Dell XPS 410 and the maximum memory capacity

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Dell XPS 410 and the maximum memory capacity

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I have read conflicting stories online about my Dell XPS 410. The manual suggests the memory capacity is 1 gig of ram for each dimm for a total capacity of 4 gigs of memory in this system.  Now at the time the manual was published, 64 bit operating systems were barely in use and they certainly weren't shipped by Dell.  However, we also know after the Intel Core chips were introduced the hardware was ahead of the software.

Some folks have indicated the XPS 410 'can' accommodate up to 8 gigs of memory by placing 2 gig sticks in each dimm.  Is this correct?  Do others know from personal experience if this is indeed the case?  We know 64 bit operating systems can easily accommodate 8 gigs of memory.  However, does the Dell XPS 410 not only acccept 8 gigs of memory 'but' also have the ability to use that much if pushed in testing?  Obviously, even if 2 gig sticks would install (and read in the system that they've been accepted), does the XPS 410 really have the capacity to utilize more than 4 gigs of memory in the 64 bit OS environment?

I would be interested in hearing from someone who knows the answer to this question versus speculation.  Given the conflicting information I have read online, perhaps the forum moderator could answer this question for us if no one else know with 100 percent certainty.  I would like to know for future reference.  Thanks for any replies.

Scott

 

Dell XPS 410
Intel Core 2 Quad @ 2.4 GHz
6.00 GB Memory (Ram) (Dual channel DDR2)
Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)
Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT graphics card (512 MB memory)
Creative SB X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card
Philips DVD-ROM
TSST Corp DVD+-RW
2 Western Digital Hard Drives at 500 GB each in a Sata Raid Controller (Raid 0) forming 1TB

All Replies
  • A search of the forum can yield interesting results:  XPS 410 Memory Capacity.

    EDIT:  Forgot one thing; you need to read this, too:  Reported System Memory Less than Installed Amount.  The note applies specifically to Vista, but Win XP and Win 7 work the same way.  The practical effect of this fact is that you will always have a space between the 3 GB and 4 GB addresses that must be commited to system and hardware use.  A 64 bit OS will re-map RAM located in that space to higher addresses if the BIOS and chipset supports it.  The chipset in the XPS 410 is a 965 having an 8 GB max memory addressing capacity and it does support re-mapping.  HOWEVER, if you install 8 GB of physical RAM you will still have the hole between the 3 GB and 4 GB addresses because the chipset doesn't have excess address space to perform the re-mapping.  If, on the other hand, you install 6 GB as was done by the forum member in the linked thread, you will see all 6 GB since the memory between 3 GB and 4 GB will be re-mapped into the higher address space.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • I appreciate your reply.  You gave some interesting information.  If I am understanding you correctly, the XPS 410 supports 8 GB of memory when running a 64 bit operating system (with the latest BIOS which I think Dell published in late 2007).  I believe you are also stating (money issues asside) that the computer is actually better optimized at 6GB of memory versus 8GB of memory because the computer is not able to remap the PCI configuration space above the 4GB line if a person fills up the maximum 8 GB of memory.  That raises some other questions though such as having 1 gig sticks times 3 and then losing dual channel mode.  Are you saying it's still better to only use 1 gig sticks times 3 and leave one of the dimms empty?  Thanks again.

    Dell XPS 410
    Intel Core 2 Quad @ 2.4 GHz
    6.00 GB Memory (Ram) (Dual channel DDR2)
    Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)
    Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT graphics card (512 MB memory)
    Creative SB X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card
    Philips DVD-ROM
    TSST Corp DVD+-RW
    2 Western Digital Hard Drives at 500 GB each in a Sata Raid Controller (Raid 0) forming 1TB

  • Use 2 2GB sticks and 2 1GB sticks for a total of 6GB. Keep them paired up.

