01-12-2012 05:27 PM
Hi. I have an old Dell Dimension 4700, with WinXP, sp3 that I want to install 4G of ram in, When I run the Crucial selector, it shows either DDR2-667 or DDR2-800 are guaranteed compatible upgrades, but it hilights the DDR2-667 as "Recommended". Without the "Recommendation" I would have selected the DDR2-800. If both are guaranteed, why does the selector recommend the older, slower memory? What downside risks would I be taking if I bought the non-recommended DDR2-800? Thanks.
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01-12-2012 05:45 PM - edited 01-12-2012 05:59 PM
I previously owned a Dimension 4700 and I can tell you that only speeds of 400MHz and 533MHz are natively supported. So you ask "Why does Crucial recommend 667 and 800 speeds?" My honest answer would have to be that they probably don't make the older 400 and 533 modules anymore. Anyway, Crucial guarantees them to be compatible for your PC so I would go with their recommended upgrade of 667MHz. When installed, the 667MHz module(s) will be downclocked to the speed of the slowest memory installed. So, if you are combining it with original 400MHz memory, your new 667 module will be downclocked to 400MHz; however, if you go "all new", the 667 modules will most likely be downclocked to run at 533MHz. Same for the 800 modules as well.
If you think the above has answered you question satisfactorily, please consider marking this thread as solved.
Thanks for posting.
01-12-2012 06:35 PM
Thanks for the prompt response norepli. I currently have two 256MB DDR2-400 modules installed. After learning that the slowest memory sticks set the pace for the whole system, I had already decided to scrap the current memory, and buy 4GB of the fastest RAM available. Since both Crucial and you endorse the DDR2-667, I guess I'll go with that for all four slots.
Now, I've been reading on the Forum about computers not booting, etc., after ram upgrades. Do you think I should be able to just swap out the memory and go, or are there some things I ought to do to make the switch as painless as possible, i.e.. that the computer will successfully recognize the new memory and run XP on my old Dimension 4700?
01-12-2012 11:24 PM - edited 01-12-2012 11:59 PM
Hello again LShel42,
Because your Dimension 4700 may be nearing the end of its life cycle, I would be looking to get the "best bang for the buck" so here would be my upgrade options in the order of my preference:
1 - Buy the 2x1GB 667MHz kit and remove the 2x256MB modules
2GBs should be plenty for your rig (running XP)
2 - Buy the 2x1GB 667 kit, install them in the existing 256MB slots, and move the 256's to slots 3 and 4
The downclocking should not be a major performance factor
3 - Buy two 2x1GB kits and replace all RAM
Note: You will lose almost a full 1GB of RAM because of Windows 32 bit OS limitations - read here
I really like option 1 the best. It will save you a ton of money and you still have option 2 available (for free). As I see it, this should be a plug-and-play upgrade. However, some older bios's will report any change in hardware configuration and prompt you for a confirmation (I think my Dimension 8400 did that), so just be prepared to enter the bios and save the new configuration (if prompted).
One more thing, Crucial endorses selected upgrades via their guaranteed compatibility warranty. However, I support Crucial's recommendations because of their guaranteed warranty. There is a distinct difference there.
I think you are good-to-go on this one.
Please consider marking this thread as solved if you feel your situation has been properly addressed.
Thanks for posting!
01-13-2012 04:53 AM
Hi norepli. I really appreciate your response. Before I got your latest response, I had already placed an order for two 2x1GB 667MHz kits, i.e. your number 3 recommendation. I had considered your recommendations 1 and 2, but each kit is only $30 (not really a "ton") so I elected to go first class. Again, thanks for your response. I feel much more comfortable in proceeding after getting your comments. I've never done anything like this before, so I was a little anxious. But your advice rang so true, it dissolved my anxieties. Happy New Year.
01-13-2012 06:16 AM
Hi again LShield42,
Happy New Year to you and yours as well!
While you're waiting for your package to arrive, here's an installation video for your edification:
Thanks again for posting!