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#1 Denis W.

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:21

So I'm trying to get my old 2002-era Sony VAIO PCV-RX755 computer to be a XBMC HTPC. Reason being is, I gave up on using Windows Media Center after finding that Media Center would lock up whenever I access its music library if I'm using a disc emulator to load many DVD ISOs as movies. XBMC works well with handling movies, though it appears to have trouble on Windows 7 32-bit with 1 GB of RAM. Accessing the Movies library will send memory usage soaring to the point where excessive paging happens, bringing the entire system to a halt. (I've tried using XBMC in Linux and this does not happen there - however the machine has trouble resuming from sleep and it can't use the MCE remote properly, so I've ruled out Linux. I've also tried XP and it too has problems with the MCE remote.)

 

Clearly it seems I need more memory for this system. Problem is it takes only DDR sticks, and according to the user's manual, there are 3 slots which accept a max of 512 MB each, for a total of 1.5 GB of RAM. But if I lookup the computer's chipset (SiS 650), according to this link the chipset can handle up to 3 GB of RAM.

 

Therefore, my question: if I were to buy three 1 GB DDR sticks and max out the slots in this computer, it should still be good to go since the chipset can handle it?




#2 Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:26

Well, I've no experience regarding the Vaio computers

 

but my first (modern-ish) pc was an old gateway 1 gig Athlon with 256k ram, (windows me, later upgraded to xp)

it had a similar set up, (space for 3 ram cards) I added 3 x 1 gig cards no problem the only thing I noticed on that machine was it ran a little hotter, but nothing more serious than that

(irony of this was I had more ram than processor at the time)



#3 Torolol

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:32

but you must also look if pin for RAM <--> chipset <--> CPU were properly connected in the motherboard ...



#4 +goretsky

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:45

Hello,

 

Crucial reports that the Sony VAIO PCV-RX750 series only goes up to 1.5GB of RAM using three 512MB modules.

 

It may be that the motherboard+chipset+BIOS in the SONY VAIO PCV-RX755 all work together to support 1GB sticks, however, I would suggest first updating the BIOS to the latest version before installing a 1GB DIMM in the motherboard.  Just in case it does not work, though, be sure to order the memory from a reputable dealer with a good return policy, so in case the RAM doesn't work, you can return it.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky



#5 zhangm

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:55

You may consider trying out a 1 GB module just to see whether it works (borrow it from someone?).

In my experience, some manufacturers (Dell and Lenovo) place a RAM limit in the BIOS that does not reflect what the hardware is capable of supporting.

#6 Devmer11

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:18

i'd go with checking for upgraded Bios first then find a friend or other system and do a quick test



#7 +snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:19

Seems to me it just won't take 1GB modules based on the manual. I wouldn't try it without testing a single module. If it isn't hardcoded to not support anything more than 1.5G, it may still not work. One of the guys where I work has a board that will officially only take up to 12GB for example, but if you get a certain models of ram and play with timings you can push it to operate at 24GB (someone literally just trial and errored RAM with that board until it worked). The point I'm making is that perhaps the reason it is listed as supporting only 1.5GB is something along those lines.



#8 Fahim S.

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 09:42

My experience is that you can often take big name machines to double what is quoted by the manufacturer as the maximum memory.

 

I have couple of machines which confirm this, although none are Vaio's.  My Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11 has a quoted maximum of 4GB and is currently running 8GB.  My HP Microserver has a quoted maximum of 8GB but is currently running 16GB.

 

I also have a Dell Dimension 9200 from 2007, which has a quoted maximum of 4GB.  Mine runs 4GB but I have read several reports online of people putting 8GB in them.

 

This is not to say that the Vaio will support an upgrade beyond 1.5GB but I wouldn't but absolute credence in what has been quoted by the manufacturer.



#9 duddit2

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 10:11

I want to try with my Lenovo Z580 (Max 8GB) currently running 2 x 4GB sticks, I want 2 x 8GB sticks, will report back if this works.



#10 Ambroos

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 10:54

You might actually be off cheaper just purchasing a Raspberry Pi and putting OpenELEC on it. Streams everything (even high-bitrate 1080p) wonderfully, uses very little power and is extremely easy to set up!



#11 OP Denis W.

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 07:52

Update: I finally got around to purchasing a 1 GB Corsair Value Select stick (one of the handful of DDR sticks still left for sale in this shop).

 

Good news: the BIOS recognizes all 2 GB of memory. (Y)

Bad news: Windows 7 BSOD'd. Memtest86 came up with lots of errors with all three sticks installed. It's probably the stick I just bought today. Currently testing with just this stick installed to see if this is the case.

 

You might actually be off cheaper just purchasing a Raspberry Pi and putting OpenELEC on it. Streams everything (even high-bitrate 1080p) wonderfully, uses very little power and is extremely easy to set up!

 

Two problems with that: one, the Media Center remote I have didn't work too well in Linux. To make it work with XBMC there's this script available for Windows that modifies keymappings on the remote. And two, I'm reluctant to chuck away a working system.



#12 Ambroos

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 09:42

I just use my TV's remote with my Raspberry Pi, it has perfect CEC support...

 

I get that you don't want to throw away a working system but there might be better uses for it than using it as a media center.



#13 OP Denis W.

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 09:45

Alright, so final conclusion: the system doesn't play nice with more than 1.5 GB installed. The BIOS will pick it up but strange things happen if there is 2 GB of RAM installed. Windows either BSOD's on start, safe mode bootup will hang, a stick of RAM will mysteriously not show up in BIOS, etc. The memtests for all 3 sticks passed as I tested them in different configs.

 

In any case the system boots fine with the newly bought 1 GB stick + an existing 512 MB stick.

 

I just use my TV's remote with my Raspberry Pi, it has perfect CEC support...

 

I get that you don't want to throw away a working system but there might be better uses for it than using it as a media center.

 

There really isn't; this is really a surplus computer :p I actually have an iMito MX2 device (kinda similar to a Raspberry Pi) that I use as a low energy server. But yeah, I'm really not in a mood for buying new hardware at the moment so this was really the cheapest fix.



#14 +InsaneNutter

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 09:50

Two problems with that: one, the Media Center remote I have didn't work too well in Linux. To make it work with XBMC there's this script available for Windows that modifies keymappings on the remote. And two, I'm reluctant to chuck away a working system.


If you install XBMCbuntu the Windows Media Center remote works out the box with no additional config required.

 

I run XBMCuntu on a 1.6ghz Single Core Intel Atom, with 1gb of ram and the Nvidia Ion GPU. Even with 256mb of ram been assigned to the GPU i still have 500mb+ free most of the time. I can wake and make the PC sleep with the Media Center remote too.

 

Certainly something to consider if all else fails.



#15 OP Denis W.

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 10:24

If you install XBMCbuntu the Windows Media Center remote works out the box with no additional config required.

 

I run XBMCuntu on a 1.6ghz Single Core Intel Atom, with 1gb of ram and the Nvidia Ion GPU. Even with 256mb of ram been assigned to the GPU i still have 500mb+ free most of the time. I can wake and make the PC sleep with the Media Center remote too.

 

Certainly something to consider if all else fails.

 

That I didn't know! Thanks, will try that. The ability to sleep and wake the system properly is a must; when I tried XBMC + Xubuntu the system had trouble waking up from sleep.

 

I've just about given up on XBMC on Windows 7 since it turns out it wasn't the issue that I had 1 GB of memory, but that there's a memory leak that is still not resolved in the version 13 betas.