    Alienware Aurora R4: i7-3820, 8GB, 10TB of HDD, AMD/ATI Radeon HD 7800, Samsung 27" monitor

    XPS 730x: i7 920,   Replaced with an Alienware Aurora R4

    XPS 410: Core 2 Quad 2.4GHz (Q6600) , 6GB, EVGA 8800GTS 640MB,
    Single TV Tuner , X-Fi Xtreme Music, Logitec X530 Speakers

    Latitude 10 Tablet

    Inspiron 1720: T7500, 4GB, 120GBx5400, 120GBx7200, 8600GT, DVD+/-RW, Bluetooth,
    Windows 8.1

  • More accurately, the XPS 410 chipset supports 8 GB of address space.  The system needs a section of addresses in the 3 GB to 4 GB range which precludes being able to address any memory that shares that space.  You can install 8 GB of memory; just don't expect the system to be able to use all 8 GB.  It will be instead something on the order of 7 GB, perhaps a bit more, and in some cases a bit less.

    The XPS 410 has four memory connectors associated with a dual channel memory controller.  Each pair of memory connectors should have a matched set of memory modules, but you don't need to have identical memory in all four connectors.  It is perfectly ok to have a set of 2 GB modules in the first set (total=4 GB) and a set of 1 GB modules in the second set (total=2 GB) for a total of 6 GB.  Since the machine is capable of remapping the memory in the 3 GB to 4 GB range to the space above 6 GB, the OS should have access to all 6 GB.  Unfortunately, 8 GB is the max, so if you place two pairs of 2 GB modules (total=8 GB), the chipset has nowhere to re-map the unused memory between 3 GB and 4 GB.

    Whether you go for 6 GB or 8 GB depends on what makes the most sense.  From an economic point of view, if you find a sale on 2 GB modules, by all means get the 2 GB modules and just forget the memory in the 3 GB to 4 GB space.  It doesn't cost that much and you still have the advantage of having the larger amount of memory.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • That's some good information from both of you.  I have the latest BIOS for my Dell XPS 410.  It was published on the Dell support site on 12/07/07 and it is BIOS version 2.5.3.  Obviously, this version (the latest one posted on the Dell site) enables the system to remap memory above the 4 GB line from what you've advised.  You've also advised that there are no internal tweaks or anything else I would have to do.  Simply, plug in the higher memory sticks, enjoy, and forget about it.

    As for the pairing of the dimms, modules 1 and 3 are a pair, and dimm modules 2 and 4 are a pair, right?  Thanks again for your help.

    P.S. I did a clean install and put X64 Window 7 on my PC this past Friday.  It is running rock solid on my XPS 410.

     

     

    Dell XPS 410
    Intel Core 2 Quad @ 2.4 GHz
    6.00 GB Memory (Ram) (Dual channel DDR2)
    Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)
    Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT graphics card (512 MB memory)
    Creative SB X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card
    Philips DVD-ROM
    TSST Corp DVD+-RW
    2 Western Digital Hard Drives at 500 GB each in a Sata Raid Controller (Raid 0) forming 1TB

  • You're quite welcome; we're always happy we can help.  Looks like you have things well in hand.  Best of luck to you.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Hi Jack,

    Would mind telling me if I opt to try 2GB RAM x 4 =8GB in total in mine,

    Should I first put in  2GB RAM sticks in Memory Slot 1 & Memory slot 2  and  1GB RAM sticks in slot 2 & slot 4 to take effect of what you have described in your post?

    Once that has taken effect, I could replace the RAM sticks in slot 2 & slot 4 with 2GB RAM sticks?

    Or can I put in all of the four 2 GB RAM sticks in available slots and it will still work.

    I have the latest BIOS which is 2.5.3 released around 7th Dec 2007.

    Regards

     

     

  • There is no reason to begin with a 6 GB installation; you can go directly to four 2 GB sticks.  The only thing is that you will not see all 8 GB of memory, but at that memory level, who really cares?  Today's applications require nothing near that amount of RAM, and by the time the applications begin to require it you will want a newer machine that can handle more than 8 GB.  We were simply answering the "what if" question.

