Upgrading RAM on Dell XPS 8700 desktop

Hello everyone,

My desktop Dell XPS 8700 is 1.5 years old and I think it could use a memory upgrade. The current RAM information based on CPU-Z:

http://i.imgur.com/yJW7lyS.png

http://i.imgur.com/I9Fl22C.png

I ran a test at crucial.com and this is what I got:

http://i.imgur.com/goVXfeV.png

I'm not sure if I should get 1 x 8 GB stick to go with the existing 2 x 4 GB sticks or if it is better to just get 2 x 8 GB sticks and remove the existing ones to avoid any potential incompatibility.

I've shortlisted the following sticks:

Crucial Ballistix Tactical - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006YG9C6C/

Crucial Ballistix Sport - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006WAGGUK

Crucial Ballistix Sport (Very Low Profile) - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A14ZTWE/

Any comments on the situation and which stick you'd install, if it were you, would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks for your time.
arise5Asked:
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arnoldCommented:
Currently how much memory foes your system have?
You posted two images of 2x4GB
How much more memory do you want, if you have 16Gn with 4x4Gb you can buy 2x8GB replacing a pair to go up to 24Gn, or you can get 4x8Gb replacing all four to max out the system at 32GB.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
I'd get the 2x8GB and put it into the empty slots this will give you 24G Memory
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arise5Author Commented:
Thanks Arnold and David.

I was looking to expand the memory to 16 or 24 GB.

So the 16 GB (2 x 8 GB sticks) should work in harmony with the existing 2 x 4 GB sticks, right?

This one is the cheapest with no bells and whistles/heatsinks should be good enough, right? : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AZGZFF4
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arnoldCommented:
What do you use the system for, how long do you plan on keeping this system?

You can have 2x8 and 2x4 to the 24GB.  Are you set on crucial only or other options .......


http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007611%20600006127%20600564631%20600006050%20600083963%20600006072&IsNodeId=1

Lower CAs is better.
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arise5Author Commented:
Thanks Arnold. I don't game but use it extensively running multiple applications at the same time. Sometimes, there are a few processes that run for days together.

I thought the sticks below would be an overkill. Currently it's on sale for $75 (after $15 mail-in rebate):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J8E8Y5C

But like you said, it has lower CL and 1866 MHz. Would you recommend this over the basic Crucial stick I mentioned above (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AZGZFF4) that costs $70?
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arnoldCommented:
Based on your use, the Kingston memory should be fine.
The higher rated speed means nothing in your case given your system's highest supported speed is the 1600 (12800)

processes meaning intensive calculation?
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nobusCommented:
be aware that some boards are picky about mixing different ram sticks
it may well be it accepts your 8 GB sticks, and the 4 GB, but not both together

that said - it is always best to have a pair of the same sticks - if possible
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arise5Author Commented:
Thanks Arnold and Nobus.

@Arnold: So you'd recommend the Kingston over the Crucial because the CL of Kingston is 10 compared to Crucial's 11?

Processes like checking the health of hard drives, converting files from one format to another, etc.

I'll post this as a new question but of late I'm seeing this:

Dragon Error
And this causes Windows Aero theme to change into Windows Basic automatically. I actually like Windows basic as the computer is much more snappier.

The computer just had a fresh install of Windows 7 on a 500 GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, a week ago and there are not that many programs on the desktop yet.

@nobus: Thinking of just installing 2 x 8 GB sticks in slots 2 and 4 (just like how it is now) and removing the 2 x 4 GB sticks for good.

Thoughts?
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arnoldCommented:
Made the comment prior to seeing/looking at the crucial link.
If performance is an issue I.e. Complex calculation/processing, I would have gone with the G.skill CAS 7 at 109 at newegg/123 at Amazon.

Based on your latest post I presume you do video editing/converting?

I would add the two to what you have going to 24GB unless as nobus pointed out the two sets of modules can not work together.

You can trade off esthetics for performance, properties of computer\advanced settings\performance select the performance dealing with appearance and that will make it permanent rather than waiting until all that you have running slows down the system.......
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arise5Author Commented:
Thanks for writing back, Arnold. Not much video editing though. Just a little bit here and there. Got this Kingston since it was on sale for $75.

Will do.

I just heard from someone that changing the virtual memory settings to a different drive (even HDD) away from the OS SSD (C:) and setting the initial and maximum size to be 4096 MB would help to solve the problem that I posted above regarding Dragon software. My mouse cursor is also sticky/unresponsive for a couple of seconds here and there.

http://i.imgur.com/GjLmWfK.png

Would love to know what you guys think about that.

Here's hoping that these changes combined with the RAM upgrade greatly enhances the system performance.
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arnoldCommented:
Once you increase the memory, the system will likely swap/page less increasing performance..
Memory is the fastest, then it goes to the hard drive. When a system is low on memory resources, it has to  "pause" while making room by shifting one application from memory to the ssd, and ......


Usually, one wants to have as much memory as possible minimizing the nee for virtual memory consumption.
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nobusCommented:
as for brands  -most mobo vendors have a recommended ram list
so if you want to be sure if it works - use it
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arnoldCommented:
while not disagreeing with nobus, this should be followed when one builds their system from components. I think Kingston is often of the memory Dell uses in their desktop systems Not sure they publish the tested memory list as most MB manf. do.
Also the memory verification list is only useful if one buys the Mobo when it is first released to make sure that it will work with the memory.  Enough time having passed, updates to the list are rare.

1.5 DDR3 12800 is all that one needs as well as the supported sizes.
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nobusCommented:
maybe so -  but the published ones are tested and verified to be working
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Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
The debate about where swapfiles should be is rather old-hat now, but the only rule I'd still adhere to is always keep it on your fastest disk - ie the SSD, which is probably at least twice as fast than any mechanical HDD.  
In terms of separate partitions, or fixed sizes, I've never seen any empirical tests that demonstrate any measurable difference.  The fixed size was supposed to reduce fragmentation issues, but they don't affect SSDs.  
Just let Windows look after it itself, reboot once a week, and you'll get as near perfect performance as possible.
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nobusCommented:
Dan - to what is this an answer?  it's about Ram here
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.
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arise5Author Commented:
Installed just Kingston HyperX FURY 16GB Kit (2x8GB) 1866MHz DDR3 CL10 DIMM and removed the old ones.

The system is flying. Very happy with the performance. :-)

Many many thanks for all your help. I apologize for not responding sooner.
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nobusCommented:
tx for feedback
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