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Dell Optiplex 780 DT 16GB RAM issue, conflicting information


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#1 cat1092

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 05:47 AM

Recently purchased a Dell Optiplex 780 that is running fabulous for the price I paid, $94+$20 for 3 day shipping, has the best consumer based Intel Core 2 Quad produced in the Q9650, one can see the Speccy specs in my sig below, but will copy/paste below to find easily. 

 

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/3aEKErXEl4MrLMcmhEwwpk4

 

Now, the problem. Dell says the system can run 16GB RAM, and I've already tried two sets, one that I have & a set of GSkill Ripjaws recommended by the 'tech specialists' at Newegg that I had to RMA for a refund, and the Google Trusted Stores consumer protection intervened to knock off the 15% restock fee, otherwise would have eaten a $35 loss to beta test the set on my system. As it was, still lost over $17 for the 3 day shipping & return label for RAM combined. 

 

http://easyit.co.uk/library/pdf/dell_optiplex_780_manual.pdf

 

https://downloads.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_optiplex_desktop/optiplex-780_Service%20Manual2_en-us.pdf

 

Now for the confusion, it was after I purchased these & didn't work, that I did some research, and the Intel Q43 & Q45 Express Chipset only supports 16GB on DDR2 boards & 8GB on DDR3 ones, though still the expensive DDR2 RAM only provides 12.8GB/sec, while the 8GB of DDR3 RAM provides 17MB/sec. More below to support this. 

 

http://www.intel.com/Assets/PDF/prodbrief/320665.pdf

 

Am I wrong in assuming that Intel has baked the 8GB limitation into the MB, or could they had later shipped an update, maybe via a BIOS or other firmware update to overcome the limit? Evidently some of the folks at Dell thinks so, though all of the evidence when researching proved otherwise. The key spec that got me looking was in the manual above. 

 

 

Intel Q45 Express Chipset w/ICH10DO

 

That's what led me to the Intel documentation above & discovered what I did, still those on the Dell forum says otherwise, yet no one can provide a simple Dell P/N that would solve the issue in two separate Topics, couldn't find the first one. Here's the one where I just posted a few hours ago on the 2nd page. 

 

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19579385?pi21953=1

 

How can an OEM overcome the spec shown on the Intel document posted above w/out either a major firmware update, or Dell themselves altered the chipset shipped to end users? Plus Intel hasn't updated the Q43/45 Express Chipset page to reflect any changes. 

 

At any rate, all I want to do is upgrade my Optiplex DT edition, the one just below the mid tower, to 16GB RAM total, it has 4 slots for RAM, and no one can answer. Some has even found the Crucial System scanner to be wrong & the modules sent wouldn't boot. They recommend PC3-12800, 1600MHz in dual channel mode, yet would likely be downgraded to 1333 specs. That wouldn't matter to me, as long as I know my PC, as all that I own, are stuffed to the max. If it's a doable upgrade, I want it & while my preferred brand of RAM is GSkill, am open to other brands. In fact, one of their other Tech specialists side this one may work, since it's double sided, but couldn't say with certainty. 

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231422

 

Any Dell Optiplex 780 owner out there who can assist me? I want my RAM to be the most possible, just as my CPU, and purchased on the presumption that it would accept & run 16GB RAM. 

 

All assistance in getting this matter solved is highly appreciated. :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


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#2 CyberSec_ET

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 10:54 AM

Max memory for Optiplex 780

Article >> http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19460832



#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 11:36 AM

I don't know if this is your problem but the speccy lists your memory as dual channel. Did you purchase two 8GB modules? The motherboard has four memory slots in two banks. Did you install both modules in one bank? If you did try installing one in slot 1 of bank 1 and the other in slot 3 of bank three as shown in the service manual. If that does not work then try slot 2 of bank 1 and slot 4 of bank 2. There may be a problem with one of the memory channels. I also came across this problem on a forum thread where bent pins on the CPU caused the memory to show as half what was installed.

 

Edit: I think you are right regarding the Q45 chipset and max memory depending on memory type. See this page.

 

I traced the motherboard model number and this ebay page lists the max memory as 8GB which makes it more confusing. 


Edited by JohnC_21, 25 January 2016 - 12:06 PM.


#4 cat1092

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 01:04 PM

JohnC, what I done for the time being was ordered from eBay (after the RMA of the Ripjaws) was four of the 2GB sticks like what was in the PC, Dell Certified for the model, that way I'd have all matching memory from the same vendor. So all banks are filled with 2GB each. 

 

What kind of stumped me was that I thought my upgrade was already on hand when making the purchase, my main PC, a XPS 8700, shipped with 12GB, two 4GB modules & two 2GB ones (PC3-12800U). The two 2GB sticks worked fine, but the 4GB ones wouldn't boot regardless of slot. Even Crucial recommends PC3-12800 modules for the PC. 