    If you have a matched pair of 2 GB sticks, and a matched pair of 1 GB sticks, from a traditional point of view only I would normally place the larger memory sticks in the lowest number slots (1,3 - though some boards label them 1 and 2 even though they aren't next to each other).  Ancient DOS based computers using single channel controllers used to take more time to switch between modules than to use the contiguous RAM in a single module, so you installed the larger modules first.  Most applications would then use primarily the first module to reduce processing time.  To be honest, I doubt very much that the extra time used to switch modules was really noticable, so it is a perception thing.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • I just thought I'd post a reply here to let you know I decided to install a pair of 2 GB sticks of memory in my computer this evening.  It was no problem whatsoever and my system immediately recognized the extra memory.  Obviously, to keep the dual channel mode, I installed one 2 GB stick in the first physical space, one 2 GB stick in the third physical space, and left the others alone (kept a pair of 1 GB sticks in physical space two and physical space four).  So I now have a total of 6 GB of memory.

    Had I not received this feedback from Jack and Dcgtis, I would not have known about this capability on the XPS 410.  I think what has added to the confusion (with people in general) is the fact that vendors cannot even seem to get the information straight.  For example, you can look up the XPS 410 on crucial.com and their site will advise you that the XPS 410 only handles a maximum of 4 GB of memory (1 GB stick in each dimm--period).  However, if you look up the XPS 410 on kingston.com, you will find that they correctly list the memory capacity at 8 GB of memory.

    Jack, i do understand exactly what you are saying in regards to the software not being able to take advantage of anything close to 8 GB of memory at this time.  Heck, even at 6 GB versus 4 GB, I am not exactly going to notice much of a difference.  However, I wanted to do this memory upgrade.....partly to say I could!  Also, I've got a family member who needs extra memory for their Dell (holds the same type of memory as mine).  So rather than go out and buy memory directly for them, I decided to upgrade my own system and make a gift of my pair of 1 GB sticks that I have now taken out of my computer.

    Snowshine, it's your choice as far as whether or not you choose to upgrade to 6 GB or 8 GB.  However, you may want to think about what Jack said in regards to the re-mapping issue and the fact that your system will never see the full 8 GB of memory as a result.  Good luck to you as far as what you decide.

    Thank you again Jack and Dcgtis for your expertise on this topic Smile

    Dell XPS 410
    Intel Core 2 Quad @ 2.4 GHz
    6.00 GB Memory (Ram) (Dual channel DDR2)
    Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)
    Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT graphics card (512 MB memory)
    Creative SB X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card
    Philips DVD-ROM
    TSST Corp DVD+-RW
    2 Western Digital Hard Drives at 500 GB each in a Sata Raid Controller (Raid 0) forming 1TB

  • Hear!! Hear!!

    Well said scott784.

    I have ordered my RAM prior to seeing this thread. It should arrive sometime today and let you all know of the experience.

    I lean more towards 6GB after reading the explanation by Jack.

    When I opened my computer I find the numbering of the RAM DIMMs are marked as 1 & 3 together and 2 & 4 are next together. So when populating the RAM I put the 2gb sticks in the 1 & 2 as marked but the DIMMs are situated 1st and 3rd in physical situation. If one refer to the documentation of Dimension manuals will understand what I mean. 

    I fully endorse scott784's statement with regard to Jack &  Dcgtis.

    Three cheers to you great guys.Yes

    Regards

     

     

  • Hi

    My system information shows RAM 6GB.

    However when I did the recalculation of the Windows Experience Index:

    RAM index has changed from 5.5 to 5.4? I wonder why could that be?

    Is that mean the windows 7 usage is less optimum than before in a pedantic way?

    Any explanation? Your thoughts would very helpful.

    Regards

     

  • Your computer has more memory to manage, and this tends to slow things down just a little bit.  Over the years I've read a number of articles in the trade that suggested there was a "sweet spot" with regard to the amount of RAM used by a given OS.  The basic explanation for this is that you are generally exchanging space in the virtual memory on the hard drive for much faster RAM.  As Windows works it uses some memory as scratchpad to help with shuffling data and executable code.  Most of this work goes on in RAM provided there is enough of it.  As the amount of RAM is increased, less data gets put into virtual memory and is moved around in RAM instead.  In general, the less swapping out to virtual memory, the faster your machine goes.

