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Windows 7: WARNING: Hardware noob! What does this odd thing actually do!


19 Dec 2010   #11

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by niemiro View Post
Hello!

Thank you both so much for your answers! Sorry for the delay! I wanted time to think! Northbridge was not something I had actually heard of before, but I have now, and it certainly seems to be the right thing. It has probably been hot for years. I shall just ignore it, and you have quenched my curiosity! Thanks Pebbly! Topic one resolved!

Again, thanks Pebbly for the excellent link! I read it, and learned a lot! And thank you, Joan, for your excellent contributions!

I have got another question now! *worry all around* I ran the crutial memory scanner: Memory upgrades from Crucial.com - Determine My Memory Needs

It offers memory at 1.8V and 2.0V. This thread says very definitely that 1.8V on 2.0V is fine: will running 1.8V ram at 2.0 kill it? - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net

But I don't know what I have! I assume that 2.0V will not work on 1.8V. I looked in the Dell manual, but couldn't find anything about it. I assume that I am on 1.8V, but not for any particular reason.

If I need 1.8V, that gives me this: 4GB kit (2GBx2), 240-pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-6400 upgrades for Dell XPS 420 Desktop/PC, CT1167040 from Crucial.com as I don't want to go for the slower speed. 10 for not losing memory speed is money well spent - it is only 10.

However, if I can use 2.0V, I have far more options, and even some faster memory like this one: 4GB kit (2GBx2), Ballistix 240-pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-8500 upgrades for Dell XPS 420 Desktop/PC, CT1198084 from Crucial.com

I shall contact Crucial to see if their scanner actually accurately gauges speed properly, and I shall hunt around for a motherboard manual.

Thanks again!

Richard
These are the RAM that Crucial recommends for your specific model (not determined by a scanner, although it may be the same list):

Computer memory upgrades for Dell XPS 420 Desktop/PC from Crucial.com

I imagine that if you wished to run memory faster than DDR2-800, you'd need to set a memory multiplier in the machine's BIOS. I doubt that Dell's BIOS settings are flexible enough to permit that. (Corrections will be cheerfully accepted.)

I believe that you'd get your best performance with the DDR2 800 with the lowest latencies (4-4-4-15), although the performance gain over less expensive RAM with longer latencies may be trivial. The more expensive stuff ("Ballistix") comes with pretty heat spreaders, which may not improve the performance of the RAM at all.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Dec 2010   #12

Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
 
 

Thank you so much again, to all of you! Speccy showed me that I had 1.8V RAM. From my understanding from Google, I cannot run 2.0V RAM in this machine without overclocking, and that doesn't sound very safe to me! They also said that you might have to loosen off on the timing etc. etc. It all sounds very complicated!

Looking at the 1.8V RAM, there is one with a lower speed than my current, which I am not having, and one which is the same speed. This also means that I don't have to worry about the speeds so much. This would then be the choice: 4GB kit (2GBx2), 240-pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-6400 upgrades for Dell XPS 420 Desktop/PC, CT1167040 from Crucial.com

It doesn't show its timing! I might actually have to ask Crucial about that, although I am sure it will be better than my current summary: 4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 399MHz (6-6-6-18)

The crucial scanner does guarantee compatibility. However, from one of you knowledgeable folk, is 2.0V guaranteed for the gurus, and I will end up blowing it up, or can you just plug it in and the motherboard will deal with the voltage - I fear not!

Thank you so much for your patience!

Richard
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2010   #13

Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
 
 

I don't know if it helps anyone, but here is my RAMmon report, as given by the excellent suggestion of Hopalong X. Thank you! See it here: http://www.niemiro.co.uk/SF/RAMMon%2...PD%20Info.html
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Dec 2010   #14

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

Quote:
It doesn't show its timing! I might actually have to ask Crucial about that, although I am sure it will be better than my current summary: 4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 399MHz (6-6-6-18)

I marked the timing in RED below. They just report it different.
CL-6 would be marked 6-6-6 on Crucial DDR3.
It is set to match yours. Perfecto mundo!!
Mike

Borrowed from: http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartsp...984BE5A5CA7304

Quote:
4GB kit (2GBx2), 240-pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-6400 memory module

CT1167040
  • Module Size: 4GB kit (2GBx2)
  • Package: 240-pin DIMM<LI class=" sfhover">Feature: DDR2 PC2-6400
  • Specs: DDR2 PC2-6400 • CL=6 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-800 • 1.8V • 256Meg x 64 •
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2010   #15

Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Hopalong X View Post
Quote:
It doesn't show its timing! I might actually have to ask Crucial about that, although I am sure it will be better than my current summary: 4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 399MHz (6-6-6-18)

I marked the timing in RED below. They just report it different.
CL-6 would be marked 6-6-6 on Crucial DDR3.
It is set to match yours. Perfecto mundo!!
Mike

Borrowed from: 4GB kit (2GBx2), 240-pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-6400 upgrades for Dell XPS 420 Desktop/PC, CT1167040 from Crucial.com

Quote:
4GB kit (2GBx2), 240-pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-6400 memory module

CT1167040
  • Module Size: 4GB kit (2GBx2)
  • Package: 240-pin DIMM<LI class=" sfhover">Feature: DDR2 PC2-6400
  • Specs: DDR2 PC2-6400 CL=6 Unbuffered NON-ECC DDR2-800 1.8V 256Meg x 64
Ah! That is very interesting! And this is why we need to experts! I just ignored the CL=6! Had no clue what it meant, so assumed it didn't mean anything Sort of.

It appears that if I get 2.0V, I can get faster memory, with lower latencies. Maybe I should consider getting 2.0V. I just don't know what the consequences will be! Surely having memory with a higher clockspeed, and lower latencies by 2 (nano)(micro)seconds then that would be far better.

Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2010   #16

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

If there is only 1.8v going to the 2v RAM it will run at default 1.8v anyway.

Match it and be done.
You cannot increase the voltage to the new RAM without increasing voltage to the old RAM.
OC'ing/ overvolting is not good on the old RAM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2010   #17

Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
 
 

Oh yeah! Forgot about the old sticks! I guess the best thing to do would be to buy the fastest 2.0V RAM, and underclock it to 1.8V. I am just about to have a look in my BIOS to see how much flexibility there actually is with these voltages - synchronous, asynchronous, and flexibility. Thanks again, everybody!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2010   #18

Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
 
 

Bother! No control at all! Too cheap a stock motherboard! I guess I need to run at 1.8V!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2010   #19

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

If Crucial said the ram will work in the XPS 420 it will, Crucial guarranty it. It will also downclock on it's own, just put it in the bios will do the rest. I have a Dell XPS and buy from Crucial many times never a bad stick.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2010   #20

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Unless you are a dedicated and experienced overclocker, RAM is the last thing you want to get cute with. It can be very cranky. The compatibility between a given motherboard and RAM can be very touchy. That's why motherboard manufacturers often have a certified RAM compatibility list.

I gather you have no intention of overclocking your RAM.

In that case, get the lowest priced 1.8 volt package in the size you need on the Crucial confirmed compatibility list and be done with it. That configurator is highly reliable and Crucial is a high quality brand. No need for you to get into the Ballistix product line.

The chances of you noticing any difference if you were to get RAM with faster timings is about zero.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 WARNING: Hardware noob! What does this odd thing actually do!




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