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xKratosx

Finding out what RAM is compatible with my machine?

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Hi,

I currently have a Dell Vostro 430 which game with 2x2GB sticks, and I put in my own 4GB stick to take it to 8GB - it was a 4GB Crucial PC3-10600 stick

Even after disabling many processes etc through Soluto I'm always running at 80% or more of my memory (as I type this I'm using 92% of my memory) so would like to upgrade to 12GB. However I have just a few questions...

1) Would I be better buying 3x4GB sticks running the exact same memory, or can I just replace my 2x2GB sticks with 2x4GB sticks and it'll run nicely along my existing Crucial 4GB stick?

2) I ran Crucial's diagnostics tool and it recommended DDR3 PC-10600 and DDR3 PC-12800 sticks... but none of the 'super fast' (ie ballastix) came up, will my machine not support them?

Here's the kind of thing I'm looking at:

2x4GB to add to my 1x4GB

http://www.ebuyer.co...3d1609ds1s00ceu

OR http://www.amazon.co...62581739&sr=1-1

3x4GB

http://www.ebuyer.co...1600c9d3k3-12gx

OR http://www.amazon.co...62581612&sr=8-3

2x8GB to add to my 1x4GB to take me to a ridiculous 20GB!

http://www.ebuyer.co...p8g3d1609ds1s00

Any suggestions would be very welcome - I want to get the best performance possible but also don't want to over spend for something that may not benefit me... or worse, won't work in my machine!

Thanks :)

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i'd just buy (3) more 4GB sticks and make it 16GB

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Read your motherboard manual.

Get it from the manufacturer site or Dell.

Free download.

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I'd try to get to the bottom of the high RAM usage rather than buying more and more RAM which looks like it will continue to get filled up no matter how much you buy, Windows should not be using anywhere near 8GB RAM idle

My Win 7 uses about 2GB out of 4GB total with mail and Firefox etc open, my Win 8 laptop with 2GB RAM is using 800MB only

Scanning for malware would be my first choice

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^ See on-line the max. RAM it will support and what speed.

The Crucial scan is pretty reliable tho.

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Annoyingly, upon checking with a flashlight... I actually have 4x2GB slots. D'oh...

Also, from the official Dell forums:

Your computer Vostro 430 supports maximum memory of 16 GB with following specifications: DDR3 SDRAM , Speed : 1066MHz, 1333MHz (non

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As a side note, it seems really strange that your PC would be consuming 80% or more of the memory.

Unless you're gaming or running a virtual machine, it shouldn't come anywhere close to that with 8GB of RAM.

Sounds to me that something isn't right, so I'd check the process manager to find out what's using all that memory up.

Maybe post a screenshot for us and we can try to help you figure out how to fix it.

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As Detection has pointed out, what is using all the RAM? Do you have several virtual machines running, take a look at resource monitor to see what process is using such huge amounts. You could have something with a memory leak!

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Thanks for the respones btw everyone, really appreciate it :) And yes I'm running some VMs, and when you put iTunes, Photoshop, Fireworks, Windows Live Mail and a few other things on top my machine really struggles :(

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Thanks for the respones btw everyone, really appreciate it :) And yes I'm running some VMs, and when you put iTunes, Photoshop, Fireworks, Windows Live Mail and a few other things on top my machine really struggles :(

Haha, well yeah that would explain it. :)

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Thanks for the respones btw everyone, really appreciate it :) And yes I'm running some VMs, and when you put iTunes, Photoshop, Fireworks, Windows Live Mail and a few other things on top my machine really struggles :(

If when you close all those programs down, your RAM use returns to a normal level then yea grab more RAM, if it doesn't, then there could be a problem

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It does unfortunately :(

I'm confused about RAM speeds... PC3-10600 seems to be 1333mhz, and PC-12800 seems to be 1600mhz - my machine apparently supports PC-12800, but only 1333mhz, what?

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Sorry all, this is hopefully the last question I'll ask (most places reference a maximum of 1333mhz so I'll stick to it)

Am I better off with:

2 x 8GB - Crucial (~

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It does unfortunately :(

I'm confused about RAM speeds... PC3-10600 seems to be 1333mhz, and PC-12800 seems to be 1600mhz - my machine apparently supports PC-12800, but only 1333mhz, what?

