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RAM replacement & upgrade

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#1 Mediokrates


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Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:20 PM

Hi all,

I don't really know anything about computer components, so please bear with me if I'm including irrelevant or not enough information.

I know it's older and obsolete, but I love it, and it works great for my entertainment needs...
up until recently, that is.

I have an HP Pavilion Media Center m7580n.
I think it originally came with an Asus A8M2N-LA motherboard. That died, and since I couldn't find an exact replacement, I replaced it with an Asus M2N68-AM SE2.

Now, I think the RAM has gone. I get a technicolor show of strange bars straight after powering on the system. No bios screen, and happens when I change monitors. I have confirmed the monitor and vga cables are working. I know the computer is not booting properly into windows, because it is set to connect to my home network on startup, which it fails to do. I am therefore unable to access anything on the computer.

Anyway, I know the system came with 2x1GB RAM installed.

I'd been thinking of upgrading the RAM anyway.

Here's what I know...
My current mb, the M2N68-AM SE2
1. will support up to 2x2GB RAM, but needs a 64bit OS to do more than 3GB. Unfortunately, I think I am running a 32bit XP edition.
2. the mb manual recommends running only up to 3GB with this config, so I am thinking of getting a 2GB and a 1 GB module each, from the same approved manufacturer.
3. The original HP specs say my stock RAM is PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM with speed of 533MHz.
4. Athlon 64 X2 (W) 4400+ 2.2 GHz (capable of 64bit)
5. The mb manual says I can install ddr2 667Mhz, 800MHz, or 1066 MHz (only if I have AM2+ cpu {I have no idea})
6. The mb manual also syas I can use unbuffered ECC or non ECC

What specs should I be looking for?
1. what's the pc2-4200 mean? and can I used something with higher numbers?
2. what's sdram? is it important?
3. what speed should I be looking for? how can I tell if I have AM2+ cpu (it says to go to asus' website, but that won't load)?
4. what's the difference between unbuffered ECC or non ECC?
5. single sided or double sided?
6. what else do I need to know.

lots of thanks and appreciation

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 04:08 PM

You are running x86 or 32bit XP meaning you cannot use all 4gb of RAM only ~3.6gb if you want to max out the 3.6 here are some suggestions (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007611%20600006042%20600006096%20600006060&IsNodeId=1&name=1GB) any one of those sticks will work.

I recommend just getting one more 1gb stick.

To answer some questions for you:
1. does not really pertain to anything important. You need 240pin 533mhz DDR2 the bold being your speed. And I would not recommend getting anything higher than that. Not only can it result to problems, you will notice ZERO difference.

2. SDRAM stands for Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory

3. 533mhz

4. ECC is error correction for the memory and is not needed as you CPU does not support ECC. ECC is needed for servers.

5. ?

6. the dimm slot type is 240 pin DDR2

Hope this helped

Edited by KING_OF_SAND, 12 July 2012 - 04:17 PM.


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#3 Mediokrates

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 06:01 PM

thank you...

very helpful indeed

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