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How can I determine if the SD Ram I have 2 sticks of (512) can be used in a Dell Inspiron I2650

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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I have 2 sticks of SD Ram 512 that I would like to put in a Dell Inspiron I2650. How can I find out or how would I know if the unit could handle these two stick and bring my existing laptop up to 1 gig of RAM. The machine is actually another family member who is going back to school and needs it if it works. All I can say is it went in a Dell laptop before. Dos anyone know how to do this? Thank you very much for the support that you bring.
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Good Ol' Geek
Go to support.dell.com and supply your Service Tag number on the site.  It will give you the original configuration data of the machine, including links to compatible component information.

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Top Expert 2012
Go on to the Crucial website (www.crucial.com) with the laptop and use their online scanner (Scan My System) - it will tell you what RAM the laptop will work with.  You will then need to compare that with what you have.  These are probably SODIMMs rated for a specific speed, so what you want is for the SODIMMs to be rated at least as high as the recommended RAM speed.  They also have to be the same type.
RUA Volunteer2?Tableau Trainer & Consultant Sales Exec.


Here is a computer screenshot of the Laptop. My Computer Properties.

Inspiron 2650 notebooks have 2 memory slots ---> an internal slot (on top of motherboard) and an external slot (under cover on bottom of notebook). The maximum per slot is 256MB of DDR333 RAM. So SDRAM will not work and 512MB modules are not compatible either. The Inspiron 2650 was a good example of poor design.

Your laptop has an Intel 845MZ chipset which supports 1GB of Low Density DDR200 or DDR266.

It's quite common for DOCs that get published before something is actually available (in this case 512MB SODIMM DDR Modules) to never get updated when it does become available later on.

The BIOS needs to support 512Mb modules too but it would be rare for that part of the code to not be updated for something like supporting larger RAM modules.

It's not guaranteed but I'd give it a 95% chance you can go to 1GB with that thing.


Based on my experience, I say there's a 100% chance that 512MB modules will cause a boot failure.

Must be a Dell issue then.
Too lazy to update their BIOS.
I'm running a Gateway in the shop it worked fine with.
I've done the same thing with several Intel 830MP based laptops where DOCs said 512Mb max and 1Gb worked fine.

I've had 100% success with it.
But, I don't use high density RAM and I've never tried it on a Dell.
Top Expert 2012

This thread seems to confirm what willcomp is saying about 512MB being the maximum, but apparently a single 512MB module will work if that is all that is populated: http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/579009962631/m/972009296731
Theirs no indication in that thread that kind of RAM they were using.
How many banks are on the module comes into play. They come in 2 bank or 4 bank.
If you put a module that takes up all the banks in one slot then adding more RAM in won't work.
They probably had 512Mb 4-bank and the laptop handled it as two 256Mb 2-bank.
If they'd used 2x 512Mb 2-bank it -should- have worked.  

Like I said.
The hardware (chipset) fully supports 1Gb.
I dunno if the software (BIOS) does.
If the microcode in the BIOS was not updated to recognize the info in a 512Mb module's SPD then what willcomp experienced will happen.

I've done it successfully on Intel 845MZ and 830MP laptops that advertised the same limit.
It also worked 1GB->2Gb on my in-laws Dell Dimension 2350 which 'advertises' 1 GB max.
That one was repeated right here among other places:

Right here some people got 1GB to work in an Inspiron 2650 and others didn't.
Presumably the ones that didn't were using the wrong RAM.

Crucial bases the info in their database SOLELY on the manufacturer's documentation.
When the manufacturer's info is wrong so is Crucial's.
There have been four times I resorted to emailing Crucial's customer support because something in their database didn't make sense. Three of those times their answer was later proven to be wrong.
Kingston is exactly the same way and most everyone else does the same or steals their info from one of the ones that does it that way.
If you have the ram and the laptop there's no harm in trying it(at least is it's done properly there isn't). Here's a link to Dell's service manual for the I2650 As noted above the 2nd memory slot is under the keyboard.
To reiterate -- RAM available is 2 x 512MB of SDRAM if information in question is correct. Notebook requires DDR RAM.
I can't believe I missed that, the I2600 used PC-133 SDRAM and the 2650 uses DDR-200.

I did not miss that however the asker only stated "SD Ram".

Both PC-133 and DDR are "SD Ram". [aka SDRAM.]

RUA Volunteer2?Tableau Trainer & Consultant Sales Exec.


So even though I have 2 sticks of 512 SD RAM they will not work with this DELL as it only uses DDR. which is slightly older technology. There is a chance that I might sneak one 512 in with a BIOS update and short prayer? Thank you gentlemen for the "Herculean effort" I did the best I could with spreading out the points. Lots to acknowledge here. Thanks

I suspect most of us know that DDR is technically synchronous RAM. We also know full well what common nomenclature is.

And if we are using common sense we know the asker is using common nomenclature.
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