Vostro 230 Memory RAM upgrade - 4GB max? True? Why?


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Vostro 230 Memory RAM upgrade - 4GB max? True? Why?

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I'm ungrading my Father-in-law's comp and would like to go 2x4gb or even 2x8gb, but Dell's site says it's 4gb (2x2gb) max for this machine. Where is the problem? Does the motherboard not allow for 8gb or 16gb RAM? Is it the OS? The BIOS? Any help would be great, as the Dell Chat guy was a numbskull.

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  • Hardware limitations come in at least two forms; the chipset and the BIOS.  The on-line specs state that the chipset in the Vostro 230 is the G41 Express chipset. Intel's specs for this chipset state that it can handle up to 8 GB of DDR2 RAM, but only 4 GB of DDR3 RAM.  Since the Vostro 230 uses DDR3, it is the Intel spec that limits the memory in this machine.

    EDITED to correct inaccurate information.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • So is there any way Memory can be upgraded?

  • pfossi

    So is there any way Memory can be upgraded?

    The BIOS would need to upgraded to use more that the 4GB of memory, and the chances of that happening are very slim, as Dell only allows that option to their newer models.


    If my answer Was helpful?  Please let me know by clicking on the 'Did this answer your question' and clicking on the Yes button.  Thanks.



  • Regrettably, there is nothing you can do to increase memory beyond 4 GB on the Vostro 230.  As stated earlier, the chipset itself can handle either DDR2 or DDR3, but the Vostro physical and electrical design will support only DDR3.  Since only DDR3 memory will work in the computer, you are constrained to follow the chipset spec on DDR3, which limits capacity to 4 GB.

    Intel G41 Chipset  See entry under features on the first page; Dual channel DDR2 Memory Support and Dual Channel DDR3 Memory Support

    Vostro 230 Spec

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • I wish I had known this before purchasing the vostro 230.  I specifically requested 4 GB when I ordered it and instructed the sales person I worked with that I needed the ability to expand memory in the future. Needless to say I'm upset!

  • I am sorry that things did not work out as you wished.  You still have a very good machine that should give good service for a long time.

    When the time arrives that you need to update, or that you might need additional or other computer equipment, you might wish to post on the page "What Do I Buy", a link to which is found at the top of this page.  The volunteers who frequent that page will be very happy to assist you to find the computer you want.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Time is in GMT, if anyone's counting.


    Vostro 230; pretty slim tower, quiet as a mouse, Win 7 Home 64 bit, 4 GB ram.

    Thanks JackShack for your advice.  I will do what you say, which is to NOT waste time experimenting with 8 GB.

    Too bad.  I don't have a lot of windows open or programs running, and the Used Ram went over 60%, and Swap (set to 2 GB) was up to 25%, and I'm getting claustrophobic.  I don't mean to whine, but I think if it were Win XP, there'd be more free ram.

    I guess I'll try to remember that stability and memory management in Win 7 are superior to XP, there have been no actual performance problems, and I should save my claustrophobia for my therapist.

  • JackShack
    Intel G41 Chipset See entry under features on the first page; Dual channel DDR2 Memory Support and Dual Channel DDR3 Memory Support

    The specification states that, but it could be an error. Current G41 DDR3 motherboards all seem to support 8gb; for example,I bought an Asus G41 last year, and 2 x 4gb of GSKILL DDR3 was immediately recognized. The Asus is out of production, but this Foxconn G41 supports 8gb, too.

    It's worth trying an 8gb matched pair, as the cost is only $40 on sale. If it doesn't work, the memory can be RMA'ed, or a third-party motherboard like the Foxconn G41 can be swapped in.


  • Dont think it has DDR2 and DDR3 slots.

    The Limitation has to do with the ram type and

    Intel® G45 Express Chipset


    Page 20

    1.4.2 System Memory
    • Support for DDR2 at 667 MHz and 800 MHz
    • Support for DDR3 at 667 MHz when FSB at 667 MHz only
    • Support for DDR3 at 800 MHz
    • Maximum memory supported: 4 GB

    DDR3 PC3-10600

    Memory Type: DDR3 PC3-10600, DDR3 (non-ECC)
    Maximum Memory: 4GB

    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.

  • I have an Asus P5G41T-M LX Plus, which works quite nicely with 2 x 4gb of DDR3.

  • Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but thought someone else searching for this might find this information useful.

    I just installed 2x 4gb sticks in a computer I have in my shop and it recognized them in the BIOS and in Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit w/ no issues. They were not even matched sticks.

    1x Hynix PC3-10600U HMT351U6BFR8C-H9 N0 AA

    1x Micron PC3-10600U MT16JTF51264AZ-1G4M1

  • Good to know, Jeff. I'm not surprised, because third-party G41 boards support 8gb.

  • Yes it works in 64 bit, but unfortunately, not in 32 bit.

  • 4gb is an inherent limitation of a 32-bit OS, and was an impetus behind the development of 64-bit CPUs and operating systems.

  • Hi there Jeff

    thanks for the update on the ddr3 = 8 gb supported in the motherboard in 64bit windows.

    I was looking for this exact infromation when you posted today.

    If anyone is wondering; many of the vostro series support greater than the official ram maximum

    we have vostro 200's at work that can support 8gb (officially, only 4 gb supported).

    with jeff's confirmation

    the vostro 230s can support 8gb as well (but ddr3 memory)... The vostro 200 and 220 used ddr2 memory.

    For the slim towers; I can confirm that...

    vostro 200's have 4 memory slots and are ddr2 (tested to 8 gb)

    vostro 220's only have 2 memory slots and are ddr2 (untested maximum)

    vostro 230's only have 2 memory slots and are ddr3 (tested to 8gb)