HP Pavilion 522c Memory Upgrade question

Posted on 2007-07-23
Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I'm trying to help a friend upgrade her HP's RAM, and hopefully speedup the computer somewhat.  I researched the motherboard using Belarc Advisor to get the spec's, and find this:

480 Megabytes Installed Memory
Slot 'A0' has 256 MB
Slot 'A1' has 256 MB

The machine only has two memory card slots.  I used's tool to find out what memory to order, and planned on ordering a 512mb card for the machine.  

Now here's my question.  Why does the machine show only 480mb of memory installed, when it has 2x256mb cards installed?  Per H-P's website, researching the MS-6367 motherboard (Board: MICRO-STAR INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD MS-6367 from Belarc), the motherboard should have two slots, and a max capability of 1gb of RAM.

Is it possible that 'part' of one of the current memory cards (32mb worth) is bad, and it's only reading part of it?  Or is perhaps one card really only 224mb rather than the stated size?  I'm hesitant to order a 512mb card, unless there is a 99.999% chance that it will successfully read it, and give her the intended 768mb, which I'm hoping will boost the computer's performance.  I have seen in the past where the actual read value of ram is more/less than the stated size, but it was usually a whole lot closer than this.

I've already taken the computer home for 2 days and uninstalled several junk programs, ran scan disk twice, defragged, ran SFC, windows update, installed a few anti-spyware and anti-adware applications (ie Ad-Aware, Spyware Blaster, etc) and scanned and removed a lot of junk, etc, in an attempt to speed this ponderous beast up a bit.

Here is the link to the HP website addressing this motherboard (specifications):

Another discrepancy I noticed was that the HP  spec page says:
Proc. Front Side Bus Freq.        266/200MHz,

while the Belarc Advisor states:
Bus Clock: 133 megahertz.

Are these actually two different ratings, or could the machine be under clocked?  

I've only fooled around with this type of stuff a bit, so I basically know enough to be dangerous.  Hoping someone here can help find a resolution to this problem.  Thanks in advance, and if there is any further info I can post to help just let me know.
Question by:Avyctes
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    The computer is "seeing" the currently installed 512MB of memory just fine ... it has an onboard video adapter that is using 32MB of memory -- so there's only 480MB (512MB - 32MB) available for the system to use.

    ... if you change one of the memory modules to 512MB, the system will use the resulting 768MB just fine ==> but it will only show 734MB of RAM (or possibly less; as the BIOS may assign a bit more to the video adapter with more RAM).

    The bus frequency is fine ... there's a 133MHz bus clock that's multplied as needed to produce the appropraite FSB :-)
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    ... I looked up the detailed specs of this system; and it will not use more than the 32MB it's already using.   So if you install a 512MB module, the system will "see" 734MB of memory.     It also has an AGP slot ... so another way to both speed up the system somewhat AND gain an additional 32MB of memory is to add an AGP video card ==>  even an inexpensive video card (e.g. )  will be notably faster than the onboard video; and if you're not using the onboard video the 32MB it's now using would be available for the system ... so you'd get a full 512MB (now) or 768MB (with the new 512MB module you plan to buy).

    Author Comment

    Hi Gary, thanks SO much for the quick and knowledgeable reply.  I haven't had any experience much with onboard video (only onboard audio), and didn't dream that it was borrowing some memory from the RAM.  

    I feel a lot more confident now in ordering her RAM for her, and I will definitely take your suggestion about adding the video card.  She has both AGP and PCI slots available, and I can definitely see that enhancing the performance.

    Thanks again,

    Best regards,


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