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"system specific" and "certified" memory -- academic query


nweissma

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the subjects of "system specific" and "certified" memory are not reached by the search mechanism, and i think the topic relevant; sorry if this is a thorn in your side, RamGuy.

 

some oem's recommend "system specific" or "certified" memory. can you comment on the academics of this -- to what extent are the oems' claims justified?

 

one aspect that just begs to be addressed is kitting: some module mfg's (Corsair, eg) stress the need for kitting -- urging that it's sine qua non for multi-channel operation -- yet the system specific protagonists don't even offer it.

 

another bothersome element is that the system specific protagonists recommend speeds that need to be downclocked -- in my case, the sysbo is rated for 1066MHz, and the oem's recommended 'system specific' ram is 1333MHz. this sounds oxymoronic to me: how can something be "system specific" and yet it will not function unless it's modified. (à propos, the lowest speed that Corsair offers is 1333MHz)

 

and what of "certified" memory-- do the claims have merit?

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I am sorry but your questions are too general in nature to answer as asked.

Please be more specific who is the OEM and/or what is the make and model of MB or system we are talking about?

 

So if you are talking about an OEM system like an HP, Dell, or Gateway Ect for example that would be a totally different question and answer than say for a retail mother board like an ASUS, Gigabyte, or MSI for example.

 

But in the case of MB makers IE ASUS, MSI or Gigabyte Ect they usually provide a list of tested memory and that is all that list is; memory that was tested usually at the time of MB development, so while the list in a valid reference it may not be accurate or up to date and why most of these manufacturers suggest asking the respective memory manufacturers. But that is all it is, just a list of memory that was tested.

OEM systems are a totally different animal and depending on the CPU and chipset that is used in that specific system it may be a requirement to use what the respective OEM listed.

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your opening answer is enlightening!

 

to be specific: the system oem is Dell -- the Optiplex 580 http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/op580/en/SM/MT/specs.htm#wp1112111

 

Dell recommends system specific, but is prevaricative on "why." and they recommend two different models (2 different part numers) but can't explain the difference between them (if you want, i will offer you the url's to Dell's recommended system specific modules)

 

 

the second computer oem is "Velocity Micro," whose cpu and sysbo are by intel (the details can be seen in my dropdown profile - i need to add memory). intel is recommending memory that has been "certified" by CMTL Labs (obviously, that has not been the case all these years because Corsair has been populating it), and i can send you the url/.pdf stating Intel's recommended ram features.

 

and one more question begs: why is memory "being tested" an important factor -- what does this testing consist of; why might one memory (eg, Corsair) fail the test, while another passes ?

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your opening answer is enlightening!

to be specific: the system oem is Dell -- the Optiplex 580

 

A: The slowest memory we make would be DDR1333 and in most cases I would expect it to down clock to what the system supports so it should not be a problem. But we would not list memory for that system. because of the slower speed. I would expect any of the modules listed for AMD Memory Upgrades will work but I would only suggest DDR1333 as any other choice will likely work but only at DDR1066. However , since your system is not listed in our memory configurator we can guarantee it will work. I would suggest just using the memory that was suggested by the respective OEM to be 100% sure you don't have any problems, but if you want to try the modules we make I think I gave you enough to get your self in trouble. ;-) and I am sorry but I prefer not to comment on what Dell has to say, no offense.

the second computer oem is "Velocity Micro," whose cpu and sysbo are by intel (the details can be seen in my dropdown profile - i need to add memory). intel is recommending memory that has been "certified" by CMTL Labs (obviously, that has not been the case all these years because Corsair has been populating it), and i can send you the url/.pdf stating Intel's recommended ram features.

A: Intel has what they call the CMTL Labs and we as rule do not pay other companies to test our modules we never have the cost for this service is quite high and is only for one specific Build and one MB. The testing we do is much more complex and not necessarily system or MB specific. The best thing to do in this case would be to search for the Mother board or system on our Memory Configurator Volatility Micro is an ODM that uses Retail MB's in many of their systems and also use our memory so there is likely a direct upgrade option for that system depending on the model of the system

 

and one more question begs: why is memory "being tested" an important factor -- what does this testing consist of; why might one memory (eg, Corsair) fail the test, while another passes ?

