New Ram

Hello guys,
I have got a 3 Year old dell inspiron 510m with 512 ddr ram on two chips.

I am now thinking of upgrading to at least 1 gig. But I don’t want to end up with an aweful lot of problems. So I thought I’d ask for advice on what I have to look for before buying new ram.
Some questions that I have thought of so far:
What is the difference between DDR1 and DDR2? Will 2 work on my 1 computer?
Is ther a max amount of ram that my PC can cope with?
What do all the numbers mean? : SAMSUNG 2GB PC3200 DDR 400Mhz RAM 1 GB 2X 1GB DIMM
as in what does the PC3200 mean? What do I have to look out for here?
Is the Mhz important? If so why?
What does the DIMM mean?
Anything else that I should look out for?

the newbee :wink:

You can either look on your PC manufacturers web site and find out what ram and how much to use, or you can also go to the Crucial web site and they have a memory configurator which will help you choose the ram for your pc.

You want DDR1, not 2. DDR2 won’t work.
PC3200 means the same thing as DDR 400. (200 MHz clock)
You want the same speed (Mhz) as you currently have in the system, or faster. If it’s got PC2700 (DDR333) in it, you can use PC3200 in most cases, it’ll just run at the lower speed.
DIMM refers to the whole chip that you plug into the slot. Desktops use DIMM, laptops use SODIMM.

Suggest you go with 2 512 MB DIMMS, they come packaged in pairs. The 2 1GB Samsung DIMMS you quote above may be more than you need. But if the price is right, it may work out. Some older motherboards may not support 1 GB DIMMs.

As mentioned, the Crucial web site has a feature to look up your motherboard by PC model, Dell may also have a similar thing.

Crucial has this as a laptop, using SODIMM (DDR, PC2700) using module sizes up to 1GB - can use unmatched sizes.

SO is “Small outline” - the modules for laptops are smaller (and more expensive) than their desktop counterparts. Not just smaller in size, but the connector is also smaller.

If I remember correctly, DIMM is “dual inline memory module”, with at least 4 incompatible variants:

  1. SDRAM DIMM (PC66/100/133) - the first example of “full width” memory for the Pentium series.
  2. DDR DIMM (PC1600/2100/2700/3200) - Double data rate RAM - faster memory for new chipsets and CPUs
  3. DDR2 DIMM - another change
  4. SODIMM - small outline versions, probably SO versions of all of them - if not now, then soon.
    All of these are 64 bit wide, making them the full with of a 64 bit memory bus.

They were predated by the SIMM - Single Inline memory module, which had 32 bit (full width of a 486, needed two for a full Pentium memory bank) or 8/9 bit (used in 386/486 systems only).

Before that, it was rows of 8 or 16 chips, individually socketed!

Yup, a laptop, 512MB of DDR333 memory was standard. I really think that 2x 1GB is overkill for that machine, go with 2 x 512 unless the 1 GB SODIMM is cheaper.

Thanks guys,
this has helped a lot, and hopefully has prevented me from having a headache.

Thanks for all your help