Adding RAM to Dimension E520

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Adding RAM to Dimension E520

  • Hi all--
     
    I have a 6 month old Dimension E520 32-bit with 2 gb DDR2 RAM.  I want to add 2 gb but I'm not certain the info on this site is correct:
     
    667 mhz (5300)
     
    When I called the sales dept. at Dell I was told that I had the wrong info.  What I was looking at was around $60, but the sales rep told me that 2 gb would cost $259, whereas Futureshop would charge $120.
     
    I checked the manufacturer, Kingston, and they would charge $88, but there are 2 choices: DDR2 533 and DDR2 667.  I'm thinking that 533 is 32-bit, but that's a guess.
     
    So ... I opened the case but couldn't find any matching part numbers.  The sticker reads "1 GB PC4200U" and none of the other numbers seem to match up with what I'm trying to buy.
     
    Has anyone upgraded the memory on their E520 who can tell me what they bought that worked?
     
    Many thanks!
    Tera


    Message Edited by Tera888 on 09-09-2007 08:00 PM
  • Documentation for your E520 can be found here:
     
     
    The docs may answer some of your questions.  Your E520 uses DDR2 memory at 533, 667, or 800 MHz data rates.  This doesn't have anything to do with the memory being 32 bit.  The sticker in your case says that you have the 533 MHz memory presently installed.  533 MHz is also called PC2-4200.  667 MHz is PC2-5300.  I can't remember for certain the equivalent for 800 MHz, but I think it is PC2-6400.
     
    Since you already have 533 MHz memory installed you may as well purchase 533 MHz memory.  the reason is that the computer will run all of its memory at the same speed as the lowest rate of memory that is installed.  If you install 667 MHz memory the computer will still run the memory at 533 MHz since that is the lowest rate that is installed.  The only way to change this is to replace all memory with new memory that can run at 667 MHz.
     
    Crucial and Kingston will both work in Dells provided you have used their memory configurators to determine the correct part numbers.
     
     

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Hi JackShack
     
    Thank you for that clarification and those resources--that's really helpful!
     
  • Save some money and get a 1GB kit (2x512mb). The 3-4GB ram amount is a waste for 32bit.
  • I use the E520 mostly for Photoshop. I find that it takes minutes to save a large PNG file. I'm also noticing that the graphics card has trouble keeping up at times--and it is the upgrade. I was planning to add more RAM first, then look around for a new graphics card.
  • kpo is referring to the fact that 32 bit Windows can only see about 3 GB of memory.  Your machine will take 4 GB, but that last GB will be hidden under reserved addresses for the system.  In order to use all 4 GB you need a 64 bit operating system and a chipset that will allow the operating system to remap the memory to addresses outside those reserved for the system.  The bottom line is that 3 GB is about all you will be able to use so there is not much sense adding another 2 GB of memory to the 2 GB you already have.
     
     

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • That is good to know, but it seems that right now the 1 gb sticks are on sale everywhere, so it would actually cost more to buy 512s instead, oddly. Is there an advantage to the 512s beyond the price? Thanks!
  • 2x1GB kit-$87.99
     
    1GB stick-$43.99
     
    1x512mb kit (1GB)-$47.99
     
    512mb stick-$23.99
     
    $4.00 more means you keep dual-channel ability. I would think it's worth it.
  • Thanks for those links, kpo127! I'm afraid Kingston doesn't ship to Canada, but I can't believe how cheap RAM is in the U.S. by comparison. I'm thinking of adding to my old P4's memory too, but I'm not sure whether to match what's there or replace it (it's 3.5 years old now).
  • This is Crucial not Kingston and they do ship to Canada:
     
  • Wow, that is a really useful site! They don't have anything for my old beast, but I'll probably order the 512 kit for the new one. thanks again!
  • You're welcome