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XPS 8500 Memory Problems


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XPS 8500 Memory Problems

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My new CPS 8500 had 8GB (2x5GB modules) and I wanted to upgrade to 16MB. The Manual show and system specs show the memory speed is 1600. I ordered and installed them with the new chips in slots 1and 3 and the old ships in slots 2 and 4.. (The manual says to pair like memory on 1/3 and 2/4) The computer "beeped" on restart and would not boot. I removed the new memory and noted the modules are 12600, not 1600.  With only the original chips installed, the computer booted fine but it only sees 4GB installed, not 8GB. I installed only the two new chips and computer booted fine but again only showed 4GB installed.  I tried all four chips with old ones in slots 1/3 and new ones in 2/4. Computer would not boot.


Two questions: 1) why is installed memory speed lower the spec's? and shat might be preventing the system from seeing more than 4GB of memory?

All Replies
  • Hi Clement703,

    You need to be clear on the specs of your system. You can use DDR3 PC3-12800 (aka, DDR3-1600) modules. Can you tell me EXACTLY what new modules you have?

  • New Memory is Kingston HyperX

    KHX1600C9DR/4G - 8GB memory Module / 2x4GB DD3-1600 CLS 240 Pin DIMM

    System Info reports 4.00GB DDR3(1600) / Memory manufacture 830B

    Configuration for my service tag says I have:


    Memory Modules that came with the computer are labeled:

    NT4G C85B5HGONF-D1 12317N

    8G, 2Rx8, PC-12800-11.10.B0.1600

    MM1280109E, XS


    MB BIOS reports

    Memory Installed                  4096 MB

    Memory Available                4032 MB

    Memory Running Speed      1600k

    Memory Technology              DDR3

    Is PC12800 label on the installed module still mean speed is 1600?

    There is also a yellow light lit on the motherboard right next to the first memory slot.

  • As I said, PC3-12800 = DDR3-1600.

    Send them back and get Crucial. Guaranteed to work.

  • I want to do the same upgrade, and the memory you used apparently should work.However, the manual says in Page 28 to pair modules in Slots 1-2 and 3-4 (they do interleave physically). Could that be the issue?

  • The slots actually pair up as 1 & 2 then 3 & 4.  But physically on the motherboard they are the 1st & 3rd slot and the 2nd & 4th slot.  The issue is which slot is number one?  I assumed it was the one closest to the edge of the motherboard and installed the memory accordingly.  But apparently it is the other way.  When I switched slots I can get back to 8GB. So I assume the problem is a mismatch in some spec of the two different modules.  I have ordered four matching modules and will try again.

  • From the slot closest to the processor, the slots are 3-1-4-2. First matching pair goes in 1-2 and second matching pair in 3-4.

  • I purchased four matched Crucial 4GB Modules. After much trial and error, I finally narrowed down the issue. The problem is with slot #1. I tried virtually every option of installing the four modules. When ever there was a module in Slot #1, the computer would not boot. So I have ended up with a module in slots #2, 3 & 4  and 12GB System RAM. When I get the time I'll test Dell's support to see if I can get this fixed...............

  • Wow, that's discouraging. Yes, I would definitely ring tech support. You might want to try resetting the CMOS. That sometimes fixes unrecognized RAM.

  • Hi I stumbled across this forum and wanted to ask a question referenced in one of the posts above.  My XPS 8500 came with 8GB Ram, 4GB each in slots 1 and 2.  I bought 2 more 4GB modules from Crucial.  Since I was having a hard time getting my fingers in the space to put a module in slot 3, I put one in slot 4 first.  At this point that little yellow light on the motherboard just to the right of the memory slots came on.  I then installed the module in slot 3.  The system boots fine, and all performance indexes report the now 16GB total as working fine. 

    So I'm wondering what the function of that little yellow light is.  At first I thought it might be an indicator that all slots were full, but it came on when only 3 slots were full, and I hadn't installed the 4th one yet.  Then I thought ti was a fault indicator, but things seem to be working fine.  Can you tell me what this light is for?  


  • So where did Dell put the 2 dimms originally? Or where do they?


  • I plan to do the same thing when my xps 8500 arrives and Newegg has some Samsung udimms with great reviews.


  • Hi 546insp,

    You'll want to check the manual for installation.