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RAM speed for Dell Dimension 2350


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#1 Mono Loco

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 10:27 AM

Hi, all.
This should be an easy one for you Pros ... I hope! I say Pros because I have referenced this forum many times over the years while troubleshooting various issues and I always seem to find the answers I need here. This is my first post and I chose this forum only to present my question. Of all the resources out there, I came here ... because you folks are some of the best! :thumbsup:

First, I understand that RAM (good quality RAM, at least) is generally "backwards compatible", meaning that a system that was made to operate with RAM PC2100 CAN use RAM PC2700, or PC3200 ...but the system will "dumb it down" (the memory) to only operate at 266MHz ... instead of the PC2700's native speed of 333MHz and the PC3200's 400MHz.

I am currently planning to upgrade the memory on a Dell Dimension 2350, from its stock (1) x 256MB to (2) x 512MB. The OEM module is PC2100. All websites' (Kingston, Crucial, Dell) configure tools point to PC2700 or even PC3200. I'm assuming that this is because PC2100 is sort-of "legacy" at this point. As stated above, I do understand that any of these speeds will work, but looking at the data below, I am uncertain as to whether or not the 400MHz PC3200 would operate at its native speed, and thus be the optimum choice for best speed/performance.

1) The 2.4GHz P4 processor processor has a 400-MHz external speed
2) The motherboard's Intel 845GL chipset has system clock data rate of 400-MHz.

Looking at items 1 and 2, both @ 400MHz, a layman like myself would think that the memory should be operating at 400MHz too. My instinct tells me that I should upgrade the memory with PC3200 (400MHz) RAM. However, the fact that the OEM memory module is PC2100 (266MHz) confuses me. Does this system's RAM only operate at 266MHz ...(and does the fact that the Dimension 2350's motherboard "carries a standard PCI-type bus and a 33-MHz bus speed" somehow let me know this?)? Or, did Dell save some $ on this low-end system by using memory which does not live up to the potential of the overall system speed ... assuming, here, that PC3200 was more expensive than PC2100 at the time of build?

Again, my question is: Will the 400MHz PC3200 operate at its native speed, and thus be the optimum choice for best speed/performance for my Dimension 2350?

Thanks!

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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 11:42 AM

According to dells support page it only supports 2100. Thats not dell being cheap, thats a limitation within the chipset. pc 400 ram might work in it, but will downgrade, even without the slower ram in there, and may not actually work. You would be better off finding 2 512 mb of 2100 ram and throwing it in there.

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#3 Mono Loco

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 09:16 AM

Thanks, Patriot!
This is confusing. Dell's Website lists the following upgrade for my PC, when I entered the Service Tag number.

Dell
512 MB Memory Module for Dimension 2350 Desktop System
Usually Ships 1-2 weeks
Quantity: 1
Manufacturer Part# SNPJ0202C/512
Dell Part# A0740406
Technology: DDR SDRAM
Memory Speed: 400 MHz ( PC3200 )
Data Integrity Check: Non-ECC


I suppose Dell doesn't offer PC2100 anymore. (?)
So ... the memory that Dell wants to sell me is PC3200, @ 400MHz ... but it will be running @ 266MHz with my PC's Intel 845GL chipset.
Again, because 845GL chipset has system clock data rate of 400-MHz, I thought the memory could run at the same speed. I now gather that the Ram speed requirement/restriction has nothing to do with the system clock data rate. Nonetheless, Dell wants to sell me PC3200 @ $39.99, whereas Crucial.com offers theirs for $22.99 (both 512MB). As I will be getting (2) sticks, I'm definitely shopping at Crucial!
Now, it's just a choice between Crucial's:
- PC3200, CL3, for $22.99 ... or
-PC2700, CL2.5 ... for $24.99 ... two dollars ($4, for a pair) more for CL2.5.

Sirs, any recommendation for one choice over the other above? Since both would apparently only be running at 266MHz anyway, I suppose the ratings of 333MHz vs 400MHz is a moot point, but is the CAS Latency difference significant?

Thanks, again.

#4 the_patriot11

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 06:13 PM

that 400 mhz ram may indeed work. the page I found may be outdated, or they just havent updated, the module should fit in just fine, and work, it may downgrade the speed however. If dell says that model ram will work, then chances are it will-I just couldnt find that on their website.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#5 ReviverSoft

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 05:37 PM

CAS Latency = Interval between RAM Read/Write cycles = Lesser the better

Moreover, both memory modules will be be running at the maximum supported clock speed.

Edited by ReviverSoft, 17 May 2010 - 05:40 PM.

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#6 traveler25

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 03:14 PM

Just to let you know a friend of mine gave me a dell 2350, with a broken heat retainer clip, so I have the heat retainer tied down with string. Tried updating the 256mb stick with 2 512mb pc3200 400mh it is definitely a NON working solution, even though all the memory site, crucial, kingston, said it would work, it won't, the chipset requires pc2100 memory. SEVERE WEATHER ALERT, scratch everything I said earlier, I took another look at my pc3200 512mb 400MZ sticks and grabbed a pencil and cleaned the contacts on both sides of both sticks till I had a mirrored finished, put them in the pc, powered on, after the 2nd click and not powering down, and seeing the Dell logo, knew I was in the clear then the f1 f4 f8 icons popped up and I went into set up, and it asked for a password, OMG, keyed in dell, and the rest was history.

Edited by traveler25, 17 December 2010 - 04:04 PM.





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