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Max memory for Optiplex 780

This question has been answered by natakuc4

Hi,

We have Optiplex 780 mini-tower machines at work, and for the last couple of days want to upgrade them to the maximum memory possible. It's next to impossible to find an easy answer to what is the maximum memory is for these machines.

Dell specifications - http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/op780/en/SM/SM_MT/specifications.htm - say it's 8GB DDR3 1066GHz

Two other documents on Dell website have 16GB as max memory.

Dell Optiplex 780 tech guide pdf (http://i.dell.com/sites/content/business/solutions/engineering-docs/en/Documents/optiplex-780-tech-guide.pdf) - page 9, and  Dell Optiplex 780 Setup and Features Guide pdf (http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/op780/en/SFITS/SFITS_Al/SFITS_EN.pdf) - page 7

Anyone knows what's the correct information?

Size - 8GB or 16GB?

Which speed - 1066GHz or 1333GHz?

thanks

oliver

Verified Answer
  • The MT will support up to 16 GB fine. Best bet is to get 2×(2×4 GB kits) from crucial for each machine. The part is here. Crucial memory is the best for Dell systems.

    The link that mentioned the 8 GB only probably just meant the USFF and didn't list all the units seperately as the tech guide pdf does.

    Philip Yip

     

    Windows Reinstallation Guide and Related Wikies See here for other wikies such as Customising and Using Windows 8.1, Dell Wireless Cards and Unofficial Drivers.

All Replies
  • The MT will support up to 16 GB fine. Best bet is to get 2×(2×4 GB kits) from crucial for each machine. The part is here. Crucial memory is the best for Dell systems.

    The link that mentioned the 8 GB only probably just meant the USFF and didn't list all the units seperately as the tech guide pdf does.

    Philip Yip

     

    Windows Reinstallation Guide and Related Wikies See here for other wikies such as Customising and Using Windows 8.1, Dell Wireless Cards and Unofficial Drivers.

  • We tried upgrading to 16GB, using Mushkin memory: www.mushkin.com/.../993770.aspx , and the machine did not want to boot, it was bluescreening, and we even tried reinstalling Windows, and it did not work.

    Why would Crucial memory work?

  • You were right, Philip, Optiplex 780 Mini-Tower accepts 16GB of DDR3, 1333Mhz.

    Our problem was that 2 DIMM modules (out of 8) were defective. In all the discussion on what to do, we did not look at the diagnostics lights on the Mini-Tower case, to tell us what's wrong. Dell actually has a very helpful diagnostics document, support.dell.com/.../diags.htm . We had lights 3 and 4 on, and from that we realized what's going on.

    Thanks for your help Phillip, and I am marking your answer as helpful, since you confirmed that 16GB has to work. Once we knew that, we looked at other possible troubleshooting paths that led us to solving the problem.

  • Glad you got it resolved, I recommend crucial because it has always worked for me with Dell systems.

    Most other users on these boards also prefer crucial as the Dells seem to prefer crucial RAM and there is usually less problems with crucial RAM.

    We have found that other companies RAM does not always work as well or some of the modules are bad or alternatively only some of the modules work and some users reported that they can't boot if they have 4 modules (non-crucial) yet can if they use and 2 of the 4 modules only.

    Philip Yip

     

    Windows Reinstallation Guide and Related Wikies See here for other wikies such as Customising and Using Windows 8.1, Dell Wireless Cards and Unofficial Drivers.

  • Hi NATAKUC4,

    Is there anyway to upgrade to 16GB with a 32 bit processor?

    Thanks!

  • 32 bit is limited at 4 GB of RAM.

    If you install 16 GB of RAM on a 32 bit OS only 4 GB at maximum will be read.

    You will need to upgrade the processor and switch the OS to 64 bit aswell as upgrade the RAM in order to upgrade to more than 4 GB.

    Philip Yip

     

    Windows Reinstallation Guide and Related Wikies See here for other wikies such as Customising and Using Windows 8.1, Dell Wireless Cards and Unofficial Drivers.

  • Thanks for sharing your expertise; it was very helpful!

  • Thats just corny.  While "crucial" is a decent brand of memory its difficult to accept a recommendation based on "it always worked for me".  Memory is a physical object and any brand can ultimately end up being defective.  There are quite a few decent manufacturers of memory out there and I wouldn't go out there and buy crucial just because someone said they like the "ring" to the name or whatever.  I've mixed 4 different brands in a single Dell system already and have had absolutely no problems as a result.  That doesn't necessarily mean that I would go out and recommend using four different brands, because it seemed to work well that way.  I could solder my own memory (and have) and use it just fine, so long as it was assembled with the machines specs in mind and done so in a careful manner.  I just want to recommend to all of the other amateurs out there (no disrespect intended) that you don't have to go out and spend top dollar on "crucial" memory in order to upgrade your Dell.  You can successfully upgrade your Dell computer with any brand of computer memory.  Dell computers do not have a "discerning" pallet and It doesn't have to be a certain brand at all.  Its simply nonsense for someone to recommend one brand over another. Memory compatability is a matter of physics, not opinion.