    The thing that folks tend not to realize is that you eventually reach a point when adding RAM that you get no additional speed increase because the OS is already using RAM for nearly all the swapping and the virtual memory is relegated to minimal housekeeping that will not be further reduced as RAM is added.  That is why if one has a Dimension 2400, as I do, adding memory beyond about 512 MB gives marginal improvement for most tasks.  If one is a game player, as my son is, installing 1 GB can help as it gives more room for storage of all the data needed to keep track of everything that's moving.

    It is still great to have all that space; you certainly won't need to be worrying about a memory shortage.  For 90% of what you do, however, the space will never get used.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Hi Jack,

    As ever you have answered very well and I am ever so greatful for you to have taken time to answer my question.Yes

    Just to experiment I just reinstalled my retail windows 7 x64 ultimate and then looked at my Windows Experience Index;

    My Graphics: [Desk performance for windows Aero]  6 

    Gaming graphics: [3D Business and gaming graphics performance] 6

     Have ineffect raised to 6.00 from 5.9

    [ The Memory RAM remain 5.4]

    I am mentioning these finding as for information. I do not have any knowledge on these.

    Regards

     

     

     

  • Snowshine, since you have the same Dell model as me, I thought I'd share my Windows Experience Index Score. My overall base score is 5.9.  Whatever component gets the lowest individual score, becomes 'the base score' for your system under the Windows Experience Index Score.  the base score is not an average of each component measured.  Anyway, my individual scores are below.  Again, my base score is 5.9 because of my hard dirve receiving the lowest of each individual score measured.

    Here are mine:

    Processor: 7.1

    Memory (ram) 7.1 (this bumped off from 5.9 to 7.1 after I upgraded from 4GB of ram to 6GB of ram)

    Graphics: 6.9

    Gaming Graphics: 6.9

    Disk date transfer rate: 5.9

    So you can see (in my case), my hard drives (I've got a pair of two running together in a raid 0 array)) are what's holding my score at 5.9.

    I wouldn't read TOO much into these scores.  They are interesting to read and make note of but there are other factors too that will determine the overall usability of any computer beyond these criteria that MS came up with for a scoring system. 

    BTW, my harddrive(s) are the original factory instaled in December 2006.  They are Hard Drive, 250G, S2, 7.2K, 3.5 WD-HAWK.

    Now, whether or not my computer would benefit from a newer hard drive, I am not sure.  Jack might could answer that question.  I haven't thought about it much since the 500 GB space has been sufficient (2 250 GB drives running in a raid 0 array for a total of 500 GB hard drive space).

     

    Dell XPS 410
    Intel Core 2 Quad @ 2.4 GHz
    6.00 GB Memory (Ram) (Dual channel DDR2)
    Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)
    Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT graphics card (512 MB memory)
    Creative SB X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card
    Philips DVD-ROM
    TSST Corp DVD+-RW
    2 Western Digital Hard Drives at 500 GB each in a Sata Raid Controller (Raid 0) forming 1TB

  • Scot784,

    Thank you for sharing the values.

    I am in total agreement with your statement above. 

    Mine used at home by 4 indiviuals, two of them are minors.

    The children are interested in playing few games and wife & children watching few missed TV programs on iplayer.

    Now since the increase of my RAM from 4GB to 6GB , the play back of TV series are better quality than before though the improvement is minimal.

    So all in all, the Dimension 9200 is very hardy and took on all my changes to it  without any "grumble". I may run out of luck shortly!! 

    Changed from MCE to Vista x32 HP to Vista x64 Ultimate to finally Windows 7 x64 Ultimate.

    Learned a lot as to how to install an OS followed by drivers along with it. Only change I made to the hardware is changing the RAM. 

    Like Jack said now I shall wait for my next purchase [that will be few years from now] to have extra power in computing. The present one serves the purpose well over and above our present expectation and need.

    Regards