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Confused, Dell Dimension 8400


Abouna

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I was just about to order 2GB TWIN2X2048-5400, but now I'm wondering if it will work with my system.

 

If not, can someone recommend something else. I'm currently running PC2 4200, but was thinking of getting 5400 just to mildly future proof (though that's bloody unlikely!). Maybe I'd be just as well off with 4200?

 

Cheers.

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I was just about to order 2GB TWIN2X2048-5400, but now I'm wondering if it will work with my system.

 

If not, can someone recommend something else. I'm currently running PC2 4200, but was thinking of getting 5400 just to mildly future proof (though that's bloody unlikely!). Maybe I'd be just as well off with 4200?

 

Cheers.

 

Regrettably, you cannot (technically) run PC2-5400 memory in your Dell system. (Or, if you use PC2-5400 modules, your system will either default to PC2-4200 speed or refuse to even POST.) You see, the i925x chipset's memory controller is limited to PC2-4200 speed maximum, and your Dell system provides no way at all whatsoever to manually set the memory speed or timings. Also, the XMS2/TWIN2X memory requires a DIMM voltage setting of at least 1.9V - but then, Dell offers no provision at all to manually set the DIMM voltage (which remains on the low side of the JEDEC-standard 1.8V - Dell's permanently fixed DIMM voltage is between 1.75V and 1.8v, which is too low for the XMS2/TWIN2X memory).

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Regrettably, you cannot (technically) run PC2-5400 memory in your Dell system. (Or, if you use PC2-5400 modules, your system will either default to PC2-4200 speed or refuse to even POST.) You see, the i925x chipset's memory controller is limited to PC2-4200 speed maximum, and your Dell system provides no way at all whatsoever to manually set the memory speed or timings. Also, the XMS2/TWIN2X memory requires a DIMM voltage setting of at least 1.9V - but then, Dell offers no provision at all to manually set the DIMM voltage (which remains on the low side of the JEDEC-standard 1.8V - Dell's permanently fixed DIMM voltage is between 1.75V and 1.8v, which is too low for the XMS2/TWIN2X memory).

 

I think youre right on the voltage BUT...

 

Are you sure about the speed? I did the memory configurator over at Crucial and it said my system could go as high as PC2-6400. Now I'm even more confused.

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I think youre right on the voltage BUT...

 

Are you sure about the speed?

 

Yes, due to the limitations of the chipset's memory controller. Also, Dell gives you no provision at all whatsoever to manually change the memory speed on your system - and its BIOS must adhere strictly to the Intel-supported specs.

 

I did the memory configurator over at ******** and it said my system could go as high as PC2-6400. Now I'm even more confused.

 

Sorry, but your system's memory controller cannot run any faster than PC2-4200 because your system was one of the very first DDR2 systems to be introduced to the market. At the time, PC2-5400 memory wasn't even a JEDEC standard. That other manufacturer's memory configurator merely shows you which memory modules of that particular brand that you can use, even if your system's memory speed is limited to a much slower speed.

 

In addition, your system requires valid SPD programming for PC2-3200 or PC2-4200 in order for your system to even POST. Many PC2-5300/5400 and PC2-6400 modules, however, have no SPD programming at all for lower speeds - and if your system cannot find a valid SPD for the memory controller's supported speed, your system will simply fail to POST.

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Long story short, OEMs don't have the BIOS options to use XMS memory. In addition, Dell's site only recommends PC2-4200 / 533 MHz memory.

 

As for Corsair's recommendations:

 

http://www.corsair.com/configurator/system_results.aspx?id=47491

 

Part Number Size

CMSS1GB-533 1GB

VS1GB533D2 1GB

VS1GBKIT533D2 1GB Kit (2 x 512MB)

CMSS512MB-533 512MB

 

VS for when you're replacing the Dell memory, CMSS for when you're adding to the Dell memory.

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