Desktop Memory Upgrade
I'm dealing with an old desktop running on 512MB RAM (2x 256MB). I'd like to run Windows 7 on it (needs a minimum of 1 GB), and I have a couple more slots, so I'd like to max out the memory that its x86 CPU can use.
I thought I could steal a stick from another desktop, since they both use old DIMM, but lo and behold, the sticks are completely different (pin size, pin number, notch position, basically like comparing apples and dragons).
Now, from what I can gather by the labels, the memory off of machine #2 is PC3200U-30330-B0, but the memory off of machine #1 (the one I'm working with) is PC2-3200U-333-10-C1
So the question is, what sections of this code should I care about when looking for more RAM (keeping in mind that I DO wish to potentially mix-and-match the new memory with the old sticks)?
you can use cpu-z. it will show the current speed and what kind of DDR memory is in your computer. cpu-z will also show what motherboard manufacturer and what model it is if you want to google the manual for the motherboard. the manual itself should tell the end user all information related to the motherboard.
but to answer your orginal question of what to look for on the sticker attached to the memory stick is the beginning of the serial number which is the PC part. PC is DDR1. PC2 is DDR2. PC3 is DDR3. the numbers after that is the speed of the ram. so your machine #1 is currently using DDR2 400 sticks (PC2-3200). you will have to find out what is the max memory speed your motherboard will take or stick with DDR2 400.
The RAM on both machines are running at 400MHz, but they're different types as the RAM in machine 1 is DDR2 (240 pins) and the RAM in machine 2 is DDR (184 pins).
Since the machine your working on is the one that uses DDR2 RAM you should look for RAM that starts with the code PC2, but you might find it difficult to find 400MHz DDR2 RAM beyond second hand computer parts sellers and mixing faster RAM with what you've currently got would mean that you can't use the new RAM to the fullest.
If you want to know what your computer can take, then the crucial website had a system scanner which should tell you what it can take (unless you know the manufacturer and model number of the motherboard, then you can put that in to get the information you need).
Thanks for the help, and the Crucial website. I can't use the cpu-z program, since I don't yet have an OS installed on the computer. Fortunately, I've discovered that the new box can use PC2-5300 and PC2-6400, so I won't be forced to use the slowest sticks imaginable. On the flip side, I don't have any other DDR2 machines to rob RAM from (all my other machines use DDR3, trololol). At least the handy-dandy Micro Center across town sells what I need so I don't have to wait to Amazon to fix this thing.
Thanks again to both of you for your help.
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