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Ram Trouble


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7 replies to this topic

#1 benny269

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 08:35 PM

Hi

I have had a Compaq Presario PC for almost 2 years and when I bought it, I was buying with the expectation it would have 512MB as advertised. However when recently fiddling with settings and things because of virus/spyware problems I noticed under System Properties it shows I have 384MB RAM (i.e. 256+128 I was guessing). Later when I was cleaning up the inside of the machine I double checked the RAM modules and the stickers do indeed have labels on each of the 2 stating they are for 256MB. Today I was using Belarc Advisor to check some PC details and it gave the following strange finding in its report:

Memory Modules

384 Megabytes Installed Memory

Slot 'A0' has 256 MB
Slot 'A1' has 256 MB

So I simply don't understand what's going on. Is it possible to maybe have some RAM locked or unusable and is there any way I can free this up and gain access to it? Perhaps its some other problem I don't understand?

Any help/explanations greatly appreciated.

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#2 Walkman

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 09:00 PM

All of what you asked is possible. Also, there is the possibility that you could have bad RAM. Your RAM could be bad enough to not cause you any problems right away, but a problem do exist.

There are a few web sites where you can test your RAM online (I'm guessing).. but there is a site where you can download software and test it that way.

Sorry, but I just downloaded the software last week and it's on another computer that's not currently booted up, so I don't have the exact web site on hand. But do a search for

RAM Testing or testing my RAM or software to test my RAM

and you should get a host of results. Personally, no matter which route you take, I would always go for something that I can download before I go with something that has to scan my computer from a remote location while I'm online.

Someone once said:

Just because you're paranoid, that doesn't mean that you're wrong



#3 oldf@rt

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 10:07 PM

Really simple

you have no bad ram. in a shared memory system, part of your regular ram is being set aside for use by the video chip

if your mother board has an AGP slot, your ram count will increase to 512 once a video card is installed.

If you lookup your model at www.hp.com, you can find the motherboard layout and see if you have the AGP slot.
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#4 benny269

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 12:37 PM

I think you might be right. The link to the listing of my pc model is as follows:

http://h20195.www2.hp.com/V2/pdf/c00573862.pdf

It shows 128MB as shared video memory so I'm guessing that's the reason. Could you explain to me why it uses the RAM memory though? Should it not have it's own? And just for future reference is it then a bad idea to get PCs with shared video memory because it eats into your RAM? I don't suppose I could change this set up also...........

Any knowledge appreciated as always

#5 Mr Alpha

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 12:41 PM

When you have the graphics chip integrated into the motherboard it uses the system memory. Only discrete graphics cards have their own memory. Yes, it reduces available memory, and yes, it is much slower, but it is much cheaper and generally good enough for you basic desktop needs. You can often change the amount in either the BIOS of with a jumper.

Edited by Mr Alpha, 22 December 2006 - 12:44 PM.

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#6 benny269

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 12:46 PM

I'm thinking of building a PC soon anyway so if I bough a video card now and installed it in this PC would that effectively free up the extra RAM? Is it ok to have a video card in a system that already has an integrated graphics chip? Also this may be a stupid question......but a video card is the same as a graphics card right?

#7 Sterling14

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 04:58 PM

The manual says you have an AGP slot. That is alright, but that slot is dying out and they don't really make any more graphics cards for it. PCIe x16 is the new graphics slot, and if you were to build a new computer it would probably have the PCIex16 slot instead.

Edit: Oh yeah lol, I use to get confused on that to, but graphics cards are video cards and vise versa.

Edited by Sterling14, 22 December 2006 - 05:00 PM.

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#8 oldf@rt

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 02:15 AM

If you decide to purchase a video card, you may have to replace the power supply, as the stock ps in this machine is only 300 watts according to compaq/hp. most video cards, either ATI of NVIDIA require larger power supplies ATI normally requires a 350 watt or better, and most NVIDIA need 400 watts or larger. when you add a video card to this board, the on board is automatically turned off (disabled) in the bios.

Edited by oldf@rt, 23 December 2006 - 02:17 AM.

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