 

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/compatible-upgrade-for/Dell/optiplex-780-desktop

 

Someone finally responded to my Topic on the Dell forum, after yet another Dell owner wanted to know the same, on the 3rd page. 

 

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19579385?pi21953=3

 

 

 

Max memory for Optiplex 780

Article >> http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19460832

 

CyberSec_ET, Thanks for the assist! :)

 

Googled the P/N there, and came up with a 8GB set, which I wanted, a matched set for each channel, plus Crucial has a Lifetime warranty on the RAM. Several of the Amazon reviewers stated that this was the set called for (Optiplex 780), which are a pair of the one listed in the last post in your link. I didn't see that Topic, there must be many requests for RAM upgrades of this unit, and rightfully so. With what was the best CPU at the time for general business/consumer use in the Q9650, the RAM option should be a powerful match. While there are two or three other 'extreme' C2Q models, these are very high wattage (130W or higher) & likely also very heavy on the wallet, even today, probably for hardcore gamers or industrial/scientific applications that requires a heavyweight CPU. 

 

 

 

CRUCIAL 4GB DDR3 PC3-12800 Unbuffered NON-ECC 1.5V 512Meg x 64

CT51264BA160B

 

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-DDR3-1600-PC3-12800-CT2KIT51264BA160B-CT2CP51264BA160B/dp/B00683X4PQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

 

In the details of the product, it's Amazon's 62nd ranked (most ordered) RAM kit. So it must be some good, elsewise would be far down the list.  :)

 

Thanks a lot for both of your contributions to my Topic so far, have made sure the BIOS is updated to the latest by reflashing it, so am positive things are right on that end.  :)

 

Will order & see how it goes. :thumbup2:

 

EDIT: Two sets of the 8GB kits has been ordered, as sometimes RAM of this age (Amazon availability as of November 2011), may be there one day & gone the next. Hopefully will receive two sets that came from the same batch, recommended for best results. Most all RAM OEM's recommends this practice, the mixing of sets, particularly in the same channel, is an invite to problems (immediate or in the future). If in the other channel & one set is lower than the other, then the better set will be downgraded to what the lowest one offers. As I found out when running the pair of 2GB PC2-12800 sticks that came from Dell on a newer PC, the single other RAM stick that shipped with the PC made the pair that ran at 800MHz, run at 532MHz instead. As can be seen here when I was test driving Windows 10 Pro. This is the result of unmatched sticks, though for the time being, couldn't find two more of the like 2GB ones. 

 

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/qMN3OPG3AL4whIUYCl20EN5

 

This is normal with any computer, though when removing it, the WEI dipped from 7.3 to 5.8, didn't want that. :P

 

Hopefully the RAM will be here late this week or early the next, didn't pay for the standard shipping, which would likely had made zero difference, and sure wasn't going to pay for next day delivery. Though as much as my wife & I orders from Amazon, it may be time to consider a Prime membership, we likely pay at least 75% of the cost in shipping fees, some of which still takes a week to 10 days arrive and why I didn't pay the $9 extra for 'standard' shipping. Many times the order is less than the $35 minimum, and shipping varies from $2.99 to $9.99. Just 10 orders of $9.99 shipping pays for Amazon Prime, which has other benefits. 

 

Cat

  


Edited by cat1092, 26 January 2016 - 03:35 AM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#5 CyberSec_ET

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 01:26 AM

Your  :welcome: Cat1092


Edited by CyberSec_ET, 26 January 2016 - 01:27 AM.


#6 cat1092

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 05:46 PM

Thanks, the 16GB of RAM I ordered (two sets) brought the PC to 16GB total! :thumbup2:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-DDR3-1600-PC3-12800-CT2KIT51264BA160B-CT2CP51264BA160B/dp/B00683X4PQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

 

If one reads the reviews, note that I was the latest one (the choice has to be made to see the newest first), though go by the name 'catilley1092', rather than the one I've used in more recent years. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-DDR3-1600-PC3-12800-CT2KIT51264BA160B-CT2CP51264BA160B/product-reviews/B00683X4PQ/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=recent

 

Upgraded Speccy Specs, will correct in my sig:

 

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/K4Fx80eM04g5zSJkLeKXM6k

 

Though the system responds a lot better, it kind of irks me, or should I say that I feel snubbed, by the Windows 7 WEI. The RAM score was 7.3 with 8GB RAM & still is 7.3, while I didn't expect a 7.9, maybe a 7.5 with doubling the installed RAM? I do know that by removing one of the 2GB sticks, it dipped to 5.8, so was disappointed to see zero improvement.  