Everywhere I'm looking I see it supports PC2-6400 (800MHz)

http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/dell-vostro-420-core/4507-3118_7-33782583.html

My board supports 2133MHz RAM, but only when I overclock, so everything I look at says its running at 1600MHz as that is the highest non-overclocked speed it supports

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Eeek, sorry - it's the 430 (I'm doing a really bad job of this eh!)

That's a nice site for clarity though, thank you - http://reviews.cnet....7-33985675.html

Yea looks like PC3-10600 from that review, you could fit the faster PC3-12800 RAM and overclock the FSB to gain the extra speed though

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Thank you, to be honest I'm a little unsure when it comes to overclocking etc (bad experience with my old AMD CPU!) and would value stability above most things...

(also the BIOS on my Dell is a nightmare, I have no way of even removing the fan warning that appears since I changed from the OEM one!)

I'm tempted by the 4x3GB for the triple channel memory, but damn it's almost doubled in price in 2 months! http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/crucial-12gb-3x4gb-ddr3-1333mhz-ballistix-sport-memory-kit-ebuyer-for-28-50-delivered-1432907

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Yea you might not have much OCing options in a pre-built machine, been a long time since I played with a Dell, I`m sure there will be people here who could help

Basically if you have the options, and only want to OC the RAM, you would raise the FSB clock speed and drop the CPU multiplier

FSB x CPU Multiplier = CPU Clock speed

I forget the exact calculation to determine RAM speed, but basically raising the FSB will also raise RAM clock speeds, but as I said above, if you don't want to OC your CPU at the same time, you need to drop the CPU multiplier as you raise the FSB

Example:

FSB: 200MHz

CPU Multiplier: x17

200MHz x 17 = 3400MHz CPU

--

FSB: 230MHz

CPU Multiplier: x15

230MHz x 15 = 3450MHz CPU

So now you have raised the FSB & RAM but maintained very close to stock clock speeds for the CPU

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Thanks Detection :) That's good to know... although again based on my very limited experience in the BIOS on this machine it's not something I'd like to mess around with too much :( My case is very small too with 2 HDDs and an SSD (but only 2 hard drive bays) a big graphics card, lots of cables etc etc so I want to keep heat down to a maximum really... I think for the VMs the amount of RAM is most important rather than the speed... but saying that, even though I have an i7 this machine is well over 2 years old now, and I'm very much looking forward to getting a new one sometime (with a decent motherboard, and some room to actually breathe!)

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Why do you think that using 80% of your RAM is bad? Are you swapping out? UNused ram is WASTED ram..

Now if your having to swap then yeah you need more memory, other than that why do you think your amount of RAM is the issue?

What do you think it should be using of your RAM?

Can you post a screen shot of your resource monitor showing your memory. How much have you allocated to your VMs? If you want to run more VMs then you have RAM for - then sure get some more. But I would also take a look at how much you have given to them - quite possible your have given them more than they actually require to do what you want them to do.

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Thanks bud, good point about unused RAM being wasted RAM but when I'm this close to the edge I definitely think more memory is needed! Pardon my ignorance but is swapping out virtual memory? I imagine I am using that as my hard drive often crunches away for very little reason and my computer grinds to a halt (I run VMs on the SSD, and my main OS on one of the hard drives)

Here's a screenshot of my resource monitor:

BYtw8h5.png

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Is that right Firefox is using 1GB of your ram - an 1/8 of your total? WTF dude??

Are you running VMs in this screenshot? How much are you giving to them? Can that be lowered? I would really suggest you look into how firefox is using 1.1+ GB!!

My firefox has been on all day.. With tabs upon tabs upon tabs open and its only using 700MB. You might want to restart it now and then, or change some of your habit ;)

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:D Thanks Bud... unfortunately I have around 80 tabs open (I use it as a to-do list of sorts, at times it gets up to 300!) and yes I haven't shut it down since yesterday (it is rare I leave my computer on over night though, so this is an exception)

I am running VMs, 5 of them with 800mb each, seems to be about the right amount for XP :)

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You need to run 5 vms of XP? All at the same time on your workstation?

Vs getting more ram, have you thought of putting that money towards breaking out your VMs to their own host running say esxi? That would free up all the resources of your machine to do what workstations do, vs hosting 5 machines that are doing what they need to do - but could be doing it on their own hardware leaving you the full resources of your workstation ;)

What they doing that they need 800? I give my w7 vms 512.. I do have an XP one - but rarely have a reason to load it and it only has 512 as well. So changing them to 512 would free up 1.5GB for your workstation to use.

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