SDRAM PC133 memory

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I'd like to upgrade the RAM memory in my Dell Dimension 2300
to 1 GB total (two 512 MB modules).

It uses SDRAM PC133 168-pin DIMM non-parity unbuffered
non-ECC modules.
What are reliable brands of SDRAM PC133 memory and where can
I get it at a good price?

I've researched PNY, Kingston, Crucial, Edge, Samsung.

The appropriate part #'s are (according to the
manufacturers' memory selector tools):

PNY 512S133
Kingston KTD-DM133/512
Crucial CT258712
Edge DELPC00512MPC13
Samsung .. don't know

I can get the PNY module for $80, Kingston for $120, Crucial
for $125, Edge for $110.  Dell sells it for $160.  Why is
there such a wide range of prices?  Is PNY no good?

Thanks for your help.


Re: SDRAM PC133 memory

On Fri, 28 Oct 2005 20:39:34 -0400, Robert Glueck

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Frankly, I would not pour the money into that system.  Does
it have a Celeron and integrated video?  If so, it's still
going to feel slow no matter how much memory you add.  Even
the next generation that used DDR memory, feels slow, even
worse with all the Dell stuff installed and WinXP.

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PC133 is quite mature, for years now.  Any name-brand budget
grade memory should suffice.  Where to get a good price
depends on momentary pricing, for example deals in your
local newspaper, or the lowest cost vendor on
that you recognize/trust, or that has a majority of good
buyer feedback on 'sites like

It should accept standard, typical run-of-the-mill high
density PC133 memory... the type everbody and their brother
sells, if they still sell PC133 memory.  You could go to and use their memory selector to
find guaranteed compatible memory, but memory compatibility
should be pretty easy, you could pick up some Kingston
Valueram advertised at the local office or computer
superstore and odds are it'd work fine.

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yes, any of those should work, buy from someplace with a
good return policy just in case, since any random
motherboard may be less stable with more memory installed.

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Pricing can vary for good reasons, like different cas
rating, how much volume they do, buy themselves, or just
random differences that vary per reseller.   There isn't
necessarily a correlation between price and quality among
the name brands, not for old technology like this.

Dell is just doing what OEMs do- charging an arm and a leg.
No reason to buy something commplace, rather than
proprietary, from an OEM.

I'd look for a deal in the local newspaper, or get it from
newegg (who has a fairly good return policy).  For example,

In theory CAS2 modules are worth more, but we can't even be
sure your board would run them at CAS2 with two 512MB
Modules installed, nor that it would be stable.  I would not
pay a premium for high-spec memory for the system and would
seriously consider if it's worth putting 1GB in it at all.

Re: SDRAM PC133 memory

PNY has a poor reputation, which in my opinion they deserve. I stopped buying
PNY memory years ago because I had so much trouble with it. I usually buy
Kingston memory because it is often on sale locally. I have never had any
trouble with Kingston. There is not reason to pay inflated OEM prices for
generic memory.

Robert Glueck wrote:
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                   Mike Walsh
            West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

Re: SDRAM PC133 memory

Mike Walsh wrote:

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I've had just the opposite problem, with 1/4 to 1/3 of my Kingston DDR
modules failing
either MemTest86 or Gold Memory, including the last PC3200 I bought.
Also I've never
been able to overclock a Kingston DDR module reliably at all (I
overclock only when
testing), but many of the bad Kingstons worked fine when underclocked.
The last
Kingston I bought, a PC3200 from Circuit City, failed MemTest86 in a
few minutes.

I've had only one bad PNY module, a PC133 where adjacent gold contacts
had solder on
them.  It was actually CompUSA brand (PNY supplies them), and the idiot
manager at the
CompUSA in NW Phoenix didn't want to exchange it because he claimed it
tested out OK
(in a "test" that took 15 seconds, including the time to walk to and
from the back room).

I also had problems with RK-byte brand modules, and in general I have
so little faith
in modules that contain non-name brand chips that I buy all my memory
locally, only
from dealers that offer 100% money-back guarantees, and test each for a
couple of
days with both MemTest86 and Gold Memory.

Re: SDRAM PC133 memory

Robert Glueck wrote:

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Thank you, everyone, for your good advice.

Good point, kony - is it worth spending almost $150 to
upgrade a three-year old budget Dell?  Yes, it does have a
1.8 GHz Celeron and Intel integrated graphics, on an
Intel-made mobo, I believe, with the Intel i845 GL chipset.
This machine came with 256 MB RAM installed, and I soon
upgraded it to 512 MB (using a Dell module) which made a
noticeable difference.  I'm actually running Linux on it
most of the time (Debian and Slackware), only rarely WinXP
and the Dell add-ons, and it never struck me as being slow,
in fact it can be quite snappy.
Lately, however, I've been keeping more and more
applications open at the same time, and at times now the
machine strikes me as being a little sluggish.  I'm
assuming that doubling the RAM from 512 MB to 1 GB will
again lead to a noticeable increase in speed.  The question
is only, do I want to spend that much money on it?  SDRAM
memory really is quite pricy, isn't it?

I did some more reading on this matter in various newgroups,
and here are some of the results.

Re Kingston Valueram:  The consensus appears to be that
Kingston Valueram SDRAM generally works fine in the Dell
Dimension line, and that there is no need to pay premium
money for the higher-priced line that is guaranteed to work
with Dells - unless one wishes to overclock the system
(which cannot be done with the Dell Dimensions anyway;
their BIOS won't allow it).

Re PNY:  I haven't found any pertinent comments on this
brand and certainly no consensus on its quality.  Some time
ago though I did some research on PNY flash memory in USB
thumbdrives.  PNY received good marks for that type of
product.  I went ahead and bought both a 256 MB and a 512
MB thumbdrive, and they haven't let me down as yet.

Re Crucial: This is a division of Micron Semiconductor
Products, one of the premier makers of RAM memory, and
apparently the memory modules they sell are of high
quality.  The modules that their memory module advisor
flags as being appropriate for any given machine or
motherboard are guaranteed to work in that system.  But
they don't offer a consumer-grade line of budget memory
comparable to Kingston's Valueram, and hence their stuff is

Re Dell:  Dell actually uses Kingston modules (presumably
the higher-priced standard line) in their Dimension
computers, along with other brands (e.g. Samsung, Hynix,

At this point, I'm leaning towards going ahead with this
upgrade.  My Dell is still performing largely to my
satisfaction, and I can get a few more years out of it.  I
expect that this upgrade would give it the extra kick it
needs sometimes.  Also, this upgrade would allow me to
install certain Linux live CD's on a large RAM drive and
run Linux from there, with good speed.

If I can find some "cheap" brand-name memory, e.g. Kingston
Valueram or A-Data or Viking, as kony suggested (e.g. from
Newegg), for $120-140 for 1 GB, I may go ahead with the
purchase.  Any comments on A-Data or Viking?

Thanks again.


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