Memory modules for older computer

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I have a Dell Dimension XPS purchased in July of 2000.  It came with 256mb
of ram and a couple of years later I upgraded one of the two memory slots to
a 256mb module for a total of 384.  Memory was expensive then or I would
have gone to 512mb

Now that memory is cheaper, I want to upgrade.  I only have two slots on the
MB and want to put 256mb memory in each one.  But back when I bought the
system, the memory was at 100 or 133mhz and what I see on the Dell website
now is 300 or 400 mhz.  Question: will this memory work with my older
motherboard or is the higher rated speed likely to cause a compatibility


Re: Memory modules for older computer

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you need to look specifically for SDRAM...

you must be looking at DDR

Re: Memory modules for older computer

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Sounds like you need pc100 or 133 mhz SDram memory.
Either look in your manual or go to Dell's site and look up
your model and see how much memory the board will take in each slot.and what
Pc133 mhz is backwards compatable.
DDR  memory will not work.

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Sdram will get more expensive in time as it's old technology and harder to


Re: Memory modules for older computer

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Thanks for the reply.
However I am not sure 100% sure that the information you gave me is enough
to go on in that I do not know if RDRAM and SDRAM are the same.  This is the
info extracted from SiSoftware Sandra:

  < System Memory Controller >
    Location:                      Mainboard
    Error Correction Capability:   None
    Number of Memory Slots:        2
    BANK0 - J6J1:                  RIMM RAMBUS 128MB/16 @ 356Mt/s
    BANK1 - J6J2:                  RIMM RAMBUS 256MB/16 @ 356Mt/s

  < Memory Module 1 >
    Model:                         THMR1N8-7
    Serial Number:                 02133C00
    Type:                          128MB RDRAM RIMM
    Technology:                    8x(128Mx16)
    Speed:                         PC714-50 2-2
    Version:                       1.0
    Date of Manufacture:           Saturday, May 20, 2000
    Set Timing @ 372MHz:           2-2
    Set Timing @ 300MHz:           2-2

  < Memory Module 2 >
    Serial Number:                 04181800
    Type:                          256MB RDRAM RIMM
    Technology:                    16x(128Mx16)
    Speed:                         PC714-45 2-2
    Version:                       1.0
    Date of Manufacture:           Monday, March 19, 2001
    Set Timing @ 372MHz:           2-2

Re: Memory modules for older computer - I found some documentation

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In my earlier post I mentioned that I have this info from SiSoftware Sandra.
However, I was able to find the information at the bottom of this post in a
Dell documents directory which had a help file.

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I found this information in a Dell help file.  With this info, what RAM do I
need to buy?  I see some Rambus Memory Modules listed at Compusa and they
say 184pin.  I cannot tell from this how many pins are on the sockets on my
motherboard.  Is it a standard configuration?
     Rambus PC600, PC700 and PC800

      RIMM sockets
     two; gold contacts

      RIMM capacities
     128 and 256 MB

      Minimum RAM
     128 MB

      Maximum RAM
     512 MB

      Clock cycle

     2.5 ns

     2.8 ns

     3.5 ns

      SPD revision
     Rambus 1.1


     2.5 V

      Data bus width
     16 bits

      BIOS address

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Re: Memory modules for older computer - I found some documentation

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According to sisoft, The most ram is 512mb = 2 modules at 256mb.
Unbuffered RIMM.Rambus Pc 800 will be the fastest, but will
only be as fast as your other existing 256 module. Correct me if  I'm wrong.

Good Luck,

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Re: Memory modules for older computer

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Rambus RIMMs were a special variety of memory that performed like
dual-channel SDRAM in a single package.  Intel promoted it for a while, but
it never got a large market share and was more or less abandoned with the
coming of the Pentium III.  According to _PC Hardware In A Nutshell_,
"...RDRAM-based Pentium 4 systems provide better performance than those that
use single-channel DDR-SDRAM, but worse perfomrance than those that use dual
channel DDR-SDRAM.  That leaves RDRAM as an expensive technology with no
remaining market niche, and we expect it (as of early 2004) to fade

The good news is it's good fast memory.   The bad news is that it is NOT
interchangeable with SDRAM and may be difficult to find.  It's definitely
not going to be hanging in the case in the photo-electronics section of your
local variety store.  It may still be manufactured but is a specialty item
for people like yourself with a certain vintage of systems to upgrade.  You
cannot replace it with either SDRAM or DDR-SDRAM.

Systems set up for RIMMs must have a module in every available slot, so
special dummy modules called CRIMMs are available to fill unoccupied slots.
In your case, of course, you are trying to put in all you can get.

I suggest you look for a store that specializes in computer memory, search
for them online, or contact Dell for recommendations.  The first option will
be least expensive and probably most helpful.

Re: Memory modules for older computer

Here's some good reading for you. also sells RDRAM, but
might not be the best price.
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And repeating, but in answer to your concern, 184-pin RIMMs and 184-pin
DIMMs are NOT interchangeable. They contain different technology and have
slots in different places on the stick to prevent accidentally installing
them in the wrong board.


Re: Memory modules for older computer

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Re: Memory modules for older computer

On Sat, 07 Jan 2006 17:15:23 -0600, Colleyville Alan thoughtfully wrote:

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You might still get the memory from Dell ($$) if you look for
components for your model no.   Otherwise try the Kingston and PNY sites
for PC100/133 compatible with your system and motherboard.   Another 256mb
should be around $50-60 for your Dell.   You could also try for
PC100/133 memory on sale in your zipcode like Best Buy, Office Depot.
Makes it easier to return if the memory doesn't work as expected.

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