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Memory upgrade recommendation

Posted on 2015-01-20
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Last Modified: 2015-01-24
I have an XP box here which is actually performing quite well despite having only 512MB RAM installed, but i'm wondering if an upgrade would be worth it.

It seems that it could use 166MHz DDR SDRAM of up to 2GB, the board being Asus P4S533-VX. It seems that type of memory is difficult to buy, so i'm looking for recommendations as to how to get a cheap and reasonably good quality upgrade. I'm in the UK.
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Question by:CEHJ
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by:rindi
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For XP I wouldn't consider any upgrade of the hardware. XP is dead. If on the other hand you consider changing the OS to Linux, then I would upgrade the RAM. Any standard DDR RAM should work, just not ECC or FB RAM which is designed for servers (and also harder to get and more expensive). You should not have any issues getting 2nd Hand RAM via portals like ebay etc. But as this is old RAM it will probably seem more expensive than comparable modern DDR3 RAM.
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by:VB ITS
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Good old DDR RAM. I had a few 512MB and 1GB modules which I ended up throwing in the bin after they just collecting dust for years.

If you're set on upgrading the memory then jump on eBay, plenty of desktop DDR 400 sticks going around on there for under 10-15pounds.
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by:CEHJ
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For XP I wouldn't consider any upgrade of the hardware. XP is dead. If on the other hand you consider changing the OS to Linux, then I would upgrade the RAM.
Yes, Debian is on the cards.
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by:rindi
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A Debian spin-off I can highly recommend is Makulu Linux XFCE 6.1. It is based on the testing branch of Debian, and runs really fast. Besides that, it has a very polished and beautiful desktop. Being based on Debian Testing means it is a "Rolling Release", so it is usually very up-to-date, as opposed to the stable Debian versions. Also Makulu Cinnamon 2.0 is very nice, but the Cinnamon Desktop uses more video resources than the xfce version does.
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by:CEHJ
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rindi, that sounds interesting. Xfce is my normal choice. I'm not entirely convinced on systemd yet, so might install Wheezy
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by:garycase
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XP is indeed "dead" in many respects, but a system that's up-to-date as of EOL and has one of the many free anti-virus utilities installed (e.g. Panda) can run very nicely as a basic box for many applications.    I know a LOT of folks who use these for simple internet access, greeting card programs, basic Office documents, etc.

It WILL run notably better with 1GB vs. 512MB ... but the gains beyond that are very nominal.    If you were in the US I'd gladly just send you an extra 512MB stick, as I have several in my "old stuff" box.   But as noted above, you can get these very inexpensively on e-bay or at Amazon.   Note that 1GB modules are basically priced the same as 512MB modules in many cases, so I'd just buy one or two of them.
e.g.  http://www.amazon.com/PNY-OPTIMA-PC3200-Desktop-MD0512SD1-400/dp/B0000B006W/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt

... a UK supplier with free shipping:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-Memory-Upgrade-RS482MK9-A64S-Desktop/dp/B00O31DKUY/ref=sr_1_23?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1421776982&sr=1-23&keywords=DDR+RAM
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If you're looking at Linux I would also check out Linux Mint... At one point I was running a whole college computer lab in Linux Mint 11 and it looks so much like windows that normal users can use it without too much of a problem. It was for an internship where I had to push cloned images out to the PC's and only use free open source software. It was quite the great experience but later I realize I was paying them to take an internship where I upgraded their computers and managed a 24 PC lab for them ha ha. I ended up with 3 partitions (linux mint 11, windows 7 and an extra storage space) then had to set them all up with XP virtual box. At any rate I digress the users of the lab (mostly first and second year business and IT students) really seemed to work well with Linux Mint 11. The hardware we had wasn't great but the OS performed very well with no real changes to settings.
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by:VB ITS
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Are these going to be ok for that board?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Kingston-2GB-2x1GB-DDR-400-MHz-PC3200-Non-ECC-Desktop-PC-DIMM-Memory-RAM-184-pin-/161553616157?pt=UK_Computing_ComputerComponents_MemoryRAM_JN&hash=item259d588d1d
Just checked the specifications for your motherboard and it seems that the highest memory clock it can support is DDR333. This doesn't mean DDR400 modules won't work though, they should just get clocked down to run at DDR333 speeds.
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by:CEHJ
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IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

 
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by:rindi
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The speed doesn't matter, what matters is thing like ECC or FB.
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by:VB ITS
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I'd personally go with the Kingston modules in your other link.
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by:CEHJ
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I'd personally go with the Kingston modules in your other link.
Sorry - i don't know which one you mean ;)
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by:VB ITS
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Sorry, I was referring to these modules:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Kingston-2GB-2x1GB-DDR-400-MHz-PC3200-Non-ECC-Desktop-PC-DIMM-Memory-RAM-184-pin-/161553616157?pt=UK_Computing_ComputerComponents_MemoryRAM_JN&hash=item259d588d1d

They're new Kingston modules (at least according to the seller) whereas the DDR333 modules you posted up were refurbished modules and no specific manufacturer was mentioned. Given the choice, I'd go with new Kingston modules over unknown refurbished modules any day of the week.
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by:garycase
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The speed is not an issue -- DDR400 will clock down to 333Mhz with no problem.

What IS important is to ensure you have the correct density modules.    According to what I've found for the P4S533-VX motherboard, it requires low-density modules.    So the 2nd link is what you want to buy:   http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Low-Density-2GB-2x1GB-DDR-333-PC2700-Non-ECC-Desktop-PC-Memory-RAM-184-pin-/221640560773?pt=UK_Computing_ComputerComponents_MemoryRAM_JN&hash=item339ace9085

Note that these are not only low-density, but they happen to be the DDR333 speed you actually need (as I noted above, that really doesn't matter, but it's certainly nice to have the match).   Also, note from the picture that they are Kingston modules (assuming they match the picture).
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Where did you find the the info on the low density modules Gary? I found the manual for the P4S533 board and it makes no mention of low or high density RAM. With that being said, the DDR400 modules on eBay are low density according to search engines when you look up the model (KVR400X64C3A).

Also if you look at the description of the item for the DDR333 modules on eBay, you'll note that Manufacturers field states: Miscellaneous: Kingston, Hynix, Samsung etc so you really don't know what you'll be getting.

Either way, I think both sets will work fine. If CEHJ wants to be on the safe side then stick with the refurbished DDR333 modules.
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by:CEHJ
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Can we get consensus guys? ;) Points split will follow
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I believe both sets will work perfectly fine for your computer. One set is DDR 400, Kingston branded modules, and brand new in condition. They just won't run at their full speed.

The other set is DDR 333, brand is unknown, and refurbished. This is the safest choice of the two in terms of compatibility though.

Both sets are low density modules and will work fine with your motherboard, it's your choice from here on really :)
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by:Aaron
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How long are you looking to use this PC. Refurbished isn't usually too bad just not as long of a lifespan in my experience but if you're looking at just 2-3 years of usage that should be well within there limit I would think and I know personally that it's nice to have the matched frequency (though not required). As mentioned above it is "safer" compatability wise but I have never had an issue with higher frequency ram (DDR3 1600mhz will auto configure down to 1333 on most boards even those that take 1600mhz and has to be changed in BIOS). Either way I don't think you can really go wrong here but if you're like me and you like things to match then go with the 333 but if you like new and shiny then go with the 400.
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by:garycase
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As noted, either set should be fine, although I'd go with the DDR333 since they're available, low-density, and very close to the same cost.
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by:CEHJ
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Thanks guys
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