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Simple DDR RAM question

Posted on 2006-11-16
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I have a friend who I'm about to replace a motherboard for.  I just want to make sure I don't screw this up, cause I have a tendency to do that with other people's computers...

He currently has a Dell Dimension 4600 with the following specs

Motherboard - Dell Part #2Y832
-Support for an Intel® Pentium® 4 processor in a mPGA478 socket with a 533/800 MHz system bus
- Four 184-pin DDR SDRAM DIMM sockets - Dual Channel
- Support for DDR 400, DDR 333, and DDR 266

Processor - Dell Part #D1522
-P4, 80532, 2.66G, 512, 533, SOCKET N, DECISION ONE

Memory - Dell Part #U3420
-2x DUAL IN-LINE MEMORY MODULE, 256, 333M, 32X64, 8K, 184

Newegg only has one board that is labeled for PC2700 RAM, which is what he has if I'm not mistaken.  So, if I buy a board that is for PC3200 RAM, will his memory and processor work on it?  Here is the board I would like to buy assuming it fits in his Dell case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131527

It says it supports P4 Prescott, but his is just a regular P4

Also I'm not sure about his current RAM being just PC2700 working on this PC3200 board.  
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Question by:mdcpw
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6 Comments
 
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by:PUNKY
ID: 17960357
The Mobo will not fir in Dell case.
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WmOfTewks earned 100 total points
ID: 17960389
It's all about sockets.  Generally, if it fits, it works.  Your memory will be no problem.  When the MoBo says it's good for PC3200, it means anything up to that speed.  PC2700 being slower will work.

If the sockets are the same for the CPU (on the CPU AND mobo), then you're OK.  Prescott is an internal architecture.
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by:Callandor
ID: 17960413
P4 Prescott boards support more processors than P4 boards.  Asus is a good brand and should have options in the BIOS for adjusting to different speeds, and it states that it supports 800/533 FSB, which is a good indication that it will support slower RAM speeds.  His cpu is a P4 2.66, so the motherboard FSB will run at 133.
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by:Mark
ID: 17961276
If you change the motherboard for a NON OEM board, be aware that the OEM Dell XP disc won't install on the new board as it has SLP(System Locked Preinstallation) protection that is tied to the OEM Bios of the Dell motherboard.
If you install a non OEM motherboard then you will need a retail version of XP.
Punky also has a point with the fitting of the motherboard in the dell case. Dell has been known to change a few small items on there boards to discourage this .
Check that the old motherboard has standard hole placement for the screws that hold it in the case, check if the connectors for the keyboard mouse etc on the back are standard placement. I don't believe the 4600 used a propriatory PSU, but check that as well.
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Author Comment

by:mdcpw
ID: 17961636
thanks for the tips, all.  WmOfTewks has the info that I was really looking for.  The size of the board was the next thing on my list, but I wanted to make sure that I was looking at compatible boards so I wouldn't waste my time.
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 17961972
The only truly compatible boards for Dell computers are OEM dell motherboards. You will find the long tentacles of propriatory  hardware, with most of the large brand name companies. Be aware of the pitfalls when dealing with the big OEM's.
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