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How do I tell how a RAM memory module is configured and its capacity?

myron-szy
myron-szy asked
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Last Modified: 2016-08-29
Now as easy as one may think if you solution is to use a working computer.

I have ended up with a mix-n-match of different SIMMs and DIMMs.  Quite obious they are all memory of some kind or another.  As ALWAYS there is no indication on each module of the smout of memory on the memory module, how mits wide, how many columns (CAS) by how many rows (RAS) as well as that the memory timing is.  Remember some Intel boards?  You could put in a 128Mb DIMM and the board wither see no memory in the slot (board might not even start-up!) or usually only half that module's capacity.

Has anyone on this excellent EE got an easy and quick solution on how to identify the statistics of any individual memory board/module that does not not involve buying an expensive memory tester or other expensive means?
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Commented:
At least you can look at module/chips name and search for specifation.

Author

Commented:
Yes, I have done this and I get even more confused at the best of times.  In some cases searching for the details fails.  Is there so sort of book or database on RAM modules as there is, for example, the BNF book where one can lookup what medicines do what?  I might even up the points on this question to 500 for whoever can give me sources of information that I can verify instead of; "Just look for the the numbers on the chips on Google."  Besides, a comprehensive solution will be on EE for all to see, but AlexNek, thanks for the replty.

As this is going to be EE for all and not just me, there has got to be an easier way to be able to A. N. Other to look at something on a SOMM, DIMM, RIMM or whatever else then use some sort of reference to determine something like; "Ah...   It's a 256Mb DIMM that's 32 bits wide." ot the likes of; "Ah...  It's a 512Mb DIMM and it's 64 bits wide."....   And not have to get bogged down by the technical jargon.
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Commented:
Thanks sparkmaker,  You're guaranteed points.  This comment makes sure that I give you points.  I'm going to leave this question open for abit longer, so Mr. Moderator this question will not be abandoned.  Tha's in case anyone else knows of any other resources apart from HWID that can be a major benefit to anyone figuring out the capacity of a memory board.

I have noticed one thing that seems common, using one actual DIMM as an actual example.

The code on every chip is `Siemens HYB39S16800AT-10`.  Yet on a white label stuck on one one of the chips is printed:

SIEMENS
HYS64V4120GU10
VP/9806/E28427

Eh?  \-:?

Commented:
Part Number = HYS64V4120GU10
Description = Synchronous Dynamic RAM - LVTTL Interface
Manufacturer = Infineon Technologies AG
Number of Words = 4M
Bits Per Word = 64
t(acc) Max. (S) = 8n
tW Min (S) = 10n
Output Config = 3-State

--
HYS64V4120GU-10  
3.3V 4M x 64-Bit 2 BANK SDRAM Module 3.3V 4M x 72-Bit 2 BANK SDRAM Module  
Siemens Semiconductors
http://www.datasheetarchive.com/datasheet.php?article=1714172
Nom. Supp (V) = 3.3
Package = DIMM
Pins = 168
Military = N
Technology = CMOS
Top Expert 2007

Commented:
As AlexNek shows, the first would be for the singular chips on the ram module as it is printed directly on it. The second is identifying the whole Ram Module which in essence can give you all you need to find the specs.
Some older modules don't have the identifying sticker so then you need to do the digging relying on the actual chips themselves.

Author

Commented:
sparkmaker, you're right there.  I have 8 DIMMs sat on my desk and the one I quoted the label IS the only one that has a part code for the entire memory module.  All the others I only have the chip part codes to go by.  http://www.datasheetarchive.com/ seems interesting.  I did run a few of the other chip part codes through it and there were no records.
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Commented:
Here is a great page I found years ago but still relevent.
http://info.macserve.net/chipmunk.nl-DRAM-mirror/ChipManufacturers.htm
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Commented:
So far I really like the following:

http://www.idhw.com/
http://www.memorystock.com/identify-ram.html
http://arstechnica.com/paedia/r/ram_id-1.html

I'm going to keep this question open for a while longer to see if any more useful information can be provided.  I love the plain inglish explanation of the last two and HWID for bringing together information on REM chips and a breakdown of the part codes.  Would haveb been better if that page on HWID was a little more complete.

(Now a 500 point question as I'm going to be sharing out points.)

Author

Commented:
`datasheetarchive` is a little confusing.  It looks like a site where one purchases components from.
Top Expert 2007

Commented:
A little off topic but I like this presentation from Corsair that explains all about Ram and how it works. (not much on the Identiying, but long on ram info)
Credit goes to Garycase for finding this.
http://www.corsairmicro.com/memory_basics/
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Commented:
Already had HWID.  The one from EarthLink I came across yesterday following links from the URLs already provided.  I'm still reading through the sites given and then will give it a go in identifying the memory modules I have.  Thanks.  Anyone else got any more information?