 

I guess the main thing is now there's things I can do, such as running virtual machines, that couldn't be done with only 8GB RAM. Plus the browsers are more responsive, so maybe the WEI isn't the final word. Though I will say this, PC enthusiasts has spent billions of combined dollars in chasing the 'perfect' WEI of 7.9 in all five categories, many coming just a tenth of a point from hitting it. 

 

Well, now to another project, upgrading my newer XPS 8700 to a i7-4790K that arrived today, hopefully will see a positive WEI score on the CPU, which is already 7.7, plus the CPU is better ranked than the newest 6700K. So we'll see the outcome on that.

 

Thanks again to the two of you for your assistance! :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#7 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 09:01 PM

Wei is an annoying thing that is practically meaningless. I don't know why Microsoft even put it there.

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#8 cat1092

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 04:33 AM

Me either, though on the Microsoft site, it says that certain WEI levels are required to perform some tasks. Even they mention 'bragging rights'. 

 

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/achieving-a-perfect-windows-experience-index-score-in-windows-7

 

There's a newer tool out to measure the WEI for Windows 8.1 & above by Winareo (free app, no nagware), though it can also be performed with cmd. 

 

http://winaero.com/comment.php?comment.news.220

 

I'd wager that PC enthusiasts has spent quite a sum of cash over the last 6+ years at attempts to get the perfect or highest score possible, it's an economy within itself that has netted sites such as Newegg, Frys, Amazon & others a steady cash cow. And there's little sign that it's slowing down. Though initially I brought this up in another Topic, I expect after the Windows announcement over the Skylake CPU's requiring Windows 10 for best performance, it'll come that the i7-4790K may reach the $400 mark at the end of the last batches. What's odd is that the OEM's knew this & distributed these with Windows 7 Pro, and included a Windows 10 Pro DVD in the package, that breaking news is what led me to believe they knew. 

 

Yet anyway, I agree with you, a high or not quite so high WEI means little when it comes to everyday computing. As long as the components are there to perform the task(s) needed, of which I needed this 16GB RAM upgrade for running VM's, that's all that matters. I have notebooks with a base of 4.0 through 5.0 that otherwise runs fine, nothing I can do to upgrade the GPU. And other than RAM upgrades, not much else one can do anyway on these w/out causing other issues. 

 

I know this, it was a pain in the rear finding the right RAM upgrade for the Optiplex 780, and w/out customer reviews stating this was the set, I wasn't ready for a 3rd RMA & sure wasn't going to pay $36 or more for one 4GB stick guaranteed to work on eBay. Especially when I knew that in time, would find the right 8GB kits for just a little more with a Lifetime warranty. While I'm partial to GSkill, Crucial was my 'go to' brand for years prior to Black Friday 2011, when GSkill had $29.99 8GB kits to install in my MSI & Toshiba, the beginning of a long relationship that I'm not going to break off over one computer. 

 

It was just that on that night, the GSkill tech chat agent let me down by recommending a set of Ripjaws, after the RMA, no one there seemed to know what to do. It's an older MB, and I've seen the issue come up on this & other tech forums. Double sided modules were what I needed, and may had been the case for some of the others as well. 

 

At any rate, glad to have this behind me! :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#9 raymac46

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 09:19 AM

I've put 16 GB of RAM in both of my desktops and the only place I've found it useful is to run Virtual Machines. 8 GB seems to be the sweet spot with Windows 10 at least. I have a notebook with 8 GB and right now Speccy reports 40% memory usage.

That said memory was cheap when I installed it, so I don't mind having it there for Virtual Machines.

Love those Optiplex desktops - especially as Linux boxes.



#10 cat1092

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 05:07 AM

I agree, unless one is going to be running VM's or performing certain tasks which are demanding on both the RAM & CPU (maybe photo editing), then 8GB is the sweet spot, whereas it was 4GB in 2009 when Windows 7 was released. Yet at that time, many new computers were still shipping with DDR2 RAM, of which my lesser powered HP dc5800 has 8GB of. Just needs a good Core 2 Quad, rather than the C2D E8400, and it'll run rather good.

 

Windows 10 Pro was running fantastic on the PC, yet when the Topic appeared in regards to the Skylake CPU's not having full support for OS's under Windows 10, that was the end, reverted to 7 Pro with my backup image taken prior to upgrade out of protest of the policy. :angry:

 

Yes, Optiplex boxes do make nice Linux PC's, this was my 4th & best one, well at least the Intel powered ones does. When the Optiplex 780 came through the front door, an Optiplex 740 went out the back, into a box in the sunroom, even with a AMD 4850e, and 6GB DDR2 RAM, Linux MInt 17 ran like crap on it. 

 

Have another project for now, then will decide the future of the Optiplex 780. :)

 

One thing for sure, Windows 10 is not in the plans. :P

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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