Dual channel RAM question

I have a desktop with 3 1GB sticks and I want to upgrade to a 64bit OS so I can kick it up to 4GB and run dual channel. can I just add another 1GB stick or will I need to replace one of the sticks in there with a matching stick?

MrPete1985,

How old is your system? And which CPU (processor) and motherboard/chipset does it have?

Athlon 64 X2 5200+ bought it back in 12/07 not sure about the chipset, its an acer aspire.

here is a link to the PC

Is there any particular reason you want to switch to a 64bit OS? Because honestly you won’t see much of a speed increase with just 1gb ram added and a OS change. If you wanted to see a speed increase you can update your HDD to a modern one like one of the Samsung F3 or F4 HDD’s. Another option would be to keep your current HDD for storage and add a SSD drive for the OS and some software.

[QUOTE=MrPete1985;2583408]Athlon 64 X2 5200+ bought it back in 12/07 not sure about the chipset, its an acer aspire.

here is a link to the PC

Right now I cannot recommend a memory upgrade for that system because the DDR2 memory that it uses now costs nearly double that of an equal amount of DDR3 memory used in much newer systems. And the large memory manufacturers have significantly reduced the production of DDR2 memory, so that the availability of such memory will become scarcer and scarcer as time progresses. As a result, at this point you’re pretty much stuck with the 3GB that it already has. What’s more, your system’s early 1GB sticks are double-ranked - but newer 1GB sticks are single-ranked. That intermixture can lead to serious stability problems, especially in systems that cannot be tweaked at all whatsoever in terms of memory speed or voltage.

was thinking its time to either replace the hard drive or reinstall windows, it likes to hang up during shut down

I figured as log as I would need to reinstall an OS I could put Windows 7 64bit on it that way I could add more RAM and not have to worry about rootkits.

It is my brothers PC and he knows nothing about using windows update or updating the anti virus software, god only knows what is on there.

[QUOTE=MrPete1985;2583455]was thinking its time to either replace the hard drive or reinstall windows, it likes to hang up during shut down

I figured as log as I would need to reinstall an OS I could put Windows 7 64bit on it that way I could add more RAM and not have to worry about rootkits.

It is my brothers PC and he knows nothing about using windows update or updating the anti virus software, god only knows what is on there.[/QUOTE]

Here is the deal:

With a system that’s that old, there is currently absolutely no cost-effective upgrade whatsoever for that system. Either you’re stuck with what it currently has or you’ll have to spend a lot more money than what that system is currently worth just to make any worthwhile upgrade whatsoever. Thisa is because there is absolutely no current-production DDR2 memory available at all whatsoever than will work properly with that system’s existing three DIMMs because current modules use completely different ICs that do not play nicely at all with that system’s existing memory, especially in a system that has absolutely no tweakability at all whatsoever. In order to upgrade to 4GB you will have to “completely discard” every single one of the three existing DIMMs and replace them all with one or two completely matched kits.

My estimated value of that entire system is only about $150 to $200 total - but bringing that system up to speed would have cost you well over half of that depreciated value. At that rate it is not worth the bother of upgrading. It’s much better to start saving money towards an entirely new system at this point because that system is now very close to becoming totally obsolete.

thanks for the input, guess I will just throw the 64bit windows on it and call it a day

Well I’d do 32 bit 7 and all it a day myself as it seems to play nice with low powered systems and is happy with 2 to 4 gig of ram, mine did great with a old quad core 9600 AMD, 4 gig of DDR2 ram, and a older ATI 3870x2.
Was pretty stable and fast with that setup.
Now I have a 1090t 6 core and 8 gig of DDR3 ram and a 4870x2 and it’s maybe a bit faster doing surfing and like that and is just as stable, but I doubt it’s be happy with a low amount of ram. I haven’t really been able to stress test it yet but I do know I now need a even bigger power supply to drive the new to me 4870x2 at full bore with intense games as it shuts down now when I try to run Crysis, the 3870 was fine with it but also draws way less amps on the 12 volt lines. 64 bit so far seems to run all my older 32 bit stuff fine too but like everyone says that system is a bit underpowered now.