Optiplex GX280, Maximum memory capacity???


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Optiplex GX280, Maximum memory capacity???

  • hello everyone, my first post :)
    just got myself a dell optiplex GX280 desktop/mini tower pc
    P4 3.0 processor speed, xp pro, 80gb sata hdd, 512mb PC2-3200 ddr2 (400mhz speed, i think)
    what is the maximum memory i can upgrade this machine too??
    and what would be the best type of ram, speed and configuration to use??
    this is a scan report from crucial.com-
    so bearing this in mind would TWO of these "corsair 1gb DDR2 533mhz" memory work fine??
    all i use it for is- internet surfing, downloading, music, pics, movies etc NOT really for games!
    so would 2gb of memory be suitable and faster??

    Thanks guys :)

    Message Edited by monkey magic on 08-28-200606:29 PM

  • Memory


    400 & 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

    Memory connectors

    small form-factor computer: 2
    small desktop computer: 4
    desktop computer: 4
    small mini-tower computer: 4
    mini-tower computer: 4

    Memory capacities

    128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB, or 1 GB non-ECC

    Minimum memory

    dual-channel: 256 MB
    single-channel: 128 MB

    Maximum memory

    small form-factor computer: 2 GB
    small desktop computer: 4 GB
    desktop computer: 4 GB
    small mini-tower computer: 4 GB
    mini-tower computer: 4 GB

  • anything beyond 512mb for your kind of use is a waste
  • Well I disagree with that. 1 Gig is good for many games 2 gig is great. 3 gig is not worth while and trying to get to 4 gig without emt64 now thats a waste.

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  • but he said it was not for games

    if he gamed then i'd have no problems recommending 1gb or 2gb.

    i still think 3gb+ is a waste...

  • thank you very much for your help guys :)

    i work in the gaming retail industry so i always have computer games, so i may well occasionally use it for games aswell you see!

    anyway, ive heard that "corsair" are one of the best memory brands???
    so would you reccomend me that "corsair 2 x 1gb DDR2 533mhz" that i found?? if not why not and which one would be better??

    i have this version of the gx280:


    its weird the crucial scan shows maximum of 8gb capacity?? and what does front bus speed mean??

    Message Edited by monkey magic on 08-29-200602:07 AM

  • the corsair memory is a "value" range ram apparently!

    does this mean its bad in any way, or whats the difference compared to a similar spec corsair memory but higher priced??
  • corsair is a good brand

    when i upgraded by gx280 i just bought some cheap Gateway/Micron RAM and it worked for me

  • hey you have the same model pc as me :)

    which size memory in particular did you buy and in what configuration??
    was it same as mine 2 x 1gb pc2-4200 533mhz ddr2??

    the best price i can find on that corsair memory is £120! how does that sound??
  • i upgraded to 1gb (2x512mb) pc2-3200 400MHz ddr2

    i donno about the money because I am in the US :P ... I paid $50 for that

    and yes i have that same model

  • yes it is true, i still use my original dell optiplex gx280, 10+ years old

    just replaced 2x512mb memory and purchased 4x1gb (max for four slots) ddr2, PC2-

    6300, 667MHz made by pacific sun at frys electronics in downers grove, il, total cost,

    $34, much faster on single/multiple window apps and web searching 

    if you still have this model, consider spending the $34 b4 you buy new machine

    frys return policy is 30 days, good luck!


  • I am also using a Dell Optiplex GX280 mini-tower, which accepts up to 4GB RAM memory.  I am running Windows 7 Pro.  The motherboard has 4 memory stick slots.  Previously I had two each 1GB sticks and 512MB sticks , total of 3GB.  It worked fine, but I decided to boost the RAM to the maximum 4GB by replacing the two 512MB sticks with two 1GB sticks.  Now I have four 1GB sticks installed.  All still works fine, but the System screen displays, "Installed memory (RAM): 4.00GB (2.99 usable)".   The Performance tab in Task Manager confirms there is 3,060MB of Physical Memory, not the 4,000MB+ that I expected to see.  Why are only 2.99GB of RAM usable, and how do I fix, so all (or almost all) of the installed 4GB are in use?  Thanks.

  • This cant be fixed because the system uses part of the ram in the bios shadow and integrated video. You do not get this ram back even if you install a video card.

    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here
    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.
    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.

  • Thanks for the response.  However, your answer raises another question in my mind.  Previously, when I had 3GB of RAM physically installed, the system showed all 3GB as being used in the Task Manager Performance tab, and appeared on the System information screen.  Why wasn't part of this RAM being used in the BIOS shadow and integrated video?  Thanks.

  •  When you have integrated video for older systems 4 gigs was maximum ram.  The bios and video etc are mapped to 32 bit address space.  Showing ram is not the same as being able to use it.  The GX620 which is the transition from GX280 also has this limitation. Where 3.50 gigs is max ram regardless of 64 bit os or not. You cannot wish features into 10 year old chipsets.

     The other reason to have this limitation is due to compatibility with 35 year old 16 bit MSDOS.

    Newer core I3 I5 I7 systems were limited to 8 gigs max ram due to the integrated INTEL HD graphics for the same reasons.


    There are other models that support 8 gigs of ram but they too never get back the integrated ram and bios shadow ram.

    3.25 Gigs is memory map limit with 32 bit addressing in BIOS.

    This means regardless of the OS you NEVER get more than 3.25 gigs.  AKA E510 DIMENSION 5150

    So these limits are based on the mapping of the BIOS and Video and chipset.




    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here
    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.
    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.