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Old 12-21-2010, 06:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Increasing RAM

Hello, have an older computer (built in 2005, specs below), but it still works fine. Runs XP and all our programs well. I'm considering just getting some additional RAM, but not sure if it's still sold. I'm looking in newegg now, but there are some variants, what are the key attributes I need to match to ensure I buy the right RAM?

Thank you.
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Increasing RAM

The things you need to look for are whether the RAM is DDR, DDR2 or DDR3 - given the age of the computer it's probably DDR2, possibly DDR.
The second consideration is the speed of the RAM, measured in MHz - this will be along the lines of 667MHz, or 800MHz/1066MHz and so on.
The RAM you buy needs to be the same type and (preferably) the same speed, to avoid compatibility issues.

You'll need to find out what type of RAM you have (it's DDR, according to your signature).
You'll also need to find out what speed the RAM is - this isn't in your signature. To find out the speed, you can either look in the BIOS, or download CPU-Z (CPUID - System & hardware benchmark, monitoring, reporting) and look in the Memory tab.

One final consideration is:
a) What the maximum capacity for RAM your motherboard has, in GB. - this will be in your motherboard manual. It's probably more than the 1GB you have now.
b) The number of physical slots your motherboard has. Since you're taking up two slots with the two 512MB sticks, if you only have two slots then you'll need to replace the RAM you have now or you can't upgrade. However if you have more than two slots you will be fine.

Once you've found these out, look on Newegg for RAM with these specs.
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Increasing RAM

Thank you for your quick and thorough reply!
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Increasing RAM

No problem If you've got any further questions, feel free to ask.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Increasing RAM

The ASUS P4P800SE uses DDR400 RAM. It can handle up to 4GB over four slots, so a max of 1GB per stick.
Newegg.com - ASUS P4P800SE 478 Intel 865PE ATX Intel Motherboard

Since you are on XP and not a 64-bit version of Windows you can only access 3.5GB of RAM (including any memory on graphics card(s)). You would be best served adding 2x1GB t your system by populating the other two DIMM slots. I recommend this kit:
Newegg.com - G.SKILL Value 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Desktop Memory Model F1-3200PHU2-2GBNT
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you Trotter. Wondering if it make any amount of difference? I'm considering upgrading this machine from XP to Win7 and worried about the performance w/ the new OS.

Also, could I basically get any type of 184-Pin DDR SDRAM?
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Increasing RAM

Yes, it would make a difference, mainly when running programs that use a bit of memory. using RAM vs having to shuttle back and forth to the hard drive makes a huge difference.

You can use any type, but you want to go with DDR400/PC3200 as I assume that is what you currently have. DDR400 was pretty much the upper standard speed and your board runs it natively. Also, go with a good brand. I recommend G.Skill, but Corsair, Crucial, Kingston all work good.
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Increasing RAM

Thanks Trotter, thoughts about buying new RAM from ebay? I found it cheaper there than newegg.
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Increasing RAM

Only if it is new. But otherwise, I wouldn't trust eBay wholly.
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