A: I am sorry but I would need more specific information to properly address this question. But if a MB is listed on our memory configurator and it fails we will be happy to replace it for life. However, may of memory modules are listed as an Over Clock and as such there is no way we can guarantee that every possible configuration will be able to over clock as we test the modules.

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Volatility Micro is an ODM that uses ...

why do you use the moniker "Volatility Micro" and "ODM" instead of OEM?

 

 

this is the only 1333MHz AMD Memory Upgrade that i see: http://www.corsair.com/memory/amd-memory-upgrades/cmx8gx3m2a1333c9.html ... which has timings 9-9-9- , which is at odds with the current (Dell-populated) 1 x 2GB1066MHz 7-7-7-20-27 .. what are the consequences of such different timings?

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why do you use the moniker "Volatility Micro" and "ODM" instead of OEM?

Just a typo i believe. Same goes for the sentence in the first paragraph.

 

since your system is not listed in our memory configurator we can guarantee it will work.

this should be ...since your system is not in our memory confugurator we can NOT guarantee it will work.

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A: The slowest memory we make would be DDR1333 and in most cases I would expect it to down clock to what the system supports so it should not be a problem. But we would not list memory for that system. because of the slower speed. I would expect any of the modules listed for AMD Memory Upgrades will work but I would only suggest DDR1333 as any other choice will likely work but only at DDR1066.

this is the only 1333MHz AMD Memory Upgrade that i see: http://www.corsair.com/memory/amd-me...m2a1333c9.html ... which has timings 9-9-9- , which is at odds with the current (Dell-populated) 1 x 2GB1066MHz 7-7-7-20-27 .. what are the consequences of such different timings?

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Well No; ODM means Original Design Manufacturer

which "Velocity Micro," would qualify for; not that it makes much difference OEM verses ODM.

this is the only 1333MHz AMD Memory Upgrade that i see: http://www.corsair.com/memory/amd-me...m2a1333c9.html ... which has timings 9-9-9- , which is at odds with the current (Dell-populated) 1 x 2GB1066MHz 7-7-7-20-27 .. what are the consequences of such different timings?

A: And in most cases it should slow down to the next slowest speed IE DDR1066, but I have seen cases (especially Dell systems that would not work as expected) so if you try them I would just check with the reseller as to their return policy should they not work in your system.

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should they not work in your system.

 

but this is exactly what i've been trying to isolate:

 

SPECIFICALLY, IN CONCRETE TERMS: FOR WHAT REASONS MIGHT MODULES NOT WORK IN A SYSTEM?

 

 

and you never completed your sentence:

but I have seen cases (especially Dell systems that would not work as expected)

 

... and? were you about to say that these 1333's might not downclock?

 

 

one final question: let's suppose these modules do downclock, and let's suppose they don't downclock -- what are the consequences of the 7-7-7-20-27, which Dell shipped, versus the 9-9-9- that RamGuy is advocating?

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The modules will downclock, however that doesn't mean that the Dell has the capability to downclock. Their BIOSes are usually VERY locked down and minimalistic. I'd guess this is to make it easier for your general non-techie consumer.

 

I used to do Dell phone tech support years ago, and I recall one meeting about memory where some people from the corporate office came in and ranted on and on about top tier memory and strict regulations and whatnot. Of course then Dell goes ahead and will gladly recommend and sell you memory that meets the general specs, but isn't compatible. Left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

 

 

Question: Are you using CPU-Z to determine the actual speed / timings of the Dell memory, or are you just going by the label?

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Well No; ODM means Original Design Manufacturer

Ooops! Sorry RG. I know you have fast fingers, just figured it was a slip!:o:

 

SPECIFICALLY, IN CONCRETE TERMS: FOR WHAT REASONS MIGHT MODULES NOT WORK IN A SYSTEM?