If I can reap off of this round my head I might write a program where the chip coded and the number of the chips on the module are input and the result will be a a very user friendly result showing the size of the memory module in question.  Obviously to be released as freeware.  [=:
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Commented:
then by all means, post a link to it on EE - should be very useful
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Commented:
Can you post some of the chip numbers,  we all an cross reference the actual sites we come up with that have relevent info.

Author

Commented:
Been quite busy.  Not abandoning this topic.   Ok.  Give me about a day or two and I'll post the numbers of several mystery DIMM's.  What I might do is take photos of the memory modules and place those on EE.  What I will be interested in (as will anyone else to comes across this topic) will be how you (or anyone else who replies) determines and calculates the memory size in Joe Bloggs terms and indicate the sources used to detemine the DIMM size.  (Yes, I know about the sites listed above.)

The person who gives the best reply will net the larger share of the points.  I'm already committed to pushing points in sparkmaker's direction, but I would like this article to be more informative before I close it.

Author

Commented:
Sparkmaker, I have uploaded to ee-stuff pictures of the DIMMs I'm trying to identify.  Sorry that's it's took a while.  I'm a busy person.

View all files for Question ID: 22610638:
 https://filedb.experts-exchange.com/incoming/ee-stuff/3727-Q_22610638-0001.jpg
Direct link to the picture of the DIMMs:
 https://filedb.experts-exchange.com/incoming/ee-stuff/3727-Q_22610638-0001.jpg
Top Expert 2007

Commented:
Taken from the old chipmunk page http://info.macserve.net/chipmunk.nl-DRAM-mirror/DRAM_LGS.htm#anchor212911
1- LGS GM72V16821CT10K
                                     ^^---- Speed 10K = PC66 specifications.(tCK=15ns,tAC=9ns,CL=2,tRCD=2,tRP=2)
                                 ^^------ CT / CLT (Revision?)
                               ^-------- 1
                      ^^^^--------- Internal Organization:1682  = 2Meg  x 2 (16Mb chip)
                    ^--------------V = 3,3 volt
                  ^---------------2 = SDRAM
           ^^^---------------- GM7 = LGS: Lucky Gold Star

Author

Commented:
Thanks.  The chip numbers and decoding I understand, but still find it slightly confusing.  I'm going to re-visit those escellent instructions on how to decode chip numbers and determine size and see if I can peel the flesh away from the bones so it's something I can understand "at a glance".

With the worked example; 2Meg  x 2 = 4Meg and it's a 16Mb chip.  I've not yet managed to wrap my mind round the cryptic codes just yet.  Also, I got other jobs to do so writing this comment is actually pinching my time away from scheduled meintenance of two file servers, an e-mail sever and several other company systems.  (That's why it takes me a while to reply.)
Top Expert 2007

Commented:
No problem, its a busy world out there.
There will probably be no solution at a glance as each manufacturer do not follow a standard, and will have their own coding system for the numbers on the chips.

Author

Commented:
I'm still chewing the information from all those referenced web sites.  There is quite alot of reading.  But I am still interested in reliably identifying memory modules that ain't plugged into any main-board.

Sparkmaker, any luck with; "Can you post some of the chip numbers,  we all an cross reference the actual sites we come up with that have relevent info."?

Everyone on EE would love it if whoever responds indicated the method used to identify memory chip and module details.  Yep, HWID is a damn good resource, but it is a little incomplete.  At least it makes it easier to identify the manufacturer.

Author

Commented:
Thanks folks for the assistance.  If you, or anyone else, can come up with any other info in addition to the above then it would be useful.  It was a little difficult figuring out how to split the points, but my main issue is identifying un-marked and Sparkmaker, you provided a link to a good web site that assists in identifying a memory chip's manufacture and decode of the number on the chip so you get the larger share of the points.

Did anyone actually manage to identify the manufacture and capacity of the memory modules I photographed?

Author

Commented:
Closing note.  I like this document:
 http://www.kingston.com/tools/umg/pdf/umg2000.pdf
Thanks to nobus via the link http://home.earthlink.net/~mrob/pub/sdram.html

A damn good document, VERY informative, but only assists in how to calculate and identify the types of memory and not identtify who manufactures what.  Worth a dorect link in this question to the PDF file for anyone that comes across thos closed question.

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