I have an old Dell Inspiron 6000, which I have found has 2 memory slots, a capacity of 2gb of memory, and uses 200 pin DDR2 RAM, 533 MHz. If I were to use memory that is a HIGHER MHz rating, such as 667 MHz or 800 MHz? There is almost no inventory of 533 MHz but lots of 667 and 800. Also, is there any benefit to using one 2gb stick vs two 1gb sticks?
Most 667/800 sticks will also have a 533 profile, they should work fine. Either the motherboard will upclock to meet the highest standard profile or drag them down.
Each slot is capable of holding a 2GB stick. The entire system should be capable of running 4GB.
In order for the system to operate in dual channel mode (twice the memory bandwidth at up to half the latency) you must have two memory sticks installed. Thus it is preferable to have 2 1GB sticks over a single 2GB stick but best of all would be 2 2GB sticks
it does, thank you so much. how do i confirm that the stick(s) i'm buying in fact have a 533 profile? do i need to do anything for the motherboard to drag it/them down to the 533 speed or is that automatic?
You would have to look at the datasheet for the memory modules. The motherboard will automatically pick the highest common standard profile so unless you're overclocking the RAM you shouldn't have to do anything further.
The profile is stored on an EEPROM on the memory module's PCB and is used by the firmware (BIOS or UEFI) to automatically configure the hardware