  • Its not just that its "always worked for me" but also many others on the Dell Community which have experienced boot issues with non-Crucial RAM with older systems especially the cheap "unknown" brands. You can look through the many other threads on the Dell Community Forums where Crucial is recommended after a user has tried this and the results with the Crucial memory have been fine and the cheap memory have lead to a booting issue or only half the RAM showing up etc. Certainly I won't recommend users to solder their own memory modules or attempt a cheap almost unknown brand.

    As you said "Crucial" is a decent brand so why not recommend it? Crucial also has the advantage that it has a nice system scanner, lists compatibility for most systems and has a decent warranty if used for the said systems.

    Personally I also use Offtek RAM on a regular basis depending on whats cheaper but I don't think this vendor is available outside Europe and for this reason I don't recommend it as a large majority of users are from the US/CA.

    If you want you can also get the memory direct from Dell but this usually costs significantly more.

    Philip Yip

     

    Windows Reinstallation Guide and Related Wikies See here for other wikies such as Customising and Using Windows 8.1, Dell Wireless Cards and Unofficial Drivers.

  • NOT exactly true, some of the Windows 32-bit OS version have the /AWE boot switch option to page in more memory than 4Gb.

    Of course most older PCs max out at 4Gb anyway (2 slots).

    Martyn

  • ...I've eaten my words.  I have run into major compatibility problems with 4gb chips.  That doesn't mean that crucial is the only brand and if you want an easy out then go with Dell certified memory, you will have to pay through the nose and perhaps your ears as well...  I am somewhat offended by Dell only certifying certain brands, when there are more economical brands that should be certified, as well.  As I find the ones that are compatible I will reply with the brand and part number, to this thread as long as I can.  I plan on setting a page up on my website with the memory that I find compat with optiplex 780 and another page for folks to comment on the issues that they may have had with memory and compatability issues, so that others may be aware of what they may expect.

     To Dell:  Most people in the world are not made of money, nor do they have trees growing in their yards with money falling from them.  I would think that it would be in Dell's best interest to find a lower cost way for the members of the "hoi polloi" (self included) to upgrade the computers they have bought from you.  In the future I plan on steering clear of Dell computers, simply because, in my humble opinion,  it appears or there is the appearance of collusion with certain vendors to fleece the common person of the money that they need to pay their mortgage, water, electric and other bills.  Do the upper managers of Dell know no shame???  Is there some kind of foul arrangement between Dell and say Crucial?  It looks like the kickbacks arrangements and all the crookedness of politics. I may be wrong here, but on the surface it certainly looks shady and it is cost prohibitive for many of us to upgrade our machines, because of the exorbitant costs required (support the family or upgrade the computer? Hmmm).  If you lower the price you will sell more and make more profit as a result.  High prices aren't always the answer to making profit.  Consider volume.  Consider happy customers.  Consider unhappy customers. Consider your business beginning to fail ONCE again...  Best regards to all who take the time to read this.  May the powers that be at Dell and its associated organizations and companies have a moment of clarity where they may comprehend the benefits of magnanimity versus the detriments of avarice, selfishness and greed. If I could take the helm of Dell I would turn it into a world class company that would make record breaking profits, the likes of which it has never known and quite probably, on the present course, may never know.  It looks like it will be a downhill trip for Dell, soon, if they don't change something here.  Mark my words...

  • A few comments.

    I really don't think Dell is making much money selling RAM modules. They make a lot more selling replacement batteries for laptops. I have purchased very good non-Dell branded batteries for $20 which actually were better than the factory battery.

    Dell can not afford to certify every option for add on hardware for their computers. It's impossible. Every company buying any component gets bids from their suppliers, and then generally buys the lowest cost as long as they work in their equipment. Nobody can test everything. If you buy cheap and it works, you will feel good!

    We usually recommend Crucial here because they have recommended and guaranteed to work modules for a decent price. You can usually find the same module elsewhere for a lower price, but returns could be a problem. 

    I have used el cheapo modules occasionally with good success. I've also had Crucial that didn't work, but were exchanged easily. I'm sure many users have been successful with low cost units, but I'm also sure some are not successful. If you look carefully at the cheap units, you will find that they may seem to be equivalent to more expensive modules but are not. Several times I have checked cheap modules on the manufacturers site and NOT found them listed. This is similar to many manufacturers of just about everything that produce "special exclusive" models for some major customer. These models may not be as high a quality as their "retail" versions.

    The issue of maximum memory allowable is more complicated. Dell had some machines that they claimed could do only 2GB. My E1705 was one of them. However, after many claimed successful use of 4GB, Dell actually changed the spec in the manual to 4GB. 