It could be a number of things. The difference in the chips used to make the modules them selves would be among the top. Difference in density, voltages and so on.

one final question: let's suppose these modules do downclock, and let's suppose they don't downclock -- what are the consequences of the 7-7-7-20-27, which Dell shipped, versus the 9-9-9- that RamGuy is advocating?

It the Corsair modules would work they WOULD downclock. It will automatically default to 1066mhz. As that is the max supported speed your system can handle. You would have to manually overclock them to get the 1333mhz to run at 1333mhz. This is a limitation of your processor. And as wired pointed out most Dell BIOS's are very basic and will not give you the options needed to change memory settings

 

There would be no consequences because of the difference in timings. The CL7 Dell modules would be a slightly faster set. The lower the timing the faster. HOWEVER since the Corsair modules are rated for CL 9@1333mhz it might be possible to tighten the timings at a lower frequency(1066mhz) making them just as fast if not faster.

 

I have owned several Dell machines and they are the number one reason i build my own now. They use a lot of proprietary components that for what ever reason will only run on their machines, making them virtually impossible to upgrade. Not to mention being charged twice the price for half the quality of components you could easily pick off the shelf.

 

 

Of course then Dell goes ahead and will gladly recommend and sell you memory that meets the general specs, but isn't compatible. Left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

Ding ding, give the man a cigar!!!!!!!

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It the Corsair modules would work they WOULD downclock. It will automatically default to 1066mhz. As that is the max supported speed your system can handle. You would have to manually overclock them to get the 1333mhz to run at 1333mhz. This is a limitation of your processor. And as wired pointed out most Dell BIOS's are very basic and will not give you the options needed to change memory settings
Just to be crystal clear, if a Dell BIOS doesn't see EXACTLY what it's expecting, e.g. a SPD with a certain setting or whatnot, it may just not run at all.
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And nweissma this is my point; in that OEM systems can be UN-predictable with an untested configuration, but I have not seen as many issues like this with AMD based Dell's. In fact; I have never seen this happen with an AMD system as the memory controller is in the CPU and will read the SPD before the MB BIOS does.

Hopefully we have not confused you more than you were before you came here but I think bottom line you would just have to try it. Sorry we could not give you a more concrete answer. But if you do decide to try our modules I would just check what the resellers return policy is just in case they do not work.

 

Just to be crystal clear, if a Dell BIOS doesn't see EXACTLY what it's expecting, e.g. a SPD with a certain setting or whatnot, it may just not run at all.
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And we all know Dell would never do anything that was not standard or industry accepted right? :roll:

It's guaranteed to work with a standard AMD setup, but whose fault is it if Dell veers off of that standard?
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Dammit: you make it sound like a crapshoot! i am damn angry with rma's -- firstly, the return postage can be considerable; secondly, they are often a damn lot of trouble to re-package and bring to the post office; and thirdly, they look bad on your account ... this isn't the old ladies' 'home shopping club'!

 

but dell's 'system specific' is double your price : 4 x 4gb @ $30/4gb = $120 versus http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233190 = $70 .. ... but i don't want Dell's deviation from the industry standard to force me to rma.

 

and why does Dell deviate from the standard -- is Dell's decision technically based, or is it a marketing ploy?

 

there's no reason for a simple ram purchase to be so laden with trepidation; i am not a businessman: i am not being paid to make tortuous decisions!

 

notwithstanding that the choice is a crapshoot, do you, RG, favor my ram candidate for the optiplex 580 [ http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/op580/en/SM/MT/specs.htm#wp1112111 ], or do you suggest something else? what irks me is that Corsair's ram is CL9 , whereas the 1 x 2gb that dell shipped is CL7.

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Dammit: you make it sound like a crapshoot!

When it comes to OEM systems , it is a total crapshoot sometimes. The only one to blame here is DELL! They are the one's who deviate from industry wide standards the most. Compared to HP, and many others.

 

but dell's 'system specific' is double your price : 4 x 4gb @ $30/4gb = $120 versus http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820233190 = $70 .. ... but i don't want Dell's deviation from the industry standard to force me to rma.

