PM

Strange one.
For the price I couldn't help but try the PNY.
Had to change the combination of sticks;

1) old/old/new/new - FAIL
2) new/empty/empty/empty - WORK
3) new/new/empty/empty - WORK
4) new/new/old/old - FAIL
5) new/new/old/empty - WORK (single)
6) old/old/new/empty - WORK (single)
then finally
7) old/old/new/new WORK!

Would the combination of the ram really make a difference (obviously the pairing needs to be right for dual mode) but I'm guessing that I somehow switched the order of the old ram in slots 1&2 and/or the order of the new ram in slots 3&4 ?

Bizarre part ... the listed clock times on the packaging say the ram runs at 400 or 533.
Bios reports it as 667 (the same as the original memory I have in there. As does CPU-Z.
Any ideas on why? not that I'm complaining! :) 

My Windows 7 score for Memory jumped from 4.4 with the 1gb, to 5.6 with 3gb in. Usage dropped from constant 80-90% with really slow paging time between apps to about 25-30% after boot.
Very happy! :D 

Now to buy that Brisbane :) 

Thanks for the feedback
!