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  1. #1
    Member Priam's Avatar
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    Default Hardware questionnaire

    This is the part where I show just how little I know about computers' physical beings.

    Okay, so I'm looking to beef up my home system with some RAM. Running WinXP Home, got 128MB up ins (I presume all on one slot, but I will admit to not having looked), some kind of pentium 4 processor I believe. Question is, is there anything I need to know about RAM before I shop?

    I know that some years hence, there was DRAM and SDRAM and parity and nonparity and this and that and the other thing, and I've heard that at least some of these differences have since become obsolete to the point of functional nonexistence. But still, I worry--and I could not find a suitable tutorial on this (excellent) site. Information, please?
    "It's everywhere, in the headlines in the newspapers, in the blurry images on television. It is a secret you have yet to grasp, but the first syllable has been spoken in a dream you cannot quite recall." ---Unknown Armies

  2. #2
    Member galena1's Avatar
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    Hi - Go to the link below and run the scanner. It will tell you what you the type you need to upgrade.

    http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/

    You can also go here -
    http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html
    and download and run this free program and it will produce a detailed report of your system
    Regards.
    I know everything about nothing, nothing about everything and precious little about the bit in between.
    P4-3.0G - Seagate Barracuda 160 - Maxtor 120 - Antec Hard Drive Cooler - 1GRam - Radeon9800Pro - Sony Multi DriveDVDRW - Audigy2 6.1 - XPHome

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    Member Spyware Fighter zep516's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Member Priam's Avatar
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    Excellent. Precisely what I was looking for, on all counts. Thanks!
    "It's everywhere, in the headlines in the newspapers, in the blurry images on television. It is a secret you have yet to grasp, but the first syllable has been spoken in a dream you cannot quite recall." ---Unknown Armies

  5. #5
    Member galena1's Avatar
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    You should, ideally, increase the RAM to 512MB for XP.
    I know everything about nothing, nothing about everything and precious little about the bit in between.
    P4-3.0G - Seagate Barracuda 160 - Maxtor 120 - Antec Hard Drive Cooler - 1GRam - Radeon9800Pro - Sony Multi DriveDVDRW - Audigy2 6.1 - XPHome

  6. #6
    Member Spyware Fighter Grim322's Avatar
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    I agree with Galena that 512 is optimal. But if money is tight, you could add 256, which would give you a total of 384 when combined with the 128.
    Option 1- add 512 to give a total of 640
    Option 2- add 256 to give a total of 384

    Both will be a big improvement over 128, XP will run on 128, but as soon as you try to really do anything, it will slow down, freeze, or crash.
    Charlie

  7. #7
    Member Priam's Avatar
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    Okay, so the situation turned out to not be nearly as bad as I'd thought, I was running 256MB of memory on the computer (and bad memory of my home system while I'm at work) but I went and grabbed a 512MB dimm anyway, for fun.

    Question about that, though. I ended up installing it just fine, but in the ramshackle mess of my attempts to do so, I ended up putting the old memory dimm into dimm slot 2 and the new memory dimm into dimm slot 1. The computer came up just fine, did the POST routines and whathaveyou, up until it got to the point where the windows logo would come up to show that XP was on its way. Would, but didn't--instead, the whole thing reset and the computer went back to the POST routines. Once I switched the dimms around, so that the old dimm was in position DIMM1 where it had originally been, and the new one was in position DIMM2 which had originally been empty, everything was, as they say, copacetic.

    My worry about this is whether this means that it's impossible to get rid of that first dimm, if the computer relies on that DIMM1 slot always containing the same memory module, or if there's something I'm missing about this. Not that I think I'll need to upgrade enough that three dimm slots won't be enough, but the programmer in me (repressed though it is) compels me to explore all possibilities, however unlikely.
    "It's everywhere, in the headlines in the newspapers, in the blurry images on television. It is a secret you have yet to grasp, but the first syllable has been spoken in a dream you cannot quite recall." ---Unknown Armies