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Finding out what RAM is compatible with my machine?


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#1 xKratosx

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:05

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 :)


#2 Jason S.

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:07

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

#3 Hum

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:08

Read your motherboard manual.

Get it from the manufacturer site or Dell.

Free download.

#4 OP xKratosx

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:08

Thanks Jdawg, it looks like my motherboard only has 3 RAM slots though

(edit) I'm wrong, it has 4 - http://www.mrmemory....tro Desktop~430 - as confirmed by the manual too as you suggested! Thanks

#5 Detection

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:11

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

#6 Hum

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:12

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


The Crucial scan is pretty reliable tho.

#7 OP xKratosx

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:12

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–ECC memory only).


Almost all memory is 1600hz... argh

#8 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:13

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.

#9 Riggers

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:18

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!

#10 OP xKratosx

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:18

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 :(

#11 Astra.Xtreme

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    Electrical Engineer

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  • Location: Milwaukee, WI

Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:19

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. :)

#12 Detection

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:19

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

#13 OP xKratosx

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:25

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?

#14 OP xKratosx

xKratosx

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:31

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 (~£75) or Corsair (~£70)
Room for expansion if needed? Not sure if my motherboard would like 8GB chips

3 x 4GB - Crucial (£48)
The cheapest option, room for expansion to 16GB, not sure if this type of memory/my motherboard requires 4 chips though?

4 x 4GB - Kingston (£80)
The safest option, but also the most expensive/no room for expansion... still plenty of memory

#15 Detection

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 15:34

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....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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