Vostro upgrade compatibility questions

vbimport

#1

Hi everyone!

I am running a Vostro 1500:
Core 2 Duo T5270 @ 1.40 GHz 2MB L2 / Mobile Core 2 Duo L7300
Intel GM965 chipset, rated FSB 800MHz
Mobo model shows 0NX906
2x1GB DDR2 PC2-5300 333MHz (667Mhz for DDR2)
etc etc etc…

I want to add a new 4GB dual channel ram kit to replace the underperforming 2GB kit I have. Since my FSB is rated at 800MHz, I am looking to get a PC2-6400 2x2GB kit. My question regarding this is about hi vs low density RAM. I found this ram for a good price:

Product Details:
• 200-pin unbuffered DIMM
• Density: HIGH 128x8
• PC6400 800FSB
• 1.8 Volts
• 6 Layer unbuffered
• CAS Latency 4,4.5,5
• 4 Bank
• Off-chip driver (OCD) impedance adjustment, and on die termination (ODT)

Technical Information:
Memory Size: 2GB DDR2 200Pin
Number:1 x 2GB
Memory Speed:800Mhz

More Information:
Non ECC
Non Registered
UnBuffered
6 Layer
Non Parity

which I could get for $60-$70. I thought that (x8)x8 was widely compatible and it was x4 that you should look out for…but I don’t understand RAM structure yet.

I also found this RAM for a great price:

Brand OCZ
Model OCZ2M8004GK
Type 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM

Capacity 4GB (2 x 2GB)
Speed DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Cas Latency 5
Timing 5-5-5-15
Voltage 1.8V
ECC No
Buffered/Registered Unbuffered
Heat Spreader No

which doesn’t explicitly say the density…but looking at the picture it looks to have 8 banks on each side. Will either of these options work for me?

Ok, so more questions…this time about the processor. Is it possible to buy a new processor and upgrade with this hardware config? It’s Socket P 478. And I am kinda confused, as I used SIW and CPU-Z and both report system bus speed as Max 800MHz, but shows it running at ~199.5Mhz - that seems kind of LOW! Is this normal? Anyways, I would eventually like to upgrade the processor so I am wondering if this is possible.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!


#2

[QUOTE=kylezo;2107611]Hi everyone!

I am running a Vostro 1500:
Core 2 Duo T5270 @ 1.40 GHz 2MB L2 / Mobile Core 2 Duo L7300
Intel GM965 chipset, rated FSB 800MHz
Mobo model shows 0NX906
2x1GB DDR2 PC2-5300 333MHz (667Mhz for DDR2)
etc etc etc…

I want to add a new 4GB dual channel ram kit to replace the underperforming 2GB kit I have. Since my FSB is rated at 800MHz, I am looking to get a PC2-6400 2x2GB kit. My question regarding this is about hi vs low density RAM. [/QUOTE]

Unless you are all over what memory your rig takes, always use a memory configurator.
Go to Crucial, Corsair, OCZ, Mushkin, Patriot, G.Skill, Kingston…even Newegg has a memory configurator.
Plug in your mfr, model and model number and the correct memory modules for your computer will be identified as well as the maximum memory and type of memory.

Ok, so more questions…this time about the processor. Is it possible to buy a new processor and upgrade with this hardware config? It’s Socket P 478. And I am kinda confused, as I used SIW and CPU-Z and both report system bus speed as Max 800MHz, but shows it running at ~199.5Mhz - that seems kind of LOW! Is this normal? Anyways, I would eventually like to upgrade the processor so I am wondering if this is possible.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

I believe that your machine’s FSB is quad-pumped, so, 4 x 200 = 800Mhz.
I have a 800Mhz Intel rig and when I go into the system BIOS it shows as running at 800Mhz and Hyper-Threading enabled.
Do the memory upgrade first and see if that helps enough.
The processor upgrade is a little more involved if you haven’t done it before.


#3

Thanks, jflan, for your helpful reply.

I dissassembled my last laptop down to the mb and I am comfortable with opening it up to switch out the processor. I should clarify that I am just looking out for possible options right now, should I decide somewhere down the road that I want to upgrade.

Thanks for the info, too, about the x4 FSB…that makes sense now.

Crucials configurator offers me:

DDR2 PC2-6400 • CL=6 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-800 • 1.8V • 256Meg x 64 •

This is x64, is that low density? Does that mean I can’t go with the 128 x8? Of course I don’t know how this stuff works, but it seems to me 256 x 64 is higher density than 128 x8.


#4

See the posts by crazijoe :
http://www.techsupportforum.com/hardware-support/ram-power-supply-support/151526-test-your-power-supply-multi-meter.html#post396138


#5

Thanks for the link, jflan.

I don’t understand crazijoes info, though. He says:

“‘Standard’ RAM chips are organized a DEPTH x 8 Bits. E.g. 32x8, 64x8, etc. That means 8 of the chips make up a 64 bit wide rank (memory bus is 64 bits wide).”

The one I was looking at that SAYS high density is 128x8. Sounds like standard based on this. However, in a later post, he says:

“Most the time the chips will be individually marked “16x8” or “32x4” etc… A **x4 will guaranty a High Density module. A **x8 single sided module will also guaranty it’s High Density. I have also seen a double sided module that was configured with 4 chips on each side. Each chip was 128x8. This was a 1GB High Density module.”

