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Simple Question about RAM


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#1 BigTBird

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 07:48 PM

I have a very low power ....dare I say it....Dell Diminson B110 computer....with a whopping 512MB of RAM. I have ordered a 1GB stick and I have found that the two slots contain one each a 256MB stick. I have two questions.
First...will it work OK to just remove one stick and install the 1GB stick along side the remaining 256MB stick? Somewhere I read that this should not be done...and two computer places told me it was fine.

Second: Is there any difference into which slot the 1GB goes no matter if I have left the other with the 256MB or have taken both out? Are they numbered.

I am an old geezer and it has been about 12 years since I have done this little operation and I think I have one brain cell left...so I appreciate any help on this. Thanks!

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 10:42 PM

The existing memory configuration has two identical DIMMs because the board supports dual channel operation. If you fit a single DIMM, or ones of different capacities, the board will operate in single channel mode, which will reduce the memory's data transfer rate. You'd get the best performance using two 1GB sticks, which would also be the maximum the board is specified to accept. But even if you run single channel with 1.25GB, the extra performance you gain from having plenty of memory will more than compensate for the slightly slower memory transfer rate. Some boards want either the slowest memory or the largest DIMM to be in the lowest numbered slot, but your system has Intel 865 support chipset, which I think is probably modern enough to be flexible with the DIMM layout. If not, no harm will occur, an unacceptable arrangement will usually either not recognize one of the DIMMS, or not start up.

When working with memory, remember to observe static electricity precautions (ground yourself by touching the metal case as much as possible while working), and don't add or remove DIMMs in standby mode, switch the mains off and allow 15 seconds or so for all the power to subside. Some boards have an LED adjacent to the memory slots that remains lit while standby power is present, never add or remove memory while it shows light.

Edited by Platypus, 09 May 2009 - 10:43 PM.

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#3 fairjoeblue

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 10:59 PM

It's my expierence that in theory dual channel is "faster" but in reality there is little, if any, noticable difference between "dual channel" & "single channel".

The additional memory will more then offset any lose of "dual channel" .
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#4 Platypus

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 11:17 PM

It's my expierence that in theory dual channel is "faster" but in reality there is little, if any, noticable difference between "dual channel" & "single channel".

The additional memory will more then offset any lose of "dual channel" .

True, I benchmarked the first two dual-channel systems I had (mid-level CPUs for the platform) at around 12 to 15 percent difference in transfer rate. And in turn memory DTR is a smaller contributor to overall application speed. It would be more severe with a top-end CPU that could saturate the dual channel rate, and was bottlenecked by single channel.

Conversely, a low-spec CPU can actually be better off with single channel. That's the case with my "quiet" PC, which uses a Core Duo laptop CPU - it benchmarks slightly (< 1%) faster in single channel mode, without the overhead of running dual memory controllers.

And, BigTBird, welcome to BleepingComputer.

Edited by Platypus, 09 May 2009 - 11:22 PM.

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#5 BigTBird

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 08:23 PM

Thanks to you both. I got my 1GB yesterday ...much quicker than expected. So today after doing the mother's day thing with the wife and daughter and grandkids...I came back and looked somemore online. Found that Dell recommends not mixing them so I decided to remove both and just use the 1GB. I kept the others and may give one a try later. First I had to get a class online on just getting the #$%&*! cover off the Dell. But I got it. Changed it and all works fine now. And I knew about static electricity being a ham radio op for 55 yrs. So I slapped everything metal and my wife's butt for good luck and it worked. Thanks again!

#6 Platypus

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 06:59 AM

Glad to hear you were successful. Sorry about the little "precautions" lecture, but it's best to be sure a person knows... :thumbsup:

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#7 BigTBird

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 11:43 AM

I always appreciate explanations with replies such as yours. I usually learn something new. Thanks. NOW...I have another problem. When I upgraded my RAM I lost my ability to use PhotoShop 3.0. It gives me a block that says...
"There is not enough memory (RAM) to launch Photoshop" ! This is incredible as I also have PS 7.0 and it opens it without a problem. I turned comptuer off and back on. Same results. I went to remove 3.0 and no longer could find it in the section where you can remove programs. But I found it in my C drive and deleted it there and then put in the Cd and reloaded it. Same results. Left it overnight...removed all bit of it I could find and again uploaded it again...same results. I went back in and put one of the 256MB sticks beside the 1GB to see if it was because there were not two in there.....same results. What could possibly have caused me to have PS 3 showing not enough RAM when PS7 (a much more powerful program) works fine? Any ideas on this, anyone??????? Should I introduce this as a seperate question? Thanks again!

