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Information About Memory


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#1 applesauce1234

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 01:27 PM

Hey there

I had some general questions about memory... i want to upgrade my memory, but there were a few things I didnt know about... i looked at the tutorial about memory but i couldnt find answers to these sorts of questions...

1. Ive heard that generic memory is definitely a bad idea... is this true? if so, what are some "must have" brands... if i have a Dell computer, is it better to get Dell memory?

2. does my memory have to be equalized? e.g. 512 and 512, or can i just upgrade one side, e.g. 512MB and 1GB? can i upgrade just one side? (i have two memory slots)

3. can i buy memory from two different brands and mix and match?

4. is all memory compatible with each other? are there different kinds? if not, where can i find out what kind of memory i need specifically for my computer (e.g. how many pins, what size, etc)

5. is used memory (off of ebay) a good idea, or is it better to buy it new from a store?

Thanks!

Colin Weadick

p.s. any other relevant memory tips you want to add would be welcomed!

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#2 Mr Alpha

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 05:15 PM

1. Ive heard that generic memory is definitely a bad idea... is this true? if so, what are some "must have" brands... if i have a Dell computer, is it better to get Dell memory?

Cheap, generic memory is a bad idea. When a good manufacturer like Kingston make memory they put every piece through a rigorous testing phase and throw out every module that might not work. Other, less honest companies then take these memory modules that have failed Kingstons QA, and tests them again and then sell all but the seriously defective. That is why they can be so much cheaper, they're technically selling other peoples trash.

2. does my memory have to be equalized? e.g. 512 and 512, or can i just upgrade one side, e.g. 512MB and 1GB? can i upgrade just one side? (i have two memory slots)

No, but if your computer supports dual channel mode the you should pair the memory up in identical pairs for better performance.

3. can i buy memory from two different brands and mix and match?

Generally yes, although it sometimes happen that two different brands refuse to work together, so it isn't completely without risk.

4. is all memory compatible with each other? are there different kinds? if not, where can i find out what kind of memory i need specifically for my computer (e.g. how many pins, what size, etc)

Far from it, There are doezens of different and incompatible standards. And even it you have the right type of memory your motherboard might not work with it so what you need to do is make sure you get, not only right type and brand, but a specific model that works with your computer. Kingston and other memory manufacturers have memory configurators on their homepages that will help you find compatible memory for you computer.

5. is used memory (off of ebay) a good idea, or is it better to buy it new from a store?

I haven't used eBay so I'll leave this question to other members with more experience in that area.
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#3 risk

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 05:52 PM

p.s. any other relevant memory tips you want to add would be welcomed!


Go to www.crucial.com and run their system-scan... it will tell you exactly what kind of memory you need for your machine (note: do NOT trust what it says about graphics-card upgrades!!! only trust what it says about your RAM). After finding out exactly the kind you have, check out what it suggests you buy. Then go to a 3rd party site like NewEgg.com or TigerDirect.com and order it there. DO NOT BUY CRUCIAL MEMORY AT CRUCIAL.COM!!! The charge a lot there...

As for brand names, Kingston is always good, as is Corsair. But don't stress too much about brand-- most companies, even the bleepty ones, will warrant their modules for at least a year. Mixing and matching is fine, too, and if a new mod fails you can always return it.

risk




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