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Buying Memory for My Desktop - Question about Specs and Compatability

Posted on 2014-09-27
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a dell XPS 8700, Windows 7 64 bit o/s home edition.
I have two 4 gig memory strips and want to upgrade to four 8 gig strips.
This is what I have:
 -- Size - 4GB
 -- Pins - 240 pins
 -- Memory clock - 200MHz
 -- Speed - PC3-12800 (DDR3-1600)
 -- CAS Latency - CL11
 -- Ranks - 2Rx8
 -- Chip - 18pcs 256x8
 -- Voltage - 1.5V
 -- ECC - yes
 -- Registered - no
Can I use the following in my pc?
•DDR3
•32 GB : 4 x 8 GB
•DIMM 240-pin
•1866 MHz / PC3-14900
•CL10
•1.5 V
•unbuffered
•non-ECC
--------------------------
Or can I use this?
•DDR3
•32 GB : 4 x 8 GB
•DIMM 240-pin
•1600 MHz / PC3-12800
•CL8
•1.5 V
•unbuffered
•non-ECC
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Question by:brothertruffle880
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by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 40347916
The easiest way to get memory guaranteed to work in your Dell is to use the tools provided on manufacturers' websites to identify suitable modules. Usually every speed supported by a particular machine or motherboard will be listed. Kingston and Crucial offer such tools, as doubtless do many others.
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by:garycase
garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 40347965
Yes, that specification for your memory modules will work fine.    In fact, the 8700 does NOT support ECC modules, so I suspect you initial list is incorrect.

Note that the memory subsystem will be somewhat more reliable with only two modules installed (due to bus loading).     I'd buy a pair of 8GB modules and see if you really need more before adding the additional 2 modules.
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garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 40347968
...  by the way, looking more closely at the specifications, the 8700 also supports low voltage modules, so you may want to buy 1.35v modules instead of the standard 1.5v modules.    These use less power and run slightly cooler.

e.g. a pair of these:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820239876
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by:rindi
ID: 40347969
Which Windows 7 home edition do you have? Home Basic or Premium? Home basic has a max RAM limit of 8GB, and for Premium it is 16GB. So unless you are also going to upgrade the OS to at least Windows 7 Pro (for which the limit is 192GB), you'd create an "overkill" situation by upgrading the RAM to 32GB...

Besides that, if you don't want to use the crucial or kingston tools, you can usually just bring the PC to your PC shop around the corner, and then try the RAM before you buy. This usually saves time and worries. I've even been allowed to take RAM back home and try it, and  then bring it back.
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Author Comment

by:brothertruffle880
ID: 40347971
Hi Gary:
Can you give me some info (or a link(s) ) about bus loading?  I know nothing about this.
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by:garycase
garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 40347983
Listen to Item #10 of the Corsair Memory Basics presentation for info on bus loading when using unbuffered modules:  http://xlrq.com/stacks/corsair/153707/index.html

However, as rindi noted, Microsoft limits the amount of RAM they support in the Home editions of Windows 7.    You indicated you have a 64-bit version, so it supports either 8GB (if Home Basic) or 16GB (if Home Premium).     Assuming you have Home Premium, a pair of 8GB modules is definitely what you want to buy -- it will both limit your bus loading AND is all your OS supports :-)     [If you have Home Basic, the 8GB you have now is all it will support -- so you'll have to do an "Anytime Upgrade" before you can add more memory.]
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by:rindi
ID: 40347990
Anytime upgrades have been terminated for Windows 7 (I think that was about an year ago). So you would have to get the upgrade through other channels.
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Author Closing Comment

by:brothertruffle880
ID: 40348095
Thanks Gary.  You gave me just what I was looking for.
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by:garycase
ID: 40348172
"... Anytime upgrades have been terminated for Windows 7 " ==> Interesting (but actually not surprising, since Microsoft wants to sell updates to '8 instead of upgrade for '7).
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by:garycase
ID: 40348203
... FWIW, I just clicked on an "Anytime Upgrade" in Windows 7 and it still takes you to the site to buy the upgrade.    I didn't actually try to buy it -- that may in fact no longer work -- but it certainly looks like it's still an option.  (I did click the "Buy" button, and it takes you to a payment screen)
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Author Comment

by:brothertruffle880
ID: 40348332
Thanks Gary!
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by:rindi
ID: 40348424
When I click on "Anytime Upgrade", I get "Windows Anytime Upgrade is no longer available for online purchase". Maybe it hasn't been terminated in the US, but in Switzerland it has. I also remember people from the US who weren't able to use it some time ago, maybe that was a temporary problem.
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