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Subject:Memory
Time:08:37 pm
The computer I want to use as my linux / Windows box is a Packard Bell that currently has 2 x 512mb DDRs, Non-ECC, 400mhz CL3, PC 3200.

I just ran the Crucial memory test on it, and it says that it can take 2gb, but their site only offered me 2 x 512mb, which is what it already has. They don't say why.

What I think that they're saying is that it can be pushed to 2 gb, but they aren't prepared to give a warranty. Oddly, my current machine is much older and uses 200mhz RAM, but went to 2g without any hassle.

Anyone got any thoughts on this? Are Crucial just being ultra-cautious, or is there some extra risk of failure with this type of memory?
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nojay
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-10-20 08:50 pm (UTC)
I think you said the motherboard had four DIMM slots, with two 512MB DIMMs currently fitted for a total of 1GB at the moment. The Crucial tester probably reckons that adding another two similar DIMMs is best hence the 2GB total it quoted. I might have a couple of compatible PC3200 512MB DIMMs in a spare machine here if you're interested -- my regular desktop (an Intel P4 like yours) only has 2 DIMM slots but they're both 1GB sticks.

Can you identify the motherboard at all or is it a no-name board? XP can't cope with 4GB of RAM properly, it only uses about 3.5GB even if you could fit that much.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-10-20 09:09 pm (UTC)
If I said that I was mixing it up with the PC I have hooked up to the TV as a media PC, which has 4 slots but isn't nearly as fast. Apologies for the error. This one has two slots, 512mb in each.

Crucial's memory test thingy says it's a Packard-Bell Fraser, whatever that means. As I said, it says that the motherboard is capable of 2048 GB but they only offer to sell me what it already has, 2 x 512mb.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-10-20 11:25 pm (UTC)
I've just found this page which refers to FRASER motherboards:

http://www.offtek.co.uk/ModelData.php?stid=7&manu=Gigabyte&modeltype=0&model=FRASER+(GA-8S661FM)
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-10-21 12:13 am (UTC)
Just took another look at the motherboard, it says it's a Gibabyte GA-85661FM.
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heliograph
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-10-20 11:33 pm (UTC)
The failure might be that it can't address the memory. Frex, I've seen machines you can put 2x2GB chips into and it boots, but it only recognizes or is able to use 3GB of that.

I've never had anything but really horrific experiences with Packard Bells, so I would automatically assume the worst.

OTOH, I have no idea what a "Crucial memory test" is, so YMMV.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-10-21 12:08 am (UTC)
Crucial is a big memory supplier - they have a program that identifies motherboards and tries to tell you what memory you need.

I've just found some references to the model as being able to take 2gb, but I think I may leave it at 1gb for now and see how it goes. I'd hate to spend forty or fifty pounds then find it doesn't work!
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nojay
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-10-21 09:50 am (UTC)
That would be my suggestion. If you put enough load on it and it starts paging to disk a lot then a memory upgrade will be worth a try. Even if it fails you should be able to sell on the 1GB sticks for only a small loss as they are still in some demand.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-10-21 10:01 am (UTC)
The plot thickens - Packard-Bell just got back to me after 2 days and say it can use up to 2x1gb. But I think I'll still wait until I know if I need it or not.
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saranjeuhal
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-10-21 10:43 am (UTC)
That 3GB problem is due to Windows not being able to use more than that in 32-bit addressing. Stupid really.
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ggreig
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-10-21 11:22 am (UTC)
There's got to be some reason to move to x64, hasn't there? That's it (for most people).
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heliograph
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-10-21 02:05 pm (UTC)
Actually, it was on an iMac. We're running machines with XP with more than 3GB, so I don't think it is an OS restriction... I'm pretty sure it is a hardware thing. I'm not an expert, though.
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saranjeuhal
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-10-21 02:25 pm (UTC)
XP does have a 3Gb restriction in its 32-bit version, so even if you have hardware than can handle it, and it reports using all of the memory (which can be done with a hack) it actually is only using 3Gb. If you're running XP, you may be running the 64-bit kernel that allows for access to all the memory.

Here's a good summary:

http://www.dansdata.com/askdan00015.htm

It has to do with hardware addressing in the operating system, and allocation of resources. There's a way to get XP 32-bit to wean more memory, but that requires messing around with Physical Address Extension and isn't something the layperson will do. At least that's my understanding of it, but I'm not the geek I used to be.



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