This puts the memory in question as High Density. Also strange that both 2 sided chips are 128x8 and one is 1GB, the other 2GB.

Then, TheMatt makes a post that makes me think otherwise later:

“This is where you have to look at the configuration. High density 1 GB modules have a 128MBx4 configuration whereas a low density 1 GB modules use a 64MBx8 configuration.”

If 64x8 is 1 GB low density and 128x4 is high density, I would think that 128x16 would be low density for 2GB, and 256x8 would be high density. Of course I am making this up as I go along, but niether of those is my 128x8. The only time that was mentioned was in high density 1GB. Anyways, I’m still confused but I guess I will just find out what my system supports somehow. I found a link for info on my mobo so I’ll look through that. Would still like to learn to identify ram density, though.

Thanks again, everyone!


#6

The more that I dig into this the more confusing it gets.
Physically, you can’t determine density.
I agree that the first stick you list is HD and possibly from a generic mfr ?
If so, I’d stay away.
Can’t find detailed specs on the OCZ stick…would have to contact OCZ and of course use their configurator while you’re there.

This wiki may or may not help, but no matter, use a configurator from a reputable memory mfr as it doesn’t really matter if it’s HD or LD because it will be guaranteed to work.


#7

Hi,[quote=kylezo;2107611]
I am running a Vostro 1500:[/quote]Me too :wink:

Intel GM965 chipset, rated FSB 800MHz

2x1GB DDR2 PC2-5300 333MHz (667Mhz for DDR2)
etc etc etc…

I want to add a new 4GB dual channel ram kit to replace the underperforming 2GB kit I have. Since my FSB is rated at 800MHz, I am looking to get a PC2-6400 2x2GB kit.

DDR2-800 MHz RAM is just a waste of money, since the 965 chipset familiy only supports DDR2-667.

Secondly, you’ll need to buy and install a 64bit version of Windows since you can only use about 3,2 GB with 32bit Windows.

Michael


#8

Thanks again jflan…I did find this post elsewhere :

"MEMORY (RAM) DENSITY DEFINITION & FALSE INTERPRETATIONS!
by puicac - 1/3/08 4:32 PM
In reply to: Ram compatibility questions. by hobbes
Memory Density CAN NOT be used as criteria why would work or not a memory or to determine the actual quality of the RAM!

“Hi Density” versus “Low Density” is just some arbitrary slang for “I have a fake from an unknown memory non-working problem” just add to the confusion as explain further:
There is no accepted industry definition of “high density” relative to standard or low
density – is amateurish and an arbitrary terms to try justifying more a non-working fake!"

I was also told that my 800MHz FSB only supports 667MHz ram because of a limitation of the intel chipset (GM965). While that sucks, it does make my job finding ram easier (and cheaper!).

Thanks again!


#9

Hey mciahel, looks like we posted at just about the same time :slight_smile:

I am well aware of the 32 bit OS limitations, although I am banking on more like 3.5 gigs being available. From what I understand it is rare but not unheard of that Windows will go all the way down to 3.2GB. We’ll see, as I am sold on the advantage of 2 2GB sticks running dual channel together on my system, so I am still going to have 4GB total in there. Thanks for the heads up, though, and also about the 667MHz chipset limitation. Again, kind of sucks, but makes it cheaper, thats for sure!


#10

So I have a last question about CPU support.

If I want to upgrade the processor, can anyone tell me in general terms which processors my chipset supports? I know its socket P 478 pin architecture, and that my chipset supports Merom cpus, but does that mean that all merom cpus are compatible? Obviously it makes sense to not buy a chip that will make my computer catch on fire but I do want to look more closely at my options. I am thinking about a T7500/T7700, or even T8300. Are these reasonable or even compatible options? I definitely want 4MB L2 or better, and 2.0GHz or better. Is there something else I should consider that is a good value? Recommendations?

At this point as far as RAM I am looking at 667MHz 4GB dual channel kits. I am also looking for fast timings (4-4-4-12) and I found some good deals for around $80, but I am going to keep my eyes open.

Thanks!


#11

Hi,[quote=kylezo;2109969]So I have a last question about CPU support.

If I want to upgrade the processor, can anyone tell me in general terms which processors my chipset supports?[/quote]I’d suggest to have a look at Vostro 1500/1700 ot Inspiron 1520/1720 options @Dell website.

I am thinking about a T7500/T7700, or even T8300.
Should work. It’s not a matter of the chipset, but of Bios support.
You might ask Dell what the fastest CPU was, that could be ordered for Vostro 1500.

At this point as far as RAM I am looking at 667MHz 4GB dual channel kits. I am also looking for fast timings (4-4-4-12)
Forget the fast timings thing. Another waste of money here, since you don’t know how your notebook is able to handle these modules.
Additionally, if there is any benefit, then in some benchmarks, not in real-world applications (games included).

Michael


#12

Ok, thank you for your info. I asked a Dell rep in a chat session, and they actually didn’t even know what I was talking about…Apparently words like “Penryn” confuse them >_< But it looks like the 1500 does support Penryn, so that makes my life easier too.

Thanks again!