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Advice for RAM upgrade please

Last response: in Memory
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February 23, 2012 3:14:09 PM

Hi all,

I've got a not-too-old Dell XPS 430 machine which I'm interested in updating the RAM on. The mobo is Dell's 0G254H, stock 375W PSU, and soon to arrive Asus Radeon HD 6670 1GB video card, and I'm running Win7 64bit. It currently has 6 gigs (2 x 2G + 2 x 1G, all DDR3-1067) in 4 slots as reported by PC Wizard 2012 V2.0 below. The max memory for this board is 8 gigs, I think, so I presume I can replace the 2 x 1 gig sticks with 2 gig sticks and be good to go. I'm not sure what I should buy, though.

1) Do I need to match the new sticks' speed to the 1067 sticks I'll (possibly, see #3 below) be keeping?
2) Should I install the new sticks into specific slots (i.e. 2 new sticks next to each other and 2 old sticks next to each other, or stagger new-old-new-old)?
3) If I can reasonably spend about $50, can I do better by getting 4 x 2G sticks at faster speeds?

Any advice is appreciated!

-Adam

Details:

DIMM_1 ( ) : 2048MB - DIMM Type : DDR3-SDRAM PC3-8500 (533MHz) - [DDR3-1067] Mfr: Nanya Technology
DIMM_3 ( ) : 1024MB - DIMM Type : DDR3-SDRAM PC3-8500 (533MHz) - [DDR3-1067] Mfr: Micron
DIMM_2 ( ) : 2048MB - DIMM Type : DDR3-SDRAM PC3-8500 (533MHz) - [DDR3-1067] Mfr: Nanya Technology
DIMM_4 ( ) : 1024MB - DIMM Type : DDR3-SDRAM PC3-8500 (533MHz) - [DDR3-1067] Mfr: Micron

>> Memory Information
Type : DDR3-SDRAM PC3-8500
Frequency : 532MHz
DRAM/FSB Ratio : 8/5
Supported Channels : Dual
Mode : Symmetric
Activated Channels : Symmetric
ECC Diagnostic : Yes - Disabled
CAS Latency (tCL) : 7 clocks
RAS to CAS (tRCD) : 7 clocks
RAS Precharge (tRP) : 7 clocks
Cycle Time (tRAS) : 20 clocks
Row Refresh Cycle Time (tRFC) : 60 clocks
Command Rate : 2 T

>> Physical Capabilities
DDR3-SDRAM Support : Yes
Turbo Memory : No
FlexMemory : Yes - Disabled
IME Support : Yes - Enabled
AMT Support : No
TPM Support : No
VT Support : No
TXT Support : No

More about : advice ram upgrade

a c 128 } Memory
February 23, 2012 5:39:52 PM

If it's running well, I wouldn't touch it. 6 gb is plenty. If you want to upgrade anything, get an ssd and clone it off your old drive.
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February 23, 2012 9:07:27 PM

o1die said:
If it's running well, I wouldn't touch it. 6 gb is plenty. If you want to upgrade anything, get an ssd and clone it off your old drive.


The advice is well taken, but it's also fun to upgrade, and I've done some price checks and it looks like it's a $40-$50 project.

Based on that, what's your advice?
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a c 128 } Memory
February 23, 2012 9:16:49 PM

I would pull the micron out and sell it; go with two more 2 gb sticks of the nanya. Match it if you can for speed. Your board probably won't allow you to raise the ram speed above 1066, but may run 1333 ram just fine. Or post this in the dell forum; maybe someone has been able to get some corsair, kingston, patriot, or samsung ram to work. Let them be the guinney pigs. There is alot of dell ram on craigslist; maybe you can find a 2x2 gb kit for around $25-30; offer less if they want more.
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February 24, 2012 2:30:26 PM

o1die said:
I would pull the micron out and sell it; go with two more 2 gb sticks of the nanya. Match it if you can for speed. Your board probably won't allow you to raise the ram speed above 1066, but may run 1333 ram just fine. Or post this in the dell forum; maybe someone has been able to get some corsair, kingston, patriot, or samsung ram to work. Let them be the guinney pigs. There is alot of dell ram on craigslist; maybe you can find a 2x2 gb kit for around $25-30; offer less if they want more.


o1die: I took your advice and posted on the Dell forum and got a really helpful link which I'll share here:

Crucial RAM Advisor

It links to guaranteed compatible RAM from Crucial, and I noticed that it says my mobo will support 1333 speeds! But, now I don't know if I should mix 1333 with the existing 1066? My guess is that's a bad idea, but I wanted to hear from someone more knowledgeable than I.

Can you mix RAM of different speeds? I.e, 1066 w/ 1333?

Thanks,
Adam
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a c 128 } Memory
February 24, 2012 3:42:41 PM

You can sometimes, but it may run at the slower speed.
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!