Recommended Memory Type for Dell Dimension e521(MOBO) AMD Dual Core Processor 5200+

Hello,

I am not new to taking care of memory for my PC (but I am extremely limited in knowledge of the RIGHT memory to use and how to use it). I've been reading articles etc, but I was unable to find any exact recommendations on my MOBO in regards to upgrading the memory. I am basically trying to make it blazing as possible on a mid-mid-high range budget.

I am a bit hesitant to go to my local pc supplier because when I went there (I wont mention the store) the staffer took me to the hard drives when I asked for memory recommendations - and was convinced those are what I needed :(

Any tips or advice is greatly appreciated!

All PC specs below.

0) What speed memory my PC will support in MHzs.
1) The best quality memory for my specific system
2) The max (which I believe is 3GB) my system will take
3) And what is the best combination of memory for example: 3 1GB chips or a 2GB and 1GB combo?

Here is a shot I found of my specific MOBO if it helps: http://www.vector64.com/5600/IMG_2337.JPG 

PC SPECIFICATIONS:
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PC Model :: Dell Dimension
MotherBoard ID w/ date (generated from EVEREST) ::  12/09/2006-C51MCP51-6A61HM39C-00
OS :: Win XP Home
CPU :: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5200+
w3developingAsked:
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Andres PeralesCommented:
is this mother board the original that came with the pc?  if so go to http://support.dell.com enter you service tag, you should see a link for recommended upgrades.
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dianthonymCommented:
you can also run a scan at crucial.com and it will tell you what to buy, how much you can upgrade to and give you pretty decent pricing.  
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MarkCommented:
First, the XP home is a 32 bit OS and you are correct in thinking 3GB may be a limit but the ram should be installed in pairs for dual channel capability to be used. Sometimes using 4 sticks f ram can cause instability with electrical loading on the memory bus so I would recommend 2GB using a pair of  1GB sticks.
Your best bet would be to use the online stores like
crucial http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=Dimension%20E521
and kingston. http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/configurator_new/modelsinfo.asp?id=8&SysID=32777&mfr=Dell&model=Dimension+E521&root=&LinkBack=&Sys=32777-Dell-Dimension+E521&distributor=0&submit1=Search
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w3developingAuthor Commented:
Wow thanks for the excellent links. That's exactly what I am looking for, but I still see data is missing. Does it matter if get the:

667MHz (PC2 5300) or  533Mhz (4200) ??

Will either of these work?
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w3developingAuthor Commented:
I just found a note on a specification that my MOBO will support 4200 or 5200. I think I am understanding correct.

But it appears the 667 is faster ...

Am I right on the 667 - faster?
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MarkCommented:
Yes 667 is faster but it depends on whether the PC runs it at that spedd as some ram will downclock in order to use faster ram. I'll check the specs.
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MarkCommented:
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w3developingAuthor Commented:
sparkmaker,

Thanks I just found that same link... I decided to go with 2 1 GB Kingston 667s - I won't be running dual channel, but I was a bit afraid to get involved in the 4GB - as I think some issues can come up that I would not be able to address easily.
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MarkCommented:
If you place the 1GB sticks in the proper slots it will run in dual channel and there is a bit of a performance gain in doing this.
Here is the installation guide for this model.
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dimE521/en/SM_EN/parts.htm#wp1184464
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w3developingAuthor Commented:
sparkmaker,

I would assume putting: 1GB in DIMM1 & 1GB in DIMM3 might start dual channel? From the documentation, I cannot be certain of this.

Running a total of 2GB dual channel.

I'm a bit lost on this..
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MarkCommented:
As per the Dell docs;
DIMM connectors must be populated in numerical order beginning with connectors DIMM_1 and DIMM_2, then connectors DIMM_3 and DIMM_4.
Put them in "channel A: matched pair of memory modules in connectors DIMM_1 and DIMM_2 (white securing clips)"
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w3developingAuthor Commented:
Ok that makes sense. But will it run at dual channel this way?
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MarkCommented:
yes it should. Even though the documentation isn't quite clear, dual channel requires pairs of ram installed. The population rule stating  that they should be placed in the white securing clip dimm slots first would infer this.
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w3developingAuthor Commented:
Hi sparkmaker,

I started another thread to go into more detail here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Desktops/PCs/Q_23822954.html 

I see what you mean
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MarkCommented:
Yes I saw the other thread, the answer was the same, no need for me to comment in the other question.
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