#8 fairjoeblue

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 12:27 PM

Go to the Control Panel
Double click the System icon
On the General page does it show you have 1GB of memory ?

Click the Advanced tab
Where it says Performance click on Settings
When the Performance Options box opens click on the Advanced tab
On the bottom where it says Virtual Memory click on Change
Put a dot in the circle by Custom size
Hilite the numbers in the box by Initial size & type in 1536 if that is not the number already there.
Where it says Maximum sise type in 2048
Click on Set
Click OK
Close out back to the desktop
restart the unit

Try your program now.

BTW, Despite what Dell says about mixing the memory I'd put it all in.
If it cause a problem you can always remove the 256MB stick.
BTW if you put the 256 in change the numbers for the nirtual memory to ? minimum 1920 & maximum 2560 .

Edited by fairjoeblue, 11 May 2009 - 12:33 PM.

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#9 BigTBird

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 01:19 PM

Fairjoeblue: Thanks. I did what you asked and got the same results. But I also looked in systems after adding the 256MB stick back in the second slot and it still registers only 1GB as it did with only the 1GB stick. Does that say anything. Sorry I am so missing in the knowledge dept. But any ideas are appreciated in that I have used my Photoshop 3.0 about 95% of the time and the 7.0 only 5% of the time. That is because 3.0 is easier for this old geezer. Thanks again...hope you can come up with something because this is baffling to me.

#10 fairjoeblue

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 01:57 PM

Try reinstalling the 256MB stick.
Make sure it is seated properly & both clips are fully closed.

If the 256 still doesn't show switch the slots the memory is installed in.- & try it.

When you installed the 1GB memory stick & started the computer did you get a "the amount of system memory has changed? message ?

Did you get it when you reinstalled the 256MB ?
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#11 fairjoeblue

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 02:16 PM

I just looked at the manual for your mode3l.
Turn the unit off
turn it back on & tap the F2 key
That should get you in to the BIOS setup
Since you are no longer using a matched set of memory sticks make sure it is set to "Single Channel" .
If it's not , change it.
OCZ StealthXstream 700W,Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R , E8500, Arctic Freezer Pro 7, 3GB G.Skill PC8500,Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 OC [1GB ], Seagate 250GB SATA II X2 in RAID 0, Samsung SATA DVD burner.

#12 BigTBird

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 02:46 PM

fairjoeblue: I did as you said...and I found this: Installed System Memory: 1024MB DDR SDRAM and System Memory Channel Mode: Single. Checked the Adobe PS3 and still will not work due to lacking RAM. Very strange. PS7 still working like a charm but I really would love to get to the bottom of this. And when I go to the install/uninstall section PS3 is not there. On "All Programs" it is there. Even after seemingly successfully reinstalling...it is not there. Any ideas now what could keep it from actually fully installing? But then when I do click on PS3 it does give me that notice that I don't have enough RAM so something must be there... Perhaps I should go run my head into a wall a few times...think that might help? (8>) TBird

#13 fairjoeblue

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 02:55 PM

Open My Computer
Double click the C drive
Open Program Files
Locate & delete the Adobe PS3 folder
Try reinstalling it.

BTW, Are you familure with working in the Windows registry ?
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#14 Platypus

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 07:36 AM

BigTBird, I suspect your problem is too much memory, not too little. Photoshop 3.0 is a Windows 3.x program, it was never designed with this much memory in mind. What usually happens in this situation is a variable used in memory allocation overflows and wraps around to a negative value. This produces an insufficient memory error.

To check if this is what's happening, in the Virtual Memory settings, either reduce the values greatly, or temporarily disable the Virtual Memory, and see if Photoshop can start up.

For the unrecognized DIMM, if fairjoeblue's suggestion of swapping the order doesn't alter the situation, then I'd say the board having only two DIMM slots has to have 2 identical DIMMs fitted. If it had 4 slots, the second DIMM could be added to the same channel as the first, and run 1.25GB single-channel. Doubling the original memory complement is still a good step up, particularly if it turns out your most-used application can't benefit from any more.

Edited by Platypus, 12 May 2009 - 07:38 AM.

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#15 BigTBird

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 01:05 PM

Platypus: Being ignorant I will ask this question: If 1GB or 1.24GB that I have tried are both too big for PS3 then how could adding another duplicate 1GB making the total 2GB be better? I suppose in computerize that may make sense...just not in my old world!
I do plan to get another 1GB stick this coming month (after my retirement payday) and add it. If that does not work...I guess it is just the comptuer's way of making an old man learn to use the more advanced PS7! I went kicking and screaming from Win98 to XP so guess I will have to yield and do it again. Thanks very much for all the ideas and attempts to help. I have run into many odd things with computers over the past 15 years but this one is the oddest to me.




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