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Laptop Memory... Which?


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4 replies to this topic

#1 MarauderX

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 10:12 AM

I have a DELL 600m running WinXP that I'd like to get more memory for. At first I went to the DELL site and saw the price at ~180, so I started shopping around. The problem is I can find the same memory for less than half the price from other manufacturers... and I thought about why.

I want to be sure the memory will fit and work correctly... what should I be looking for, or better yet, which should I buy?

Thanks in advance -

~MX

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#2 jwinathome

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 10:25 AM

Have you ever replaced or added RAM in the past?


Your computer comes stock with memory that fits the following specs...

PC2100 DDR SDRAM SODIMM

I believe people usually prefer the RAM (if you are going to use 2 sticks) to be made by the same manufacturer. But it seems to be personal preference. I find that CRUCIAL and KINGSTON are two fine choices, and most of the time have reasonable prices.

Edited by jwinathome, 22 June 2007 - 10:26 AM.


#3 tg1911

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 10:27 AM

There are such things as cheap , ninety day , or generic RAM, which is actually sold, and doesn't meet the minimum standards of the JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council), for use in computers. But it is still sold, and un-informed people, still buy it.

RAM can generally be divided into a few classes:
(Excepting Performance or Overclockers RAM, which is made to the highest tolerances)

Premium or Lifetime Warranty: This RAM is made from Identical chips, all tested and meeting the assemblers standards, all from the same chip manufacturer and lot.
The capacitors and resistors are of the highest standard, and exceed the JEDEC standard, and all are installed on a circuit board which is thicker than required .
The final product is tested to confirm that it is stable at the rated speed.

One Year Warranty: Very close, but may include memory chips from different batches, although still the same manufacturer.
The circuit board tends to be at least one ply thinner, and the resistors and capacitors may have more variance.
These still meet the JEDEC standards, and are tested to make sure they are stable at the specified speed.

OEM: These are intended for sale to a manufacturer, not for resale, although they are often sold retail.
Often if you buy two sticks, you will find that they have memory chips from different manufacturers.
They still meet standards (the chips are certified to meet the manufacturers specifications), but are often yet another ply thinner, and once again, may have more variance in the tolerance of resistors and capacitors, and may use fewer, than on higher quality RAM.

Generic or 90 Day RAM: This is the lowest quality you will generally encounter.
Often these are made of leftover chips; ones salvaged from returned and failed RAM,
RAM designed to run at a higher speed which failed and became unstable.
They're put on really thin boards, which do not meet the JEDEC standard.
They rarely have even the minimum number, and quality of resistors and capacitors, recomended by the JEDEC .

Also, if you touch the RAM anywhere except the edges, you should know that the oils and salts in your skin are corrosive, and will eventually damage the ram.
And if you touch it without observing anti-static precautions, you can cause damage, which may show up immediately, or somewhere down the line.

This is why I always recommend that you spend the extra money to buy Quality Name Brand RAM with a lifetime warranty.
I also prefer to buy all RAM at one time when possible, and at a minimum, make sure it has identical specifications (easiest method, make sure it is same manufacturer and model).

These companys manufacture quality RAM:
Crucial
Kingston
Corsair

Also, check out the information on their sites.
There's a lot of good information about RAM, definitely worth the read.

Here's an article you might want to check out:
Understanding, Identifying and Upgrading the RAM in your PC

Whatever you do, don't buy "cheap" RAM.
This is one area where it's definitely, "You get, what you pay for".
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#4 Roadkill62

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 11:58 AM

As stated by others buying good quality ram from a reputable manufacuer is worth the price.If at all possible using the same brand is best.If not you can go to ram manufacturer websites and they have lists of compatable motherboards. You can mix brands if you wish but in my experience of building systems using a matched pair is best. Otherwise you may get sudden restarts system errors or lockups.The brands mentioned in the previous post are well known longtime memory manufactuers I have used many but have had best luck with Kingston and Corsair
Believe me it is worth the extra cash to buy quality RAM to ensure trouble free operation.
:thumbsup:

#5 oldf@rt

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 12:41 PM

Definately use quality brand name ram your laptop may not call for matched pairs, but sometimes different brands refuse to work together, but work fine separately. I have seen this on your machine series a couple of times. brand names that I would recommend are Crucial, Corsair, Kingston, Patriot, PNY, I am sure that there other brands that I cant remember, that are just as good. A side note, I always use latex medical gloves and a wrist strap when working inside computers.

Edited by oldf@rt, 22 June 2007 - 12:41 PM.

The name says it all -- 59 and holding permanently

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