Again, there really isn't much you can do. It is both a marketing ploy as well as technically based. Technically based because you are ftrying to force you to go to them for service and or repairs. And marketing so you have to purchase upgrade parts from them. As you have found out the DELL branded parts are twice the price for less than half the capacity!

there's no reason for a simple ram purchase to be so laden with trepidation; i am not a businessman: i am not being paid to make tortuous decisions!

Even so, it's important to really research any upgrade with any system. And any OEM system is going to be limited in when it comes to upgrades.

 

Something else to keep in mind is that with large capacity memory kits it may be neccessay to adjust certain system voltages and sadly the BIOS in your Dell would not have these options. This is another reason you should purchase your memory from DELL. If they say it will work i,and it does not, it's on them.

What i mean by large capacity would be kits , say,over say 8gigs and above. And even sometimes at 8 gigs it is necessary to increase certain system voltages and or timings. Without the ability to adjust the BIOS settings any thing you put in there will default to the slowest speed anyway! Thee is also the possibility that your system will not recognize all 16 gigs of the kit you are looking at without the ability to change BIOS settings.

 

Your OS (winVista 32 or win7 32bit) will not recognize anything over 3.25gigs anyway. That is a limitation of 32 bit windows. You would have to move to a 64bit version of windows to recognize anything more than 3.25gigs. Even then it has to be an OS higher that Windows 7 basic or Vista basic. Win7 64bit home,pro, or better & Win Vista 64 home, pro, or better would be needed to recognize more than 4 gig's

 

what irks me is that Corsair's ram is CL9 , whereas the 1 x 2gb that dell shipped is CL7.

CL is not all that makes memory faster than another. For example a 16 gig kit at CL8 may actually perform better tha fewer gigs at a lower CL. It all depends on what you use your system for. If you are just using "offfice" type of programs than CL wont matter much. But for gaming where you need faster response the lower cl would be a better choice. But again, since your system is not listed there is no way to guarantee they will work and potentially another RMA! Just more to consider.

 

nweissma, i really do understand your frustration. Like i stated earlier in this thread i have owned several DELL systems. I got tired of being limited as far as upgrade paths go and tired of being charged WAY TO MUCH money . So i started reading everything i could and learned to build my own computers. It makes choices like the one you are facing right now, a whole lot easier when you use standard components!

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Using third party components will not and cannot void your warranty. Worst case they'll ask you to remove the parts, that's all.

Been there done that Wired. I've had them tell me using third party components will void your warranty . At least that were not purchased from DELL. They never once asked me to remove them either. Just a flat out refusal to help once the original configuration was changed, they voided the warranty on the spot. . That was the last phone call i ever made to DELL support.

 

Same goes for OS's...

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You were talking to a moron. I used to work at Dell, and I know for a fact that it can't void your warranty. Their internal policy doesn't stop you, and there are laws in place to prevent them from saying that as well.
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You were talking to a moron.

C'mon now, we cant limit to just one. There were many!:p:

This is covered under the Magnuson-Moss Act and would be a clear violation of that law.

I wish i would have known that back then. But in the long run i guess i can thank them for opening my eyes and not buying their products anymore!:roll:

 

Anyway, i'll edit my post so it does not have that incorrect information.

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RG: firstly, YOU never weighed in on my questions; in particular, what do you think of my choice of Corsair ram for the optiplex 580 (links noted above) -- assume 64-bit, regardless of peanutz's assumption -- and why does Dell deviate from industry standards

 

secondly, i am a skilled paralegal; while i am not familiar with the magnuson-moss act, i will tell you that you should not depend too heavily on it -- especially since you have had no exposure to the law arena and therefore you will most likely give it an erroneous interpretation: i won't take legal advice from you anymore than i will accept medical advice from you -- and you shouldn't accept legal or medical advice from you either. ask a (competent) lawyer -- my admonition will be confirmed.

 

[i did not reply sooner because my display suddenly went dead -- troubleshooting was a pita. fyi ..]

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