    Use of more than 4GB in 32-bit windows (of course allows only 2.5 to 3.5 GB available to the user) is just impossible; many have tried and all have failed. Years ago, there were some systems that allowed use of software utilities that would remap the addresses of things such as the video card so as to make the whole 4GB available to the user.

    Use of more than the specified maximum RAM in machines running 64-bit Windows is a mixed bag. It's not just the OS, but the hardware. You need to have a chipset that supports the higher amount as well as the additional address lines in the RAM circuitry. You will need to experiment. Some will succeed, ans some will not. Doing this experimentation is what a hobby is all about!!!

    XPS M1530, Windows 10 Pro 32-bit
    Inspiron E1705, Windows 10 Pro 32-bit
    Dimension 9100, Windows 10 Pro 32 bit
    Inspiron 660, Windows 8.1.1 - 64 bit
    Compaq DX 4370G, Windows 10 - 64 bit
    Asus T100 Tablet, Windows 10 - 32 bit

  • I get frustrated.  My Dad bought me my first PC, an 8080, in 1974. I didn't get around to actually putting it together until 3 years later when I was 13 years old, just after I got my Novice Amateur Radio License. Looking back on it I can describe the experience as treacherous, but I was hooked.  With the knowledge and experience that I’ve gained I find it difficult to understand why, if Dell can't certify the memory themselves, they surely could contract the job out, it really wouldn't cost a mega-Giant like Dell an arm and a leg to do so. Better yet, the memory manufacturers could supply free memory to Dell and one to four people could sit in a room filled with current Dell machines and test the modules for compatibility. It needn’t be a high paid position (The CEO could give up 1% of his yearly pay/bonuses to fund the department and give some deserving people an 8$/hr job.   If not, then simply supply the specifications, instead of all the hokie-pokie guesswork left to the mostly novice computer enthusiasts out there (many can’t even install an operating system if it fails-or configure a router properly).  I lack some expensive diagnostic hardware to get the precise specs on the memory required for the Opti 780, but this information should be readily available.  Or why not design the machine to be more compatible and less proprietary.  It seems to be, from my admittedly shallow view, to be intentional; I wonder if Dell and Crucial have some kind of agreement to promote crucial memory and if there is some kind of "money-flow" involved.  Certainly crucial is one of the better vendors out there, but when it comes time to look up specific memory modules for specific Dell systems, the cost doubles simply because the words "Dell compatible" are involved.  There's very little difference in the memory modules, if any- it’s as if the BIOS is written to accept only certain modules and reject others, although I highly doubt that is the case, there could be a system based more deeply in the hardware that could do such a process and it could even be made to seem not intentional.  Some memory modules are practically identical, yet one brand works and the other leaves the user to be assaulted by dreadful sounding beep codes, and a non-bootable environment.  It strikes me as odd.  But hey, its Dells business and if they want to maintain a “shady-racket” reputation then that’s their prerogative. I try to maintain a dignified composure. But I do get upset, when I realize people have families to support, bills to pay and they simply can’t afford to pay twice the going rate for RAM that is essentially the same as the non-compatible RAM or the differences are so subtle to cause one to wonder just what the deal really is. I for one will never purchase a Dell computer. I’m more likely to build my own PC from scratch or go with MICRON if I have to choose a brand name. And its all based on compatibility and ease of use. Who wants the 3 month headache associated with trying to find compatible memory for their computer, without the insult of paying twice the going rate for often inferior memory?

  • I think you guys are getting too emotional over this memory issue. The quality differences have been around for a long time, as some manufacturers strive to sell a very cheap computer, regardless of performance.

    Dell does test RAM in their machines, and then selects those that work. Both Kingston and Crucial (and possibly others) sell Dell guaranteed-to-work RAM which are not all that expensive. Not all RAM will work in all brands because of design issues. There are cheap, not so good RAM and slightly more expensive better performers. There can be huge differences in RAM quality because of manufacturing quality. The very low cost RAM can be quite variable with respect to actual speed performance. You can continue to gripe and buy the very cheap stuff and then complain about problems. Seems like it might be better to buy what works and be happy.

    I suppose many of you go out and buy $20 replacement tires and are happy when they last 10000 miles.

    XPS M1530, Windows 10 Pro 32-bit
    Inspiron E1705, Windows 10 Pro 32-bit
    Dimension 9100, Windows 10 Pro 32 bit
    Inspiron 660, Windows 8.1.1 - 64 bit
    Compaq DX 4370G, Windows 10 - 64 bit
    Asus T100 Tablet, Windows 10 - 32 bit

  • My first try was with Kingston, my second was adata.  Its no mystery that Dell certified RAM is more costly than memory from the same manufacturer that isn't Dell certified.  You know what to do with the tires.