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Memory Upgrade Question

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by farshallmaulk, Nov 27, 2011.

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  1. farshallmaulk

    farshallmaulk Thread Starter

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    Presently, I have an HP Pavilion a530n with 512 MB or RAM. I am interested in upgrading my RAM but want to keep the cost low. My question is...If I buy 1GB of RAM (184-Pin DDR SDRAM 333 PC2700), can I add that to the existing RAM, giving me 1.5 GB of RAM? Or should I take the 512 MB stick out and just run the 1GB?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks:confused:
     
  2. farshallmaulk

    farshallmaulk Thread Starter

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    Or do I just buy 512 MB to add to my 512MB? If I cannot add 1GB to the existing 512MB, no point in buying a whole GB.
     
  3. Mark1956

    Mark1956

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    Go to this site: Crucial memory advisor
    On the Crucial site select System Scanner and it will show you what you have and what is compatible, together with prices.

    It should run ok with unmatched sticks but for the best performance it is recommended that you install matched pairs.
     
  4. gberger

    gberger

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    You can go to crucial.com. They have a scanning tool that you can download. It will scan your pc and tell you what you need and what your limitations are in terms of having to match (or not match) sticks of memory.
     
  5. farshallmaulk

    farshallmaulk Thread Starter

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    I used the scanner and it gave me the following results:
    Memory Type: DDR PC3200, DDR (non-ECC)
    Maximum Memory: 1GB
    Currently Installed Memory: 512MB
    Total Memory Slots: 2
    Available Memory Slots: 1


    Currently I have 512MB DDR SDRAM 333 PC2700
    Why would it advise me to go with 512 DDR SDRAMM 4000 PC 3200?
    I though I wanted the pair to match? Not to mention Hp recommends what I currently have not what the scanner recommended. Now I'm lost!
     
  6. farshallmaulk

    farshallmaulk Thread Starter

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  7. gberger

    gberger

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    The scanner is telling you that your MB only supports 1MB of ram with two slots, each of which will support a 512MB stick. So buying a 1MB stick is out. It is also recommending the fastest memory your MB will support. So you have three options:
    1. Buy a 512mb stick that matches what you have. You might save some bucks doing this, you need to shop around.
    2. Buy the recommended memory. It will run alongside what you have, but will only run at the slower speed of your existing memory.
    3. Buy two 512mb sticks of the faster memory to get the most out of your system. It may not be noticeable so not sure it's worth it, but on an older machine that only supports 1MB of RAM, you may want to maximize the speed. It's up to you.
    In any event, stick with XP on this machine. XP will run happily on 1MB of RAM, Windows 7 will not. And whatever you do, do NOT load Vista, even if you get it for free.
     
  8. farshallmaulk

    farshallmaulk Thread Starter

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    It appears that options 1 & 3 are my best options. Everything I've read says that I can go up to 2 GB though, 1GB for each slot. If the speed isn't very noticeable, as you stated it may not be with option 3, I believe option 1 may be the best. Would you agree?
     
  9. adam3088

    adam3088

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    Go for option 1, this is the safest and cheapest one but make sure you get it as similar as you can, this reduces the chance of compatibility issues greatly. If you brought faster memory it will not be noticeable in the least, I promise you that.
     
  10. gberger

    gberger

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    I agree with adam3088, 1 is the most practical.
    Where have you read that you can go up to 2GB? Unless HP is telling you that I would be skeptical. Crucial has no interest in telling you your MB only supports 1GB if it will support 2. They like to sell more memory.
     
  11. gberger

    gberger

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  12. toastm4n

    toastm4n

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    I wouldn't do it like this.

    If it was me I would install CPU-z and check:
    1. what's currently installed
    2. how many slots are available

    I would then go to eBay and purchase what I need.
     
  13. cyanghost109

    cyanghost109

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  14. gberger

    gberger

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    Well, the HP website clearly states 2 slots, max 512mb each so I'm not sure that 1GB stick will work.
     
  15. Mark1956

    Mark1956

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    The motherboard supports two 512MB RAM sticks at 333MHz. Two sticks will give you dual channel operation and that is the best you will get from this motherboard. If you use a 1GB stick the motherboard will only be running in single channel and only use half of the available memory, the specs clearly state a max of 512MB per channel.

    The Crucial scan has made a mistake with the max RAM frequency so stick with the 333MHz as buying anything faster will be a waste of money. Even if the motherboard did support 400MHz you would not notice any performance difference.
     
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