DDR SDRAM Memory Upgrade: Memory Speed Options

I have a Dell Optrex GX260 1.9Ghz P4 with a 400/533(overclocked?) MHz FSB.*

 The Dell company specs for said model indicate PC2100 266MHz DDR for memory, but I'm wondering if the FSB speed means I could use PC3200 400 MHZ DDR instead. It is easier to get a module with the latter specs second hand, and it would presumably have some performance advantages, even if the 32-Bit CPU lags a bit with some tasks.

 Also, if I'm using the higher-spec memory, do any BIOS settings NEED changing?

  *There are two available memory slots which can each take up to 1GB DDR SDRAM. I am currently using one slot (Slot 0 or "a") with a 256MB PC2100 266Mhz DDR module. Other specs are available at :


 Regards TW
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
MOST systems will work fine if higher speed memory is installed (it's supposed to be backward compatible) -- but NOT all.  The best thing to do is to use the specified memory (PC2100), but a PC3200 stick will most likely work fine.   Note that if you mix memory modules, all modules will run at the speed of the slowest module (e.g. if you leave your PC2100 module installed, any other modules will also run at that speed).   You do not need to change any BIOS settings.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Zuhir ElgmatiApplications and Systems AdministratorCommented:
you can know from your motherboard specification user manual is u r MB accept DDRam PC3200 you have to make sure that is compatible with your system ... do u know i'm working here with the same one you have but it's 2.35 Mh Processer
Zuhir ElgmatiApplications and Systems AdministratorCommented:
JavaScript Best Practices

Save hours in development time and avoid common mistakes by learning the best practices to use for JavaScript.

Zuhir ElgmatiApplications and Systems AdministratorCommented:
Do NOT mix memory speeds, it more-often-than-not doesn't work if you do.  Stick to the speed that the manufacturer says the mobo can use!
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Mixing speeds is, as I noted, not a good idea, as it will force all modules to run at the slowest modules speed.   But it's not the mixing of speeds that may cause problems as much as whether or not the system will run okay with a higher-speed module than it's rated for.   Memory manufacturers claim their modules are downward compatible -- but as I noted in my first post it's always best to use the exact speed the motherboard is rated for, as some boards will NOT work with higher spec memory.   But in most cases (particularly with name-brand modules), higher speed modules will work -- they'll simply run at the highest speed the board supports OR at the speed of any slower modules that are also installed.   The simple fact is that memory timings can be very sensitive - and you never know for certain until you actually install a module.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.